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.
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.