The mere fact of telling the Babies & Kids in the City guinea pigs that we were planning a trip to Alton Towers was enough to create a frenzy of excitement. And no surprise really, it is massive; made up of 11 different zones with a collection of dizzying roller coasters, water rides that leave you dripping wet, scary houses, fun houses, the Sharkbait Reef designed by Sea Life, and new for Summer 2014 they have teamed up with the BBC to produce a CBeebies Land for little ones.
The hours spent here resulted in giggling, occasionally petrified kids and a host of soaked, dizzy adults. For my five-year-old, the Runaway Train – a fast roller coaster, was a bit like being thrown in at the deep end as he screamed with panic all the way round the ride, but he then swelled with pride in front of the older kids at the end and announced
“That was epic!”
Harry the eldest child and his Mum, needing another rush of adrenalin, were both tall and brave enough for Thirteen, a roller coaster in the nearby Dark Forest Zone. Whilst they went off, the rest of us opted for nearby Hex, billed as a multi-media journey inside the legendary Towers. This proved to be a big mistake… we should have read the small print which said ‘Be careful not to unearth the Curse of the Chained Oak’… it was far too frightening for our bunch and we had to bail out through an emergency exit! Cloud Cuckoo Land was a good choice for the younger ones in the group as were the Charlie and the Chocolate Ride, Driving School, Frog Hopper, and Carousel. The queues all day had been small but the queue for the Ice Age 4D cinema experience here ate up about 45 minutes and, whilst very good, I don’t think it was worth the wait.
We took the Skyride to travel around the park. This was brilliant with spectacular views. Definitely recommended. Finally, don’t be overwhelmed by the scale of Alton Towers. Do your homework, decide what appeals most and throw yourself in. It may not be the cheapest of days, but it will be one that the kids beg to go back to.
Open Feb half term 10am-4pm, 22 Mar-3 Nov 2014 check website for seasonal opening times.
Adult £48, Child £40.80, Family £41.40 per person. Book online for discounts. Car park £5.
Alton Towers Resort, Alton, Staffordshire ST10 4DB
Tel: 0871 222 3330 altontowers.com