Alton Towers | Tea & Post

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Alton Towers

Going clubbing in our local town is somewhat of a tradition in my friendship group when it comes to birthdays. We usually have a round of predrinks at someones house before heading out to a pub and then a club. This year though, I felt as though all I ever do is go to the same clubs again and again and it doesn't make your birthday feel any different from any other day. So I researched and planned, before checking that my pals were available for the weekend after my birthday. I organised a trip for us to go camping for two nights and spend two of our three days there at Alton Towers and the Splash Landings Waterpark. Arranging a trip for 10 people was no easy feat! Especially when I had two of them eventually drop out, I had to try to figure out cars, tents and who would sit next to who on the rides.

After what felt like forever the 6th September finally came about, I was so, so excited! My friend Loriley and I packed up my car and headed off to meet my other friend Emily and her boyfriend. It took about 4 hours to get from Southend to Stoke-on-Trent but I do love a good road trip, singing along to our iPods and stopping for a cheeky KFC en route. We eventually reached where our destination was and were greeted by a pitch black, freezing cold, foggy field. Putting up the tent took a good hour as it's a bit of a strange one, definitely need to invest in a pop-up tent for next time I think! The rest of our group turned up shortly after and began putting up their tent and we could finally relax next to a fire with a few drinks.

The following morning was a shocker, having been toasty in my sleeping bag I was ripped from it by one of my friends who doesn't approve of my inability to wake up in the mornings. It was FREEZING! We managed to all get ready quickly enough and headed for the theme park at 9am, it felt so early but we wanted to make the most of our day. As we'd booked our tickets online we were granted an hours early entry and could go on a few of the rides. The first one we opted for was Nemesis which was amazing, I've been on it before both at Alton Towers and the one at Thorpe Park. That was what really woke me up that morning, having the cold air slapping you in the face as you're whirled around in the air. So much fun though! We then decided to go and queue for the newest ride there, the one that had sealed my decision to take my birthday all the way up there - The Smiler.

Rollercoasters are my all-time favourite rides, so when I heard Alton Towers was building a 14 loop coaster I couldn't wait to go on it. I'd watched POV videos before going up to the theme park but it's got nothing on the actual ride. We queued for what felt like ages but once we were on, it was so worth it! It's definitely taken over as my favourite rollercoaster, it's even better than the Incredible Hulk one in Florida!


By the time we'd finished with The Smiler it was noon and a few of the boys were feeling a bit peckish. On our way to a chicken shop we saw that Submission didn't have much of a queue. As we began to line up my hangover from drinking the night before managed to kick in. Trust me when I say being hung upside down for at least 30 seconds at a time whilst your head is pounding already is not the best idea! It was an okay ride, although I do tend to prefer the faster rides.

Having let our lunch go down we all decided we wanted to go on Oblivion before we left the X-Sector of the park. Previously when I came to Alton Towers it had gotten stuck and I could see the people trapped at the top of the ride for a good hour or so. Hoping that wouldn't happen this time we queued and got onto it surprisingly quickly. It wasn't a particularly long ride and I had expected to be at the top for a bit longer (maybe from what I'd seen before) but we plunged so fast it literally took my breath away! Next up was Rita which I hadn't even heard of before, on the way myself and Emily decided to buy ourselves slushies. We couldn't resist the pink rocket shaped cups! That was a definite error though, it seems Alton Towers has a particularly bad case of wasp infestation and when Rita said it only had a 35 minute queue, it lied. We spent the next hour or so squealing and trying to escape them whilst the others rolled their eyes at us. The ride Rita was very similar to Stealth at Thorpe Park, it shoots you off really quickly but doesn't last particularly long.

Needing to get to the other side of the park we chose to take the skyride, which is pretty much a gondola. The view was lovely and got us to where we wanted to be for our final rollercoaster, Air. This was my favourite at Alton Towers the last time I came and it was still way up there this time. The ride lowers you down and it almost feels like you're flying, so we spent most of our time on it doing our Superman poses and pretending to swim. As it was getting towards the end of the day we thought we'd hop on a few water rides quickly, we'd left these till last so we didn't have to wander round the park wet. The Congo River Rapids seemed as though it would ease us into it gently, until we went round a corner and were soaked by children with water guns! After this we went on the flume where we really got drenched but we had a lot of fun seeing who could get the best picture.

Having dried off and got back into the cars we decided on going to a pub we'd driven past on the way for dinner. Turns out the Cross Inn which is where we stopped had some camping of its own that looked pretty good, if I plan on going back I may try that one out. Although our campsite was lovely as well. If you want to go camping for Alton Towers too I'd definitely recommend it, it's called Rue Hill Campsite and was pretty cheap at £5 per person per night. Our stop at the Inn allowed us to get some warmth back into our bodies, the tents were freezing at night and there had been a cold wind most of the day. I had a steak and ale pie for dinner which was deliciously hearty. The portion sizes were huge but the quality of the food didn't suffer, the mash was lovely and buttery and it came with a side of nice, crunchy veg. We had some tea to warm us up before we started on the wine, by the time we got back to the campsite we were suitably merry and began to play a board game called Password. As it was freezing in mine and Loriley's tent still we decided to chuck all the boys stuff in there and stay in their tent as it was a lot warmer. If it wasn't for forgetting my roll mat I'dve probably slept like a log!

The following day we had a slight lie in before the chaos ensued of getting ready and packing up our tents. Once finished we drove to the Splash Landings hotel where the waterpark is located (if you're going to Alton Towers and want to do the waterpark too wait till you're up there to book it. It cost us £9 when we were there as opposed to £15 online!) As soon as we were in we headed for the Lazy River where we played with an inflatable ball, had running contests and just generally faffed about. The Master Blaster is definitely the highlight although there was a big queue for a rubber ring. It shoots you right round the waterpark taking you in and out of covered tunnels and spinning you round, you even get a photo taken at the end. There are other slides outside as well and we played stuck in the mud in the main pool before jumping in the jacuzzi for a little while. The food area didn't have a great many options but it wasn't too expensive. After eating our lunch and going back in the lazy river one final time we very sadly headed home.

I'm so glad I chose to do this instead of going out and spending money on a night I wouldn't even remember. Camping really took the prices down and although it was cold, the company made it bearable. We somehow managed to go on quite a few of the main rides which I thought we wouldn't have time to do, the only downside to this trip was the amount of wasps! The girls got a lot of exercise in from running away and screaming much to the boys annoyance.


1 comment

  1. This sounds like such a fun birthday and I loveee the smiler too! You'd like the rip rockit rollercoaster in universal studios Orlando if you ever go back there! I included it in a post I did if you want to see it
    Hope you had a great birthday, love your blog :-)



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