On Friday we headed off to Alton Towers. We had waited all summer for the weather predictions to be good enough for me to book a day off work, and ended up going on the final day of the holidays once all other options had passed by. As it happens, it was the perfect day to go.
The wonderful people at Worcestershire County Council gave us a school start date a day or two later than most other counties, and the weather reports were predicting rain. It did not rain. It was cool enough that I needed to wear a coat, so I could carry keys and wallet in zipped pockets and didn’t need to carry a bag. The crowds stayed away.
There were no queues. I can’t quite believe I have been able to say that. I have never been to a theme park before and had to queue so little. Last time we were there we managed to go on about 8 rides. This time, well I haven’t totted it up yet, so here goes:
Nemesis x 3
Air x 3
Runaway Mine Train
Skyride (we count this, as it took as much persuading to get Mr 7 on it as any other)
Oblivion x 2
In the Night Garden
Nina and the Neurons
Nemesis is brilliant. It has been brilliant for 21 years. I bet there aren’t many roller coasters that are just as exciting two decades after they were first installed. It wasn’t my favourite, though.
My favourite is Air. I have never been on a coaster like it before. It is as close to flying as I will ever get. Absolutely fantastic. I was a bit nervous when I first saw how the seats tilted to suspend you face down, but the experience was amazing.
We last went there two years ago, having paid £8.50 of Tesco Clubcard for each of our tickets. It has taken us this long to save up our next batch of clubcard vouchers as we now only shop at Tesco for coffee, chicken pies and other odds and ends. In the meantime, Miss 12 reached the magic 1.4m. It makes such a difference to her being able to go on the big rides.
Mr 7 has not changed so much. He still dislikes most rides. We had trouble persuading him onto anything, and the list above is not really an accurate view of our day. On all but four of those rides we had at least two people standing and waiting while the others went on the ride.
The Skyride cable car was a notable exception. We persuaded Mr 7 on to it, and he spent the whole ride asking questions. Why were other people in our carriage? Why was there a recorded narration being played? Why did the narration start again even though the ride hadn’t finished? Why did the car just stop? If a cable broke, would we crash to the ground?
His objection to the little rides in CBeebies land was that he has too big to like CBeebies. Oh well. He seemed quite happy with his day, watching everyone else have fun. And he did have his fair share of doughnuts!