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Alton Towers – ECC Visit - October 21th 2018

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mkingy User avatar
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Alton Towers – ECC Visit
October 21th 2018
Cover.JPG

Photo Album: https://imgur.com/a/c5co18g


Introduction

Me and Gouldy travelled up north to Blackpool to attend the first leg of the European Coaster Club White Knuckle Weekend which began at Blackpool. The main draw to the park on this occasion was Blackpool’s new rollercoaster, a Mack double launch Icon.
Jammy joined me, Gouldy and his RS for the second leg of the ECC White Knuckle Weekender to Alton Towers. It was scarefest so this was our chance to experience Wickerman in the dark after nearly a full season of operation.

Wickerman Cable Car.jpg


Trip Report

Wickerman
I'd ridden Wickerman several times this year in differing conditions and not been overly impressed, but this time was somehow different. Perhaps it was the Europa Park style dispatch times (well… perhaps not that good but I think they were actually closer to theoretical throughput than any other park in the UK!) Or perhaps that we didnt experience any downtime whilst queueing. Or maybe now the wood has loosened up and its a little rougher round the edges, or just that we rode it once it had warmed up rather than first thing in the morning. But for the first time I hit the brake run with a smile on my face, and Gouldy even admitted it was a “good ride” (High praise indeed as this isnt a valley woodie!).
Wickerman Airtime.JPG

Wickerman Statue.JPG

Wickerman Twisting Drop.JPG


There were some end of season issues, such as the projection not lining up and the statue mist breaking shortly after it got dark, plus the chain system appears to be taking a bit of a beating when latching on, although nothing over what you'd expect on a woodie I still worry that Alton won't maintain it as well as they should.
Overall its still not my favourite ride at Alton, and it's still not what it could have been - but it's certainly not bad andfrom what you hear in the queue and around the park from the GP it seems to have a positive impact - with any luck it'll pave the way for another woodie in the UK in my lifetime heh.

Wickerman Backside Movement.JPG

Wickerman Night Side.JPG

Wickerman Night Turnaround.JPG


Other Rides
The day started off with ERS on Nemesis which was running pretty well, gaining speed as the session went on but the first ride was still forceful. We managed 7 rides in a vareity of seats, and joked that would probably account for over half the total rides on what was projected to be a busy day!
The ERS gave us the opportunity to ride Galactica (without VR) before the inevitable queue built up and was a walk on (everybody heads towqrds Wickerman / Smiler first thing in the morning).

Nemesis Flatspin.jpg


Next we checked off Thirteen and Rita with reasonable queues before heading for an early lunch. Rita was riding reqsonably well but Thirteen was stacking hard due to the new baggage and lack of single rider changes. Also to note for comparison the transport into the station has more acceleration than Icon's first launch. After lunch we took the skyride back over to Wickerman and getting an afternoon ride on it.

Galactica Theme.jpg


By this point Smiler had built up a fairly sizable queue, and as we had all been a couple of times this season already we had no real desire to stand in a cattlepen for 80 minutes (lack of single rider probably harms Smiler the worst, although arguably Thirteens dispatch issue hurts it more in a different way). We instead rode Oblivion which was decent enough - I quite enjoy the simplicity of it, but i think I still hold Krake above it.

Wickerman Night Statue.JPG


We got a fun ride on spinball whizzer before heading back to Wickerman for our night ride. The club had organised to be the last riders but we didn't fancy hanging around too much longer (and also decided against joining the queue for Smiler) and decided to head home after a surprisingly good day at the park!
It's certainly worth noting that the club had use of the Towers Suite all day which was great as a couple of times we headed in there to get warm and have coffee/biscuits which was invaluable. They also had a q&a with somebody from the scarefest which seemed slightly last minute. He did say that they hadn't fixed into or altered any of sub terror in preparation for the scaremaze that was situated there - certainly no guarantee that the ride will return but perhaps shows that it still could.

Rating / Ranking

New Entries:

Wickerman #
Better than: Big Dipper @ Blackpool
Worse than: Joris @ Efteling
#3 Ride at Alton Towers

Favourite 5 of 172

1. Helix @ Liseberg
2. Taron @ Phantasialand
3. Nemesis @ Alton Towers
4. Troy @ Toverland
5. Expedition Geforce @ Holiday Park

Wickerman Night Overveiw.jpg

gouldy User avatar
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mkingy wrote:
Wickerman Airtime.JPG



This photo clearly shows the ejector airtime because of the hair, Matt. Physics. :lol:
What makes this even better is noticing the filename on this picture when quoting it :lol:

Love that by car got a little mention!

Decent visit to Alton Towers for once, to be fair. And quite enjoyed Wickerman this time, especially after dark. Still not a great ride, but it's good enough to be a nice addition.
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Coasterkidmwm User avatar
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Thanks for the pictures! Wick Man photographs so well at night. I can't get past seeing the Ram logo in it though lol.
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mkingy User avatar
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gouldy wrote:
mkingy wrote:
Wickerman Airtime.JPG



This photo clearly shows the ejector airtime because of the hair, Matt. Physics. :lol:
What makes this even better is noticing the filename on this picture when quoting it :lol:


Yes much airtime 8-)

Wickerman was fun to photograph at night, definitely a steep learning curve however!


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