Paused for thought

Paused for thought

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Staycation postcards: CBeebies Land, Alton Towers

Last year, following eager anticipation, CBeebies Land was opened at Alton Towers. We waited a few weeks then took our excited two children and a growing baby bump along for a family day out. Unfortunately, due to problems encountered during our visit, our day did not go as planned but we were kindly invited back. This week, as part of our staycation, we returned.

I must say, on arrival at the park I was pleasantly surprised. Areas that had been broken last year which we had highlighted in our concerns to the management had been removed rather than patched up. The staff were knowledgeable (another thing lacking last year) and friendly, and really engaged with our children. We had not indicated when we would be back, and neither would I expect any sort of special treatment, so this change cannot simply be put down to ensuring that we had a good day on our return. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the recent very serious event in the main park, it was quite quiet on the day that we visited. The queues were short and well managed, and the children were entertained whilst waiting for their turn on the various rides. Our boys started on Postman Pat’s ride, helping to ‘deliver’ parcels via an interactive dashboard in the Postman Pat van as it travelled around Greendale. We then moved on to the In the Night Garden boat ride which had the boys mesmerised. Gentle music and commentary on the boat really enhanced their experience. Justin’s House was higher octane (and loud!) which we visited before having a very fun hands on experience at Mr Bloom’s Allotment where children and adults alike were encouraged to help the ‘neighbours’ look after the Veggies whilst Mr Bloom was on holiday. The staff at this particular attraction were fantastic, so full of fun with a happy and relaxed approach when chatting to the children, we all certainly felt part of it! The Tree Fu Tom playground next door to the allotment was fun and the Get Set Go ride a little further on was just right for two young boys who loved to have a good nose at what was happening around them. We had hoped to finish our visit to CBeebies Land with a trip on the newly opened Octonauts ride but sadly that broke down whilst we were waiting so we set off around the rest of the park.

One aspect that really impressed me about our day out at Alton Towers was how well organised it was. Our middle son was given a wrist band to confirm that he was over 0.9 meters tall which saved time when waiting for rides, and saved any worry on our part that one attendant would measure him one way and another would measure him differently. It was also refreshing, given our recent experience at Legoland, that one adult could accompany two children on all of the rides that they wanted to go on so there was no double queueing. The Sealife Centre area was a hit with all three boys and an area that I think our baby would have gone round again and again, carefully making attempts at saying ‘fish’ to every under water creature he saw (at 8 months old I wasn’t going to correct him and the staff were very professional when we must have looked quite funny, Fffffsh! Fffffsh! Fffffsh!) Like all major attractions I would recommend taking a picnic rather than filling up on the rather pricey refreshments on offer, but unlike other major theme parks there are so many places to sit down and relax with a picnic at Alton Towers without feeling that you’re cramming in to the one area designated for your own food under a small tree along with ten other families. In fact, on that note, I would urge you to find reduced priced tickets or special offers as at full price it quickly amounts to a very expensive day out especially with little people in tow. All of that said, would I recommend it? Based on our experience this week, yes I would.

Have you visited CBeebies Land at Alton Towers? I'd love to hear what you thought!

I did not receive any compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

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