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Alton Towers Hotel & Waterpark Festive Break

An Alton Towers Festive Break – Part One

We are all about Christmas in our house, and I spend the whole of December in an elf like state, either eating mince pies or jingling.  For me though, once the big day arrives I always get a bit deflated with all of the sales adverts and the stark red and white that creeps into our faces the second we’ve finished tidying up the wrapping paper on Christmas morning.  “Daddy Pig” knows this, and so this year he decided to humour my annual pestering for us to extend the festivities throughout “Crimbo limbo” and go away for New Year.  I nagged gently persuaded that we should book a Festive Break at Alton Towers Resort.  We decided against staying over for New Years Eve, because a) we figured it would cost about 7 billion pounds and b) we quite enjoy our current NYE routine of downing an entire glass of Baileys (I know – hard core!) and falling asleep on the sofa by 10pm, only to wake up startled and swear at the fireworks in case they wake up the kids. This year was no exception.

We woke up on the first morning of 2017 with zero hangovers and having had just slightly more than zero sleep, but I excitedly threw far too many things into far too many bags and we were soon in the car ready for adventure!

Image shows a hotel reception with a large model hot air balloon surrounded in swathes of decorated Christmas boughs.
Sir Algenon’s brilliant flying ship which has remarkably crash-landed in the middle of the hotel.

The Alton Towers Hotel:

We arrived at the Alton Towers Hotel at lunch time and we were instantly greeted at the car by a porter who welcomed us in and offered to help with our bags.  We had stayed here before, but never at Christmas, and we were so impressed by the beautiful decorations and festive touches.

We walked across to the adjoining Splash Landings Hotel reception which is where we were staying.  The two hotels are linked by an elevated walkway through the Alton Towers Waterpark which immediately whipped the kids into a frenzy as they peered down onto the bustling pools and slides.  We checked in at Splash Landings (which was also beautifully festive but with more of a calypso feel,) and headed straight for the water park!

Image shows a calyspo themed reception area with colourful seating and a christmas tree.
The cosy calyspo festive reception at Splash Landings Hotel, overlooking the Alton Towers Water Park.

The Alton Towers Waterpark:

Both of the tots are water babies and they loved everything that the water park could throw at them, including many many gallons of water from the giant overflowing tipping bucket suspended from the top of what can only be described as a brilliant soft play frame, built into a playground full of water fountains.  They were too young to go down the indoor slides as most had a 1.1m minimum height, but the Whacky Waterworks Tree House, The Little Leak – kids splash and slide pool, and the Lazy River kept them fizzing with excitement for a good couple of hours.  They were able to sit on our knees and go down the outdoor slides in the “Flash Floods” outdoor pools which they really enjoyed, although it was around 0 degrees and so even though the water was heated, it was a bit nippy to say the least!  I was slightly more interested in the “Bubbly Wubbly Pool” which was like a balmy tropical bath in the January air.  No slides in there though so of course I only got to relax for about 0.4 minutes before being dragged back to freeze my bits off on the slides.  All good fun though!

A Panto: (Oh no we didn’t!)

Next was a trip to the panto to see the Alton Towers production of Aladdin.  We’d never attempted a panto with our two, as they both generally have the attention span of a carrot, but I was determined that we would give it a go. Daddy Pig was determined that it would be a disaster and that they would both be climbing the walls within about 10 minutes.  The battle lines were drawn.  This was an unspoken war…

Image shows a stage and a purple curtain with the word "Aladdin" lit across it.
We saw quite a bit of this curtain. But that’s about it.

The first 10 minutes of the production were brilliant and the effects were really impressive.  After that Daddy Pig got to wear a big smug grin on his face whilst I got to wrestle and “shhush” a 2 year old shouting “DUDDLE NOW!!!” out of the room and as far away from the performance as quickly as I could.  “Duddle” is his current word for cuddle, and his new thing is to demand immediate “duddles”  at all times.  Whether he is already actually being duddled or otherwise has no bearing on his demand for duddles, therefore no amount of duddling would keep him quiet.

Daddy Pig: 1.  Me: 0.  Number of “duddles” given to screeching toddler once the room had been evacuated: 0.  Number of Pick N Mix sweets snaffled by Stressed Mummy whilst waiting for Daddy Pig and Miss Tot to appear 5 mins later: 72. (Mostly pink shrimps).

Having abandoned what I’m sure must have been a brilliant show, we decided to explore and found our way to the huge pirate ship which forms the basket of the hot air balloon in the reception area.  Children are welcomed in to quite literally climb aboard and play in the ship, and we managed to enjoy an hour or so with a cheeky drink, watching the kids be little pirates and make new friends.  We’ve only just got to the stage where the two of them will go and play together without dragging us in with them, and so this is still quite a novelty to us and involves a lot of immature giggling and high fives on our part.

Image shows the Alton Towers Hotel atrium looking upwards at the staircases swathed in boughs for Christmas and a giant giant flying ship / hot air balloon feature.

We still had many more adventures to enjoy including a walk into the theme park at night, our evening meal at the UK’s first Rollercoaster Restaurant, our stay at the hotel with breakfast, and our next day at the Alton Towers Theme Park including CBeebies land. Part two to follow…  (I’m trying to resist the urge to say “tune in next week…” but you know, if you wanted to pop back for a nosy that would be quite nice!? 😉 )

In the meantime wishing you all a brilliant new year!

Dawn x

Disclosure:  This is not a collaborative post (and it definitely doesn’t rhyme!) But we just had a fab time and in the spirit of using my blog to capture our adventures as a family it seemed fitting to include it.  Thanks for reading.

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92 thoughts on “Alton Towers Hotel & Waterpark Festive Break

  1. oh it does look so festively decorated. I think it was a great idea to get away for new years! We are considering Christmas away this year, we would love to experience a white christmas, but we will see as I am torn between whether to leave family behind at such a spec ail time, plus it will be cold and expensive. #dreamteam

    1. Oh I know what you mean – but a white Christmas would be the dream for me. There’s so few places you can guarantee it though isn’t there? I hope you have fun deciding and I’ll look forward to reading all about it when the time comes! X

  2. We went to Alton Towers for the first time this year (nope sorry it was 2016 – I get so confused with this new year business!) but just for the day. It looks like you had a fab time! I love the word “duddles” – so cute! Our kids have just started to go off and play together – it feels like such a luxury to be able to sit down together without having to tag team with the hubby! Happy New Year! #DreamTeam

    1. We literally just sit and blink at each other and giggle with a bemused look on our faces. It has been so long since we got to just sit and have a drink together. I’m sure the novelty will wear off soon but for now it’s still very exciting! ? x

  3. Oh I completely understand that feeling of deflation after the Christmas day – the build up is just so wonderful and then boom it’s over. I’ve always wanted to go away at new year but that’s my husband’s busiest time at work so we aren’t able to but I’d love that to look forward to after Christmas. Sounds like you had a wonderful time – the pirate ship sounds like an inspired idea from the hotel for parents! #DreamTeam

  4. I’ve never been to Alton Towers, we have so many of the theme parks on our doorsteps, we’ve always gone there instead. But I think for a little break away it would be really fun. There’s a lot there to see and do for all ages. Sounds like you had a great time, apart from missing the panto.

    Sally @ Life Loving

  5. I love Alton Towers! Although I’ve never stopped in the hotel or gone to the water park. I too felt deflated after Christmas (Boxing Day blues) do getting away for a couple of days is the perfect way to combat that!
    Looks like you had a fab trip, even if you did miss the panto!

    1. I hate the Boxing Day blues and this was definitely a great way of keeping the festivities going for us. I do wish we had been able to see the panto as it looked good fun, but it’s a good excuse to do it all again when the kids are a little bit older. Thanks Becky x

    2. It’s fab isn’t it! And the hotel is really just as much fun as the park. I’d definitely recommend it – and they do some fab offers if you can go out of season when the main park is closed but the water park is still open. It’s great with little ones. X

  6. I’ve never been to Alton towers *woe is me! I have always wanted to go and the kid in me would love to book a trip but I think I’ll have to wait now until baby B is old enough for a trip….something to look forward to! Sounds like you had a fab time and a brilliant way to beat the January blues #DreamTeam

    1. I can definitely recommend it – it’s brilliant fun and we’ve been taking the tots since they were tiny as the water park is great for even teeny tots. It’s one of the best things about having kids I think – all the adventures you get to go on with them (and pretend that you are only climbing about on the giant pirate ship to help them haha). x

    1. It’s practically a resort now Morgan as they have three hotels and a fourth due to be opened later this year (CBeebies themed – WOW!) I’m sure you’d love it if you fancy it. Thank you for your comment and for sharing xx

  7. I am totally the opposite. I kind of enjoy Christmas but I am SO ready to get the new year started. I would however love to go away in between crimbo and new year, it’s such a boring time. Alton Towers looks fab though!! #DreamTeam

  8. Going away during ‘Crimbo Limbo’ sounds like a great idea – after two weeks spent stuck in my flat with a toddler, I may be following your lead next year. Definitely won’t be attempting a panto, though – my toddler can’t sit still for more than a few minutes before demanding “Up up up!” #DreamTeam

  9. Lovely pictures! I’ve never been to alton towers but it is on my list! The duddle incident made me chuckle… hate having to concede a defeat to my OH in circumstances like that!xx #dreamteam

  10. Wow this looked great! I remember going to Alton Towers when I was 9 years old, it was unbelievably exciting, don’t think I could go on the rides now though! Enough stomach flipping ! #DreamTeam

  11. I chuckled out loud at the “duddle” part because my 23 month old has been loving the word “duddle” for a couple of months. She does the same thing and will just schreech “DUDDLE” and insist she is wrapped completely in parent. Only to then usually demand she is lugged to the nearest snack….

    Sounds like a great time was had so far though! I didn’t even know Alton Towers had a waterpark. Shows how much it’s changed since I went on my school at uni trips. But since they were all pre-2004, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised!!!

    Looking forward to part 2 🙂


    1. Our little man is literally all about the “DUDDLES” at the moment. He can be sat on your knee being hugged and he will still be demanding them!? He finds it helpful to add a “NOW!” On the end too – you know, just for effect haha. Sounds like he’s in good company with your little one too. Thanks Angela x

    1. It really was a lovely time thanks lovely. I did consider rhyming it but I think it would have been the longest rhyme in history. I had to cut the post in half as it was so probably a good thing I didn’t. 😉 Thanks for reading x

  12. I’m sorry. I don’t understand you when you don’t rhyme. Come again?!
    (he’s behiiiiiiind you! etc. Love a panto) x

  13. Aww wow it sounds like you had an amazing time!! I’ve never stayed at the Hotel before, and only visited the park, but the water park sounds awesome and something I’d love to do when Oat is a bit bigger! I also like the idea of doing something a bit different straight after New Year, or even between Christmas and New Year. Definitely given me food for thought! Looking forward to reading Part 2!

  14. Ah it sounds fab! We’ve been away for the last nine years over Crimbo Limbo and I have to say, I love how it extends the festivities. Of course, the day two years have been with Baby Lighty in tow, and so your description of the waterpark, the giant tipping barrel and being able to relax in the bubbly pool for 0.4 minutes match my experience this year EXACTLY!!! Your Bridget Jones-esq description of leaving the pantomime made me giggle too!! Thanks so much for hosting #DreamTeam and sharing this with us xxx

  15. Such a great idea to go away at that time of year and try to combat the January blues! My 2yo calls them ‘tuddles’. Kinda cute! Sorry to hear the panto didn’t work out. We went over the Christmas period and it went really well. Aside from the major interval meltdown! #dreamteam

  16. I love Alton Towers, but Hubby hates rollercoasters so after our one time of going and me being on the rides and him watching, I wont go again.
    However with kids is a different matter and Im intruiged to go again after what you’ve written makes it sound like the splash pool was really fun! (and i hate swimming)

    1. The water park really is brilliant and the great thing with going with tots is that your hubby has a good excuse to avoid the big rides and stick with the kiddie roundabouts! 🙂 I hope you get to give another try. Thanks for reading x

  17. What a BRILLIANT idea! The ending of Christmas always feels like a letdown to me, so I can only imagine what it is like for my little ones. To have a vacation right around the corner to look forward to (and decompress after the hectic holiday prep) is a wonderful idea!

  18. Writing nice things about a place without getting paid to do it?! Whatever next?! Sounds awesome though although pink shrimps never really floated my boat. I’m a fizzy sour man myself! #DreamTeam

  19. Daddy Pig is what I call hubby too! Lol except he’s just Daddy P on the blog as it’s his initial too lol

    Alton Towers sounds fab and looks brilliant! I defo want to take the kids there in summer for Cbeebies Land 🙂 #DreamTeam

  20. Oh it is just too cute that your little one calls cuddles duddles! I’ve only been to Alton Towers once years ago..I didn’t even realise you could stay there haha. It sounds like you all had a lovely time..despite the panto disaster xx #dreamteam

  21. The ‘annual pestering’ and 7 billion pounds made me snort!! And the waking up startled lol. But OMG you ARE actually hardcore doing water activities in f f f f freezing cold January even if it’s indoors with heating. I’m so Indian. Brrrrr. #dreamteam

  22. We’ve never been away for New Years. Lovely idea. As usual, you include your lovely brand of humour that makes all of your posts oh so enjoyable! I love a good panto and I’m trying to get my head around a rollecoaster restaurant! Sounds good though! #DreamTeam

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