Pages

Pages

Pages

Giveaways

SOCIAL MEDIA

Merlin Pass
Showing posts with label Merlin Pass. Show all posts

Scarefest At Alton Towers

23 September 2020

30 comments
Scarefest sign at Alton Towers


On the 9th October Alton Towers will transform the resort in to a Halloween haven of all things spooky for its Halloween event, Scarefest. We visit every year and in our opinion it keeps getting better and better and we couldn't wait to see what was in store for us this year. 

Alton Towers have promised that this year it will be as spooktacular as ever with lots of thrills and chills planned. The one thing we love at Alton Towers is they provide Halloween fun for all the family. 

Family Friendly Halloween Fun

Scarefest at Alton Towers


Alton Ancestors
On Arrival you will usually bump in to the Alton Ancestors. They have left their gravestones behind and are back from the dead. One thing you should know about the Ancestors is they love to dance so make sure you check them out and even join in.

CBeebies Land Monster Ball
Join the CBeebies characters live in Big Fun ShowTime as they dance and play games. the show features Bing, Ubercorn, Peter Rabbit and many more of your favourite CBeebies friends, you can even dress up in your favourite costume.

Garden Lights Walk: Whispering Souls
We visited the Alton Towers gardens for this first time this year just as lockdown eased and I have said ever since that I hope we visit again. This year for the first time the Gardens has it's own event during Scarefest. View the gardens as never before and witness them come to life in a whole new spooktacular…LIGHT! This is a free attraction and not a live scare maze.

scarefest at alton towers


Freaky Fun Zone
You won't want to miss the Freaky Fun Zone on the front lawns.  The five super-freaky Halloween characters put on the most spook-tacular shows, with meet and greets and photo opportunities. Little ones will love this as the characters are so much fun and very colourful. 

Thrilling Frights

scarefest at alton towers


Freak Show: Toxic Junkyard
New for 2020 the Freak Show: Toxic Junkyard is an outdoor maze inviting you to venture into the Freak Show hidden den to discover the secret of the psycho clowns’ next big show.

Altonville Mine Tours
The ‘Skin Snatchers’ are the outcasts of their whole family. Rumours are they lived in that old mine. It’s deep, dark and the damp inside gives you the proper shivers. Just recently some fool reopened it – for tours! Be careful: they say those Skin Snatchers have a secret, too horrifying for words. 

The Attic: Terror of the Towers
In Alton people talk of the Governess – how she’s haunted by the death of young children. She wants revenge, and she will do it by seizing the spirits of the living in retribution. They say her ghost haunts The Attic and that’s where you’re headed.

Alton's scare mazes are award winning and definitely not for the faint hearted. Recommended for those aged 15+ and make sure you are prepared for anything. The scare mazes are an extra charge which can be pre booked online. Please note you must wear a face mask. 

We have done a few scare attractions over the years with The Attic our most recent and I can confirm they are very scary.

scarefest at alton towers


There are also many other reasons to visit Alton Towers during Scarefest including the Alton Towers Dungeon and Darkest Depths

Darkest Depths
Enjoy some extra-spooky swashbuckling aboard ‘The Mutiny’, a notoriously spine-chilling ghost ship. You’ll truly earn your golden Piece of Eight by venturing into the darkest depths, avoiding the hazardous calls of the treacherous Sirens, dodging the swords of terrifyingly ghoulish pirate mutineers and coming face to face with the Kraken – the legendary monster of the seas!

Alton Towers Dungeon
As Scarefest descends on the Towers, enter The Alton Towers Dungeon for a little less laughing… and a lot more screaming! Will you be found guilty by the Bishop of Stafford, survive a visit to the Plague Doctor and make it out of The Witch of Burslem’s Cottage? Enter The Alton Towers Dungeon this Halloween, as we celebrate the most hideously horrible time of year with your delightful peasant screams… If you dare!

Both attractions are recommended for guests age 10+ and you are required to wear a face mask

scarefest at alton towers
scarefest at alton towers


As well as as this scary fun you can enjoy your favourite rides in the dark as the theme park is open till 9pm every night during Scarefest. 

Also if you want to make the most of your visit to Scarefest you can stay over at the resort where the spooky fun continues. 

If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

Have you been to Alton Towers? Leave us a comment below and let us know about your visit.


Like us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram


Share This Post With Friends Who May Also Find It Useful. 

Michelle
Read More

What To Expect When Visiting Alton Towers After Lockdown

16 August 2020

6 comments
boy looking at an Alton Towers map

After our visit to the Alton Towers Gardens back in June we couldn't wait to get back to the theme park and ride the coasters. We decided to visit last week after we renewed our Merlin Passes at the Legoland Centre in Manchester. We pre booked our tickets and also booked a night at the Alton Towers hotel. We were keen to visit but also a little anxious how social distancing would work both in the park and hotel. 

Entering The Park
The entrance was extremely busy and there were huge queues. The monorail was off so the queues were backing up as people walked from the car parks. 

Temperature and bag checks first and also we were checked with a handheld metal detector scanner too. 

There was no social distancing taking place getting in to the park. Although there are guidelines on the floor as to where you should stand, most people just ignored this and huddled together. 

Towers Street
Towers Street was extremely busy. As everyone is entering the park at the same time it was very overcrowded in places as people were deciding which way to go, heading to guest services or just stopping to take pictures. 

The Rides
We managed quite a few rides so I will tell you about individual rides and how the socially distancing works. The queues were very busy for most rides which you would expect during Summer. There are chevrons in place within the queue lines but again most people just ignored these despite announcements every few minutes from staff reminding guests to socially distance from the guests in front and behind. 

Spinball Whizzer
Each ride seats 4 guests however they will only fill the ride with members from your own party. If you are a 'two' then the seats behind you are left empty. 

There is no single rider queue. 

This ride does not require you to wear a mask.

The ride access pass / disabled queue was really big for this ride. We heard a family saying they had queued for 1 hour. They will only allow one ride access pass family on at a time so you have to wait for the guests using their passes to finish the ride before you can go on. 

Heave Ho
There are 6 rows on Heave Ho however they are only using the two back rows and one of the middle rows to ensure social distancing takes place on the ride. Only one family can sit per row. You will not be allowed to sit by other guests to fill up a row. 

This ride does not require you to wear a mask.

The ride access pass / disabled queue runs as normal.

wearing mask on ride at Alton Towers

Marauders Mayhem
This ride runs as it did previously with each barrel being used. 

This ride does require anyone over the age of 6 to wear a mask.

The ride access pass / disabled queue runs as normal.

Wicker Man
If you have experienced Wicker Man before you will know that just before you reach the ride you are enclosed in a room with other guests and you watch a short video. This has been removed. You are kept outside until it's your turn then you walk straight through the room and on to the ride. 

Every other row is kept free to ensure social distancing from other guests. 

There is no single rider queue.

This ride does require anyone over the age of 6 to wear a mask.

The ride access pass / disabled queue runs as normal.

The Runaway Mine Train
Every other row is kept free to ensure social distancing from other guests.

This was the only ride we saw being cleaned. They stopped the ride quite frequently and cleaned all the seats and bars. 

This ride does require anyone over the age of 6 to wear a mask.

The ride access pass / disabled queue runs as normal. They will let up to two ride access pass parties on the ride at any one time. 

Duel
Each cart seats 5 people however if your party is less you will not share a cart with anyone else. 

This ride does require anyone over the age of 6 to wear a mask.

There is no ride access pass / disabled queue for this ride. It has been removed. 

Congo River Rapids
Each boat seats 8 people however if your party is less you will not share a boat with anyone else. 

This ride does not require you to wear a mask.

The ride access pass / disabled queue runs as normal however the entrance has moved. It is now down a pathway that is opposite Duel.  

The Blade ride at Alton Towers

The Blade
The blade has 10 rows available however only half are being used to allow social distancing. 

Both back rows are used as are rows 3 on each side. Another party will fill up one of the middle rows (row 5) on one side.

This ride does require anyone over the age of 6 to wear a mask.

The ride access pass / disabled queue runs as normal. They will let one ride access pass party on the ride at any one time. 

Nemesis
Every row is being used as normal, however if you have less than 4 in your party then you won't share your row.  

There is no single rider queue.

This ride does require anyone over the age of 6 to wear a mask.

The ride access pass / disabled queue runs as normal. They will let one ride access pass party on the ride at any one time. 

Galactica
Every row is being used as normal, however if you have less than 4 in your party then you won't share your row.  

There is no single rider queue.

This ride does require anyone over the age of 6 to wear a mask.

The ride access pass / disabled queue has been moved. It is now next to the main entrance. They will let one ride access pass party on the ride at any one time. 

Thirteen
The rows at the back of the Thirteen train are filled with mannequins so are out of use. This is to ensure enough weight is on the train to allow it to go. Depending on party sizes they were only allowing 2-3 parties on at any one time to allow for social distancing. 

There is no single rider queue. 

This ride does require anyone over the age of 6 to wear a mask.

The ride access pass / disabled queue runs as normal. They will let one ride access pass party on the ride at any one time. 

Rita
Every other row is kept free to ensure social distancing from other guests.

There is no single rider queue. 

This ride does require anyone over the age of 6 to wear a mask.

The ride access pass / disabled queue runs as normal. They will let one ride access pass party on the ride at any one time. 

Smiler
Every row is being used as normal, however if you have less than 4 in your party then you won't share your row.  

There is no single rider queue.

This ride does require anyone over the age of 6 to wear a mask.

The ride access pass / disabled queue runs as normal. Once at the lower staircase you are in with the main queue from this point on. 

Unfortunately we did not go on Hex, Oblivion or Enterprise so I am unable to update on these rides.

freestyle machines

Around The Park
There are hand sanitisers everywhere. 

There are keep left / keep right guides for you to follow ensuring you stay on your own side of the path.

Toilets were very clean and every time we went in there was a cleaner in there. If the sinks were in rows of three the middle one was the only one in use. All toilet cubicles were open which wasn't great if you open the door at  the same time as the person next to you. 

The FreeStyle drinks machines were open. I thought they wouldn't be available but it was. There were hand sanitisers close by to clean your hands both before and after.

We had a great few days at Alton Towers although even though we have our passes we still had to pre book our tickets. Pre booking your tickets online before you go guarantees entry and also lets Alton Towers know how many guests to expect. It's £1 per person to book and as we had to do the same for the Legoland Centre too I can see this mounting up over a year if it continues so could make it very costly on top of the annual pass cost. Hopefully they will come up with another solution for annual pass holders or at least reduce the yearly cost.

If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

Have you stayed in a large accommodation venue? Leave us a comment below and let us know about your visit.

Visit our Out and About Section for lots of travel posts

Like us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram


Share This Post With Friends Who May Also Find It Useful. 

Michelle
Read More

Play Session At Legoland Discovery Centre, Manchester

4 August 2020

12 comments
Blackpool Promenade made out of Lego
We have been Merlin pass holders for years now and I actually can’t remember when we didn’t own annual passes. We visit Alton Towers the most throughout the year however as there are more attractions now in the North we can now choose from the Tower, the Sea Life centre and Madame Tussaud’s in Blackpool and the Legoland Discovery Centre and Sea Life Centre in Manchester
We have been to the Legoland Discovery Centre many times in the past. It is in the Trafford Centre which is just outside of Manchester City centre. Last week we visited for the first time since lockdown and if I am honest it was our favourite visit to the centre by far.
Legoland Discovery Centre
The Legoland Discovery Centre is working on two play sessions per day. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. Each session runs for approximately two hours and has to be pre-booked
We arrived 10 minutes before our afternoon session began and there was quite a queue as everyone was getting their tickets checked and also their temperature. Once inside we were given the rules of how the two hours play session work. As you enter the main part of the attraction you are encouraged to go on the ride Kingdom Quest. The ride is closed at approximately 1 hour after the session begins allowing everyone to take a turn on the ride.
Kingdom Quest is a small ride inside the centre. The ride takes you around the kingdom and every now and then stops in front of a large screen where are you then pick up your gun and shoot at the screen to score points and try and save the princess. The duration of the ride is probably less than five minutes long but lots of fun.
Miniland at Legoland Discovery Centre

Legoland Discovery Centre
Next we headed into Miniland which was unusually quiet. Miniland is a smaller version of the Miniland at Legoland Windsor. It is made up of attractions from the North West. The attractions are made out of Lego such as a football stadium, horse racing stand, Blackpool promenade and Alton Towers.
The boys got to play on the football mini game, watch oblivion at Alton Towers and see Blackpool turn from light to darkness.
VR at Legoland Discovery Centre

After a quick toilet break we then decided to pay for the boys to go on the VR attraction. It costs £5 per person unless you are an annual pass holder and it will then cost £2.50 each. The boys seemed to enjoy the VR experience however it was less than two minutes long so at £5 per person it seems quite expensive.
Lego Pick Up at Legoland Discovery Centre

Lego Pick Up at Legoland Discovery Centre

If you have been to Legoland Discovery Centre before you will know that the main area is for Lego building, especially cars. This Area is still available however you are given your own bag of Lego bricks which stay with you throughout the session. So you can still enjoy making and racing cars however as it’s your own bricks there is no cross contamination. Once you finish you hand them back and you receive a pop badge. 
Other attractions available are the Ninjago climbing wall, Merlins Apprentice ride, the 4D cinema and the café.
Lego at Legoland Discovery Centre

Lego at Legoland Discovery Centre

Whilst at the centre it was so easy to enjoy the attractions and building without it being overcrowded which it has been many times in the past. For us it was definitely more enjoyable as we where building. We had our own space, own lego bricks, and the queues for the rides and the Ninjago wall where short. 
The Ninjago soft play and the toddler play area towards the back of the centre are closed for now and also the Forest Pursuit electric car ride.

Towards the end of our session we headed to the café for a quick drink and snack before heading home.
I would definitely recommend heading to the Legoland discovery Centre in Manchester this summer.Two hours was plenty of time to enjoy all the attractions and have a good building session too. Having the space to play and build without lots of kids running round made it more enjoyable. Masks have to  be worn inside the Trafford Centre however once inside the Legoland discovery you can take your mask off should you wish. You have to put the mask back on as you exit through the gift shop at the end of your session. 

Overall, we enjoyed this more than any time we have been before. The social distancing requirements have made the attraction a more relaxing environment for all. 

If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

Have you visited? Leave us a comment below and let us know about your visit.

Visit our Out and About Section for lots of travel posts

Like us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram


Share This Post With Friends Who May Also Find It Useful. 

Michelle
Read More

A Different Kind Of Day Out | Living Arrows 26/52

29 June 2020

7 comments
boy sitting on a wall at Alton Towers

Last week we decided to visit Alton Towers Gardens for the day. We absolutely love Alton Towers and have been Merlin Pass Holders for as long as I can remember. Telling the boys that we were going to Alton Towers even though the rides were closed was a tough challenge. They both looked at us like we were crazy anti prompted lots of  sighs of 'what's the point?' but they came along anyway and I know they both had a lovely day.

Alton is about a 90 mins drive from home but the roads were quiet and the drive was actually really nice. It is a drive we have done hundreds of times over the years but it seemed more enjoyable than ever.

Little J was actually really excited as we pulled in to the gates asking if he could looked at the rides before we headed in to the gardens.

It was so quiet when we arrived and we were able to park right by the main gate with only ten other cars in the car park.

As soon as we walked down Towers Street little J ran straight for the large area of grass in front of the lake and towers and just kept running. A huge grass space just for him as there was no one else there.

The gardens are beautiful and there was lots of areas to explore, lots of stairs to climb and tunnels to crawl through.

Was it strange going when the rides were closed and there were probably less than 100 people in the entire park? Yes, but it was actually really enjoyable and we saw a side to Alton Towers that we have never seen before despite going 5-6 times per year.

It was our longest day out since lockdown and we did lots of walking so we were exhausted when we got home but it was definitely worth it.

Michelle

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth

Living Arrows
Read More

Visiting Alton Towers Gardens

23 June 2020

15 comments
Alton towers

Alton Towers holds very special memories for us. As individuals John, Big J and I have all been separately with friends. As a couple John and I have visited for over 20 years now and John proposed to me during the fireworks. We got Merlin Passes when big J was young and every year we would visit the fireworks and start a Christmas tradition of visiting Santa at his Sleepover at the Alton Towers Hotel. When little J was born we continued with our Merlin Passes and he has now turned out to be the biggest thrill seeker of us all, loving rollercoasters. We visit the Alton Towers Resort at least 6 times a year so not being able to visit this year has been hard. When Alton Towers announced they were going to open the gardens I was eager to visit however I wasn't sure whether it would feel weird especially for the boys not being able to go on the rides. We decided to go anyway for a day out and we all really enjoyed it.

Alton Towers Gardens

Obviously when you think of Alton Towers you think of a theme park but the gardens are actually quite a big part of the resort. I think we have maybe walked through them less than a handful of times and that was to get from one ride to another if the sky ride was closed, we have never stopped to actually appreciate how beautiful they are.

Here are a few tips and hints to make the most out of your day.

Alton Towers Gardens

1. The gardens are open daily from 10-4pm and as the theme park is closed the gardens cost £12 per person or £1 if you are a pass holder. You have to book online and they will not accept walk ups.

2. Upon arrival by car you head towards the coach parking / disabled parking area. Someone will be there to show you where to park. When we got there, there where only about 20 cars.

3. Heading towards the main entrance you will see a pop up tent. Here they will take your temperature and check your bag. All staff had masks on.

4. If you are familiar with Alton Towers then the toilets to the right of the entrance are open as are the ones in Mutiny Bay.

The Smiler at Alton towers

Social Distance Queues at Alton Towers

Spinball Whizzer At Alton towers

5. Once inside you can choose to head straight to the gardens via the 3 entrances or you can head up towards X Sector and the Towers for a stroll. It was so quiet but it was actually lovely to walk around taking nice photographs of the boys next to their favourite rides, Spinball Whizzer and Smiler.

Walking alongside the Towers

6. You cannot go inside the Towers at this time but you can walk along the front.

7. Once inside the gardens you can choose from 3 routes. There is a map available to download online which will show you a suggested route, an alternative route and an accessible route.

walking along a path

Alton Towers Gardens

8. Some of the pathways are uneven and some paths have steep steps to get up and down so always check your map for an alternative way if these paths and steps are unsuitable for you.

Stonehenge at Alton Towers

9. There are 13 points of interest in the gardens including Conservatories, fountains, a swiss cottage and even Stonehenge.

10. You are more than welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy in the gardens and their are plenty of bins around to dispose your litter.

11. There is a snack shop open just by Mutiny Bay selling hot and cold drinks, ice creams and snacks.

12. In the Mutiny Bay Courtyard there are approx 12-15 picnic benches under cover which is a nice place to enjoy a snack if it is too hot or raining. Just watch out for the hungry birds and ducks!

13. Enjoy

Boy sitting in Alton Towers



If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

Leave us a comment below and let us know about your visit 

Visit our Walks In The North West post for more walk ideas

Like us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram


Share This Post With Friends Who May Also Find It Useful. 

We are actually really happy we went. It was lovely exploring the grounds and not rushing from one place to another. 

Michelle
Read More

The World Of David Walliams at Alton Towers

12 February 2020

12 comments
Gangsta Granny The Ride Image
It's no secret that we are huge fans of Alton Towers and having a Merlin Pass means we usually visit at least 6 times each year. When we visited at Halloween last year we saw teaser posters for the new area of the park 'The World Of David Walliams'. The books are not stories we are familiar with however we have just watched Gangsta Granny and now little J cannot wait to visit again in Spring. 

The World of David Walliams which is set to be unveiled sometime in Spring will also see a new attraction, Gangsta Granny The Ride.  The new ground-breaking family attraction that brings to life David Walliams’ most popular children’s novel Gangsta Granny.

If you are unfamiliar with the book, Gangsta Granny tells the story of Ben who discovers that his Granny is secretly an international jewel thief. The thrilling new 4D ride experience will see guests join the main characters as they attempt the greatest heist in the history of the world, to steal the Crown Jewels.
Gangsta Granny The Ride Image
Guests will board a Royal Carriage, and set off on a Crown Jewels tour only to be caught up in Ben and Granny’s audacious adventure. The ride will whizz, twist and spin passengers 360° through a series of scenes where they will see, feel, hear and even smell an electrifying and unique re-telling of the Gangsta Granny story. Using state-of-the-art special effects, 3D projection-mapping and animation inspired by the artwork of Tony Ross, guests will descend with Ben and Granny into the sewers, be chased through the streets of London and even come face to face with the Queen, but will the madcap scheme succeed?

As well as the ride a whole area of the theme park will be transformed, inspired by ‘The World of David Walliams’. The themed area will also feature a host of other rides and attractions where guests can

Pick up a crazy bargain in Raj’s Shop
Race on a regal thoroughbred on the Royal Carousel
Giggle with delight on Raj’s Bouncy Bottom Burp
Encounter other surprises and twists along the way

The fun doesn't stop at the theme park, fans of David’s books can also enjoy the ultimate sleepover with an overnight stay in one of four Gangsta Granny themed bedrooms in the Alton Towers Hotel.

At this moment there is no official opening date for The World of David Walliams it is just 'opening in Spring' but as soon as I know I will update.

Will you be visiting Alton Towers this Spring?

If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

Have you visited? Leave us a comment below and let us know about your visit.

Visit our Out and About Section for lots of travel posts

Like us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram


Share This Post With Friends Who May Also Find It Useful. 

Michelle
Read More

Travel | Five Reasons To Stay At The Alton Towers Resort

18 September 2019

18 comments
Cbeebies Hotel, Alton Towers
A trip to Alton Towers can be so much fun for all the family but it can also be very exhausting. Even though we don’t don’t live to far away we usually make the most of our visit by booking a night stay at the Resort. Staying the night has lots of benefits but here are our top five reasons why we think you should stay at The Alton Towers Resort.
Read More