Along with half the rest of the country we went to Alton Towers today. The kids have long pestered to go, so when we discovered we could convert £8.50 of Tesco clubcard vouchers into an Alton Towers ticket, we said yes. For a grand total of £42.50 clubcard vouchers, plus £6 for parking we had a day out at one of the best theme parks in the country.
We got there at just on 10am, which is when the doors open to the public. It took 45 minutes to get to a parking space, walk to the monorail, get the monorail to the entrance, get in (we already had our tickets, so we didn’t have to queue for them) and reach the first ride. I was a bit disgruntled to then queue for 45 minutes to go on Squirrel Nutty, a ride picked by Mr 5, who has a fear of any ride which goes faster than walking pace. I had thoughts along the lines of ‘If we queue this long for this, how long will we queue for the good rides?’ Luckily the next ride we tried we didn’t have to wait at all, so it restored my equanimity.
I’m not going to bore you with every ride we did, but here are some of the highlights:
Hex: Well, this one could have gone either way. We didn’t know quite what it was when we went in, but it was brilliant. Fantastic. I want one at home.
The Sea Life Centre: I had my fingernails cleaned by a shrimp. That wasn’t something I expected to happen today.
Ice Age 4D: Mr 5 and I went to this while Mr PC and the girls went on Th13teen. I liked the snow. Mr 5 liked the bubbles and the 3D was good, and the other effects atmospheric.
Runaway Mine Train: We made it into the queue at 3 minutes to 6, and were on the last train of the day. The operator sent it round the track twice, so that was an added bonus. It is the fastest roller coaster Mr 5 has yet been on, and despite screaming all the way round, he says he did enjoy it.
We didn’t go on any of the big roller coasters. Only Miss 12 has reached the magic 1.4m height, and she was less keen to go on them than Miss 10. Miss 10 is already planning what she will do when she is tall enough. She’s the thrill seeker.
I am pretty sure we saw Steve Pemberton (unless he has a doppelganger). That’s increased my ‘famous people seen this decade’ count to 1. We don’t get out much! We couldn’t explain who he is to the kids, because they’ve never seen any of the programmes he’s made.
It was a really great day, only marred by the traffic. Within the park they cannot deal with the volume of traffic on a busy day. It took 20 minutes to get from car park C to the street (thank goodness we weren’t in L). We had a massive bag of Smarties to tide us over until we got home, and they were finished by the time we reached the park exit.
We would definitely all like to go back some time, but at the same time we would never pay full price. We are so lucky that Tesco had the deal that let us in so cheaply. I hope they keep it up.