We’ve just got back from a day trip to Alton Towers. It’s been a long time since we last visited the theme park and we’d been promising the kids we’d take them for a while. With the weather starting to get colder, early October seemed like it might be the last chance for the year.
Let’s start with the price. In all honesty, I think it’s astronomical – on the day it’s £49.20 for an adult and £43.20 for a child (aged 4-11). Considering I was also wrongly charged the child price for my youngest son Max (who is 3 and should have been allowed in for free), had I been paying full price it would have been just shy of £200. That’s a hell of a lot of money in my opinion for one day out. Fortunately, I wasn’t paying full price thanks to various voucher offers on household stuff – it still clocked up to around £100 for the 4 of us though.
The park itself is really well kept, everything is up to date and there’s a ridiculous amount of things to see and do. While it does cater for all ages, I think Ben was slightly too young, or maybe that should be short – he’s 1.3m and most of the roller coasters have a minimum height of 1.4m. That said, he still had a good time and found plenty to keep him occupied.
One of the big draws for us was the fact that they now have CBeebies Land and since Max is obsessed with CBeebies we had to take him along. There’s Mr Bloom’s Nursery, In The Night Garden, Justin’s House and a load of other familiar favourites. It’s often difficult to find somewhere that caters for both of the boys with the 6 year age gap between them.
Queueing for England
My one main criticism of Alton Towers is the queuing. There are queues for absolutely everything. Most of the rides in CBeebies land had a queue time of at least 50 minutes which is a huge amount of time to keep a 3 year old child entertained for (particularly when you need to factor toilet breaks in). The queues don’t end at the rides though, you have to queue for food, for cash, for guest information, to get to the car park, to get out of the car park, you even have to queue for fast track tickets (which is kind of ironic). When you’re only visiting for a day, the queues really limit just how much you can fit in. If you’re wanting to avoid the queues then I would recommend getting fast track tickets but this will cost you even more (on top of the already high prices).
Over the course of the day between us all we managed to fit in Nemesis, Hex, Thirteen, Runaway Mine Cart, Get Set Go Tree Top Adventure and In The Night Garden Magical Boat Ride. Some of which we had to split up for. Oh and also Sharkbait Reef which was probably one of the highlights.
All in all it was a decent day out but I wouldn’t go again on a weekend, I’d probably go somewhere a bit smaller that caters for a slightly younger audience. Maybe next time I’ll wait until Ben has reached 1.4m and try and take advantage of a teacher training day so it’s a lot quieter. Oh and there’s no way I’d go without a voucher or two ready!