Alton Towers Resort has long been labelled the UK’s No.1 Theme Park. It is synonymous with ‘World First’ Roller Coasters and family friendly experiences. It is the home of the legendary Nemesis, Oblivion and The Smiler, all waiting to entice thrill seekers. For the younger ones there is the hugely successful Cbeebies Land, featuring many kiddie favourites, including the Octonaughts Coaster. We were lucky enough to visit for three days and experience what the Resort has to offer. What we discovered was Alton Towers lives up to that prestigious label.
Arriving early in the day, we checked-in at the Alton Towers Hotel. This was quick, easy and efficient with staff completing the process with ease. Our room wasn’t ready until 3.00pm, so we headed to the Theme Park instead. You can leave our luggage at reception where the Concierge will take it to your room once it is ready. This is really helpful, as it allows you to enjoy the day without worrying about your luggage.
There are two ways to reach the Theme Park entrance. You can take a quick 5 – 10 minutes’ walk or you can hop on the Monorail instead. The Monorail is situated next to the Splash Landing’s Hotel and depending how early you get there; the queue can be long. We took the Monorail as it is a great way to see parts of the Resort and get a general feel for the place.
Having ordered our tickets within our Hotel Package through Alton Towers’ website, we didn’t have to queue and started our first day in the park. We would recommend booking online as it is where the best deals are. Our tickets allowed us to experience a second day free which is extremely cost effective.
Being thrill seekers we headed straight to ‘Forbidden Valley’ and Nemesis, arguably the most intense Roller Coaster in the park. Followed by Galactica, formerly Air, we then visited X-Sector and rode Oblivion, the World’s First Vertical Drop Roller Coaster and The Smiler, the World’s First 14-Looping Roller Coaster. After making ourselves feel dizzy we managed to get a quick bite to eat at the Burger Bar in Cloud Cuckoo Land and headed to the new addition for 2018.
The Wicker Man is the new Wooden Roller Coaster and what a sight to behold! Built around a 60ft effigy that erupts fire each time a train passes through it, Wicker Man provides a stunning and immersive experience like no other in the UK. From the moment you begin to queue - and boy did we queue - you are already under the Beorman’s spell. The scenery and design of the area is excellent and truly sets the tone of something unique. The Wicker Man is the first wooden Roller Coaster to be built in the UK in 20 years and after the rides success, it is inevitable that other Theme Parks will follow.
We managed to get on most of the rides with barely any breakdowns or long queues. There is the option of Fastrack, though this is an extra fee. After we ended our first full day we retreated back to the Hotel.
There are three Hotels to choose from as well as Woodland Lodges in the Enchanted Forest. Depending on what type of visit you are planning, each accommodation offers something different. The Alton Towers Hotel, which is where we stayed is more designed for older families or couples and is slightly the more expensive of the three. The Splash Landings Hotel is designed after a Caribbean theme, and is more based towards younger families. With entertainers and child friendly Restaurants, it is truly enjoyable for younger guests. Also designed for the little-ones is the Cbeebies Hotel.
The Woodland Lodges and Treehouses are perfect for those who want to stay outdoors. Each lodge sleeps 5 guests and private outdoor decking. There is a local Restaurant onsite, the Crooked Spoon, which serves delicious food and provides excellent entertainment.
We stayed in the Alton Towers Hotel and booked an Arctic Explorer Room. The room sleeps up to 4 guests with an en-suite bathroom. Each room comes with a kettle, iron and the usual compliments. Designed as the mountain expedition of Sir Algenon, it adds a twist on the usual accommodation and was a wonderful room. The beds were especially comfy and after our busy day at the Theme Park, it was the perfect way to unwind and relax.
In the evening we dined at Flambo’s Jambo buffet which was amazing. Looking out over the Cariba Creek Waterpark it is an immersive dining experience.
After a much-needed sleep,s we began our second day at the Theme Park. We were lucky enough to ride most of the Roller Coasters that we had the previous day, including Thirteen, Rita and Spinball Whizzer.
What we realised on our second day was just how large the park is. Covering 500 acres, it is huge and there is a lot of walking to be done. However, a quicker way to get around is by the Sky Ride. There are three stations, Towers Street, Forbidden Valley and Dark Forest. We covered so much more ground using the Cable Car system and manged to squeeze in far more rides.
Our second day ended with a trip to the Roller Coaster Restaurant. I would highly recommend booking this before you arrive as it is extremely popular! Positioned amongst Galactica, it is a phenomenal dining experience with a twist. Sitting at designated tables you order your food through an app and watch as it speeds from the kitchens, through drops and loops until landing right in front of you. It was amazing and great fun. What is brilliant about the Roller Coaster Restaurant is that is remains open even after the theme park closes, allowing Hotel guests to experience it at quieter periods. There is a short walk from the Hotels to the entrance that opens after the park closes.
On our final night at the Hotel we had a small explore of the surrounding areas, including the garden and Woodland Lodges. The atmosphere was wonderful, and all the staff made us feel very welcome and were exceptionally helpful. Each Hotel has their own shop selling merchandise and snacks and are well worth having a look around.
For our final day we decided to stay clear of the Theme Park and instead visit the Waterpark, Cariba Creek. Themed as a Caribbean water works, with exploded water pipes and leaking valves, it is genius. There are numerous slides, The Master Blaster, Rush ‘n’ Rampage and Flash Floods. The Master Blaster is especially fun and make sure you stop to look at your photo from the onscreen camera, they’re hilarious. The Waterpark also has hot springs and an adventure climbing frame which has a ‘tipping bucket’ that releases water every 10 minutes. You just have to listen for the ringing bell! Don’t worry if you forget a towel you can hire one for £1 at the Entrance Kiosk. There is also a shop selling armbands, trunks and goggles, so all your swimming needs can be met.
After our three days at Alton Towers Resort we fully enjoyed our time. The resort offered so much for every guest and meets every need you may have. Our biggest tip, if you are planning on visiting Alton Towers is to book online and make a weekend of it. It’s so much cheaper and you can experience so much more of what the Resort has to offer. Also make sure you visit the Extraordinary Golf, it is free when booking a short weekend online! (Offer available at the time of article publication).
We chose to visit Alton Towers to see if it lived up to the label of being the UK’s No.1 Theme Park. After three days of fun, thrills and food it is clear to say yes, yes it does!