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Fearsome Five Fortnight 2000 photograph

Friday 9th June 2000

Fearsome Five Fortnight was the 16th visit to Alton Towers for me since 1982, and my first Fearsome Five Challenge. I had ridden all the necessary rides before, so it wasn't expected to be such a challenge.

My group of four people arrived early at the park, and typical of the British weather, it was tipping it down.

As soon as we got in the park, we decided to head for Oblivion, and get it done before the crowds arrived. It was literally a walk on ride at this time in the morning. We then had to validate our tickets. This is simply done. You must keep hold of your entrance ticket, then at the exit of each ride in the challenge is a stamp and inkpad. You use this stamp on your ticket. When you have all five different stamps, you can collect your t-shirt. So this we did, and headed for the Black Hole.

The queue line had just opened, so again, we had to wait no more than five minutes. This ride may be old, but I still think it is second only to Nemesis. Oblivion is good, but I think so much more could have been done with it.

After Black Hole then, it's stamp was collected. We then headed for Hex. Three out of the four of us has already experienced this, and weren't particularly interested in riding again, but one of us did, just so the other could try it out for the first time.
Once that was out of the way, we continued with the challenge, and queued for Corkscrew.

It was as rough as ever, and perhaps worse, as the new shoulder restraints don't leave much room at the sides, and you need to be double jointed to get your arms out. So after we all left the ride, we again got our validation stamp.
So, now it was about 11.00am, and we'd conquered three out of the five rides.
Next, we decided to walk over to Nemesis. On the way, we stopped off at the Log Flume, walked to Katanga Canyon, and had lunch, then went on the Katanga Canyon Rapids, and the Haunted House.

When we eventually arrived in Forbidden Valley, it was getting on for 1.00pm, and the queue lines were beginning to grow. We headed straight for Nemesis, and queued for 45 minutes for our one ride. This ride seems to get faster, and more exhilarating every time I ride it. Easily the best ride in the U.K.

After validating out tickets, it was time for Ripsaw. The ride program was one where I didn't get particularly wet, and thankfully so. I was just starting to dry off, since the rain has stopped, and the sun was beginning to show itself.
So it was now 2.30pm, and we had conquered the challenge. Thankfully, the park wasn't too busy. It was busier than I had expected, but we had done all the necessary rides, and passed.

As the queue lines where now up to the 1 hour mark for Nemesis, and Black Hole, a stroll in the gardens was in order, and we headed back to Ug Land, and the Towers. It was now getting towards the end of the day, and we went to the marquee by Adventure Land to collect our t-shirts, then relaxed on the Nescafe Coffee House patio.

4pm, and we went to the 3D Cinema, primarily because we all had aching legs, and just wanted to sit down for a while. Then we finished off the day with another ride on the Katanga Canyon Rapids.

All in all, a great day out. The park had made an extra effort with theming for the two week period, and I'm sure the t-shirt bait will entice even more people to ride those rides they may have previously avoided.

Steve Taylor