Alton Towers Oktoberfest – Review
By Richard Jones
Summer is over, the dark nights are drawing in and the leaves are changing colour.
However, there is still plenty of autumnal fun to look forward to at the UK’s No.1 theme park, and that’s before we even get to Halloween, Bonfire Night and the lead up to Christmas.
Over the past few years, Oktoberfest has grown from a small folk festival in Munich to a hugely popular worldwide event.
Once again, Alton Towers Resort is joining in the German festivities and has been transformed into a Bavarian-themed wonderland, complete with delicious food and drink, Lederhosen-clad hosts and live entertainment.
My wife Rachel and I and our two daughters Isla and Evelyn headed to Alton Towers for a weekend break and, after parking the car, were immediately swept up in the Oktoberfest excitement.
“Singing and dancing”
On the large green, adjacent to CBeebies Land, there were inflatable steins and long tables arranged in front of a huge stage.
Throughout the day, entertainers like Darwin the Dodo got the crowds singing and dancing along to modern-day hits with a German twist, while street theatre was provided by walk-around characters such as Beer and Bubbles, Alpine Horn Man and The Barrel Monks.
Alton Towers’ Oktoberfest area extends from the theme park’s front lawns across to Mutiny Bay, where there is another stage offering more themed entertainment until after the rides close.
However, arguably the best thing about Oktoberfest is munching on the München-themed food.
New for this year, you can sample a spicy sausage challenge using three of the world’s hottest chillies – the habanero, ghost and California reaper – while guests who can’t take the heat can cool down with a tub of locally sourced creamy vanilla ice cream, oozing with swirls of sweet, salted caramel and topped with crushed pretzels.
If that isn’t enough, guests can also tuck into a delicious selection of traditional bratwursts, schnitzels, Lebkuchen hearts and pretzels.
Vegan options are also available including vegan bratwurst, plant-based goujons and schnitzels, while at the two-storey Alpine-themed Wunderbar, guests can say “prost” while enjoying an authentic German bier.
Once you have made your way past these and other Oktoberfest treats, there is plenty to do at the 500-acre Alton Towers Resort.
As my daughters are now aged 11 and 15, I got roped into accompanying the daredevils on the park’s infamous ‘Big Seven’ rollercoaster rides – Wicker Man, Nemesis, Rita, Oblivion, 13, Galactica, and world record-breaking The Smiler.
Although the queues weren’t excessive on the day we were there, Fastrack passes enabled us to get around the rides in good time and left us with a few hours to look around the colourful World of David Walliams and other areas, while dad’s motion sickness wore off.
The four of us also headed to Cbeebies Land where Isla and Evelyn were reacquainted with In the Night Garden’s Upsy Daisy. Just for old times’ sake, according to the girls!
The problem I’ve always found with Alton Towers is that there is actually too much to see and do – especially during its themed Oktoberfest, Scarefest or Mardi Gras events.
You’re at the UK’s best theme park and want to go on all of the rides, but also want to take time to enjoy the seasonal festivities.
Thankfully there’s a solution – an overnight stay at one of the resort’s many accommodation options.
After leaving the park we checked into a Moon Voyage Room at the iconic Alton Towers Hotel.
Our galactic-themed room was inspired by Sir Algenon’s travels to the moon, and Isla and Evelyn had a separate sleeping area and chill-out zone, complete with separate TV, Xbox and bunk beds.
After freshening up, the four of us went for a drink in the Dragons Bar, enjoying the nightly quiz, before setting down for burgers, fish and chips, and sausage and mash in the Secret Garden restaurant.
The next morning after breakfast, we had a wander around some of the other areas in the resort including the Enchanted Village, Stargazing Pods and CBeebies Hotel.
We then grabbed our swimming costumes and headed over to Alton Towers Waterpark at Splash Landings hotel.
As if my old, battered body hadn’t been through enough, Isla and Evelyn got me to ride the Master Blaster water coaster, Rush ‘N’ Rampage Slides and Flash Floods flumes, before drifting along the lazy river.
I understandably had a few aches and pains the following day.
But was it all worth it? In the word(s) of the Okoberfest entertainers on the green in the park, I’d have to answer with a resounding, oomptastic “Ya”.
Oktoberfest is taking place at Alton Towers Resort until October 2. To find more, book park tickets, or book at stay to one of the resort’s accommodations, please visit: altontowers.com