Alton Towers – Crown Rating

The UK’s got several famous coaster-parks, perhaps the favorite among enthusiasts is Alton Towers. Let’s see how this landmark-turned-theme park destination holds up in this Coaster Kings Crown Ratings.

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The Coaster Kings Crown Rating currently features five (5) categories. In each category a park can score one (1) thru five (5) possible crowns. The more crowns, the higher the score. The average amount of crowns awarded among the categories creates a final overall rating: the Crown Rating.

Alton has a solid line up when it comes to Roller Coasters. Galactica is a firm favourite and is the only one of its type in the UK. Rita our Queen of Speed brings a faster element to The Dark Forest, with Thirteen sitting beside it. Both rides offer different experiences and fulfil both family and enthusiasts needs. Nemesis has been named the UK’s best coaster for years and you truly cannot match the power and intensity in the ride. The Runaway Mine Train is great fun and Spinball Wizzer (be it painful adds) the spinning element to the park. With the Park adding Wickerman to its line up in 2018, and it being the first wooden coaster to be built in the UK for over 20 years, the park flew from good to excellent. 

Another solid category for Alton Towers, Non-Coasters! With the likes of Hex – The Legend of the Towers being a total highlight for most visitors, as well as Duel -The Haunted House Strikes Back being a great interactive dark ride. The park does only have two water rides but being honest and in the UK every rides a water ride! I love the rapids and the Battle Galleons are great fun for families on a hot day. Enterprise and The Blade are both pretty unique rides at the park and are a good addition to the flat ride selection. New for this year, The Retro Squad! I wasn’t too sold on having temporary flat rides at the park to help with capacity over the summer but they have been a great hit. Gangsta Granny is really what makes this section a 5/5, bringing a brand new dark ride to the UK and being the first ride to feature lots of different kinds of new technology, it has been a favourite. The parks is also full of children’s rides, some of those themed to their kiddie area of CBeebies, which features carousels, teacups, playhouses, a mini drop tower, etc. Because the park is just so full of other rides and attractions we couldn’t not give it a 5!

Alton Towers has much more than thrill and family rides which are included in the price of your entry. These include the Sealife Aquarium, The Towers and its gardens, Haunted Hollow, Sky Ride and the Monorail.  Not many theme parks can boast an amazing historical attraction like the Tower Ruins and Gardens.  They really add just that little bit extra to the park. The park is also home to a variety of “upcharge” attractions such as The Dungeons, Water Park, Crazy Golf and Tree Top Quest.  I have never paid to experience any of them, but may try The Dungeons next time I am visiting. For this reason the park gets a 4 instead of a 5 as I believe that making The Dungeons a free attraction would make it a 5. 

Merlin parks are not known for their Food and Drink and Alton Towers is no exception. There are plenty of food stalls, but the variety and quality of the food isn’t great. The park’s one standout dining experience is The Rollercoaster Restaurant.   At this sit down restaurant food is delivered on rollercoaster track running from the kitchen to your table. The dishes at The Roller Coaster Restaurant are named after the park’s roller coasters and range from burgers and chicken wings to pasta and curry. I’d never eaten a burger that’s been through a loop before but it was seriously tasty. Beyond The Rollercoaster Restaurant the park mostly offers standard park fare like Hotdogs, Burgers, and Doughnuts.  If you’re lucky enough to visit during Oktoberfest the park’s main green has a bigger selection of German food and drinks. While adequate, Alton Towers dining options do little to inspire. 

Alton Towers is a park like no other, upon entering you are welcomed with the fantastic sight of the Towers and grounds surrounding them.  You could spend hours exploring the Gardens and they have recently restored the Towers so you can now go inside and explore.  From loud screams on their frightening selection of rides to the peaceful tranquility of a gondola ride the park is just bliss.  I love visiting the park and the atmosphere is equally fantastic. The only reasons Alton Towers gets a 4 instead of a 5 is the theming of areas and the parks inconvenient layout.  While the Towers and Gardens are a phenomenal asset, their central placement in the park results in long walks between attractions when the gondola isn’t working.  This also results in long stretches of unthemed and unkept pathways between parts of the park. It’s almost like they just focus on themed areas and leave the paths between go wild. Some focus on improving these “in-between” areas would go a long way to make the park even more pleasant.  For several of my trips the park’s monorail has been closed meaning you need to walk to the front gate.  I personally think it results in a loss of magic and immersion. Despite these shortcomings Alton Towers truly is beautiful park and something the United Kingdom can be proud of. 

I found it really hard not to give Alton Towers a 5 as I really do love the park and it is a truly fantastic day out. But like so many theme parks there is always room for improvement. If you want to ride some really amazing roller coasters, Alton Towers is the place to go. If you want to take your children somewhere they can enjoy their day but also ride rollercoasters, this is the place to go. If you want amazing food and drink to go with all the awesome rides and attractions you might want to book a trip across the English Channel. If you’re anything like me and happy with a quick coffee and some doughnuts for your drive home then you’ll have a great day at Alton Towers.

Thank you for checking out this Crown Rating! Find all of them conveniently in one spot by clicking here!

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