Thrill Rides at Alton Towers

Y’all. I love roller coasters. I really, really do. So when Sara messaged me to ask if I wanted to be part of a group to go to Alton Towers, I was super excited to go.

As you may guess, it was a very adrenaline-fueled day. Plus, I only got 3.5 hours of sleep the night before. And everyone in the group liked roller coasters! This is a rare and beautiful thing.

Basically, it was one of the best days ever. And I have pictures to prove it.

The Smiler

The Smiler. Terrified yet?

I present to you: The Smiler. You can’t even see the whole thing in this picture. It has 14 loops – the world record. It was incredibly fun. The loops and twisty bits were the best part. The brief vertical rise was the worst part. That was terrifying. The entire time I was just like “Please don’t fall please don’t break please don’t fall,” and I had just enough time for an “Oh thank god” when we crested the top before being whizzed off again.

Plus, the detail that went into the theme of this coaster is amazing. I mean, just look at this:

"You belong to the Smiler," says the creepy voice at the end.

“You belong to the Smiler,” says the creepy voice at the end.

It was my favorite ride of the day; with Thirteen being a close second. Thirteen being one that starts off as a pretty standard roller-coaster, then plunks you in a pitch-dark tunnel, drops (eep!), and then goes backwards through the dark. Heart-pounding good times for everyone!

Alton Towers is a really interesting amusement park, because it has so much green space. When we first walked in through the gate, we couldn’t even see any of the rides. There’s a lake, a bunch of trees, the towers across the late, and some shops. The rides themselves are largely surrounded by foliage (which must take a lot of maintenance), but I think that it really makes being there a more pleasant experience. The only amusement parks I’ve been to back home are flat concrete, and rides towering over you one right after the other. Alton Towers has a massive garden to walk through.

Gazebo in the middle of the pond, ominous screaming all around? Check.

Ah, the sounds of ominous screaming in the garden oasis.

Such a beautiful area, and so many screams coming from all sides. Without the visual context of the roller coasters, it’s a very sinister sound.

One last picture of fun things. This one was called Oblivion, and it is called that because it is a vertical drop. Into a tunnel.

If you look closely, you can see where it moved.

If you look closely, you can see where it moved.

Oblivion, interestingly, was one that was not nearly as scary as it seemed. I think it was the one I was most nervous about while waiting in the queue, but when it actually dropped, it didn’t have quite the expected impact. The fact that they hang you over the edge and pause for a second or two before dropping you is worse than the drop itself.

Maria and I also tried and failed (several times) to win a minion (from Despicable Me) from one of the claw machines. We were so close! But it kept dropping them. Why must you toy with our hearts so, claw machine?

So that was my Saturday. And then, because I don’t believe in relaxation, Sunday I went exploring with Kendra to Ham House and Gardens. I did eventually do work, too. And that’s what I’ll be doing the rest of the week!

I have my dissertation planned in stages. When I finish a stage on time, I get a book. = D



  1. Oh my goodness gracious! It makes my heart stutter just looking at some of those…yikes!

    1. That’s what makes it so fun! = D

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