The Spanish Aventura:

I did have Alton Towers (and The Smiler) pencilled in for my October trip in 2013, believing the delays and technical problems should be over by then, (I got that wrong) but due to a load of issues I won't go in to all 3 of the people I was planning to go with ended up having to cancel.
The idea of a solo trip to Alton Towers didn't hold that much appeal, so I looked online for possible alternatives. I managed to find a cheap deal to Barcelona with 2 nights at a (very basic) hotel plus flights that would allow for time sightseeing on the first and third day, leaving the second day free to visit PortAventura. Being near the top of the list of parks I wanted to do in Europe I hadn't done yet this became the obvious choice.
Overall it  was a good trip. It was a lot busier and warmer than I expected, for mid week in October. Judging by this I would avoid visiting at hotter and busier times of year if I could. These small problems aside it was a great trip, and with some of the best roller coasters in Europe at PortAventura, it's a definite must do for the roller coaster enthusiast at some point.

Part 1: Barcelona Sightseeing

Part 2: Barcelona Wax Museum

Part 3: PortAventura

Part 4: Barcelona Zoo