I’ve spent many years visiting Alton Towers. I think my first trip was when I was around six, and I’ve been almost every year since. I love what the park is now, but I do have some nostalgic pangs for the good old days. So I thought in today’s Thursday three, I’d take you along with me by sharing the three rides I miss at Alton Towers. There were some other contenders in the mix, but these are the ones I’d bring back in a heartbeat.
1. Toyland Tours
Without a doubt this is the ride I miss the most at Alton Towers. I loved it so much that I don’t even know where to start. If you’re not familiar with it, Toyland Tours used to be where Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has sat dilapidated for years – and where the new location for the Alton Towers Dungeon is.
It was a trippy crazy boat ride around a toy factory featuring a shit-ton of wonderful animatronics, an incredible sound track and some laugh-out-loud funny moments. As a kid, I loved this ride and not least because the hippos in tutus and bras were hilarious to 10-year old me.
In my opinion – and even as a lover of Roald Dahl – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory didn’t have a patch on this ride. Alton is really crying out for a couple of large-scale dark rides for little ones and I think an updated version of this would do just the trick.
2. Black Hole
This one would probably be on most people’s list but I remember finding this thing absolutely terrifying. My memories are fairly hazy but I do recall the station and loading into the cars – I always got tangled up with my mate because it was such a tight squeeze – and thinking ‘holy shit what’s going to happen’ literally every time I rode it.
This ride was completely in the dark and involved you climbing a helix only to be dropped down the black hole and around breakneck turns. It was disorienting, sharp and constantly felt like it was going to break – all good things for making you scared out of your mind.
I generally enjoy rollercoasters in the dark and would love to see something similar – but more smooth and less rickety, obvs – come back to Alton in the future.
3. The Flume
This was a tough one for me to decide and in the end it was a toss up between the corkscrew (purely for nostalgic reasons because that thing gave you whiplash), the Mini Apple Coaster (again, nostalgia played a big part) and The Flume. The Flume won out because it was just a fantastic ride in its day.
It’s very unusual that people want to get wet in the UK in any month other than August, but this was a must-do for me during every visit. Looking back I think the change to bathtubs for the Imperial Leather sponsorship was a bit ridiculous, but I LOVED it at the time and remember thinking it was super cool that you journeyed around in a bath tub – easily pleased!
I just adored this ride. Cruising round the woods was one of my highlights, as were the ventures through tunnels and the scary duck in the dark. The theme tune and in-queue trivia were great too. I just couldn’t get enough of it. In my opinion, every park needs a flume ride and although I’d take Wickerman over The Flume in a heartbeat, I do wish they’d build a new one. A trip to Alton without The Flume just doesn’t feel right.
What rides do you miss at Alton Towers? Share yours with me in the comments!