Reviewed by Brian Grehan
It was with great excitement that we set out from Manchester to visit probably the biggest and best theme park in the country. The weather was excellent and everyone was chatting about what they were looking forward to most.
We arrived just after the park opened at 10am. We parked up quite quickly thanks to the help of some really helpful and pleasant staff. Then after a short walk we got to the entrance to the park. This again was an easy task thanks to some helpful Alton Towers staff. Once through the gate we looked at the resort map to decide where we go first.
It was quickly decided that we would investigate the new CBeebies Land which has just been opened in May this year. The younger members of our party, our nearly 2 year old boys thought this was a great idea, I could tell by the huge grins on their faces and the way they kicked their little legs with excitement in their buggy.
The last time I came to Alton Towers my eldest daughter was about the same age as the boys are now and she has just turned 13 so it has been a while. How things have changed since then. CBeebies Land is so fresh and exciting compared to how I remember this area of the resort. What they had before although excellent for younger children had looked a bit tired and weather worn.
All the characters you would expect to find are there from Mr Tumble to In the Night Garden to Justin’s House they are all there. When we got there we decided to go on Get Set Go Tree Top Adventure first. Now I would suggest this was a little mistake as everyone else had the same idea which led to a bit of a wait. With the benefit of hindsight I think it might have been a better idea to wait a little while till the queue had disappeared a little.
When we got on the ride the boys loved it. From this ride you get to see the whole of CBeebies Land including Mr Bloom’s Allotment, Justin’s House Pie-O-Matic Factory and Postman Pat Parcel Post. What I found particularly amazing was that all the voices used on the rides were the actual character’s voices so the boys recognised the voice from watching on TV.
We next went on the In the Night Garden Magical Boat Ride. The boys were awestruck into silence looking at everything in wide eyed amazement! To say they loved it would have been an understatement. When this was finished one of them scarpered across to Justin’s House Pie-O-Matic Factory totally ignoring the girl at the gate as he was just that little bit too small to get in the little rascal!
There is so much to do in CBeebies Land that you could spend the whole day there forgetting that Alton Towers has much more to offer. We left and headed across to try some rides for the older members of our party. We were looking to try out the whitest and best of white knuckle rides and we were not disappointed. We had gold express passes which can be purchased just inside the entrance. These get you past the main queue for a few rides. If I was going again I would upgrade to a platinum express pass as these can get you multiple rides skipping the queue.
We first went on The Smiler and it does live up to its name as you cannot help but smile as you hurtle with great speed around the roller coaster. Some people abandoned the smiling part and just skipped straight onto screaming! This was a bit unwelcome to those of us with aging eardrums!
Next it was decided by my daughter that we should go on Air which was a bit of a trek away. So off we trotted. After a bit of a map misread by yours truly we headed in the right direction making a slight detour for everyone to go on Battle Galleons. Now I knew that this mean that whoever went on would get soaked so I kindly volunteered to stay and mind the boys! Very magnanimous of me I thought! When they came off and dried themselves in the dries beside the ride we then carried on.
We stopped to snack on some pancakes on the way where I took the opportunity to try out Duel. I loved this. It’s a cross between a laser shoot-em-up ride and a ghost train. It was excellent fun. When I came out we then headed towards Air. As the boys are too young to go on rides like this just 2 of us ventured onto it.
As we sat or should I say were strapped in my daughter looked at me and was beginning to have second thoughts about going on. She was still a little wet from Battle Galleons and just said to her to think of Air as a giant tumble dryer and she would be fine! I said this as a little joke which she didn’t find funny but this turned out to be more accurate that I thought!
Air is by far the best roller coaster I have been on. I loved every second of it. Even my daughter enjoyed it and even mentioned about going on again. I said maybe next time we can try it out. We looked for our picture on the way out and laughed at each other’s teeth clenching grimace. Yes Air gets a huge thumbs up from me!
There is so much to do in Alton Towers and I think 1 day is not enough time to try out fantastic rides like Rita, Thirteen and Oblivion. We are already discussing the idea of coming for a weekend and having 2 full days there with platinum express passes too. Alton Towers is just simply the best day out for all the family!
For ticket prices (save 25% by booking online in advance) visit www.altontowers.com/tickets.
For more information on rides and attractions, water park, hotels & spas, short breaks or to book tickets visit www.altontowers.com.
Alton Towers Theme Park. Alton, Staffordshire, ST10 4DB | 0871 222 3330