Park Review

9

 
Alton Towers
Air
Chocolate Factory
Congo River Rapids
Duel
The Flume
Hex
Rita
Runaway Mine Train
Nemesis
Oblivion
Ripsaw
Sonic Spinball
Sharkbait Reef
Th13teen
Twirling Toadstool

Alton Towers is often quoted as the best theme parks in the country, and as you'd expect it's got a lot going for it. It has the world class Nemesis, and a very impressive collection of other roller coasters, which for my money makes one of the best roller coaster collections in any park in the world. It has even more to offer though, it has some good scenic rides like Hex and Duel, water rides including a good set of rapids, as well as various thrill rides and attractions for younger children as well. It truly is a park that does a good job of catering for all ages.

 

There's no doubt Alton has a great ride collection, but anyone with enough space and money could put together a great collection of rides. What really helps set this park apart is the location.

It's often said about Nemesis how the height restriction which meant it had to be built in to the ground resulted in a better ride being built than would have been made on a flat area without height restrictions. I think a similar rule can apply to other aspects of the park. The fact it's in an area of natural beauty creates a pleasant feel to the park, and the towers and gardens offer pleasant areas, that can provide a refuge from the worst of the crowds.
Another feature from the location are that the themed areas of the park are spread apart, and separate from one another, giving each area of the park a feeling of it's own separate identity. This does a lot to immerse yourself in the experience created by each area.

There are a few minor niggles. Aspects which remind you it's quite a commercial park. There's the high entrance price, plus extra costs, such as the cost of the car park, or charges to use cash machines that can make it quite an expensive day out. It's also one of the worst parks when it comes to having to walk through souvenir shops, and even an arcade when you exit rides, which could be a problem if you have children pestering you to buy things. My favourite example was on the Mine Train, where they keep the disabled access gate at the exit gate locked, so your forced to take a longer route out through the shop.

Another commercial aspect I thought would be a problem is the large number of McDonalds, and other brand name food restaurants at the park. At first when I examined the park map I thought we'd struggle to avoid the generic burger and fries. However I was pleasantly surprised to find quire a good range of food available, of various types of take away meals, and a few places offering higher quality food. What was also surprising that although individual snacks and drinks were a little pricy, the cost of a meal at most locations was also at a reasonable rate.

Overall, the great rides on their own make this a must visit park to anyone with an interest in theme parks, not just in the local area, but to anyone living in or visiting Britain. Even better, this park has more to offer than great rides, making this a place with it's own unique atmosphere. This is truly a world class attraction.