If you follow my Snapchat you'll have seen me snap my day out at Alton Towers recently.
A fun-packed, family theme park set in beautiful Staffordshire countryside, with history and heritage that dates back to the 1800's.
Being a huge fan of theme parks and a bit of a thrill seeker when it comes to rollercoasters, I LOVE Alton Towers. I hadn't been for a few years so I was looking forward to a day out with my bestest to see what had changed.
The resort is a huge theme park set around gorgeous castles and grounds, with rides and attractions for all ages. A perfect family day out. As well as the theme park, the resort also offers short break experiences in their themed hotels and water park. I'm desperate to check these out, hopefully soon!!
Fortunately, on the day we visited, the weather was absolutely beautiful! It was term time, so the kids were in school which meant it wasn't too busy at all. In fact, we hardly had to queue for any rides which was a novelty!
Tip: Entrance to the park can be quite expensive, so I'd recommend booking online in advance or look out for special offer vouchers and BOGOF tickets.
We arrived just after opening, parked up and entered the park on the tram. As the park is pretty big, there is a Sky Ride going through the park if you don't fancy walking, although it was such a nice day it was nice to walk around.
Everywhere was clean and the grounds were so well kept. I would've loved to have spent a couple of days there and had a chance to explore the grounds a little more and have a picnic on the lawns.
Both Jemma and I are fans of big, adrenaline pumping rides so we aimed to get them all in!
The Smiler was one neither of us had been on before so we were excited to get on, it looked amazing! And it was! It had us both giggling and screaming! I wanted to go on again!
Staff were all friendly, on the ball and thorough during health and safety checks with each ride. It made a nice change to see staff happy to help and passionate about ensuring visitors have a happy and safe experience.
Tip: There are Fastrack packages available to purchase to reduce waiting time but luckily we hardly had to wait at all for any rides.
Recently opened Galactica was probably the only ride that had a slight queue. Previously known as 'Air' their iconic flying rollercoaster has been given a 'space flight' makeover. Enter the space station, smile into the port holes for your #SpaceSelfie and await the instructions on the screens. You're off into Space!
I wasn't sure what I thought of this ride. I did think it was really cleverly done. You get to wear a virtual reality visor, which at first you're filled with dread that it's going to fly off mid loop-the-loop but it was actually secured really comfortably. The floor disappears from beneath you [but of course you can't see this!] and you're lifted into horizontal position before your visor projects space flight images and sounds to create the feeling you're travelling through space. All with the motion of the rollercoaster and the wind whooshing around you.
It was surreal. I felt strangely calm on this usually more adrenaline rilled ride, and I really enjoyed it. That said, it kind of took away the thrill of the flying rollercoaster, how you held your breath when you 'flew' close to the ground and your tummy turned when you flew upside down in the sky.
Galactica was clever, but I missed Air. Great concept though.
Of course, if you're not so much a thrill seeker there are tons of family friendly rides, smaller coasters, children's attractions, water rides and lots more. There's something for everyone to enjoy.
And if the water rides aren't your thing, while you're stood at the side holding the bags, there are water pistols ready and waiting to blast freezing cold water at people as they splash by on the rapids. As myself and Jemma found out! :)
Tip: You may want to check the resort website before your visit to see what rides and attractions are closed for refurbishment. I was slightly gutted the log flumes were closed!!
It was the perfect weather for a picnic on the lawns if we'd bought one, but there are plenty of food establishments placed around the park for whatever you fancy. We had lunch in The Burger Kitchen which was yummy!!
Had we visited a week later, we could have tried out the BRAND NEW Rollercoaster Restaurant where diners witness their meals travelling down a 'rollercoaster track' to their table. This sounds amazing and I can't wait to see how this works!
As well as the different cuisines available to eat in, there are a few places to grab a quick snack, and with the sun shining we took the opportunity to grab an ice cream. Now, Nitrogenie is no ordinary ice cream, it is made with liquid nitrogen. I had lemon meringue pie flavour. And let me tell you, it tasted AMAZING!!
There are many rides and attractions for younger children, including CBeebies Land which is well positioned next to the entrance so not too far for little ones to walk if the trip is solely to visit this. I cannot wait for Taylor to get a little older to be able to enjoy it here, he loves CBeebies.
Full of bright colours and bouncy CBeebies music, the area is full of small rides, shows and interactive areas featuring favourite characters.
There are so many great rides and attractions to enjoy. We loved Duel, the haunted house that gives you the chance to blast the ghosts and ghouls with laser guns after they've made you jump! Jemma squealed and jumped the whole way round but still beat me with double the points!! :)
There is also a mini Sea Life centre, an Ice Age 4D experience and many other family friendly attractions.
My top tip if you're visiting Alton Towers is to plan in advance and take advantage of the offers online. It may be worth looking into FastTrak tickets or the DigiPass which enables you to receive all the ride photos.
Keep an eye on the digital queue time boards around the park, showing queue times for most rides, enabling you to decide which area and rides to head for next.
The Parent Queue Share Pass is a great idea if you have young children with you, one parent queues as normal while the other waits with the children, gets their pass punched so that the second parent can then head to the ride host to enter through the fast trak point, enabling both parents the chance to experience the big rides.
Alton Towers is a great day out or short break for grown ups and little ones alike. I definitely recommend a visit! Why not relax and let National Holidays take you there by coach?
Have you been to Alton Towers recently?
Which is your favourite ride?