Alton Towers

Alton Towers

As mentioned in my previous blog post, I am a massive rollercoaster junkie. My husband knew he was onto a winner with a trip there for my 30th birthday.

The day started early with a buffet breakfast at the hotel before heading over to the monorail station to get to the park entrance. The monorail station is less than a 5 minute walk from the hotel so very easily accessible.

We already had our tickets courtesy of The Sun offer (£1.50 bargain) but we had the option to purchase them as part of our hotel package at a reduced cost of £30 per person for 2 days entry.

Hotel guests are entitled to enter the park an hour before normal guests to ride certain rides. We were never challenged and asked if we were hotel guests so anybody who had prebooked tickets could get into the park an hour early. Today’s choice was Nemesis, Air, The Runaway Mine Train and the whole of Cbeebies Land. We know that both Nemesis and Air can build up quite long queues so headed straight over there.

Nemesis is an oldie but goodie. Given it’s 20 years old, it’s still going strong and also still considered one of the best rollercoasters in the world. There was no queue at all and we walked straight on to seats in the back row. I love riding in the back row as you get pulled along rather than driven which I think gives a better thrill.

Alton Towers are currently running the Big 6 competition. The idea is to ride the Big 6 coasters (Nemesis, Air, Rita, Thirteen, The Smiler and Oblivion) once each and scan a barcode on their app to receive free entry to the park on 4th November.

We gave this a go and scanned every time we went on one of those rides. It turns out that by the end of the day, we had travelled quite a distance by coaster! We weren’t even trying that hard as our old people brains can’t take it any more!

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We rode Nemesis and Air several times and decided to head on over to The Smiler for park opening time. I love The Smiler! I think I actually cried a little bit when we last visited Alton Towers as I couldn’t go on this and everybody else could! It had been raining pretty hard by this point and we had to wade (literally) our way through the enormous queue line almost straight to the front. We waited 15 minutes and this was the longest queue all day. While on the ride it started to hail. That stings at 60mph!

We followed The Smiler with a go on Oblivion thankfully just as the rain and hail finished. We then headed on over to complete the Big 6 challenge with Rita and Thirteen.

Big 6 challenge under our belt, we decided to try something we’ve never done before – Ice Age 4D. We waited outside in the rain for ages and it was unfortunately really disappointing. I don’t know if it had anything to do with the new 4D film being released the following week but the effects we completely out of sync.

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While over in the area we had a quick go on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I haven’t done this since it opened and it lacked excitement for me as a teenager but, having just read this story to my kids, I have a new love of it. The boat ride takes you through the story and then the glass elevator simulator takes you up and out!

We had a quick burger and chips in the now Alton Towers owned burger restaurant which was really nice. There was a good vegetarian option which the Mr said he was a bit jealous of when he saw it. The chain restaurants have been kicked out the park in the past few years and now Alton Towers have their own versions of them instead.

We hopped on the Skyride back over to the rear of the park again. The Skyride takes you over all the beautiful gardens which nobody (except my mother) has ever had the time to visit.

We rode Nemesis and Air again then started to head back towards the front of the park. We skipped Nemesis Sub-Terra as I pooped my pants the one and only time I’ve ever done it. I have honestly never been so scared!

We popped in for a good old husband and wife battle in Dual then back over to The Smiler for two last goes. The queue was even shorter this time but no less flooded! Not a great time to discover a hole in your shoe!

Our final stop of the day was Sonic Spinball. The queue was so short that they were only loading cars on 1 side meaning we were getting some serious spin!

Exhausted and all coastered out, we headed to the monorail and back to the hotel to collect the car. If staying in the hotel, make sure you keep your hotel card handy when leaving the resort. We were asked to show it to get out the car park and it was buried in our bag in the boot!

We had a great couple of days and I think Alton Towers still ranks as my favourite UK theme park. I loved spending quality time with the Mr as it’s something we very rarely do these days. It’s spending time together like this that reminds me why I married him. He’s a keeper!

Just as an extra, this is my Fitbit report from my day at Alton Towers. I guess I earnt my burger and chips at lunchtime! Neither of us guessed we’d walk anywhere near this distance.

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Linked to Twinkly Tuesday

Alton Towers Hotel and Splash Landings

Alton Towers Hotel and Splash Landings

A few of you may have heard that I had a big birthday recently (I haven’t been banging on about it at all!). To celebrate the fact that I was turning 30, the Mr decided to treat me to an overnighter at Alton Towers in Staffordshire.

I am a rollercoaster junkie. I could go on them over and over again and I would just not get bored. This was part of the reason he chose Alton Towers and also due to the fact that last time we went, I was 5 weeks post c-section and joyriding Postman Pats van was about as extreme as I got!

The drive from Cambridgeshire takes about 2 and a half hours so we decided to stay over and try out the Alton Towers Hotel and Splash Landings Water Park while we were there.

We had an incredibly wet drive and arrived at the hotel just after lunch. We quickly checked in, got our water park tickets and dropped our bags with the porter before heading over to the Splash Landing Hotel where the water park is located.

Thankfully, both hotels are linked by a covered walkway otherwise we would have been soaked before even getting close to a swimming pool!

On first sight, the water park was smaller than we thought it would be. With several children’s areas plus 7 water slides, a water coaster, both an indoor and outdoor pool plus heated jacuzzi type pools, a lot gets packed into a tight space.

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I took a few photos of the water park after it had closed as it didn’t seem right to be taking them while the pool was open.

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The outside pool which was being enjoyed by a cheeky duck after closing!

After scanning our tickets at the turnstiles you go directly into the changing rooms. They have a selection of different sized cubicles for singles, doubles or families. There are plenty of lockers, which take a 20p piece, and were more than big enough for both our belongings.

The water park is a very short walk from the changing rooms and upon entering you are immediately hit by the heat! On such a chilly day outside, we could have been forgiven for thinking we were in the Caribbean!

The pool water was also amazingly warm. I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to getting in swimming pools and will try my hardest to keep my body parts out for as long as possible! Here, I was able to enter the water straight away without the sharp intake of breath!

We spent several hours trying out the various slides (all in the interest of research). The Mr is a huge water slide fan and spent much longer doing them than me. I much preferred cooking myself in the outside hot tub!

The slides were certainly extreme enough for me. As I mentioned in a previous post (One Lovely Blog Award), I am terrified of water so don’t go expecting anything along the lines of a Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon water park.

We are definitely getting old as mid afternoon we had a break from the water while we had tea and a cake!

The choice of food here is fairly limited and definitely priced accordingly! Our 2 hot drinks and 2 muffins came to £7. If you were looking for something more substantial, they had sandwiches, pies and paninis on offer with an ice cream parlour next door.

We spent a few more hours in the pool before deciding to retreat to our hotel and check out our room.

We had room 263 which was just being the reception desk and along the busy main corridor.

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It was a really good size with a double bed, a single and a pull out second single. We thought we could easily get all 6 of us in here while the twins are still in a cot!

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The bathroom was compact with a shower hiding just behind the door. The sink, as you can see, had its uses! That’s my birthday drinks waiting to be consumed. The Mr contacted the hotel to ask if they could do anything to help make our stay more special. They offered him a birthday package of 6 Bud beers, a birthday cake and a few balloons for the amazing price of just £35! Needless to say, we took our own!

After the exertion of the water park we were starving so headed on over to Flambos buffet restaurant in Splash Landings for dinner. Thankfully, we had reserved a table when we checked in as they were turning people away.

There’s a good choice of restaurants across the 3 hotels with buffets, a la carte and a pizzeria available. We chose the buffet restaurant as for £19.95 per person all you can eat, we thought it was quite good value. We certainly got our money’s worth! The food was really tasty and I was impressed that they had an entire section for vegetarian food.

All hotels have evening entertainment ranging from discos to pub quizzes. We were going to give the quiz a go (we love a good pub quiz) but could hardly keep ourselves awake! Knowing we had a busy day tomorrow, we admitted defeat and headed off to bed!

Given where our room was located, we were worried it might be quite noisy but we both managed to get a great nights sleep. Even though we had no children with us, we were still up and raring to go by 7! It’s true what they say about never sleeping the same once you’ve had children!

The cost of our room also included a buffet breakfast. We headed down to the Secret Garden restaurant on the bottom floor of the hotel. It was the first chance we’d had to look round the hotel and it’s pretty cool.

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The breakfast was good and certainly set us up for the day. There was plenty of choice from hot to cold food. There’s nothing quite like a full cooked breakfast before you get hurled around on rollercoasters.

This is a great hotel and was definitely worth the money we paid for it. I’m not sure I’d have been so happy if we’d paid full price for the room though. I’m hoping we can bring the kids back one day but with the biggest boy starting school in September, I’m not sure we’ll be able to afford it or have the patience for the school holiday queues!

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