It may have seemed like a long three months since the end of the 2014 season last November, but Alton Towers Resort threw open its gates once again this weekend for 2015’s February Half Term event. TowersTimes takes a look at all the latest changes and updates.
The opening of the park for February Half Term offered the first opportunity to get a good look at the new attraction for 2015 – Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure. Situated on the site of the former Beastie rollercoaster, the new attraction will extend the current CBeebies Land. The track for the new children’s rollercoaster has now been fully erected and the train is now in place on the track ready for testing to begin. The platform for the ride station has been constructed alongside the operations cabin. A small cabin has also been constructed to the side of the ride which would suggest that on ride photography is going to be offered for the new addition. From what can be seen of the construction so far, it would appear that the new attraction will be a good solid addition to the ride line up for younger guests.
One of the highlights of February Half Term for younger guests is the live shows featuring the popular CBeebies character Mr. Bloom. Performing four times a day until Friday (Justin Fletcher will take over the live shows next Saturday and Sunday with guests having to book tickets in advance), the show provides a fun and interactive piece of entertainment that looks set to prove popular throughout the week.
Elsewhere across the park there have been a number of smaller changes and improvements. Many of the attractions within CBeebies Land have received a fresh coat of paint over closed season helping to ensure that the area maintains a high standard of appearance. The resort have continued their programme of tree felling with trees being removed from the left hand side of the pathway between Gloomy Wood and Forbidden Valley (adjacent to the Monorail track). A significant amount of trees have also been removed from the Woodland Walk area behind Forbidden Valley, with the Woodland Walk currently being closed to guests. Many people were keen to see if Nemesis would receive any special treatment for its 21st birthday, however the only evidence of any work being carried out was the replacement or tightening of a selection of bolts in certain parts of the track which have been painted bright red. The roof of the Congo River Rapids was undergoing extensive work with the covering being entirely stripped back back and new metal beams being installed ready for a new top to be installed ready for the main season. Some of the theming has been removed from the Runaway Mine Train with many of the headchopper elements having disappeared from the highest point of the ride. It is currently unknown if their removal is a temporary measure or a permanent change. Duel has had some low level lighting introduced to the indoor queueline, and many of the targets and effects have been restored to full working order.
Many rides were still in the process of undergoing their regular routine winter maintenance. Rita was stripped down with the car facades being placed on the ground in Dark Forest and the resort technical team could be seen working on the train currently on the ride’s track, whilst Ripsaw was still underneath its usual closed season scaffolding. Twirling Toadstools was still dis-assembled with its roof lowered right down to the ride platform. The Smiler looks as if it has had some new barriers added along the final brake run. The yellow coloured barriers would appear to be part of a new system to allow ride operators to evacuate guests from cars sitting on the brake run without the need for a harness. Maintenance work also seemed to be happening underneath the vertical lift hill with green matting and wooden beams in evidence.
A selection of new merchandise was available in the retail outlets. Both the Air shop and Towers Trading were selling new T-Shirts and hoodies to celebrate Nemesis’ 21st anniversary, whilst the Sharkbait Reef shop was offering a selection of Octonauts themed merchandise to compliment the new ride for 2015. Towers Trading had a range of new Lego merchandise from the Lego City and Lego Friends range as well as a slightly more unusual offering of Minions merchandise and selfie sticks!
Will you be visiting the park this February Half Term, or have you visited already? Make sure you have your say on the latest developments at Alton Towers Resort over on the TowersTimes Forum. As we get closer to the start of the main 2015 season in March TowersTimes will continue to bring you all the latest news.
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