Alton Towers Resort have today announced their theme park opening hours for the 2017 season, confirming some significant changes to the operational times of the theme park.

Opening for the new season on 25th March, the most significant change made has been to the opening time, with the theme park now not opening until 10:30am every open day during the 2017 season. This is 30 minutes later than the previous opening time of 10am which we have seen in recent years. Off peak periods up until 16th June will see the park close at 5pm on weekends (and Fridays from 26th May), and 4:30pm on weekdays meaning the park will be open for just 6 hours. During peak school holiday periods (8th-23rd April and 26th May-5th June), the theme park will open 10:30am-5pm. The same opening hours will also apply to all open days from 16th June. Some peak weekdays in July will see a slightly extended closing time of 5:30pm, whilst the main school summer holiday period will see operating hours of 10:30am-6pm. The theme park will revert to off-peak opening patterns from 4th September.

Following the closure of the main theme park on selected off-peak weekdays in the 2016 season, 2017 will once again see some weekday closures, however these have been reduced to just Wednesdays as opposed to the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday closures seen last year.

Also confirmed are the dates for 2017’s Scarefest and Fireworks Spectactular events. Halloween will descend on the Resort on October 7th & 8th; 14th & 15th; and 20th-31st October, with the theme park opening from 10:30am-9pm, a pattern which is the same as 2016’s event. The 2017 season will be brought to a close by the annual Fireworks Spectacular which once again takes place over 2 day on 4th & 5th November with the theme park open from 10:30am – 9pm.

With the theme park now not opening until 10:30am each day, this means that Early Ride Time will not begin until 9:30am, although it will still operate a full hour before the main park opening with no ERT being available during Scarefest and Fireworks. The precise ERT line-up is yet to be confirmed.

These latest changes to the theme park operating hours follow reductions made last season as a result of the Resort looking to make savings as a result of a drop in visitor numbers following the events of 2015. Whilst many people will be pleased to see a reduction in complete closed days across the year, there will undoubtedly be dismay at the later opening and earlier closing times throughout the season with some days only allowing guests 6 hours in the theme park. It is perhaps also a surprise to see the Fireworks Spectacular remain as a 2 day event, despite the overwhelming success of 2016’s display which saw the park hit full capacity on the Saturday.

What are your thoughts on these latest opening hours from the Resort? Are you surprised to see the theme park opening half an hour later? Have your say over on the TowersTimes and SouthParks Forum. As further details about the 2017 season continue to be revealed TowersTimes will be sure to bring you all the latest information. Alton Towers Resort from another point of view!

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