My husband loves Alton Towers. Loves it. He’s obsessed with it.
But here’s the weird thing.
We’ve only been once since the kids were born. That was four years ago and my younger son hadn’t reached 1.4 metres and my daughter hadn’t reached 1.2. The crying and moaning because she couldn’t go on Sonic Spinball!
Never again we said. Not until the kids had all reached the magical 1.4.
And a few weeks ago, with her shoes on, my daughter hit it. Just in time for Daddy’s birthday. That was it. We were going to Alton Towers!
Now here’s the other thing. I quite liked Alton Towers back in the day, but I’ve gone off it. And all theme parks. The thought of them just makes me feel sick – the rides, the noise, the smell, the crowds, the crap food, the money chucked down the drain… They really aren’t for me. But it was my husband’s birthday and the kids really wanted to go. I wasn’t going to stand in their way and spoil their fun.
We were going to Alton Towers!
But then, a few days before we were due to go, THAT incident with The Smiler happened. My husband remained upbeat. It would be fine. We would still go.
The park remained closed, then the full nature of the victim’s injuries came out on the news. Absolutely horrific. It didn’t bear thinking about. That poor girl. With all her life ahead of her. Went out to have some fun with her friends and ended up losing a leg. Her life will NEVER be the same again. Yes, she’ll get the best compensation possible, but all the money in the world isn’t going to make up for losing a limb at any age. Least of all at 17.
And how would her parents be feeling? They probably encouraged her to go for a nice day out. Or maybe they didn’t want her to go? Either way, they expected her to come home in one piece. Tired, but happy. Maybe feeling a bit queasy from too many rides, too many fizzy drinks and too much crap food.
Suddenly, the gloss had worn off Alton Towers. Not just for me, but for my husband and the kids too.
It was my husband’s birthday. He had to be the one to make the decision. I would never force him to change his mind.
But he decided. We weren’t going to Alton Towers. Not now, not for his birthday. Maybe in a few years or maybe even a few months, I’m sure we will. But not right now.
I get that right now it’s probably the safest it’s ever been. But it just doesn’t feel right.
What do you think? Will you go to Alton Towers this summer? Has the Smiler accident put you off?