Alton Towers

Alton Towers
Alton Towers Resort
Alton Towers resort and Theme Park logo
Location Alton, Staffordshire, England
Coordinates 52°59′26″N 1°53′33″W / 52.99056°N 1.8925°W / 52.99056; -1.8925Coordinates: 52°59′26″N 1°53′33″W / 52.99056°N 1.8925°W / 52.99056; -1.8925
Owner Nick Leslau/Prestbury Holdings, leased to Merlin Entertainments
General Manager Ian Crabbe
Opened 1860
(4 April 1980 as Theme Park)
Operating season March - November
Area 800 acres (3.2 km2)
Rides 33 total
  • 8 roller coasters
  • 5 water rides
Slogan "Where The Magic Never Ends!"
"Escape to Alton Towers Resort"
"No Where Else Like it on Earth"

Alton Towers is a theme park and resort located in Staffordshire, England. It attracts around 2.7 million visitors per year making it the most visited theme park in the United Kingdom. Alton Towers is also the 9th most visited theme park in Europe.[1] It is based north of the village of Alton in Staffordshire (approximately 16 miles (26 km) east of Stoke-on-Trent), in the grounds of Alton Towers, a semi-ruined gothic revival country house. The estate was a former seat of the Earls of Shrewsbury.

The current Resort includes the Theme Park, Alton Towers Hotel, Splash Landings Hotel, Waterpark, Spa, Extraordinary Golf and Conference Centre , it is the flagship attraction of Merlin Entertainments in the United Kingdom. Major attractions at Alton Towers include, Nemesis, Oblivion, Air, Rita, and Th13teen. The park's promotional music is In the Hall of the Mountain King by Edvard Grieg.



Early history

An iron age fort was built on Bunbury Hill (c.1st-century BC) which is now occupied by the Alton Towers estate. In about 700 AD, the Saxon king Ceolred of Mercia built a fortress on the hill. But King Ine of Wessex besieged the site in 716 AD. The ensuing battle, which ended in stalemate, caused such a loss of life the place was called Slain Hollow (which later became the estate's oriental water garden).[2]

In the 11th century, the site was refortified when a castle was built soon after the Norman Conquest. By the 12th century, the estate had been given to knight Bertram de Verdun, as a reward for his work in the Crusades. In 1318, the estate passed by marriage to Thomas de Furnival when he married Joan de Verdun. Furnival later died crusading in the Holy Land in 1348. In 1406 Sir John Talbot acquired the estate when he married Maud, the eldest daughter of Thomas de Furnivall, 3rd Baron Furnivall. Talbot became the second created Earl of Shrewsbury in 1442 after the title was forfeited by the third earl of the first creation in 1102. The Norman castle was destroyed during the English Civil War.

In the 17th century the former castle was redeveloped as a hunting lodge known as Alveton Lodge (or Alverton), which is the ancient name for Alton. The three-storey structure reused one of the castle's former towers which remains part of the present-day building. The lodge was split into two properties, one of which was rented by a tenant. The other half was used by the Talbots as a summer residence, their main residence being at Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire.

Stately home and gardens

Alton Towers c.1840

In 1811, Charles Talbot, the 15th Earl of Shrewsbury, began redeveloping the hunting lodge into a Gothic-style stately home. Over the next ten years, architects such as Thomas Allason, William Hollins and Thomas Hopper oversaw renovating the building. Work included the addition of a drawing room, dining room, chapel, library, long gallery, banqueting hall, conservatory and entrance hall. As a result the building was doubled in size. It also included the laying of the foundations for the Flag Tower. The house was renamed Alton Abbey, despite having no particular religious connection.

In 1814 Charles and his wife moved to Alton permanently. Work then began turning the farmland around house into one of the largest formal gardens in Britain. Several gardens were planted, including a Dutch garden and a rock garden. More than 13,000 trees were also planted in the landscaped parkland. The gardens in the valley leading down to the River Churnet hosted a variety of features. These included a Pagoda fountain which was fed by water from a spring at Ramshorn that passed through various lakes and pools, cast iron Garden Conservatories designed by Robert Abrahams, a "Swiss Cottage" that hosted a Welsh harpist and a copy of Lysicrates' Choragic Monument from Athens.

After the 15th Earl of Shrewsbury died in 1827, he was succeeded by his nephew John Talbot who completed the gardens and house started by his uncle. In 1831, the Talbot's principal residence in Heythrop burned down. The 16th earl then came to live at Alton permanently bringing everything that could be saved from Heythrop. Noted architect Augustus Pugin designed a new entrance hall, banqueting hall and various other rooms, extending the house further. The property was renamed Alton Towers. From 1839, the grounds were opened to the public at various times of the year.

In 1852, following the death of the 16th Earl, Alton Towers was briefly inherited by his cousin, Bertram. But when he died four years later at the young age of 24, all work on the house ceased (no further alterations would again be made to the property). As there was no direct heir to the estate, Bertram left the earldom and Alton Towers to a younger son of the Duke of Norfolk. But this was contested by Henry Chetwynd-Talbot from Ingestre Hall, a distant cousin of the late earl, who filed a legal writ to determine lawful ownership of Alton Towers. As the contents of the house were not contested, everything within the house was auctioned off in a 29-day sale of 4000 lots.[3]

In 1858, Henry Chetwynd-Talbot became the 18th Earl of Shrewsbury, two years later he acquired the Alton Towers estate. In celebration, the earl held a procession through Staffordshire on 13 April 1860. Beginning in Uttoxeter, it stretched over a mile with up to 40,000 people in the grounds of Alton Towers at the end. The 18th Earl continued to open the grounds to the public at certain times of the year to help raise money to refurbish parts of the house.

During the 1890s, the 20th earl, Charles Talbot started the tradition of summer fetes at Alton. As well as the Gardens, people were attracted with fireworks displays, balloon festivals, clowns, and exhibitions of instruments of torture. In 1896, the earl and countess separated. The earl went to live at Ingestre, where he founded the Talbot Car Company in the 20th century, and the countess stayed at Alton. However due to the marital situation, the house began to decay and the grounds became neglected because the earl did not pay much for their up keep. In November 1918, the Earl decided due his absence to sell off the majority of the estate by auction. The countess continued to live on the estate for another two years after the earl died in 1921.

Public ownership

In 1924 the remaining part of the estate and house was sold to a group of local businessmen, who formed Alton Towers Limited. Although the contents of the house were sold off, the grounds were restored and remained open to the public. Parts of the house were converted into cafés and toilets for public use.

During World War II Alton Towers was requisitioned by the War Office as an officer training unit. The gardens remained closed to the public until 1951. It is a common misconception that military occupation of the towers caused a lot of damage to the building. However this is not case as much of the building was already boarded up and unused. It is now commonly understood that the decay was caused in the inter-war period by the Bagshaw family - the majority shareholders - who sold the wood and plaster fixtures from the house's interiors as well as the lead roofing allowing water to rot the remaining fixtures.

During the 1960s and 1970's the grounds were reopened as a visitor attraction. There was a boating lake, chairlift and a small fair behind the ruins of the main house. Concrete floors were installed in Alton Towers house so that it could be opened to the public. The building was listed as Grade II.

After millionaire-property developer John Broome married the daughter of majority shareholder Denis Bagshaw in 1973, he bought out the controlling stake in Alton Towers. Over the next few years he laid the foundation for the modern theme park by installing various permanent rides and developing areas of the grounds in progressive stages.

Alton Towers began its evolution into a major theme park in 1980 with the installation of The Corkscrew rollercoaster, Pirate Ship and the Alpine Bob sled ride. A year later the Log Flume opened and in 1984 the park's second roller-coaster, The Black Hole, arrived. Throughout the next decade, more attractions, areas and rides were added to Alton Towers. Some of the work was undertaken by award-winning British ride designer, John Wardley.

In 1990, the park was purchased by The Tussauds Group from John Broome. Fifteen years later Alton Towers was acquired by the investment group Dubai International Capital (DIC) when it purchased Tussauds for £800million in 2005.[4] The Tussauds Group was bought by Merlin Entertainments in March 2007 for over £1billion from DIC, placing Alton Towers under their control.[5] In July 2007, the resort and park was sold to Nick Leslau and his investment firm Prestbury who now lease the park back to Merlin Entertainments to operate on a 35-year lease.[6]

The park's maximum daily capacity is set at 28,000 guests.[7][8][9] In 2010, the park attracted 2.7 million visitors over the season.

Theme park

Entrance monorail

The Von Roll monorail transports visitors from the further away car parks to the main entrance and ticket booths. The monorail system was acquired from Expo 86 which was held in Vancouver, British Columbia. It was installed in 1987, a year after Towers Street, and was opened by Star Trek actor William Shatner.

In 2008, Sarner, a UK based theme park design company, was commissioned to revamp the nine monorail trains. This included exterior decoration and new bench seating. Each train has a personalised soundtrack to fit with its own theme, such as 'pirates'.[10]

The monorail moves visitors from the Alton Towers Hotel, Splash Landings Hotel, Cariba Creek Waterpark and Extraordinary Golf to the Alton Towers Theme Park .


The Skyride is a cable car system which visitors can use to travel between Towers Street, Forbidden Valley, and Cloud Cuckoo Land.

The Skyride has operated since 1987 and replaced an earlier chairlift, which had opened in 1963. At the end of 2008 season the original Skyride gondolas were replaced with smaller and more colourful gondolas.

The Skyride attraction has suffered from two accidental fires in recent years. The central station in Forbidden Valley was burned on the evening of 28 October 2007, due to a faulty halogen lamp. The incident caused a power cut, which led to some guests being stranded on the park's monorail. Luckily, this incident was reported quickly by a Towers employee as to not cause as much massive damage, and the park says that the damage caused to the station was mainly cosmetic. The Skyride re-opened on 19 April 2008 after major work had been carried out on the station's roof. At approximately 22:30 on 21 July 2009, another fire broke out in the Cloud Cuckoo Land station causing extensive damage. It remained closed for the rest of the 2009 season and a new replacement station building opened in 2010.

The park is split into many themed areas, which are located in a horseshoe shape around The Towers ruins and 19th century gardens. Guests have the option of using the Skyride to navigate around the park; there are stations in proximity to Towers Street, Forbidden Valley, Dark Forest and Cloud Cuckoo Land.

Towers Street

Opened in 1986, Towers Street is the first area that visitors to the park encounter. Themed loosely as a town street, it leads to views of the gardens and the Towers across the lake in the distance. Along the pathway are the park's famous jumping frog fountains and a lawn where seasonal events usually take place. The street contains several shops, including the Towers Trading Co., which sells official park merchandise. The first Skyride station is located nearby. A ticket shop called Resort Box Office is based in a building at the end of Towers Street and sells products such as Fastrack, Annual Passes and Hotel Breaks. Also located in Towers Street is Corner Coffee, Towers Family Restaurant and Guest Services.


  • Skyride (opened 1987; refurbished 2009)
  • Monorail (opened 1987; refurbished 2008)

Food, drink and shops:

  • Coca Cola Refill Station
  • Corner Coffee
  • The Towers Hot Dogs
  • The Towers Family Restaurant
  • Towers Trading
  • Resort Box Office

Mutiny Bay

Mutiny Bay Battle Galleons

Mutiny Bay is a pirate-themed land, which re-themed Merrie England in 2008, is aimed primarily at families. Attractions in Mutiny Bay include: Battle Galleons, a large interactive "Splash Battle" water ride where guests sit in pirate boats that travel through a water channel, while soaking other riders with water cannons; and a rocking boat ride, Heave Ho. The teacups ride was re-themed to become Marauders Mayhem, where rotating gunbarrels replaced the tea cups. The area also has a Burger King take-away and live entertainment. Since the opening of the area, many live actors roam around the area dressed as pirates.

In 2009, a new Sea Life Centre, Sharkbait Reef, opened in the location previously home to the 3-D Cinema. This includes designated "touch pools" where guests can interact with various underwater species and a 10-metre ocean tunnel. The attraction is one of the most heavily themed Sea Life centres to open worldwide. In April 2010, a live webcam was installed to allow internet users to watch one of the tanks, which can be accessed via the official website.


  • Battle Galleons (opened 2008, replaces the Splash Karts)
  • Heave Ho (opened 2008)
  • Marauder's Mayhem (opened 2008, rethemed Teacups ride)
  • Sharkbait Reef by SEA LIFE (opened 2009, replaces 3D Cinema, closed since 2004)

Live Shows and Entertainment:

  • The Pirates of Mutiny Bay: Quest for the Golden Parrot - Live Show (Opened 2011)
  • Shark Tooth Jack's Pirate Training Camp (Opened 2011)
  • Pirate Walkabout Characters
  • Meet and Greets with Fin the Shark (Since 2010)

Food, drink and shops:

  • Pirate's Galley - Burger King
  • Courtyard Tavern and BBQ
  • Eastern Express
  • Mexican Cantina
  • Mutiny Bay Donuts
  • Mutiny Bay Hot Dogs
  • Mutiny Bay Shoppe
  • Pirates Pasty Co.
  • Ben & Jerry's

Katanga Canyon

Themed as an African village; created in 1992 and incorporated existing rapids ride. Rides include the Runaway Mine Train a wild speeding mine train rollercoaster and the Congo River Rapids. Both are well-established rides in the park whose ride tracks share a tunnel. The area has a new 'Explorer's' restaurant for 2009, with a shared indoor seating area (£8.25 per head for all you can eat buffet). There is a shop located at the exits of the two rides called Katanga Cargo, hosting "ancient" tribal themed merchandise. Slightly outside the area (but still part of Katanga Canyon) is the popular 'Flume' ride, a log flume with boats themed as bath tubs and many ducks quacking around the station area. The Flume opened in 2004 after being re-themed from a traditional log flume ride. The ride was sponsored by imperial toiletries until 2011. The ride has two other attractions at the park based on it, the Master Blaster water slide and the Imperial Room at the hotel. Attractions:

Food, drink and shops:

  • Katanga Kabin
  • Explorers Pizza-Pasta Buffet Restaurant (Replaced KFC/Pizza Hut in 2009)
  • The Katanga Cargo Company

Gloomy Wood

The Gloomy Wood is a small, haunted house themed area containing the ride Duel: The Haunted House Strikes Back!. The ride was originally a spooky non-interactive ride named The Haunted House, but was upgraded in 2003 with laser-based plastic guns to shoot LED lights scattered around the rooms and monsters to deactivate some scares, with each player's score displayed on a digital display in the ride car to encourage competitive play. In 2007, an outdoor walk-through was added, named "Haunted Hollow". The pathway follows part of the route formerly used by the old scenic railway, linking from Mutiny Bay to Gloomy Wood. Haunted Hollow includes various tombstones, statues and other features, some of which interact with guests using sound effects.[11]


Food, drink and shops:

  • Gloomy Wood Kiosk
  • Waffles and Ices
  • Spooks 'R' Us

Forbidden Valley

Themed around a frightening post-apocalyptic landscape, with large rocks and rusty pieces of metal and machinery scattering the area and also waterfalls coloured red to look like blood. One of the major rides is Nemesis, an inverted roller coaster, based around the fictional tale of a giant ancient malevolent alien creature. Nemesis is consistently regarded as one of the greatest designed rollercoasters in the world in major, global rollercoaster polls. Also in the area, and continuing the apocalytic theme, are the Ripsaw and The Blade thrill rides. Ripsaw is a Huss Top Spin ride which opened in 1997 themed around a piece of shrapnel thrown from the alien creature's pit, while The Blade is an older Huss Pirate Boat themed around a pendulum blade. At the end of the valley is an "oasis", with calmer colours and plants, where the spectacular ride Air, the world's first B&M flying coaster, can be found. A Skyride station also services this area of the park.



  • Air (opened 2002, originally sponsored by Cadbury's Heroes)
  • The Blade (opened 1980; relocated 1997 from Fantasy World before retheme to X-Sector)
  • Nemesis, What Lies Beneath (opening March 2012)
  • Nemesis (opened 1994)
  • Ripsaw (opened 1997)
  • Skyride (opened 1987; damaged by fire 2007; refurbished 2009; damaged by fire 21 July 2009; Rebuilt for the 2010 season.)
  • The Edge: Video Arcade

Food, drink and shops:

  • Forbidden Treats
  • Fresh Fish and Chips (Take-Away)
  • The Generator - Burger King
  • Nemices Donuts
  • Refresh@Ripsaw
  • Air Shop

Dark Forest

Dark Forest opened on 20 March 2010, replacing Ug Land which opened in 1999 which itself replaced Festival Park. The park's first major rollercoaster, Corkscrew, which inhabited Festival Park/Ug Land for almost thirty years, was replaced by Thirteen, a multi-million pound project involving the world's first horizontal freefall rollercoaster and dubbed as the first ever psychocoaster.

The new ride for 2010 was unveiled as 'Thirteen' (often stylised as 'TH13TEEN') in late 2009, after much marketing hype over the development in that area. During construction, the rollercoaster was referred to as 'Secret Weapon 6' or SW6, following the tradition of the park's other main thrill coasters. Along with Thirteen's opening, the surrounding land was rethemed into a haunted crypt in a Dark Forest with refurbished outlets and game stalls. Rita was also altered, with new station and train designs to look 'engulfed' by the supernatural forest.[12]


  • Th13teen (Opened March 2010, Replaced Corkscrew)
  • Rita (Opened 2005, re-themed 2010)

Live Shows and Entertainment:

  • Wraiths of the Dark Forest - at select times of the year (Since 2010)

Food, drink and shops:

  • Forest Feast
  • Tormented Treats
  • Rita Shop
  • Thirteen Shop
  • Woodcutter's Bar & Grill

Cloud Cuckoo Land

Cloud Cuckoo Land is aimed at the younger audience of Alton Towers, and is themed with bright colours incorporating oversized flowers and toadstools, as if in a fantasy garden. Among the attractions are a bouncy castle play area called Wobble World, regular shows in the Theatre, and a Wave Swinger ride called the Twirling Toadstools. There are several other rides in the area especially suitable for younger children: Frog Hopper, Galloper's Carousel and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory : The Ride, based on the Roald Dahl novel. The Peugeot Driving School gives children the opportunity to ride their own miniature car around a British style road network.[13]

After a fire which destroyed the previous Skyride station in this area took place last year, the Skyride was made nonoperational for the rest of 2009. A new building was built with a brighter appearance. The ride reopened at the start of 2010.


  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The Ride (opened 2006, replaced Toyland Tours which in turn replaced the original boat ride Around the World in eighty days)
  • Frog Hopper (opened 1999)
  • Galloper's Carousel (opened 1991; refurbished 2009)
  • Peugeot 207 Driving School (opened 2006)
  • Wobble World indoor-play area (opened 2009)
  • Twirling Toadstool (opened 2009-originally located in Ug Land)

Live Shows and Entertainment:

Food, drink and shops:

  • Cuckoo Diner - Burger King
  • Caffe Express
  • Wobble World Cafe
  • Cuckoo Toys


  • Skyride (Opened 1988, refurbished 2009. The new station was opened in 2010.)


Oblivion in X-Sector

X-Sector is themed as if it were a sinister futuristic government facility. The area contains the innovative Oblivion ride, the world's first roller coaster with a vertical (88.8°) drop but vertical is 90°. The extra-wide roller coaster cars are held suspended over the edge for a maximum of three seconds before dropping downwards into a large hole amid mist and sirens thrown a pitch-black tunnel, and then re-emerging into a heavily banked turn leading back into the station. From the start of the 2011 season, it is sponsored by Fanta

Two thrill rides are located in the X Sector: Submission, which opened in 2001 and is a double swing inverter; Enterprise which has been at the park since 1984, originally located where the Dark Forest is today, and is a HUSS enterprise. A giant blue building, which once held the Black Hole roller coaster, lies disused to one side of the area. A game arcade next to Oblivion's gift shop and the 'Meltdown' restaurant, selling KFC fast food, can also be found here.


Food, drink and shops:

  • Meltdown - (KFC until 2011 and Pizza Hut until 2009)
  • Rehydrator
  • X-Sell

Adventure Land

Adventure Land is aimed at visitors between the ages of 5 and 11, and consists mainly of climbing frames, slides, swings and similar equipment. The main ride is the Sonic Spinball, based on the hit SEGA video game franchise Sonic the Hedgehog. It's a Maure Sohne spinning roller coaster, in which riders sit in seats that can spin on its base whilst travelling fast around the twisted track. There is one other attraction, 'Space Adventures' playground. The area also contains a food outlet. Beastie, a small kiddie roller coaster is standing but not operating (SBNO) in the area.


  • The Beastie SBNO (opened 1983, Closed late 2010)
  • Sonic Spinball (opened 2004, rethemed 2010)

Food and drink:

  • Refresh @ Spinball

Storybook Land

Storybook Land is the park's smallest area and only contains one attraction: the 'Squirrel Nutty Ride' where riders travel around the area in acorn-shaped, powered cars that go around most of the way around the area. Storybook Land was created in 1996 when Kiddies Kingdom was split into this area and Adventure Land. The area contains no food outlets.


  • Squirrel Nutty Ride (opened 1996)

Live Shows and Entertainment:

  • Meet and Greets with Squirrel Nutty (Since 2010)
  • Farm Animal Talks

Old MacDonald's Farmyard

Themed around a traditional farm, this area contains a small petting zoo as well as a few rides for younger visitors, which include Doodle Doo Derby, a farm-themed carousel, and Riverbank Eye Spy, a recently re-themed boat ride. In 2003, the old barn that used to hold the farm animals before the Foot and Mouth crisis of 2001, was converted to a play barn called Ribena Berry Bish Bash, that contains thousands of small foam balls that are propelled, raised, thrown, dropped and shot from air cannons, now called Berry Bish Bash. In 2007, a new themed playarea opened called There's Something in the Dungheap, especially for youngsters, with a maze, a playground and a picnic area. The main feature is a large pile of dung in which visitors can enter to find interactive insects crawling the floor, made possible by a projector and sensor.


  • Berry Bish Bash (opened 2003, originally sponsored by Ribena)
  • Doodle Doo Derby (opened 1995)
  • There's Something in the Dung Heap (opened 2007)
  • Old MacDonald's Singing Barn (opened 1995)
  • Old MacDonald's Tractor Ride (opened 1995)
  • Riverbank Eye-Spy (opened 1999)

Historic areas

The Gardens

Alton Towers in 1880

As an example of the mixed style of Humphry Repton's gardens, Alton Towers' garden was begun, circa 1814 by the eccentric 15th Earl of Shrewsbury, of whom J. C. Loudon (who was consulted on design features of which there were many) relates that he consulted every artist, only to avoid 'whatever an artist might recommend'.[citation needed]

Alton Towers grew into a collection of gardens: a Swiss Cottage, a Stonehenge, a Dutch garden, a Pagoda Fountain, said to be based on the To Ho pagoda in Canton, Lysicrates' Choragic Monument from Athens (a feature in English gardens since the 1760s), domed glasshouses (originally gilded), even a fairly large Matterhorn as a backing to one of England's earliest Alpine gardens.[citation needed] Near the garden entrance is a cenotaph of the 15th earl, a marble bust with an inscription reading "He made the desert smile".

Landmarks include:

  • Chinese Pagoda Fountain
  • The Swiss Cottage
  • Miniature 'Stonehenge'
  • A Greek Choragic Monument
  • Orangeries

The gardens are currently ran down and left to fall back into history. Little work has been done to the gardens as most is focussed on the rides and, of course, higher profit margins by the owner of the theme park- the Merlin company. One of the landmarks (shown above) is in a deteriorating state currently- the Chinese Pagoda Fountain. The vivid green and red paint is unfortunately vanishing and the ponds around it are extremely poor. More towards the top end of the gardens, towards the Towers themselves, the Conservatories are also, unfortunately, in a poor state- completely empty, fountains turned off with many broken glass panels. People can only hope profits are turned more towards the reconstruction of the gardens as well as more of an influence on the deteriorating towers in the future. From images back in the 1980's, with the angle more towards the roller coasters than the gardens, there is a definite decline in funding for these over 150 years old gardens.

The Towers

The Towers ruins are the source of the park's name. They belonged to the Talbot family as a stately home. The ruins are open to the public during most of the open season. However, some areas are closed off as part of a £1.1 million project in place to restore the oldest parts of the Towers.

Hex - the Legend of the Towers, a walk-through dark ride based within the ruins themselves, opened in 2000. The finale to the ride is a Vekoma Madhouse located away from the real Towers but themed as a secret vault. The storyline is based on Staffordshire's true legend about the chained oak tree, located in a nearby forest, and makes use of the history of the Towers.

In addition, a temporary scare maze, Terror of the Towers, operates during the park's Halloween 'Scarefest' event and has done yearly since 2002. It takes guests through a tour of the ruins and uses live actors, lighting, mist and sound effects to add atmosphere. The attraction won the 2009 London Screamie Awards for 'Best Seasonal Attraction/Maze'.[14]

Key areas:

  • Hex - The Legend of the Towers (dark ride) (opened 2000)
  • Terror of the Towers: What Lies Within (seasonal attraction)
  • The Banqueting Hall
  • The Chapel
  • Conservatories
  • Her Ladyship's Gardens

Timeline of Theme park areas

Areas in 1980 Areas in 1984 Areas in 1986 Areas in 1992 Areas in 1994 Areas in 1995 Areas in 1997 Areas in 1998 Areas in 1999 Areas in 2008 Areas in 2009 Current Areas
Kiddies Kingdom Adventure Land
Talbot Street Land of Make Believe Cred Street Cloud Cuckoo Land
Talbot Centre Festival Park UG Land Dark Forest
Ingestre Centre Aqualand Katanga Canyon
Merrie England Mutiny Bay
Thunder Valley Forbidden Valley
Gloomy Wood
The Gardens
Britannia Farm Safeway Farm Old MacDonalds Farmyard
Storybook Land
Towers Complex
Towers Street
Springfield Centre Fantasy World X Sector

Resort facilities


The resort features two hotels, The Splash Landings Hotel and The Alton Towers Hotel. The Splash Landings Hotel is a combination hotel and waterpark.

Alton Towers Hotel logo (2008 onwards)

Alton Towers Hotel

The Alton Towers Hotel opened in 1996 and is themed to the eccentric fictional character Sir Algernon Alton. The rooms are decorated in a classically English style with pictures of Sir Algernon's inventions including the coasting roller adorning the walls.

The hotel features the Secret Garden restaurant serving a buffet breakfast and à la carte dinner, there is also the Captain and Dragon bars, the latter having a Chinese theme along with the small event/conference rooms in the hotel. The bars and restaurant surround the "ship" centrepiece of the hotel featuring a hot air balloon shape and rotating propellers.

The ship is also used as a stage for the evening entertainment including:

  • Pirate Bill's Magic Show
  • Live Bands and Singers
  • Character Photoshoots with Darwin the Dodo and Alton Bear.
Splash Landings Hotel logo (2008 onwards)

Splash Landings Hotel

The Splash Landings Hotel is the newer of the two hotels, opening in 2003, it has a colourful exotic Caribbean theme and the main feature is the Cariba Creek Waterpark. The hotel features Flambo's Exotic Feast, a buffet restaurant with a wide selection of food including roast dinner and a chocolate fountain, also serving a buffet breakfast. Above Flambo's Feast is the Ma Garrita's Bar. Both the bar and restaurant have windows looking out over the indoor waterpark. The hotel rooms are in a wing to the side of the hotel and some rooms have views over the outdoor sections of the waterpark. The hotel also contains two shops, one selling general snacks, sweets and souvenirs and the other offering swimming costumes and other waterpark related sundries. There is also an arcade near Flambo's restaurant. In all the public elevators in the hotel, when they are in motion, the theme tune to Captain Pugwash is played, and stops as soon as the doors start opening. Splash Landings also plays host to "Ringo's Kids Club," new for 2011. Activities include:

  • Ringo's Pirate Workshop
  • Facepainting
  • Ringo's Dance Workshops
  • Pirate Bill's Magic Show
  • Party Time with Ringo!
  • Ringo's Bed Time Story
  • Ringo's Fish Tank Talk
  • Character Photoshoots with Ringo the Lemur and Alton Bear

Conference centre

Between the hotels sits the Alton Towers Conference Centre, Winner of meeting & Incentive Travel Magazine's Best UK Unusual Venue Award 2007.[15] The Conference Centre opened shortly after the Splash Landings Hotel and is linked to both hotels via a walkway running from the side of the Alton Towers Hotel to the Conference Centre and through the Cariba Creek waterpark to the Splash Landings Hotel.

Waterpark (Cariba Creek)

The Alton Towers Waterpark, previously known as Cariba Creek, opened in 2003. It is a large, part indoor and part outdoor waterpark themed as a tropical lagoon. It is located within The Splash Landings Hotel and is available for both guests at the hotel and members of the public. The park features several fast slides, a lazy river, a giant tipping bucket and many other water features. Also located here is Quencher's bar, which was previously themed as a shipwreck until 2007 when it was extended.[16]

Extraordinary Golf

In 2007, Alton Towers opened Extraordinary Golf, 2 nine hole themed crazy golf courses, located near The Splash Landings Hotel. Each of the holes have themes based on attractions within the themepark e.g. Nemesis. As with Cariba Creek, this facility is aimed at the general public as well as park and hotel guests. The standard price is £5 to play one 9 hole course or £6 to play all 18 holes.


The music played at Alton Towers is a combination of commercial tracks, library music and commissioned music. The following composers have had their music played at the park:

  • Graham Smart
  • Ian Habgood
  • David Buckley
  • Crispin Merrell
  • John Sanderson

In the Hall of the Mountain King by Edvard Grieg is the theme park's theme tune used in adverts, and played throughout the park.

List of past rides

  • Adventure Playground 1974-1993
  • Adventure Railway 1982-1992
  • Alpine Bob Sled 1980-1986
  • The Beast 1988-1991
  • Alton Mouse 1988-1991
  • Aquarium 1974-1994
  • Around The World In 80 Days 1981-1993
  • Astroglide 1979-1992
  • Barney's Playground 2000-2002
  • Black Hole 1984-2005
  • The Blue Carousel 1981-1991
  • Boneshaker 1995-2004
  • Bouncing Bugs 1982-2008
  • Cine 360 1981-1987
  • Cine 2000 1980-1992
  • Corkscrew 1980-2008
  • Cred Street Playground 2006-2008
  • Dinosaurs 1980-1983
  • Doll's House 1981-1995
  • Doom & Sons 1981-1991
  • Dynamo 1993-2003
  • Fantastic Fountains 1981-1992
  • Ferris wheel 1985-1986
  • Gravitron 1990-1992
  • Magic Carpet 1984-1985
  • Magic Show 1980-1986
  • Mini Apple Coaster 1982-1997
  • Miniature Golf 1980-1994
  • Mississippi Showboat 1985-1996
  • Model Railway 1957-1992
  • The New Beast 1992-1998
  • Nickelodeon: Outta Control 1997-1998
  • Octopus 1984-1991
  • Park Railway 1953-1996
  • Motor Museum 1987-1992
  • Paddling Pool 1963-1992
  • Planetarium 1972-1987
  • Rowing Boats 1923-1996
  • Sea Lions 1957-1990
  • Space Boat 1983
  • Spider 1986-1991
  • Splash Cats 1966-1996
  • Splash Karts 2004-2007
  • Sun Liner Trains 1984-1986
  • Swan Boats 1987-2003
  • Tea Cup Ride 1986-2007
  • Thunder Looper 1990-1996
  • Thunderbirds 1982-1990
  • Toyland Tours 1994-2005
  • Towers Express 1974-1983
  • Tri-Star 1989-1992
  • Turbo Star 1984-1989
  • Tweenies Playground 2003-2005
  • Vintage Cars 1983-2005
  • 3D Cinema 1981-2004
  • 4 Man Bob Coaster 1985-1991
  • 1001 Nights 1985-1994

New and proposed attractions


  • Thirteen, a £15million rollercoaster opened on 20 March 2010. The ride is built on the site of the removed Corkscrew rollercoaster. The new ride features the world's first vertical freefall drop, and was manufactured by Intamin AG. A new area, the Dark Forest, opened up with Thirteen and has a spooky/gothic theme based in a haunted forest. The nearby Rita coaster was given a retheme to allow continuity with the rest of the area.[17]
  • Alton Towers made a deal with Sega at the end of 2009 to give Spinball Whizzer a sponsorship. The ride was partly rethemed with Sega's famous mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog for February Half Term of the 2010 season. The ride's name was changed to Sonic Spinball, named after the 1993 video game by Sega.
  • The Skyride station in the Cloud Cuckoo Land area of the park was rebuilt and the ride attraction is now operational again. The new building replaced the original 1980s station, which was destroyed by a fire in July 2009.


The main new installation for the 2011 season will be the Go!Go!Go! Show; a pop musical show aimed at children. The show will perform regularly throughout the season in the Cloud Cuckoo Land area of the park.[18]

Originally, it was rumoured, there were plans for a Shrek 4D attraction in the disused ice tent based in Storybook Land; along with a retheme of Storybook Land/Old MacDonalds Farmyard to Far Far Away from the films.[19] However, these plans were scrapped by DreamWorks.[20]


Planning permision has been granted for an indoor ride in Forbidden Valley on the site used for the climbing wall "Lava Lump"; adjacent to Nemesis.[21] People believe that the ride element could be an indoor drop tower, due to there being a 6m area underground. On October 5th Alton Towers released their Scarefest map which included the words "Nemesis - What Lies Beneath Unleashed 2012"; whether this is the official ride name or just a promotional tag line is not yet known. Groundwork construction for the new attraction began in September 2011 and the new attraction is set to open in March 2012. During the Scarefest 2011 event, actors in Bio Hazard outfits were seen outside the area of the ride, moving people away from a science vehicle which has yellow tape around the area and on the vehicle itself. In October planning permission for the new ride was granted by Staffordshire Moorlands Council; giving the go ahead for construction to begin over the closed season. Alton Towers also released a website dedicated to the ride where visitors to the site can acess up-to-date information about the ride's development.

In late 2011, it was announced that a Ice Age 4D attraction would be coming to the park in 2012. The show is to be based around the third Ice Age film, Dawn of the Dinosaurs and will be a unique 4D experience located in the Cloud Cuckoo Land Theatre. [22]

2013 onwards

It was mentioned at the one-off TH13TEEN Event on 19 June 2010 that the Black Hole tent, unused since the former ride's closure in 2005, could be the site of a new development for the 2012 season. Morwenna Angove, former Head of Marketing at the Resort, stated that work on 'SW7' (see below) may postpone the project, in which case it is likely to take place after 2014 instead.

The next major rollercoaster at the park was also announced at the TH13TEEN Event in June. It was described by Mowenna Angove, as the next "white-knuckle thrill ride". John Wardley, Ride Consultant for Merlin Entertainments, stated that the ride will also include a world's first feature. It will be codenamed "Secret Weapon 7" or "SW7" for short. SW7 will be the next attraction in the 'Secret Weapon' line-up. The ride has been announced for a 2013 opening. There is speculation that it will be a wooden rollercoaster but that is unlikely because of noise and height restriction on the park as well as the safety of wooden rollercoasters. John Wardley, the rollercoaster designer for the park, has been spotted surveying around 'The Flume' area and the X-Sector area with height balloons which see if rollercoasters go above tree height. Teaser posters have gone up around the Mutiny Bay toll booths. The poster suggests the Flume might be replaced with a "secret weapon" from Switzerland, although seems to be sketchy about the time frame of its arrival or if this will result in the Flume's removal. Also notable is the description of "awesome might", which seems reflective of a comment Merlin Entertainments CEO Nick Varney made.[23]

Development plan

In July 2009, the park outlined a 10-year development plan for the park (2010–19), the aim being to increase visitor numbers, in particular multi-day guests. The plan showed an option for a third hotel or new accommodation of some sort over the coming years.[citation needed] The plan also highlighted areas for development, as well as suggesting the possibility of a new park entrance nearer to the hotels, which could act as a second entrance or replacement to the existing one in Towers Street.


Live concerts

The theme park and backlot car park areas host occasional concerts during the year, these have included Tina Turner, James & Chris de Burgh, among others. Alton Towers celebrated their 30th birthday with an 80's concert held on 23 May 2010. On 27 June 2010, the park played host to its first full live date within the theme park itself, when P!nk performed during her Funhouse Summer Carnival Tour.

Alton Towers Live was a past event, which was hosted on 19 June 2011 and saw pop artists such as ; JLS, McFly, The Saturdays and Eliza Doolittle perform at the theme park.

Another concert was held at Alton Towers on 6th July 2011 which featured The Black Eyed Peas as the main act and had supported acts such as LMFAO, Labrinth and Parade. The Black Eyed Peas announced that this would be their last U.K performance as they would be taking an indefinite break.[24]

February Half Term

The theme park traditionally opens selected attractions during February half-term in the closed season, prior to the main opening in March. The 2011 ran from 19–27 February 2011 and included a selection of thrill and family rides, it is currently expected to return in 2012.


The park's major annual event is 'Scarefest' which celebrates Halloween with a number of temporary scare maze attractions, costumed characters and extended opening hours to 9:00PM. Many rides and areas are lit with coloured lighting at night, with rides operating in the darkness after dusk. The Scarefest event has been running since 2007, although the park started celebrating Halloween with decoration several years before. This year's Scarefest will run from 15–31 October 2011 and feature a new Zombie themed Scare Zone and the move of Carnival of Screams and The Boiler House to the main theme park.

Current seasonal attractions

  • Terror of the Towers - What Lies Within, a long scare maze situated inside the Towers themselves, first introduced in 2002. This attraction has seen several different incarnations since its debut. A new format was introduced in the 2009 Scarefest event, along with the new tagline "What Lies Within" replacing "Bloodfest Banquet". Visitors queue outside in Her Ladyship's Gardens, and the attraction itself starts in the derelict Conservatories. Batches of guests watch a short pre show video showing two men exploring inside the Towers in search of ghosts. The video then unexpectedly cuts short, and guests enter the Towers in order to find them. At certain points in the maze, the bodies of the two men are each seen hanging from a noose. Visitors become lost in the lengthy corridors and themed scenes in the Towers, with live actors pursuing them in every room. The finale to the attraction is a maze-like walkway that winds around actors in cages, with intense strobe effects.
  • The Boiler House is a scare maze first introduced in 2008, and was situated next to the Alton Towers Hotel. Originally, the scare maze was based around an abandoned industrial facility and featured live actors in make up. This was changed in 2009, when a new storyline was added. The scare maze is now based around the fictional "Hamble Twins" serial killers hiding in the industrial building, and visitors have to escape them as they are chased through the scenes. Visitors queue outside, past a van labelled "Alton News 24", from which television screens play news reports on the activity of the serial killers. Guests then walk through a covered walkway, which hides the marquee that the maze is contained in from view. Once inside, a man appears and warns guests about the dangers of coming inside. The murderers then appear and kill him, before chasing visitors away. Each of the Twins are played by two different actors wearing the same grotesque, latex mask. They appear at different points in the maze, creating the illusion that one character is in several places at once. Dim lighting and scent effects are heavily used. For the 2011 Scarefest, The Boiler House moved along with the Carnival of Screams to the X Sector, where they both shared the old Black Hole tent.
  • Carnival of Screams is a scare maze that opened for the first time during the 2010 Scarefest event. During its debut at the 2010 Scarefest, the Carnival of Screams shared the same temporary building as the Boiler House. The attraction was entered through a large clown face with enhanced horrific features, but was relocated with the Boiler House to the X-Sector area inside the park for the 2011 event. The maze is a mixture of funny "laugh out loud" moments and serious scares. The music used during the scare maze is the Toy Land Tours music that has been slightly warped for dramatic effect (Toyland Tours was a former attraction at the resort). John Wardley is known to have contributed heavily to the development of this Scarefest attraction.
  • "Zombie Scarezone" is a new for 2011 walk through scare zone themed to a nuclear fallout where zombies roam the earth. This will be located on the path between Sonic Spinball and X-Sector.
  • "TH13TEEN: After Dark" features an enhanced queue line experience for Alton Towers' newest roller coaster, including fog and lighting effects as well as live actors.

Past seasonal attractions

  • Terror of the Towers. The first incarnation of this long-running annual scare maze was introduced in 2002, and was located in the Towers ruins themselves. Many scenes from the original maze are still used every year. Visitors walked through the long, winding corridors of the Towers, through many different themed scenes, whilst being pursued by live actors. The finale featured a winding pathway around actors behind fences, who lunged towards visitors, accompanies with heavy strobe effects. Terror of the Towers returned for the 2003 season, but was completely restructured and gained the new tagline and theme "Bloodfest Banquet".
  • Terror of the Towers - Bloodfest Banquet was a new version of the successful Terror of the Towers scare maze, running from 2003 to 2008.[25] It retained much of the original version, but featured new scenes that included scripted dialogue from the several characters, and a new storyline was added. The strobe maze finale was moved to another point in the maze and replaced by a new ending, in which visitors become trapped in a small room with cages on every side, as actors reach for them through the metal bars for almost a minute. Every year, Terror of the Towers kept changing slightly with revised scenes and new scares.[26] However, for the 2009 Scarefest event, Terror of the Towers was once again completely rethought, with the tagline "What Lies Within". The new incarnation drops the scripted scenes and characters, meaning it is similar to the original Terror of Towers of 2002. The whole layout for the maze was also reversed, with what was previously the entrance becoming the exit.
  • Room 13 was first introduced in 2006 and was located in the conference room of the Alton Towers Hotel.[27] It was only available to guests of the hotel, who were lead around the maze as many live actors appeared to scare them. Room 13 had positive reviews and returned in 2007, but was replaced by The Boiler House in 2008.
  • Field of 1000 Screams was first introduced in the 2007 Scarefest event and was the first maze at Alton Towers not situated inside a pre-existing building.[28] The Field was located entirely outdoors in a moderately sized field of maize, which had to be planted especially for the event several months earlier. It was based around the fictional village of Altonville, that had supposedly become overrun by zombies. Visitors walked down a long pathway cut through the corn, and encountered various characters and scares along the way, before the finale took place. Each year the maze developed slightly with different scenes, with the storyline continuing on from the previous year's backstory. The Field of 1000 Screams was received with positive reviews in its first few seasons, but did not return for the 2010 event.
  • Haunted Hollow Live was first seen in 2007 and consisted of several sinister, costumed actors performing along the Haunted Hollow walkway in Gloomy Wood. The attraction was similar to Duel Live, which was introduced the year later. Haunted Hollow Live returned for the 2008 Scarefest event, but was cancelled for 2009 because of incidents involving actors being attacked.
  • Duel Live was first introduced in the 2008 Scarefest event. Throughout this period, the park's haunted house dark ride, Duel, became host to this attraction, which included several live actors situated around the ride circuit. Duel was available to ride normally until 12PM, when the laser guns and LED targets were switched and the actors took their positions. This was changed in 2009, when Duel Live took place throughout the whole day and many more actors than the previous year were present. Duel Live was aimed at the family audience, and included such features as new music playing throughout the ride (instead of the usual Duel theme music), as well as a butler or maid who would welcome you inside the house. The attraction was changed slightly for the 2010 season and is now based around the park's Scarefest mascots.
  • Skelvin's Haunted Adventure was a newer version of Duel Live, introduced in 2010, and took over Duel - The Haunted House Strikes Back! throughout Scarefest. As in previous years, the attraction included live actors situated at different points around the ride. The laser guns and LED targets were switched off during this time. The ride was based around the Scarefest mascots, notably the character of "Skelvin".

Adrenalin Week

Adrenalin Week has run since the 2005 season, but had a break in 2008 after low attendance during the 2007 event. From 2–7 November 2009, the park's ten biggest thrill rides (including Air, Nemesis, Oblivion, Rita-Queen Of Speed and Enterprise) were in operation for the last time in 2009, with admission to the park costing just £10 in advance or £15 on the day. The event did not run in 2010. However in 2011 an similar event did run it was not called the "Adrenalin Week" however low price entry was granted with similar rides open to previous years also.


The Splash Landings and Alton Towers hotels are open throughout Winter. Visitors can still enjoy Cariba Creek water park, Extraordinary Golf and Spa while most of the theme park is closed. Selected areas are open in Winter for the Christmas event, in which the Old McDonald's Farmyard area of the park is decorated for the special occasion and home to real reindeer.


From the 1990s, Alton Towers hosted an annual fireworks event on the Great Lawns, which often attracted tens of thousands of visitors. The displays, although stunning, were considered disruptive by some, which led to complaints from local residents. Two local residents, Suzanne and Stephen Roper, decided to take the theme park to court regarding this issue. The court issued Alton Towers with a noise abatement order in October 2005, this restricted the theme park to three shows a year, previously five, with noise readings not exceeding 40 decibels outside the park.[29] This led to the park temporarily abandoning the fireworks event. However, the 2010 season finished with an impressive fireworks and laser show, which ran from 5–7 November, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the theme park. The park hosted the event again in 2011 and was open until 9pm; with most major rides open.

It is also of note that the Earl of Shrewsbury made use of fireworks as part of the Grand Fetes held at Alton Towers in the 1890s,[30] when Alton Towers was still a stately home.

The Ultimate Event

Every year, usually in May, Alton Towers plays host to The Ultimate Event. It consists of "a day of fun and live pop music." People can spend the day in the park before going to a concert at the end.

80s Disco

On 23 May 2010 Alton Towers Resort had an 80s Disco to celebrate thirty years of the park. Featuring a concert with 1980s pop stars including 'Kim Wilde', 'Midge Ure', 'Bananarama' and 'Rick Astley'.

Alton Towers Resort DVD

The Alton Towers Resort DVD system enables visitors to have footage captured of them as they visit eight of the main rides and other various locations around the park, by wearing optional RFID wristbands during their stay. The wristbands can later be returned to the shop (located on Towers Street); where the personalized footage is collected and compiled alongside stock footage of the rides, to produce a DVD souvenir of the visitor's day.

The system features personalised footage on Nemesis, Rita, Sonic Spinball, Oblivion, Air, The Flume and Congo River Rapids. Customers can preview their footage before they buy the DVD.

The system was originally known as "YourDay" and was run by a separate business to Alton Towers. It was first installed in the 2007 season. YourDay officially went into administration on 31 March 2009, and failed to open at the start of the 2009 season.[31] However, the shop reopened for business in October 2009 for the final weeks of the season after Alton Towers decided to take over the concept and run the system themselves. YourDay remained closed again throughout the first few months of the 2010 season, before being rebranded as the "Alton Towers Resort DVD" and reopened again. The shop, system and footage used remains much the same.This has since been closed down for the 2011 season.[32]


  • A marketing strategy encouraging workers to call in absent in order to visit the theme park was heavily criticised by business groups.[33]
  • Relations with the local community were harmed when Alton Towers significantly reduced the amount of free tickets it provides to local residents as compensation for the heavy traffic the theme park attracts to the small local village roads.[34]
  • On 20 July 2006, an accident involving the Runaway Mine Train occurred near the tunnel area of the ride. The train separated into two, with the two sections colliding after the first section rolled back (or "valleyed"). Three people were taken to hospital while another 26 were treated for minor injuries.[35] The ride remained closed until 2007. See Incidents at European parks for more information on accidents that occurred at Alton Towers
  • The park was subject to media coverage over its decision to slaughter its livestock from the Old McDonald's Farmyard area due to the Foot and Mouth disease outbreak in 2001.[36] The slaughter was deemed necessary as the park would have been unable to open to the public if the animals remained, and livestock movement restrictions prevented them from being removed from the theme park itself. The RSPCA criticised the action, saying other options should have been examined.[37]
  • In July 2006 a story broke that Alton Towers had been hired out for the day by a Muslim group, so people of Muslim faith could attend the resort for the whole day and perform prayers and other Islamic activities.[38] It was, however, attacked by critics as an example of political correctness.[39] It was discovered that the same day had already been booked for a wedding for a non-Muslim couple and their 60 invited guests. The couple were told they were allowed to attend the day, but had to respect the Muslim rules.[40] The event was eventually cancelled due to lack of interest.
  • In October 2006, 15 out of 19 fast food outlets, and an independently run KFC failed local council health inspections.[41]
  • In August 2009, Alton Towers hit the press with its decision to ban men from wearing Speedo style swimming briefs.[42]
  • The Sun published an article on 29 Jul 2010 stating that the resort had banned sexual intercourse in certain sections of the hotels, because "a string of families moaned to staff that they were kept awake by noises from neighbouring rooms".


Alton Towers is set in a dedicated Conservation Area, which puts a restriction on the height of any ride or building development in the park. It has been agreed with the local council that no buildings should be built above the tree line and if so should be disguised to fit the landscape; this can be seen on the ride Rita, where part of the track is painted dark green to fit in with the trees.

Noise pollution is also a problem for the park due to the close proximity to the villages of Alton and Farley. There have been several cases where Alton Towers have been taken to court over the noise levels emitted from the park and have been served noise abatement orders in 2004 and 2005.

See also


  1. ^ Themed Entertainment Association; Economics Research Associates (2011) (PDF). Attraction Attendance Report. Park World. Retrieved 2009. 
  2. ^ "Anglo-Saxon Mercia: some facts and some legends". BBC. 16 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Dubai firm buys Tussauds". BBC News Online. 2005-03-23. Retrieved 2006-07-13. 
  5. ^ "Tussauds firm bought in £1bn deal". BBC News Online. 2005-03-23. Retrieved 2006-07-13. 
  6. ^ Ghazarian, Arsineh (2007-07-18). "Prestbury seals deal for attractions". The Times: p. 42. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2011-03-14. 
  7. ^ Alton Towers turns to Islam and gay markets - Birmingham Post newspaper
  8. ^ Alton Towers power cut causes rides to be evacuated - Metro
  9. ^ Alton Towers signs up JLS, McFly and The Saturdays for summer gig - This is Staffordshire
  10. ^ Monorail refurbishment
  11. ^ Alton Towers: New for 2007
  12. ^ "SW6 Revealed: TH13TEEN". Towers Nerd. Retrieved 2009-12-01. 
  13. ^ "Coming soon … the first ‘drive of your life’". 2006-07-10. Retrieved 2006-07-13. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ M&IT Industry awards 2007 winners
  16. ^ "Alton Towers Waterpark - Cariba Creek opening times & pricing". Alton Towers. Retrieved 2006-07-13. 
  17. ^ "SW6 news round up". Alton Towers Almanac. 
  18. ^
  19. ^,7&
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Ice Age 4D Experience to Come to Alton Towers in 2012", UK Park News, 03 November 2011.
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Fireworks go-ahead for theme park". BBC News Online. 2005-10-14. Retrieved 2006-07-13. 
  30. ^ | 19th Century fireworks
  31. ^ "YourDay Is No More". Towers Nerd. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  32. ^ "Rebranded YourDay shop photograph". Towers Times. Retrieved 2010-07-17. 
  33. ^ "Theme park 'pushing absenteeism'". BBC News Online. 2004-04-21. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  34. ^ "Villagers lose free ride ticket". BBC News Online. 2006-03-02. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  35. ^ "Dozens hurt on Alton Towers ride". BBC News Online. 2006-07-20. Retrieved 2006-07-20. 
  36. ^ "Animals killed at Alton Towers". The Independent. Retrieved 2007-02-22. [dead link]
  37. ^ "Alton Towers cull 'breached trust'". BBC News Online. 2001-07-05. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  38. ^ "Alton Towers booked for Muslims only day". Middle East Online. 2006-07-03. Retrieved 2006-07-13. 
  39. ^ Liddle, Rod (2006-07-08). "Britain's Muslims at Alton Towers". The Spectator. Retrieved 2006-07-13. 
  40. ^ Brooke, Chris (2006-07-11). "Couple's Alton Towers wedding in the balance after clash with Muslim fun day". London: The Daily Mail. Retrieved 2006-07-13. 
  41. ^ "Theme park food units criticised". BBC News Online. 2007-01-04. Retrieved 2007-01-05. 
  42. ^ Kennedy, Maev (2009-08-10). "Alton Towers bans men in Speedos". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-09-11. "Morwenna Angove, sales and marketing director for Alton Towers, said: "We feel this small brief style is not appropriate for a family venue so we are advising male bathers to wear more protective swimwear such as shorts."" 

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