2002 has been a fantastic year at Alton Towers here are just a few of the highlights….
On March 16th 2002 Alton Towers opened its gates with a new generation ”flying” roller coaster called Air, a ride which has taken over 8 years of development and was heavily featured in the media, including on packets of Cornflakes and Blue Peter! People came from all around to experience this new generation roller coaster and most of the riders gave it the thumbs up, with smiles on the faces of all riders as they took their flight! Dynamo was also added to Forbidden Valley, the Huss breakdance ride which took a year out after serving in Ug Land previously. For younger children 2002 offered a new fun and exciting play area in the New Adventure Land, especially designed to maximise children’s fun and enjoyment, totally different to what was on the site previously.
The park buzzed with magic throughout the spring with guests coming to try the new roller coaster. As with all good things there was a downside, Air experienced some technical difficulties which resulted in ride downtime, this was of course for the safety of the riders. Alton Towers and the associate companies have worked to try to improve the situation and we can only hope that Air’s reliability will improve over time to allow more people to experience this truly magical ride.
On June 1st Alton Towers unveiled a brand new ice show in a brand new venue! Webmaster: An Adventure on ice, a story of a boy’s journey through the internet. This was totally different to the previous Peter Rabbit ice show, but just as magical! The show ran throughout the summer up to the end of the season, some days with up to 4 performances. A great addition to the park and certainly something magical and unique… a must see!
In July a Halfpipe arrived at the park and Team Extreme made Alton Towers their home for the summer, performing live shows every day featuring skateboarding, snakeboarding, inline skating and BMX skills.
The summer months saw crowds draw to Alton Towers, as expected queues for rides were large and the popular virtual queue on Air seemed to ‘sell-out’ before most people had the chance to get a ticket. Never the less, the slightly better weather, thousands of ice creams and later opening times throughout the summer insured everyone had a fab time.
Alton Towers’ Halloween celebrations would normally consist of a Halloween show, which for the previous two years has been live on ice. However this year with the new Webmaster show on ice, Alton Towers decided to do something new for Halloween. A walk through maze in the towers… Terror Of The Towers was an enormous success, thanks to great effort put into the set, the costumes, the acting and sound track. Guests were warned… do not touch the monsters… and the monsters will not touch you!
To end the season with a bang, the annual Alton Towers fireworks show was planned for 5 nights in October and November. The four elements took centre stage, earth, wind, fire and air represented by large lasers, fireworks, balloons, fountains, mirrors and fire explosions. On Sunday October 27th strong winds and extreme weather conditions lead the park to close its gates to the public for the first time in history. The park never suffered much damage, but it was thought unsafe to operate rides in such conditions. That night’s fireworks display was re-scheduled for October 31st.
The season had its ups and downs, with the success of new attractions mixed with the unfortunate technical problems and unfavourable weather conditions. Now we have to wait until April 2003, when we will get a chance to ride Duel, the revamped Haunted House ride which is rumoured to have been transformed into an interactive shooting ride. Also in 2003 we look forward to the opening of the park’s second hotel with joining water park and conference centre. Lets hope 2003 is as successful if not more successful than 2002!