The 2003/04 closed season saw the iconic Swan Boat Ride make way for the Splash Kart Challenge, along with Dynamo also being removed and Towers Trading rethemed.

With closed season underway, maintenance works commenced on Nemesis, Oblivion and Submission. Works were also due to start on The Flume and the Swan Boats’ lake was drained. In Storybook Land, the supports for Squirrel Nutty Ride were cleared of ivy.

This update came from a slightly snowy Alton Towers, helping to make both the theme park and hotels look extra festive. Unsurprisingly, there was little activity taking place, although it can be seen that the boats for Riverbank Eye Spy had been removed from the water.

Construction had commenced in the former Swan Boat lake, which included the erection of a temporary, scaffold bridge. Trees were cut down in order to make way for the pay per ride, Splash Kart Challenge. Dynamo was still in-situ in Forbidden Valley, with the area also the temporary home for Frog Hopper and Ug Bugs. Maintenance works were also continuing of Nemesis’ track, along with Ripsaw undergoing winter works. The new boats for Congo River Rapids could be seen in storage in the area next to the ride, and the tea cups had also been removed from the main ride base (and tipped over!). The lamp posts from the pathway adjacent to the lake were removed in preparation to be replaced.

Whilst out of use, the Carousel on Cred Street had its cover on, and nearby McDonald’s was undergoing refurbishment. The new lamps had been installed on the path running in-between the gardens and lake. New silver supports for Ripsaw had been installed, which were subsequently painted and pictured later in the month matching the ride’s rustic colour. Dynamo had now been fully dismantled. Major work was taking place to overhaul Towers Trading, which would see the photo collection point move down to the bottom shop on Towers Street, with the frogs also yet to return to their usual location. Work on Splash Kart Challenge was also ongoing, with the completed setup then pictured later in the month. We also caught workmen checking something overhead on the Skyride cables.