What's new

NOT POLAND

Serena

Miss CoasterForce 2016
Staff member
Social Media Team
This is the story of how @Slamming Coastercore and I were supposed to be in Poland, but we visited Alton Towers and Blackpool instead. And it ended up being a surprisingly worthy replacement.

"Whaaa...?" you cry! "How can you match some of the most exciting new coasters in Europe with a knackered Arrow, a few old B+M's and a family GCI?" Surely there's no comparison? If we had a toss up between who has the best coasters - in the red corner we have the EnergyLandia and Legendia Tag Team, in the blue corner we have Alton and Blackpool Pleasure Beach - we'd all know who to place our bets on. Hyperion swooping down on Rita to show how Intamins should be done, Zadra spitting in the face of Wickerman before Lech barrels into the ring and knocks everyone out with it's pull out into the first inversion. Ring the bell and raise those Polish arms in the air in victory.

But it's not always about what you ride. Sometimes it's who you ride with.

I had the pleasure of first meeting @Slamming Coastercore at a CF Live in 2018 and quickly deduced that we are essentially the same person. We made several trip plans together throughout 2020 that all got thwarted by Covid. Germany, Florida, Poland...how many times would we keep excitedly booking flights only to have them cancelled? Morale was low. We agreed that a weekend trip to Alton Towers Oktoberfest and Blackpool Pleasure Beach Oktoberfest was probably the safest, least-likely-to-spite replacement and headed on up past the JCB factory with the weird spider thing. (Who else gets excited when they see that statue?!)

We did Alton Towers Oktoberfest on the Friday and honestly, it was the best visit I've had to Alton Towers.

Minimal faff getting into the park, straight to Forbidden Valley, the B+Ms were advertised as having big queues...but they didn't! The app was lying! I insisted on Galactica first because I always think I like it more than I really do.

It's the Fly To Lie. It makes me bias. That manoeuvre is gorgeous and I want it to go on forever. I think about that and go all starry-eyed, then remember the rest of this meandering coaster exists :( Sorry for always being wrong about Galactica. At least it has a good soundtrack. Fun fact: I've never experienced it with VR! The VR has always been broken or non-existent for each of my visits.

Nemesis looked to have huge queue and had all the extended bits open. Which I like. It reminds me of when I visited as a child and had my first ride on Nemesis, which was my first big coaster, and had to queue for about 3 hours, staring at the ride from every possible angle that this winding queue line gives.

After all these years, I still really like Nemesis. It's a bit like Super Noodles. Not my favourite dish in the world anymore but always comfortingly reliable. Noodles and Nemesis - they won't let you down like the new Turkey Twizzlers.
I also like that this coaster just wouldn't exist anywhere else. That the restrictions for construction bred such innovation. The way the wind hits you in the queue when it roars through the loop.

We walked passed Sub Terra and I bowed my head in mourning for one of my favourite dark rides. I still miss it so much. I love how it created such a sense of panic in the room.

Onto Dual next, which is always an ego boost. There's not many things I'm good at in life, but Dual is one of them. Needless to say, I thoroughly kicked Alex's arse with my score.

Seen as the queues weren't massive and the park was open until 8pm, we adopted my favourite approach to a day at a theme park: the faffy one! Let's ride the rapids! Let's get snacks! Let's get drinks! Let's watch the Oompa band! Let's ride Spinball! You've gotta make time for the support bands too, can't spend all day on the B+M headliners! We had such a laugh, it was great.

Then something magical happened. Alex persuaded me to ride Oblivion.

We all know by now I am a weird enthusiast and I still get scared by certain things. Oblivion being one of them. I've ridden Valravn, SheiKra, Krake, Baron, Oblivion: TBH, Valkyria but I am still scared of Oblivion at Alton Towers and tend to chicken out. To me, it has all the ramped up, heart attack inducing fear of a drop tower. It's easily the angriest of the Dive Machines.

But here I was, trundling up the lift hill, swearing at Alex for getting me on. Oh wait. *drops* Wow. That was EXCELLENT. I think I love Oblivion now?!

Clearly on a winning streak, Alex also persuaded me to ride Rita. I've not ridden Rita for about 10 years. Hydraulic launches sort of make me feel like I can't breathe. And yet, here I was, listening to the launch mechanisms hissing and swearing at Alex for getting me on. Oh wait. *launches* that was OKAY! I think I tolerate Rita now?!

Th13teen had a long queue so we sacked it off in favour of more FAFF in the form of Hex and The Alton Towers Dungeon. Hex now has to have doors open in all the rooms and this "lights on" approach doesn't really work. The Alton Towers Dungeon is actually really good and scary! I didn't realise you get free tickets with an annual pass? Did you know that?! I loved the disgusting boat ride and the final room made me scream in terror!

Time for the two busiest coasters of the day, The Smiler and Wickerman. Why are the busiest coasters at Alton always the worst ones?! I love Gerstlauer but The Smiler is disgusting apart from the airtime hills. I love GCI but Wickerman is boring apart from the first drop into the S Bend.

Time for some more Oblivion, me thinks. Had a lovely sunset ride where the airtime down the drop was just ridiculous. Oh what? It's gone 7pm?! How did that happen?! I've never had a day go by so fast at Alton Towers before. Truly a sign of non-stop fun. Headed back to Forbidden Valley to finish the day with a dusk ride on Nemesis in the back row.

I was expecting them to kick us out bang on 8pm, but everything stayed open for a bit and we had a great time sat in the Oktoberfest arena scoffing bratwurst under all the twinkling fairy lights. It was dark by the time we left and the park was looking stunning:


IMG_20200911_211840_088.jpgIMG_20200911_211840_093.jpgIMG_20200911_211840_089.jpg


It's so nice to feel the magic of Alton Towers again. Oktoberfest is a fun new event that really works with the big open spaces of the park, and the late closure makes for a very decent ride count to boot! We left at 9pm and drove all the way up to Blackpool, blasting metal, talking coasters...until I fell asleep in the car whilst talking about Dynamite at Plohn (apt, cos it's v. underwhelming)

Stay tuned for Part 2, in which we have a funny old time at the Pleasure Beach!
 
A beautiful read, summed up the day perfectly! Just a couple of notes to add on the ops and Alton that day as well, they were absolutely flying on some rides. It's the first time I've seen Galactica actually use its dual loading station for its intended purpose and Oblivion was running all 4 trains in disgustingly quick fashion.

Oblivion has pretty much always been one of those rides I've been hesitant in riding simply because in the past I've spent a considerable amount of time sitting on the break run waiting for the station to clear. On this day there was none of that, dispatching 2 trains at once leaving the station free for the other 2. The first train would go straight up the lifthill and the other train would wait at the bottom of the lift hill before ascending once the one in front had dropped. It was lovely quick synchronisation, something I've rarely seen at Towers. Just another thing that helped make the day so good and indulge in the goonery even more haha ?
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
Ah honestly I'm so glad it's not just me who even after all this time still has a proper fear of Oblivion (and to some extent hydraulic launches).

I literally have no idea what it is but something about the queue, the anticipation and the lift hill get me every single time.
 

Peet

Active Member
in the red corner we have the EnergyLandia and Legendia Tag Team, in the blue corner we have Alton and Blackpool Pleasure Beach - we'd all know who to place our bets on. Hyperion swooping down on Rita to show how Intamins should be done, Zadra spitting in the face of Wickerman before Lech barrels into the ring and knocks everyone out with it's pull out into the first inversion. Ring the bell and raise those Polish arms in the air in victory.
I thought I was reading the "roller coaster dreams you've had" topic for a moment there... love it.
 

Howie

Active Member
Nice to see some Oblivion love. I've been saying it for 22 years - I think it's one of B&M's finest creations. Things have moved on, sure, but the impact it had on me at the time can not be understated.
And also, RIP Sub Terra. I too give it a little bow of respect whenever I pass.
Sounds like a great day... apart from all the metal talk, obvs. ;)
 
Last edited:
Great report!

I hope that Alton Towers keeps this event in future years.

I know how you feel with cancelled trips, I was also going to poland, but that got cancelled, then Denmark, then that had to be cancelled, if my Blackpool mini break doesn't work out then I'm done.

It's good that you both still got out to a park, sometimes it's good to appreciate what we already have in our little country, there is always next year!

Sent from my SM-A217F using Tapatalk
 

emoo

Member
Oblivion is the scariest {dive} coaster - glad that's a real thing and not just me.

More importantly is getting the magic back, I do miss it.
 
Top