As a very last minute thing, I was lucky enough to be able to arrange to have Friday evening off from work, which I was due to be working but felt like I needed the time off as was feeling very burnt out and run down.

I did manage to see on Twitter, that Attraction Source & TowersTimes still had some tickets available for passholders due to some cancellations, and of course, I seen this as something that was meant to be for myself so I straight away purchased a ticket and arranged my accommodation staying at the Splashlandings Hotel from the Friday through to the Sunday due to the early start of the event and very late finish!

The event had plenty lined up for everyone, starting at 8:30am in the morning, we all got together and got our wristbands.

Following on from the welcome by the team, we then all as a group headed over to RITA for the early ride time starting just after 09:15am, until just before 10am. We managed to get 4 rides before the ride opened to the general public! This also provided a great group photo opertunity.

The fun didn’t stop there, as we all then descended onto Th13teen as a big group and we all enjoyed a fun ride on it turning a small queue into a big queue (sorry!) this was after the park opened so was more of a group ride-takeover rather than an exclusive ride just for us.

After this, we all headed over to Oblivion which, as we got there sadly it closed, and at the same time, The Smiler was experiencing a delayed opening, so we weren’t able to do that apart from takeover two of the retro squad rides.

Following on from this, some groups of people went their own way as it was a while before the next group session would start.

I went over to Gangster Granny with some of the Attraction Source team where, 8 of us were able to enjoy the ride and then we headed over to Woodcutters for lunch.

For me, I felt that Woodcutters food has sadly gone down hill since my last visit and was defiantly not as good as it used to be.

I then went my own way just to enjoy some relaxation and a pint (or two) before heading back to the Towers Suite at 2pm to enjoy a talk by Larry Roles who is the Marketing Director.

Before the talk, we had a very very friendly welcome by what must be the best in my view character of Alton Towers, none other than the wonderful Darwin! It was also so great to be able to get our pictures with him.

Not only that, the Phalanx were also ‘guarding’ the meeting room aswell.

Before the talk, we had a pre-recorded video by Bianca Sammut who is the new Divisional Director who couldn’t make the event, she gave little information abo ut the future and mentioned the Retro Squad. She is aware that us as enthusiasts want more permanent rides rather than the Retro Squad, however she did mention at the same time, they (Retro Squad) are scoring highly for families. However, she is looking at all aspects of the park including the temporary rides we have just now, permanent rides, entertainment and more! She mentioned regarding entertainment she has already been able to make changes which were quicker and easier to make, which can be seen around the resort and hotels.

Larry Roles then gave us a very insightful talk about how involved Marketing are in the design of rides and attractions. This included how they then came up with the idea behind The Curse at Alton Manor and showed us different ideas that were thought of before the final decision was made which gave us a great insight.

He then gave us a bit of information around the planning for the Nemesis closure, while being very closely watched by the Phalanx.

Following on from this, it was back to being our own time to enjoy the park for the remaining 3 hours. As we left Towers Suite, we were all given a custom cutting from Wickerman gifted by Alton Towers which had the TowersTimes logo on it which was a very nice gift to receive!

At 6:15pm we all then got back together just outside of Wickerman to get a group picture prior to the ride opening for our Exclusive Ride Time which lasted for just over an hour. There was a slight delay in the ride opening for us, as we had to wait for everyone else who was still in queue to have their rides and then, our luck the CCTV went down, but they managed to get this fixed, so we were then able to enjoy our rides and they kept the ride going to ensure that we got the full 45 minutes ride-time that was booked with them.

In total, I managed to get 7 rides on Wickerman, luckily as soon as you came out of the ride and down by the baggage hold, the gate to the left was open so we didn’t have that far to walk at all to get back onto it!

After this, as a group, we all headed to the Alton Towers Conference Centre where we had a Q&A session with the amazing John Burton. Now, he wasn’t able to give anything away for the future and couldn’t even give us any insight into Project Horizon. He did mention as well that they are always constantly reviewing The Curse at Alton Manor including its dark spots!

After the talk, the party really got going with plenty of drinks to be had by all, dancing and a visit from a shark and a dinosaur!

It was my very first TowersTimes event that I had attended and very much enjoyed it and I already hope to be able to go back to their event next summer as I had so much fun and it was just so nice to be able to enjoy myself!

As some will know, recently my Mental Health has not been the best, dealing with the passing of my mum back at the end of March and the more recent passing of my grandfather along with some other issues, it really has taken its toll on me. Having been able to attend an event with so many lovely friendly people and just to be able to have fun, was so much worth it and has made me feel happier again.

You can view pictures from the event here.

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