Aqualand 2017-02-26T15:46:41+00:00

Aqualand first made a splash at Alton Towers in 1984, when the Ingestre Centre was renamed to reflect the plethora of watery attractions that lay within.

Fact File

Opening Year: 1984
Closing Year: 1991

Attractions

Transportation

Food & Drink

Grand Canyon Cottage
Ingestre Restaurant
Lakeside Coffee Shop
The Pizza Place

Shops

Candle Wood World
Fuji Film Shop
Pottery Studio
Shell Shop
Shopping World

Attractions

Transportation

Food & Drink

Courtyard Cantina
Grand Canyon Cottage
Henry’s Sandwich Box
Lakeside Coffee Shop
The Pizza Place
Pizza Potato Court
Taste of America

Shops

Candlewood Studio
China Gallery
Fuji Film Shop
Leisure Wear
Pottery Studio
Shell Shop
Third Dimension Shop
Toys of Character

The area was the largest the park has seen, reaching from the Paddling Pool (near to the entrance to X Sector) through to the modern day Forbidden Valley. In its early years, the courtyard at the centre of the area was also the primary shopping location of the park, featuring a range of products both mainstream as well as the craft of the Pottery Studio and Candle Wood World.

The new Aqualand spent the following few years expanding rapidly, with the Octopus arriving in 1984, followed by the Mississippi Showboat funhouse and Crown Carousel in 1985, a season that also saw a rather large construction site appear alongside the Log Flume.

1986 saw significant developments at the Towers with the addition on the edge of Aqualand of two new areas, Kiddies Kingdom and Towers Street. Their arrival resulted in Aqualand loosing two of its attractions, which now resided in these new areas; the Enchanted Parrots in Kiddies Kingdom and Sea Lions in Towers Street.

These losses were more then made up by the addition of the park’s second large water ride, with the Grand Canyon Rapids opening in the same season on the former site of the car parks.

The following season saw the continuation of the Aqualand’s expansion with the area being carved up by the replacement of the Cable Cars with the brand new Skyride. The removal of the Cable Cars freed up enough space to make room for the Teacups to be built as well as the relocated Aquarium, which was moved to make way for the Skyride. Meanwhile, on the other side of the area, the iconic Swan Boat Ride made its home in the Ingestre Lake.

In 1988, with the departure of the Crown Carousel to Talbot Street and the arrival of 3D Cinema, Aqualand was more or less complete and for the following seasons the area’s line-up remained unchanged, except for the addition of the Thunder Looper at the edge of the park in 1990.

However, with the arrival of Tussauds and their desire for more immersive theming, Aqualand’s days were numbered, as an area whose theme of water no longer fitted the bill. In fact, Aqualand became the first area to face the attention of the park’s new owners and in 1992 it was spilt up, with the outlying parts becoming the new areas of Thunder Valley, Katanga Canyon and Gloomy Wood.

After a brief period as part of Towers Street, the heart of Aqualand around the courtyard was transformed into Merrie England. The line-up of the this medieval village remained very similar to that of Aqualand, with the exception of the Octopus, which followed the Crown Carousel to Talbot Street, and the Big Top which moved to its position near the farm. The only Aqualand ride to be removed altogether when the area ceased to exist was the Mississippi Showboat.

Whilst many of the attractions that made up Aqualand still exist in the park today, it is hard to imagine them in the much plainer days of Aqualand, although for the eagle eyed there are still hints of this watery area still to be seen.