Nemesis Reborn! Back with a vengeance on Opening Day!

Nemesis Reborn - BACK With A Vengeance On Opening Day!

This weekend saw the return of Alton Towers for the main 2024 season as well as the long-awaited opening of Nemesis Reborn. Saturday was an incredibly busy day on park with fans all waiting with eager excitement to see the Nemesis creature after a period of hibernation whilst the ride was reimagined to an all-new form. Our team took the trip to Alton Towers on Opening Day to see what was happening over in Forbidden Valley and across the park.

Our day started bright and early, arriving at a busy entrance plaza where we waited for the gates to open. We started to arrive around 8/8.30 and by this time, multiple queues of excited guests were waiting – some of which were very creative in Nemesis themed outfits! The sunny start to the day and the general atmosphere of the public was amazing – everyone was excited and ready to see the park, the atmosphere on the day was simply brilliant! (I can’t find the words to explain!). As we drew closer to 9am, the security checkpoint seemed to come to life – but, to our surprise (and concern admittedly), there was no security check. The crowds surged through the tents and into the smaller waiting area – queues now a crowd of people waiting closely until the time come for the gates to open. It was a strange experience as the queue shifted to a crowd and it did make us wonder a little for our safety and comfort at times. We were concerned by the lack of bag check on a day as busy as that. After a period of uncomfortable crowded waiting, the gates opened, and the crowds made their way into Towers Street which was decked out for the occasion with Nemesis and Phalanx theming (even the frogs were dressed in Phalanx costumes!). This is where the race started – countless guests running to get to Forbidden Valley (No, we did not run!)

As you could imagine, a large amount of the guests on the day made Forbidden Valley their first stop – when we went that way, we saw the queue for Nemesis Reborn had made its way toward the phone charging hut past The Curse At Alton Manor and was heading further back (We saw an update point out that it was by the Pizza Pasta Buffet at one point!). With queue times reporting at 275 minutes at one point, the rides return was a huge hit with the guests looking to ride! We made our way down toward Forbidden Valley to see just how different things were compared to when we last visited in 2023.

Phalanx Facility? More like Forbidden Valley

Arriving to Forbidden Valley, we were amazed with what we saw. The area had undergone a huge transformation with massive new theming elements such as a helicopter and Nemesis eggs. A new entrance gate welcomed us to the “Phalanx Facility” which was a hive of activity. As soon as we stepped close to the entrance, we could see multiple Phalanx operatives watching and interacting with the guests – assuring us that “Everything is under control” (Although it was clear the Phalanx do not have anything under control at this point!).  The entire area feels fresh and in line with the “new” Nemesis – the theming spreading much further than just Nemesis Reborn & Nemesis Sub Terra as it spread out past the Blade and toward the further ends of the area – involving the food outlets which have all been renamed (such as Ground Command Coffee Outpost and Donut Division). A new HB Leisure game has also been setup where those with a steady hand can win a nemesis themed prize if they win the game (Not our hands unfortunately). Even Guest Services has some extra theming with “Missing” posters for Percy the security guard who was last seen in the advert. Topping off the area’s new theme, themed music and sound effects such as the cries of the Nemesis creature really bring the area together – it’s a whole world of its own.

Supply Store Bunker 94, home to all your new Nemesis merchandise!

Going back to the Phalanx, all we can say is WOW. The area really came to life this weekend due to the Phalanx and the rest of the Alton Towers entertainment team. We absolutely loved seeing the Phalanx, news reporters, protesters, scientists and even the tour guide (and most likely more we missed) out and about interacting with the guests exploring forbidden valley. The team did an incredible job at creating an immersive experience. This is more than just an area of the park, it is a fully themed, immersive experience. The team were incredible and made sure no one went without an interaction. We had multiple fantastic interactions in the area on the day, such as a Phalanx operative interrogating myself (Elise) over the “Seek the truth” logo on my jacket (Multiple times) and one of the scientists rushing to our side in horror at the sight of Nemesis awake in the pit. They really added to the experience and made the day special. We love seeing the entertainments team at the park – other areas which do a great job at this are Mutiny Bay (especially over Pirate Takeover), World of David Walliams and of course, The Curse At Alton Manor (A fond favourite of ours here at TPI!)

The Phalanx were out in force ensuring guest safety!

Moving on to the part you’re all reading this article for – Nemesis Reborn itself! The ride looks amazing following the retrack and improvements around the area. The black & red track fitting well with the rest of the Forbidden Valley theming followed by the trains flying across them is just a sight to behold (And a sound to hear! Yes, there is still a roar). Nemesis herself has well and truly been reborn with a new mutated appearance. The main attraction of her new appearance has to be her eye which is absoloutely magnificent – pictures and videos don’t do her any justice as its just a whole other level to see in person. The eye, surrounded by spiked teeth (?) watches guests and interacts with the ride as the train passes by – a jet of smoke and moving spikes add to the creatures’ reactions (alongside audio) to truly bring Nemesis to life in a whole new way. The ride has new theming across the newly set queue line, entrance and around the pit enhancing the ride further and keeping that immersion going.  At the time, there was no red rivers – but we are still hoping for them to make a return (we can always dream!). The ride station has been given a refresh, resembling a fresh alien structure, the inside of Nemesis. Its an imposing sight which isn’t seen from the outside – adding to that mysterious experience.
But I know what you’re wondering. How did she ride? Well. I personally found she was a lot smoother than when we rode back in 2022. The experience is ultimately very much the same as pre-reborn, however it feels smoother, and you are less likely to have a headbanging experience (Which can be quite painful). Just outside the ride, the photo station has also been rethemed and has new offerings for 2024 including on-ride video style photos (Similar to the ones you can get for TCAAM).  

The Nemesis creature watches as the trains fly overhead – She does not seem happy!

For guests wanting to remember their experience, Supply Store Bunker 94, found next to the old Funk’N’Fly /Ripsaw site, is packed full of Nemesis goodies for you to take home. From Nemesis Retro, Nemesis Reborn and Nemesis Sub Terra ranges, there’s plenty of merchandise for you to purchase. The range includes a collection of merchandise such as pin badges, mugs, and apparel. A new Nemesis Reborn freestyle cup is also available to purchase here. We didn’t get to spend much time in here due to how busy it was on opening day but hope to have a full look around soon!

Just some of the new Nemesis Reborn merchandise available!

Overall, we think Forbidden Valley looks brilliant with the all-new immersive redesign – it works well with the updated story and has improved on an already popular and iconic area of the park! When the sun sets, this area gets even more impressive with the inclusion of new lighting across the area and the coaster itself – again, photos do not do it justice. However, it is important to note, the area is still undergoing transformation. Parts of Forbidden Valley are still under construction – such as Edge Games Arcade, which is currently under construction (assuming to be an upgraded arcade at this time) and the area where Funk ‘N’ Fly was in the previous season is blocked off by construction walls. We also believe (or hope) that the blood rivers will return in due time. There is also Galactica to consider – It looks out of place in Forbidden Valley but given the right attention it could work well. Galactica, is however an article for another day.

Across the rest of the park, open day was a thrill seekers delight, allowing guests to get back on favourite such as Wickerman and The Smiler – as well as experience attractions like The Curse At Alton Manor again. Whilst these areas are all mostly unchanged to last year, its clear there has been some TLC given to them – especially over in X sector where both coasters have been given some love in the form of fresh paint, new lighting, and cleaning. We enjoyed getting out to the rest of the park again – was good to ride Th13teen again after so long! We also popped into Towers Trading where plenty of new merchandise has been released for the new season – including some really nice, embroidered clothing, new pins and comfy pillows. The elusive Curse resin was also available which allowed us to finally get that in our collection. Something tells me our wallet will not enjoy this season due to the impressive range of merchandise!

Overall, we had a fantastic start to the season, despite it being a busy and wet opening day. The atmosphere was unlike anything we had experienced at the park before and thoroughly enjoyed our day. We didn’t get on too many rides however enjoyed the atmosphere and generally being back in the park. Nemesis is definitely back with a vengeance and the future of the park looks incredibly bright following two very successful ride openings (Nemesis Reborn and The Curse At Alton Manor in 2023).
Did you attend open day? Are you going to ride Nemesis Reborn? Let us know in the comments below!

– Elise, Themepark Insanity