It’s a good job our son quite likes the rain, because when we got up ready for our day at Alton Towers yesterday, it was bucketing it down!
Not to be deterred, we wrapped up, put the rain coats on and put our toddler in his wellies all ready for a wander around CBeebies Land in the Alton Towers theme park.
Personally, I love Alton Towers. But this would be the first time I’d visited in years and the last time for me was all about the big rollercoasters. This would be a different sort of visit from my previous ones and was all about our little boy enjoying Cbeebies Land.
CBeebies Land, Alton Towers – Quick Review
If you don’t have time to read the full review, here’s our quick rating:
We give it a 4.5/5. Here are the quick points:
- Lots of attractions suitable for really young children and toddlers
- Low queue times (when we went)
- Some indoor options
- Lots of space to run around in the Showtime Area
- Superb toilet and changing facilities
We’d like to see:
- A little more to do indoors for the rainy days
Our full review follows.
CBeebies Land, Alton Towers – Facts
Here are the main things you’ll need to know:
- Ticket Prices – There is no CBeebies Land only ticket. So it’s a full Alton Towers ticket. That said, under 3s are free! Adults, if tickets are booked 5 days in advance or more, are £32 each.
- Opening times vary throughout the year. On our visit, Alton Towers rides were open from 10am to 4pm and CBeebies Land follows those opening hours too
- CBeebies Land, for those of you who have visited Alton Towers before this section opened, is on the site of the old Storybook Land
A Rainy Day at CBeebies Land
CBeebies Land is located really close to the entrance of Alton Towers. In fact, it’s the first area you come to, which is absolutely ideal for those with young children. The idea of dragging excited toddlers half way across a large theme park on foot holds no appeal, I’m sure! It looks like Alton Towers have thought of this and, instead, you reach the section within a minute or two of arriving at the park entrance. Upon entry, you’ll see a really clear sign post and map to help you find what you’re looking for quickly. That said, our son made a very quick decision that we were heading right and going exploring!
Now, one of the main benefits of the bloomin’ awful weather (and a mid week term time visit) was that the park was incredibly quiet and this included CBeebies Land. The rain was keeping people away and the wind was closing some of the big rollercoasters at Alton Towers! But it wasn’t stopping the people who were in there having fun in CBeebies Land.
There were a few people around but no queues for any of the attractions when we arrived. Despite the rain, our son was having a fantastic time and made a beeline for the Postman Pat ride.
No queue and a fun little ride. Adults are able to accompany children on this ride too, which is really great. We wouldn’t let our son, at 2, go on rides without being accompanied.
From there, it was on to Charlie and Lola’s house! A little ball pool, interactive floor and a mini mountain to climb were the highlights for our son.
This is an indoor ride. As it was a rainy day, there were more people here than in many other attractions in CBeebies Land! Even so, there were perhaps just 10 to 15 other families in there and plenty of space for everyone.
The little ball pool area is very small though and the kids had to be incredibly careful not to stand on one another. That was the only downside really, though it might be less likely to be a problem on a drier day when people are keener on being outside!
In the Night Garden Magical Boat Ride
The attraction our son had most been looking forward to was the ‘In The Night Garden Magical Boat Ride.’ So from Charlie and Lola’s house, we headed straight there.
There was a small queue for this ride. The signage suggested a 5 minute queue, though we waited between 10 and 15. I’ve read other reviews from people who’ve visited on weekends where queues have been much longer! Because the park was quiet, (I presume) the staff were not filling the boats. Instead, they were letting each party have their own. That was great once you were on the ride, but queueing with toddlers is never fun. And mine certainly isn’t known for his patience. But once we made it on theMagical Boat Ride, he was a happy chap indeed:
You board a lovely little boat and are taken through the Night Garden, sailing past all the little ones’ favourite characters. Audio on the boat includes the theme tunes for each character and some narration, which adds to things! Here are some of the photos we took on this ride:
The ride ends with a group get together – the cast all in once place:
The Alton Towers website suggested that under 3s can’t go on the Octonauts Roller Coaster or in the Justin’s Pie-O-Matic attractions. But when we got there we found there was no age limit but there was a height requirement of at least 90cm. Our son just made the grade and was given a wristband (as he was only just tall enough) to show on any 90cm attractions in order to save time remeasuring.
Justin’s Pie-O-Matic is another indoor attraction, so this held plenty of appeal in the pouring rain. You go into the ride and you’re given a bag to collect foam balls on the bottom floor. When you have a bag full, you go upstairs and use the cannons and other machines to fire the balls at other people or just into space.
Some of the machines were a little noisy for our son. But he did enjoy collecting the balls and enjoyed shooting them from some of the cannons. Of course, expect to get hit with foam balls! Our little boy wasn’t hit with any, thankfully, as I don’t think he’d have appreciated it! But I certainly took a few hits.
I think a recommendation I would have is that there should be more information about what the attraction entails before you go in.
Something Special Sensory Garden
At one point in the day, it started hammering it down with rain really hard. We thought this would be a great opportunity to take some respite under one of the many shelters! Our son had other ideas. He thought this was the opportune time to go hunting for Mr Tumble’s Spotty Bag in the Something Special Sensory Garden.
It’s fantastic in here, however, for young children (despite the rain)! Our boy spent about 20 minutes just running around finding spotty bags to open. Lots of fun.
Get Set Go Tree Top Adventure
This is a ride that has essentially been updated and rebranded for CBeebies Land. It already existed as a ride in itself when this area was Storybook Land. It’s little cars on a raised track – a slow ride with a view of the whole of the CBeebies Land area.
Our little boy loved this! He’s been talking about the “big red tall high car,” he rode since the moment he got off.
For us, there was no queue because the park was so quiet. But I did notice just how long the queue facilities are and I expect in the school holidays that there could be quite a wait. Probably not ideal with children! But for us, it was straight on!
The Showtime Area
The Showtime area is where the live shows and the character meet and greets are held. There are also tends with games in (dry!) and plenty of space for little ones to run around. We were there around half an hour while our son just ran around and enjoyed the space and facilities.
He also managed a quick meet and greet with Iggle Piggle – though didn’t hang around long enough for us to take a photo!
There are a number of other attractions in CBeebies Land too that we didn’t go on (our son didn’t fancy them). There’s the Furchester Hotel Live and the Octonauts Roller Coaster, neither of which he liked the look of! He was probably a bit too young to get much out of Nina’s Science Lab and we didn’t go on Tree Fu Tom’s Training camp.
Food, Drink and Facilities
We ate at the Lunchbox cafe in CBeebies Land. I always expect to pay over the odds for food and drink in theme parks, especially premium end ones like Alton Towers. But they do some meal deals in the Lunchbox. Don’t get me wrong – it’s pricier than off the park! But 3 of us had a sandwich, drink and side for a total of just over £18 (2 adult meals and a child’s one).
There are plenty of toilets and changing facilities too. You’d expect that, of course, for a section of Alton Towers catering specifically to children from 1 to 6 years old. But they were great!
There are also loads of buggy parking areas (which double effectively as rain shelters!) where you can leave prams to go on the rides.
There’s also a really love gift shop stocking tonnes of CBeebies merchandise and puzzles etc, no more expensive than I’ve seen them off the park!
Room for Improvement?
Well, all in all we had a lovely day. You can’t do much about the weather but make the most of it. And Alton Towers actually revalidated everyone’s ticket on exit from the park for a free return visit because some of the big rides had been shut. So we have the opportunity to go back free of charge before the end of the season.
The one area for improvement, in my opinion, is the addition of a indoor soft play area (themed CBeebies, of course). When the weather is rubbish, which it often is in the UK, this would be a really helpful indoor option.
Will we go back?
We’ll definitely go back to CBeebies Land at Alton Towers. The CBeebies Hotel opens in July 2017 and I’d consider a stay there potentially. But regardless of whether we stay on site or not, we’ll go back before the end of the season to go to CBeebies Land again and take advantage of our freebie revisit!
It was an amazing day out with a toddler and we expect to be back soon.