Firstly, let me say how much I love Alton Towers. Living 5 minutes down the road, we used to go on a Sunday afternoon like most children go to the park. I’ve loved the place ever since I can remember. Walking in through the gates and seeing the Towers in front of me still makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. I honestly think it will always be a magical place for me…
We visited CBeebies Land on a Tuesday in the school holidays. Queuing to get in, I knew park was going to be busy.
As we have a blue badge, disabled parking is by the main entrance (although you still have to pay the £6 to park – which I honestly don’t agree with). This was my main bugbear of the day. There are very few disabled parking spaces (I counted 23 but there may be a couple more). The disabled parking area shares it’s ‘zone’ with the express parking (charged at £16 this season). Of these 23 bays, only 4 were occupied by people with blue badges, the rest were full with express parking cars (noted by the hangers from the rear view mirror). We had to park at the bottom of the hill, which sort of defeats the object! All it would take would be a car park attendant to ensure only disabled people parked in disabled spaces.
The entrance turnstiles were a fairly easy process for us as we already had tickets. It is a simple scan and you’re through. Then the magic can really start…
CBeebies Land is located at the bottom of Towers Street and the majority of people were heading there. We were greeted at the entrance by a member of staff who said “Morning” but was really happy and genuinely chirpy.
Our first port of call was the ‘Something Special Sensory Garden’. It’s a lovely area with lots of things for little ones to interact with. I loved the different flooring and the smells as you went round. E loved touching all the different leaves (although I’m not sure you are supposed to eat them!)
There are 3 main rides – the Postman Pat vans, Tree Top Adventure and In the Night Garden riverboat ride.
The big downside is the queuing system. I cannot help but feel this has been thought out by someone who doesn’t have toddlers or small people. Yes I get the fact that there will be queues but keeping a toddler amused for 75 minutes (this was the shortest queue whilst we were there) is no easy task! There are interactive things in the queues but personally I don’t think it is enough. The queue barriers are also quite short so there was lots of queuing where people were trying to walk. Perhaps they could look at introducing virtual queuing where you are given a time slot? We didn’t do any of the rides for this reason and will probably go back up later in the season when it is quieter.
By far our favourite place was the Big Fun Showtime area. The love action shows throughout the day are held here and it’s where the toilets are located! It’s a brilliant area with soft artificial grass, deck chairs, picnic tables, activities for the little ones and meet and greet tents for the characters.
E just loved it in here and ran around for ages. Sadly, she was much less impressed with Iggle Piggle although I enjoyed a cuddle! Whilst here, we are our picnic and enjoyed the Mike the Knight show which all of the kids seemed to enjoy. It was a really lovely touch that the characters stayed around for a long time after the show to have photos taken.
Overall, I was really impressed with CBeebies Land. We didn’t venture to all of the activities (you can find out more about them all here) as E was rather tired and a bit grumpy but you could certainly spend a lot of time in there.
- The land is bright, colourful and very child friendly
- There are lots of activities to cover lots of age ranges
- There is LOADS of space to park buggies which is fab for parents of children who want to walk or to park whilst they go on rides
- The shop has things in which are pocket money price. There are things for £1-£3 rather than everything being expensive as it’s branded.
- I honestly think the queueing system could have been thought through better. It is a long time to wait when busy and not much to occupy the small people.
- Disabled car-parking needs it be just that – something so simple that Alton Towers could resolve really easily.
- Staff were slightly uninformed about other areas of the park when asked about what else there was for small people. I was unsure if ‘wobble world’ was still open and the two staff members I asked didn’t know either.
CBeebies Land however is really a fab day out, and can easily be a day if you do all of the activities, the shows and the meet and greets. We will definitely be back later in the season (and not in the school holidays).
All words, opinions and photos are my own. We went to Alton Towers on local residents tickets and therefore did not pay for entry. More information about the Alton Towers Resort, CBeebies Land and admission prices can be found on the Alton Towers website