Chad visits Alton Towers

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If you have not been to Alton Towers before then take a word of advice from a recent visitor - get some fast track tickets.

The famous amusement park, nestled in the Staffordshire moorlands, is huge and boats more rides and other attractions than you could possibly cram into one day’s visit.

With waiting times for popular rides at anything from 45-70 minutes when my wife and I took our son, you would have to get there seriously early to be in with a chance of experiencing them all.

We had fast track tickets on the day, which pushes the cost up considerably, but most people would probably agree that spending half a day standing in queues is not the most fun you can have.

This is especially true when you have a five-year-old in tow.

One of the park’s newest attractions is CBeebies Land and our son was considerably excited about this, as it is the first name he utters morning and night.

And, though it is hard to say what his thoughts are on most matters, the wife and I took an executive decision to move on quickly and squeeze in some attractions we could all enjoy together.

That said, the CBeebies rollercoaster was a nice, gentle introduction to thrill-seeking for the lad.

And while he and the wife queued I nipped round the corner for a quick go on the Sonic Pinball - a ride which is named accurately and jerks the rider around in a similar way to its namesake at high speeds.

Thoughts of being flung off the ride high in the air and falling to my death were present for the duration.

What I realised during our visit was that taking a five-year-old along does not mean you are going to be bored at Alton Towers because there are many attractions which cater for all ages.

For example, the classic log flume was a fun, splashy ride for the boy, but there is also a fairly hair-rasing rollercoaster-style slide towards the end.

We all found the aquarium mesmerising, with some awe-inspiring aquatic life, including sharks and stingrays.

There was also the live pirate show, which he enjoyed while munching on some good old junk food in the food court.

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory is sure to go down well with most young-uns, and ours seemed to quite enjoy the chocolate river boat ride.

Another good family ride was Duel - a haunted house where you compete to shoot as many zombies as possible.

But all rides aside, the park is set in beautiful gardens and if you get some good weather it is a real pleasure just to be strolling around and gazing down on them from cable cars while traversing the site.

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