I’m ‘world’s biggest Alton Towers fan’ who’s gone on ride 15,000 times – I took DRASTIC action to get my family involved

THE “world’s biggest Alton Towers fan” who’s gone on one ride a whopping 15,000 times has made a drastic change to share his passion with his family.

Theme park fanatic Michael Eley, 51, has now moved to live closer to the park.

MirrorpixDad-of-three Michael, from Staffordshire, has always been a fan of thrill-seeking rides[/caption]

Dad-of-three Michael, from Staffordshire, has always been a fan of thrill-seeking rides.

Michael, who is a teacher, first visited Alton Towers in 1976 on a family outing with his mum and older brother, who died just a decade later.

He fell in love with Alton Tower’s spooky haunted house and continued visiting, the Mirror reported.

During the next 30 years, Michael – who lives with his wife, Caroline, 50, a Tesco worker, and his three children, Jamie, 29, Charlie, 23, and Sonny, 20 – rode the ghost train 15,000 times.

But he took his passion to new heights by moving to Alton after his father died – to maximise his family’s time at the amusement park.

Michael explained: “My dad had very little time to enjoy his retirement before he sadly passed away.

“Losing him so suddenly made us re-evaluate what was important to us and prompted us to make the move to Alton to have the park on our doorstep.

“It’s always been a special place because of the care they put into their rides and the investment they make to ensure their attractions are unrivalled.

“There’s a real magic in the air once you walk through those gates. It’s a place where you can forget all your troubles.”

Michael’s love of Alton Towers even spread to staff at the park.

Bosses at Alton Towers invited him for a special visit for the opening of the new attraction The Curse at Alton Manor.

Michael was asked along to try it out with a group of Year Six pupils from Denstone College where he teaches.

Since the visit last month he has been on the immersive dark ride a total of 208 times.

Michael revealed: “It was such a privilege to be invited to take some of our pupils on the ride. They were absolutely buzzing afterwards.

“The haunted house at Alton Towers has been a passion of mine for three decades now and I’m delighted that the Curse At Alton Manor takes it to the next level.”

The Curse charts the terrifying story of Emily Alton, the troubled daughter of a pair of Victorian socialites who much prefer partying to parenting - until one night when they disappeared into thin air. 

The only person remaining was Emily, and some say she haunts Alton Manor to this day, looking for the one thing denied to her — play.

Families and brave youngsters courageous enough to cross the threshold of The Curse At Alton Manor in the Gloomy Wood area of the theme park will also be confronted by flying demons, levitating dolls and haunted chandeliers. 

The ride includes special effects that are a first for a UK theme park and the haunting audio will make guests feel like Emily is talking directly to them, while 3D projection-mapping brings the scenarios grimly to life.

Michael added: “I had sleepless nights in the run-up to the relaunch. It has meant so much to me for three decades that I was worried some of the magic might have gone.

“But, I was delighted to discover that it’s better than it has ever been. I was totally blown away by how it has been updated.

“It combines jaw-dropping special effects with incredible storytelling. I couldn’t be happier.”

It’s not the first time the popular theme park has hit the headlines.

Mum-of-six Paris Fury gave her kids a thrill-seeking bank holiday as they headed to Alton Towers to enjoy the rollercoasters. 

Meanwhile, brother-in-law Tommy Fury and Molly-Mae Hague also joined in the fun at the theme park and shared their snaps from the rides.

Plus, plans for a new rollercoaster at Alton Towers have been given the green light.

But details of the £12.5 million ride – referred to as “new coaster” in the planning application – remain a closely-guarded secret.

MirrorpixStudents visited the theme park with Michael[/caption]