The last time we went to Alton Towers was for my husband’s 30th birthday over 11 years ago. Prior to that we used to go every couple of years because at that time it was the place to visit for decent rollercoasters!
We have been saying we must go back for ages but we were worried that the little ones would be bored as it wasn’t really the destination to take little ones………….until now.
CBeebiesland launched earlier this year and we were as keen to visit this as we were to try out their new rollercoaster Smiler, so when we were offered a holiday cottage review we chose Staffordshire as our destination.
The holiday cottage was just 20 minutes away from Alton Towers so we set of around 9am to get there in time for opening. We arrived with no problem and parked right by the monorail, but hubby insisted on walking to the entrance claiming it wasn’t far – it was! Eliza moaned her legs hurt all the way and ended up having a piggy back.
We soon spotted the bright purple piece of track that was on display at the entrance – a tribute to the old corkscrew rollercoaster that I used to enjoy as a child. Merlin passes meant we had a short queue to get inside and apart from being accosted by two staff members to buy photo passes we got inside with no problem.
As we wandered towards the lake we spotted CBeebiesland on the righthand side where the old farm used to be, so headed in their first.
It was like walking onto a CBeebies set. The familiar voices of the presenters were everywhere along with the music. Our first port of call was the Get Set Go Tree Top Adventure where we got to see what CBeebiesland had to offer from above. We didn’t have to queue for long, but they did have activities for the kids to do as we waited which was a real bonus.
The Something Special Sensory Garden saw us on a mission to find hidden objects by Mr Tumble. A few screens around the garden had us practicing our Makaton too, although Isaac was more impressed at finding Grandad Tumble’s shed.
Next up was Tree Fu Tom’s training camp – a big play area filled with equipment to help you climb, balance and solve problems. Isaac and Eliza would have spent all day in here given half the chance!
My favourite CBeebiesland attraction was Mr Bloom’s allotment. You queue up through lots of plants, with herbs, vegetables and flowers to look at and best of all, you are entertained by one of Mr Bloom’s helpers as you wait. The helper was dressed exactly like Mr Bloom and even copied his accent to make it feel authentic, asking the kids lots of questions and getting them excited for what was about to happen.
We got to speak to Mr Bloom, who was on holiday somewhere hot and sunny, by the magic of a video phone, completed a challenge to feed the compostarium and best of all – we met the veggies and has to complete a very special challenge to help the wee McGregors enjoy a ride at Alton Towers!
By this time Kian was getting itchy feet so hubby headed off to the Smiler with him, whilst I stayed in CBeebiesland with the little ones. The best bit about CBeebiesland is that, with the exception of Justins House, Sebby could join with all the attractions. His favourite though was Charlie and Lola’s House which had something to see at every turn and a brilliant interactive screen on the floor, which when he crawled through, looked like he was crawling through water complete with swimming fish fingers!
You could quite easily spend the whole day in CBeebiesland as there is so much to do. We went at Half Term and it didn’t feel crowded or overwhelming and the longest we queued was about half an hour for the In the Night Garden ride.
There are three different shows to see at the Big Fun Showtime area – Nina and the Neurons, Mike the Knight and the Zingzillas plus various characters wandering around. We spotted Tree Fu Tom and one of Mr Blooms gardeners taking the veggies for a walk in their pram. Isaac and Eliza got to help feed them with a special bottle of fertilizer.
The wildest attraction was definitely Justin’s House, where you shoot balls at each other with air guns or make them fly in the air using air machines. This was the only one Sebastian couldn’t go in as it involved lots of running around.
Nina’s house came complete with fun experiments to try, the In The Night Garden ride took us on a relaxing boat ride through the night garden and the kids whizzed around a roundabout with the NumTums. Our final ride of the day was Postman Pat, where Isaac and Eliza proudly drove his van around Greendale to help deliver a parcel.
If you have a family of tots and teens like us, be prepared for one parent to stay and play in CBeebiesland and the other to go off and do the big rides with the teens. Because I missed out on the rollercoasters, we came back and did it all over again on the Thursday, but this time I got the adrenalin fun!
Look out for my Alton Towers post coming soon!