Monday 9 June 2014

A Trip To Alton Towers

Last weekend we were invited along to Alton Towers with Goodfellas Pizza to see the very original Pizza Vending Machine, but more on this a little later! 

A trip to Alton Towers made us all rather excited, especially Leo who was over the moon to be able to head to see the new Cbeebies Land that opened a few weeks ago. We live about 2 hours from the park, so we set off early so that we could make the most of our time there. Leo had been telling everybody that he was going to ‘Cbeebies Land’, so we made this part of the park our first point of call.

Walking through the park I recognized the sights and sounds straight away, coming to Alton Towers as a child and having such a good time meant that I had high hopes now that I was bringing my own child along. Having had a look on the website before coming, I knew that Leo was going to be able to enjoy his day. We soon arrived at Cbeebies Land and  I was so looking forward to seeing Leo’s reaction. Upon arrival in Cbeebies Land I was really impressed with how it looked, the vibrant colours and not forgetting the stars of Cbeebies handprints in the pathway! We did  soon realise that we were going to be in with a bit of a wait for the majority of the rides. Everywhere I looked the ride times were getting longer and longer, to the point I thought that it was beyond realistic to attempt with a 2 year old. The In The Night Garden Magical Boat Ride was estimated at 70 minutes. A whole hour and 10 minutes…  This was one of the rides that we had been really looking forward to getting on, but I took this as a sign that we should come back later.

We headed into the Play Zone where Mike The Knight was due to come on stage, it was a great little area covered with astro turf, plenty of picnic benches and space for the kids to run around. Leo was feeling a little sorry for himself at this point, within minutes of him getting into the park he had taken a tumble and cut his leg, and not even the pretense of Mike the Knight could bring a smile to his face. Mike the Knight soon came out and the kids all around us squealed, he was accompanied by his sister Evie who has a habit of casting spells that often… don’t go to plan! Leo sat on my lap and enjoyed the show, but he was still feeling a little sorry for himself when it came to a close.

I thought the Mike The Knight Show was good, the costumes were great and the storyline was simple to follow. I really liked how they picked kids out of the audience to come up and assist with certain aspects of the show!

We didn’t stay in Cbeebies land much longer after this as the rides were still really busy. We did pop onto the Num Tums Merry Go Round, but this didn’t seem to excite Leo’s fire either… Leo at 2 years old already loves a good rollercoaster so we came to the conclusion after looking around, that our time would be better spent outside in the rest of the park. Leo is just under a meter so although he cannot go on everything, he can get on all of the 0.9 height restricted rides, and he is so close to being a meter that the next time we visit I expect a whole new selection of rides will have opened up to him.

Leo experienced the Battle Galleons, the pirate boats that you can shoot water at your fellow pirates. I already had an idea of how this may go… Leo loves to play with water, he loves to shoot water at un-suspecting friends and family.. So in this respect the Battle Galleons were going to be a big hit! But I was also very aware that Leo would not like to be on the receiving end of being shot at… And I couldn't have been more right!

So in typical fashion I invested in in a waterproof and spent the entire boat ride hiding, Leo spent it laughing as he shot and screaming hysterically when he was shot… Thankfully it was a warm day so we dried off pretty quickly! Second up was the Congo River Rapids! These are a ride that I always enjoy, and I was so pleased when Leo was tall enough to give them a go too. Leo’s first response was ‘no wet Mummy!’ ‘No boat!’ and I reassured him that it wouldn’t be as persistent as the Battle Galleons… I told him he could potentially get a little wet and he took me at face value.

Hopping into the rubber dingy Leo was excited, he was smiling and giggling. He giggled some more as the rapids began to bounce us along, he even giggled as the first splash flew into the dingy, he even smiled when the second one hit. The third one however was more like a tidal wave… This one was not so well received by the toddler. But even with sodden shoes he managed to enjoy the rest of his first rapid ride!

We did decide after this that we probably shouldn't introduce the Log Flume…

Upon drying off Leo was finally back in to his chirpy self. We were now well into the afternoon, and as we had left the pushchair at home because Leo promised he would walk… My arms were now aching, as in true Leo style… He had indeed refused to walk! We took the opportunity to hop on the Runaway Mine Train, this is a rollercoaster that I LOVED as a child. I remember going on this with my Dad on our family visits. Now here I was with my 2 year old about to take Leo on his first ride. I knew that this was instantly going to be a hit. Leo is already an adrenaline junkie!

As we got strapped into our seats Leo already had a big cheesy smile on his face, and that smile just got bigger as the ride went on. He absolutely loved it.

The lining up times for each of these rides was not very long at all, and in comparison to Cbeebies Land it paled in comparison. We took this opportunity to grab something to eat and took a short walk around the grounds. Then I decided to head back to Cbeebies Land and give it a second shot.

It was now around 4pm so I had hoped that people would now have started leaving for the day, and that the line times would have reduced considerably. The In The Night Garden Magical Boat Ride was now down to 50 minutes… I decided to get in line and see what happened. I think in the end it took us 30 minutes to get to the front. I did like that there were activities built into the line to help keep the kids entertained, but at the same time I thought 30 minutes wait for  a child was still a considerable amount of time.

With our day coming to an end we began to make our way out of the park. It was around this time that we came across the Goodfellas Pizza Vending Machine! Goodfellas were at Alton Towers celebrating the launch of the new Smiler Pizza. This pizza is named after the hypnotic 14 loop rollercoaster, The Smiler. 

The Goodfellas Pizza team brought along around a 1000 pizzas to giveaway to pizza lovers at Alton Towers on the 31st May and 1st June. The vending machine was the world first ever selfie-powered vending machine. Passers by were asked to snap their best rollercoaster face in return for a Smiler Pizza!

We will be posting a full review of the Goodfellas Smiler Pizza very soon!

Over all we had a fantastic day out at Alton Towers, a big thank you to Goodfellas Pizza for inviting us along and for letting us loose around the park.

Disclaimer: We were provided complimentary tickets to Alton Towers to try out the Goodfellas Vending Machine, in exchange for our honest thoughts and opinions.

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