On Friday I took a day trip with a girl friend to visit Alton Towers. It was something we had been planning for over a month, so the anticipation was great! Many of you have probably heard about the Alton Tower’s accident that recently took place. One of the theme parks “extreme rides”, The Smiler, had a malfunction and caused to cars to collide injuring several people. One woman even had her leg amputated. Not too long after that accident, one of the parks monorails also had a break down, stranding people on it for over an hour. Needless to say, all of this press made people not too keen to visit. So even though we arrived at 1pm and the park closed at 5pm, we were able to go on all of the extreme rides, play a few games, and get a late lunch. The park was practically deserted! I blame the bad press, but it worked in my favor because I rarely waited in line for longer than a few minutes.
The biggest difference I noticed about this UK theme park and Six Flags in Georgia was prices. To play park games or eat park food in America is insanely expensive. So much so that I rarely actually did it. Usually my family and friends would bring along snacks and drinks and eat those rather than pay the insane park fee’s. I remember a small soda costing $6! But the American theme park was much bigger and had more rides. It also had a lot of themed mascots running around and it felt more like an overall experience rather than justing going on rollercoasters. What I remember most from Six Flags is the Looney Tune theme area. Maybe Alton Towers has mascots and I just missed them because I avoided the children areas. But I really think that it is just more of an interactive park in America opposed to the UK.
That being said, I think I prefer the UK park. Not only was food infinitely cheaper (I got a jammed packed bean and cheese jacket potato and drink for less than $10), but I was also able to afford playing a few rounds of a toss-the-ball game (I didn’t win ). AND the roller coasters were much much more exciting. This could be because I’m an adult and tall now, so I can go on all the scary rides, but I think that the rides in Alton Towers were designed to thrill. It seems like visits to places like Alton Towers are more rare in the UK, whereas I went to Six Flag’s and theme parks all the time in America. So the rides have to be made to excite since attendance is such a rare experience.
I will say that my two favorite rides at Alton Towers was Thirteen and Oblivion. Not to give away too much, but Thirteen had me riding backwards in the dark for half the journey, and Oblivion was a sheer vertical drop into a concrete hole.