April 19, 2024

A Guide to Alton Towers Theme Park in the UK

Alton Towers theme park is one of the most popular attractions in the UK. Located in Staffordshire, it attracts over 2 million visitors a year. With rollercoasters, family rides, attractions, shows, restaurants, and more, there’s something for everyone at Alton Towers. This guide provides an overview of the park, its major rides and attractions, tips for visiting, and other useful information.

Getting There

Alton Towers is easy to get to, whether you are travelling by car or using public transport. The park is well-signposted from both the M1 and the M6. Be careful if you use a satnav to guide you, as it sometimes sends people down a farm track. Always follow the attractions signs once you leave the motorway.

If you want to visit Alton Towers via train, the nearest station is Uttoxeter, which is 10 miles from the park. From there, it is another 30 minutes via bus. Stoke on Trent station is 15 miles away and a taxi from there will take about 25 minutes.

Ticket Prices

A one-day pass for the theme park costs £36 per person, if bought in advance, or £68 on the day. Under 3s go free. A two-day pass costs just £12pp extra. Parent and toddler passes are available for £29.

Look out for special promo deals and consider buying an annual pass if you plan on visiting the park more than once in twelve months. An Alton Towers Gold Annual Pass costs £129 per person and gives you unlimited entry to the theme park and discounted entry to the Waterpark, plus discounted meals and merchandise.

Park Layout

Alton Towers is divided into different themed areas. The four main areas are Forbidden Valley, Dark Forest, CBeebies Land, and X-Sector. Forbidden Valley features rollercoasters and thrill rides like The Smiler, Wicker Man, and Galactica. Dark Forest has family rides and attractions based on fairytales and legends. CBeebies Land is aimed at young children with rides like In the Night Garden Magical Boat Ride. X-Sector is home to Oblivion, the world’s first vertical drop rollercoaster.

The park can get very busy during peak seasons, so it’s useful to familiarise yourself with the map and plan which areas you want to visit. The Alton Towers app provides wait times for rides and can help you navigate the park efficiently.

Major Rides and Attractions

Some of the most popular rides and attractions at Alton Towers include:

  • The Smiler – A record-breaking 14-loop rollercoaster with spins, drops, and speeds up to 85 km/h.
  • The Curse at Alton Manor – a terrifying ride for older kids and adults.
  • Wicker Man – A wooden rollercoaster with fiery theming based around a giant Wicker Man structure.
  • Oblivion – The revolutionary vertical drop rollercoaster plunges over 20 meters straight down.
  • Gangsta Granny The Ride – This is a wild ride where you have to pull off a jewellery heist without being caught by the police!
  • Galactica – An air-powered virtual reality rollercoaster that takes you into space.
  • Congo River Rapids – A fun watery ride in Katanga Canyon.
  • The Blade – A suspended, looping rollercoaster where you ride with your legs dangling free.
  • Nemesis Sub-Terra – An intense underground rollercoaster that rushes past rocky terrain and waterfalls.
  • Runaway Mine Train – A classic ride that still has plenty of thrills to offer the whole family.
  • Rita – A thrilling rollercoaster ride in the Dark Forest.
  • TH13TEEN – The park’s fastest rollercoaster with speeds up to 97 km/h through twisting drops and turns.
  • Hex – Venture inside the legendary towers and enjoy a mind-bending experience.
  • Alton Towers Dungeon – An indoor interactive attraction taking you through grisly medieval scenes with live actors.
  • Spinball Whizzer – A head-spinning rollercoaster guaranteed to make you feel queasy.
  • CBeebies Land – A themed children’s area based on CBeebies shows like Postman Pat, In the Night Garden, and more.

Tips for Visiting

Here are some tips to make the most of your visit to Alton Towers:

  • Arrive early, as queues quickly build up later in the day. The park opens at 10 am.
  • Thursdays and Fridays tend to be quieter than weekends. Avoid school holidays if possible.
  • Consider a Fastrack pass to skip queues on the most popular rides.
  • Download the app for wait times, maps, and mobile food ordering.
  • Refillable drink bottles can be used at water stations around the park.
  • Pack a picnic or eat early as restaurants get very busy at peak lunch and dinner times.
  • The Skyride cable cars provide a scenic way to travel between areas of the park.
  • Check the park’s website and social media for special events like fireworks nights.
  • Be prepared for the weather – bring coats and umbrellas even on sunny days.

Turn Your Visit into a Longer Stay

Alton Towers operates several on-site hotels so guests can maximise their time at the park. Hotels are great for families, as you can enjoy staying in themed rooms, family-friendly restaurants, and enjoy free access to the theme park during your stay.

Alton Towers Hotel

The flagship hotel at Alton Towers is the Alton Towers Hotel. This 4-star hotel has themed rooms including CBeebies Land, Enchanted Village, and the new Gangsta Granny rooms based on David Walliams’ popular children’s book. The hotel offers family rooms that sleep up to 5 guests as well as suites for a luxury stay. On-site amenities at the Alton Towers Hotel include an indoor waterpark, spa, restaurants, evening entertainment and easy access to the theme park.

The Splash Landings Hotel

For a more immersive theme park experience, guests can stay at the Alton Towers Resort hotels located within the park grounds. The Splash Landings Hotel provides direct access to the waterpark while the CBeebies Land Hotel immerses guests in the world of the popular children’s TV channel. Both hotels offer fun themed rooms and family-friendly amenities.

The Woodland Lodges

These self-contained wooden lodges offer a secluded, natural retreat with modern amenities and gorgeous views of the historic Alton Towers gardens and grounds. Guests can choose from standard to luxury lodges with hot tubs for the ultimate relaxing stay.

In addition to the main hotels, Alton Towers operates a number of quirky alternative accommodation options. The Enchanted Village treehouse suites are located in a natural wooded area. For a truly unique experience, visitors can spend the night in converted railway carriages at the Alton Towers Lodges. The CBeebies Land Hotel is perfect for younger families, and the Stargazing Pods are great for a more eco-friendly hotel experience.

Alton Towers is one of the best theme parks in the UK, and if you love fast rides and want a day out the whole family will love, we thoroughly recommend it.

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