Postman Pat, Mr Bloom, Mr Tumble, the Octonauts, the ZingZillas, Upsy Daisy and the Numtums – Surely for a two-year old these are the coolest characters to celebrate your birthday with?! My youngest son certainly thought so when he celebrated his 2nd birthday with all of his favourite CBeebies characters a couple of weeks ago! When we realised that Harry’s birthday fell on Charlie’s school inset day we knew that we had to make the most of it and I contacted the resort. We were delighted when they offered us the opportunity to stay overnight in the Enchanted Village and review Alton Towers theme park and water park.
As soon as we arrived both Harry and Charlie were excitedly pointing out all the fun things for us to do on the resort map – an aquarium, boat rides, live shows, a 4D show, roller coasters, cable cars and of course, they immediately spotted the stalls selling ice cream and freshly made doughnuts!
As both boys are big CBeebies fans we spent most of our time at Alton Towers in CBeebies Land. The popular attraction opened two years ago as an all singing, all dancing tribute to the best-loved CBeebies characters.
It is perfect for little ones. It offers an equal mixture of rides, shows and interactive fun for tots through to little adventurers. I would say it is best enjoyed with one year olds through to six/seven-year olds (depending on what age your child decides that CBeebies is no longer the cool thing to watch on TV!)
You can feel the excitement as soon as you enter CBeebies Land. Popular theme tunes are playing, kids are running excitedly from one attraction to another and characters are wandering around, stopping to say hello and have their photos taken with young fans. (You are free to take the photos with your camera at no charge which we were very impressed by).
After having a quick look around and sussing the place out Charlie was keen to go on the Octonauts rollercoaster. Harry was tall enough to go on all the rides in CBeebies Land, (there is a 0.9 meter limit for some rides) and so without even questioning whether he would actually like a rollercoaster we hopped into the line! Charlie absolutely adored the thrilling ride, he came off beaming. Harry was fine with cuddles and reassurance from Daddy, although he definitely preferred the more sedate rides such as the In the Night Garden boat ride, where he enjoyed waving to Upsy Daisy, the Tombliboos and Igglepiggle!
Harry also loved driving the Postman Pat delivery van, following Mr Tumbles spotty bag trail around the sensory trail and the Get Set Go Tree Top Adventure ride.
Charlie, who is five years old, was happy to accompany Harry on all the rides geared for younger children although he absolutely loved exploring the Tree Fu Tom Training Camp, helping out in Mr. Bloom’s Allotment and firing cherries at Justin’s House Pie-O-Matic Factory! (Shooting foam balls out of air cannons and guns is surely every kids dream experience, although to be fair there were a lot of adults in the Pie-O-Matic Factory, including my husband, having equally as much fun!)
My favourite area of CBeebies Land was the Big Fun Showtime area. There was a full schedule of events on throughout the two days we visited the park. As the park was so quiet we had front row seats and watched several entertaining shows performed by The ZingZillas and Tree Fu Tom. We also practiced our circus skills and Harry and I met Igglepiggle. There was also plenty of facilities in the Showtime area including picnic tables, baby changing & baby feeding cubicles and food stalls.
Other family attractions at Alton Towers
We spent an enjoyable 20 minutes checking out the sharks, stingrays, sea horses and other marine life at the Sharkbait Reef by Sealife. Both boys loved the touch tank exhibits.
Over in Cloud Cuckoo Land we all watched the Ice Age 4D Experience which was great fun. Both boys giggled every time we were hit with wind blasts, bubbles and snow and wanted to watch it again although we ran out of time.
The Froghopper was also a fun ride which Charlie was old enough to experience on his own… shame the same cannot be said for the Battling Galleons which he persuaded me to take him on. We were having a lovely time squirting water at passing galleons until we realised that spectators up above could also shoot water at us! We came off the ride completely drenched. Note to self – Watch other people come off water rides before agreeing to go on one. Luckily there were air blowers outside the ride to dry ourselves off before lunch.
Review – Alton Towers Water Park
We had planned to spend one full day at Alton Towers and one full day at the Water Park, (previously known as Cariba Creek). We quickly changed our mind after experiencing a few hours in CBeebies Land and realising that we would prefer to spend more time watching the live shows, etc. We therefore heading over to the water park just as the theme park was starting to get quite busy after lunch on the Saturday.
My boys could not wait to get their swimming outfits on and check out the water park. They had been gazing down on it longingly the night before when we were having a drink in the bar. Charlie could not wait to check out the slides!
As soon as we entered the water park we headed straight to the Wacky Waterworks Tree House. We had fun firing water cannons at each other, pulling ropes to release water on people below and playing with water wheels. Both boys also loved splashing around in the lazy river and paddling in the kids pool – Little Leak. Harry was quite content to play with water wheels whilst Richard took Charlie to ride on some of the water slides. Although they had to queue for the slides Charlie came back buzzing and it was definitely worth the short ten minute wait. (Queues for the bigger slides seemed to be longer than the slides geared for kids).
We stayed at the water park for three hours, this included some time out to have snacks. I would suggest with little children three hours is more than enough time to allocate to the water park. We bought snacks from the water park snack bar – Two portions of fries and a baguette cost £8. We felt these prices were fairly reasonable. To save some money we had taken in our own drinks and left them in the push chair with our towels. (FYI – You are not supposed to take your own food into the water park but we saw people who had and it did not seem to be a problem).
Summary – Review of Alton Towers & Water Park
Would we recommend a visit to Alton Towers resort? Absolutely! We had a very memorable weekend. We will definitely return again when the boys are a little older to explore more of the theme park and experience the water slides together.
Charlie has been nonstop talking about our visit. Although Harry doesn’t speak much I know when he is happy as he nods his head… it is fair to say that he was nodding his little head like the Churchill dog during our two days at Alton Towers!
Tips for visiting Alton Towers with young kids
Visit mid-week in term time or on an inset day – During our visit on the Friday and Saturday until 11am we did not have to queue for more than 10 minutes for any ride in CBeebies Land. From mid morning on the Saturday it was getting busier. Elsewhere in the park we queued 15/20 minutes for the Runaway Mine Train and Ice Age 4D Show (we didn’t attempt to go on any of the more popular rollercoasters which did have longer wait times). You also want to avoid the last couple of weeks prior to schools breaking up for the summer holidays as many schools visit Alton Towers for school outings!
Mix up your day – If you do visit on a weekend with young children, mix up your day by alternating between rides and a visit to the Showtime area; Tree Fu Toms adventure park or the aquarium to avoid young children becoming frustrated queueing for rides.
Download the Alton Towers app – To keep an eye on ride wait times download the free app before your visit.
Look around for offers – Alton Towers are always offering 2-4-1 deals, you can also exchange club card points for entrance tickets to the attraction. Kids under 3 are free.
Book in advance – If you cannot find any offers always book in advance to save 30% on the price of a ticket. (The website is currently offering a really good deal of 40% off when you book at least 5 days in advance). You can upgrade and stay for a second day for just £7.50 more per person.
Stay the night and take advantage of the exclusive benefits – Alton Towers is huge, even if you plan to spend most of your time in CBeebies Land like we did, you still need a couple of days to enjoy all the attractions. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in the Enchanted Village. Guests of the resort can enjoy some of the rides, (including all of those in CBeebies Land) one hour before the park opens to the public. Make the most of this hour, its amazing how many rides you can run around without any queues! Another benefit of staying in the resort is that you get free car parking.
Pick up tips from other families – During our monorail rides to and from the car park to the theme park I always spoke to other families to get their insider tips! One family with similar age children to us, (2 and 5) were really useful. They had stayed at the resort for three days and recommended rides, tips for the water park etc which I am sharing with you here!
Make the most of the sky car – On our second day at the park there was a queue for the sky car and so we decided to walk across the park from Cloud Cuckoo Land to the Runaway Mine Train – huge mistake! The resort map is not great for navigating through the middle of the undeveloped gardens in the centre of the park. We ended up having to carry Harry in his push chair over lots of steps. Learn from our mistake and wait for the sky car!
Book your restaurant in advance – We didn’t and we regretted it as we had to eat a little later than normal. We dined at the Secret Garden which we can thoroughly recommend.
Tips for visiting the Alton Towers Water Park
Check out the water park opening times online. On the Friday the water park was only open until 4pm however, on the Saturday it was open until 8pm which made a huge difference to being able to make the most of our stay at Alton Towers
Save yourself some packing (and washing!) – Beach towels are available to hire for £2 each and buoyancy aids are also available for infants.
Disclaimer – We were invited as guests of Alton Towers to stay the weekend at the resort in return for this honest review.
Copyright – All images copyright Travel Loving Family.