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Let's hear it!
As I said, fab weekend! But before we all got together for Blackpool, I decided to try take two of Alton Towers on my free snow day ticket. Chauffeured by Rachel, accompanied by Plod and Peep.
This is Alton Towers. At Burton on Trent station, it is illustrated by a ride it no longer has
We're here for the Wicker Man. Not sure what my expectations were, but they were certainly exceeded. It's short but has some fearsome forces in places. Strong 6 in the front, strong 7 in the back, I reckon.
It's also very photogenic, as Peep demonstrates here
Of course, there was also Hex times. Still my favourite Mad House, and there seemed to be more strobes than before, which is always good. On the exit, be sure to nip into the chapel, because it's a hidden bit of loveliness
Despite the negativity around Alton, I will say the staff seemed friendly and on top of operations on Friday. Rides were running well too! I still maintain that The Smiler is not that bad (apart from the yucky corkscrews at the end).
We left Alton and missed much of the traffic up to Blackpool. Owain entertained as usual with his eclectic road trip playlists.
Owain needed to have a moment on the beach
Saturday started as we continued throughout the weekend: in Spoons! I joined the mob meeting up in front of the Icon gift shop watching the PBE/CF group doing their ERT session.
This is Ian. Ian enjoys roller coasters and making small talk with Amanda Thompson
This is MouseAT. You can tell this is MouseAT because he is wearing a fleece and very much enjoying Icon
My favourite thing about Icon is how easy it is to find angles to take amusing photos of rider's faces
The group started off with Icon because of course we did. Though the group as a whole was on average luke warm, I will put my name in as a fan. Flying over various other rides helps (the dance over Big Dipper's brake run wouldn't work without it), but it's got enough strong airtime moments in that Taronesque way that tries to rip you out the seat. Yeah, the launches are poo, but as a whole, I think it works. Great job, Blackpool!
This is Peep. He is a photographer, as you can tell by the fact that this is the second photo of him holding a camera in this report. On the left is the Icon station building, which is ugly and boxy
Headed out for the Big One, but that had amassed a huge queue (can you use queuge as a noun?). We reverted to doing Grey (old grey) instead.
This is Conor, Chris and Witchfinder. They are contemplating life while they are stuck on the brake run
Lord Morton doesn't want to be part of our group, or might be doing the toilet dance
Revolution is still amazingly fun for the buckets of airtime on both drops. The group moved around the back of the park, ticking off Nickelodeon Land (getting spited by Dora) and grabbing Rollercoaster (I'm still not calling it Nickelodeon Streak), Wallace and Grommit, before heading Nash-way.
The Wallace and Grommit shop sells cheese hats and I demand my modelling fees
This is Jordan and Richard. They inform me that there are still many Pokemon around Blackpool
This is The Grand National. It was very painful today and I did not appreciate the airtime because I was trying to avoid debilitating spinal trauma
This is CSLKennyNI. He and the group are not amused by Blackpool's wonderous fountain to their left. They are certainly not happy about the lack of any mice to their right
During the lunch break, half of us plodded over to Spoons (of course) and some of us headed to South Pier for the new Wild Mouse cred.
If you like extra spinny Wild Mice, you'll love this. Luckily I was sober, unlike the poor sods who decided to do this tomorrow
This is a cheap plastic cow painted as Spiderman because why not. Here, jayjay demonstrates a physical defect
The plan here was to look at Impossible on the way back because I've not done it and it's always just sat there. Since the queue for the ride bit at the end was burdenous, I only got the walkthrough bit done. Sad times. It's a bit poo, really.
This is why we can't have nice things
We came back to nab the Big One after lunch. I made the fatal error of sitting in the back row, and now having recovered from Grand National, it proceeded to throw me around far too much for my liking. One of the worse rides I've had on it. Steeplechase was preferable on this day.
This is an exceedingly ill advised support
Always time for more rerides on Icon.
This is Dan in yellow. He either loves Icon, or is so bored that he's just looking for cameras to pose to. In this photo, Peep is not holding a camera, but the ride-ops told him he could hold the lap bar as if it were
This is a sundial. It is made of stone
These are geologists. When presented with stone, they must drop everything to inspect and analyse the stone. Jordan thinks it is sedimentary, but Sue thinks it is metamorphic. What a crazy misunderstanding!
On the front left seat is up and coming superstar Serena Cherry of the metal band Svalbard. She thought Icon is the best roller coaster in the UK
The day was going quicker than it usually does, so we had time to tick off a few lesser ridden items. Derby Racers and Flying Machines are a couple of great little historic rides. Some of us grabbed River Caves where our boat were told off by the tannoy for leaning too far to the right (and Dan wasn't even in the boat)!
Valhalla to finish us off. I didn't bring a change of jeans, so employed the "coat as a skirt" technique to great effect. Speaking of effects, it seemed light on them, which was a shame. Not short on the water though, as per usual.
Blackpool's always a nice relaxed day with CF. Icon was better than I expected, and it was nice meeting up with some of the PBE lot as well. Thanks everyone!