Every ride and attraction at Alton Towers Resort started off as a mound of dirt or several slabs of concrete. Dive into the construction process of many of the wonderful additions to the Resort and be blown away by just how much things sometimes change when a project on the drawing board becomes reality.



We extensively followed the construction of this prototype flying coaster, which was a concept first thought up in 1994 by John Wardley and B&M.


The Alton Towers Dungeon

Ahead of its grand opening, TowersTimes was invited to a special ‘Meet the Maker’ event to discover some of the secrets behind The Alton Towers Dungeon.


Battle Galleons

2008 saw a complete overhaul of the boating lake with the arrival of a brand new Splash Battle water ride with a pirate theme; aptly named ‘Battle Galleons’.


Black Hole

At the end of 1983, Dinosaur Land closed and 250,000 tonnes of earth was removed from the hillside, replaced by the Black Hole coaster, covered with a huge green and yellow tent.


CBeebies Land

When Old Macdonald’s Farmyard and Storybook Land were rethemed into CBeebies Land for May 2014, we documented its construction, including an aerial update from MI7!


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Toyland Tours closed during 2005 in order to receive a retheme and an extension which saw the ride transformed into a magical tour of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

The Rapids' trench under construction

Congo River Rapids

Constructed over the 1985/86 closed season, the rapids at Alton Towers required large quantities of rocks to be blasted from the site, which was formerly a car park.


The Dung Heap

We followed the construction of the park’s new playground in 2007, which included a Spider ‘Springy Cobweb Climbing zone’ and a Mushroom maze, amongy several other features.



Dynamo was originally called ‘Astrodancer’ when it was installed in 1993, but received a new name when moved to Forbidden Valley in 2002, after being out of use during 2001.



Although the ride originally opened in 1984 in Festival Park, these images were taken when it was rethemed and relocated to X Sector for the 1998 season.


Galactica & Rollercoaster Restaurant

‘Air’ and its former shop were together redeveloped into Galactica, the world’s first rollercoaster fully dedicated to virtual reality, and the UK’s first Rollercoaster Restaurant.

1992 - Gloomy Wood and The Haunted House nears completion

Gloomy Wood

As part of Tussauds’ first big development at Alton Towers, the construction of Gloomy Wood along with Katanga Canyon gave guests an insight into the big plans they had for the park.


Haunted Hollow

In 2007, spirits and ghouls moved into the pathway between Mutiny Bay and Gloomy Wood, partially along the route of the old miniature railway.


Hex: Legend of the Towers

Hex was the first ride to make use of the Towers, when it opened in 2000. Although the main ride is in an external building, it still brings attention back to this historic building.


Ice Age: The 4D Experience

A cold front swept over the Cloud Cuckoo Land Theatre in 2012, plunging it back into the chilly climate of the Ice Age. Here’s a glimpse at the theatre’s snowy transformation.


Katanga Canyon

Alongside Gloomy Wood, this represented Tussauds’ big investment into the park as they began to construct some more highly themed areas.

The Log Flume station, during construction

Log Flume

One of the first major rides to be constructed at Alton Towers, the 886m course was constructed over the 1980/1981 closed season.

Transfer track


Towards the end of the 1986 season guests entering Alton Towers could see the construction of the park’s new Monorail System, which originally operated at Expo 86 in Vancouver.


Mutiny Bay

For the 2008 season Merrie England was transformed into Mutiny Bay, with many shops and restaurants receiving a makeover to make them shipshape for the new land.



The park’s most famous ride was constructed over several years, with the initial blasting taking place in Winter of 1991 and the monster was unleashed on the world three years later.


Nemesis Reborn

Over a 15-month period following the closure of the original Nemesis in November 2022, the majority of its track and supports were replaced to herald a new era for this iconic roller coaster!

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Nemesis: Sub Terra

In 2012 the entrance to Forbidden Valley was changed forever as guests discovered What Lies Beneath, as the park revisited the legend surrounding Nemesis.



Oblivion was the 2nd B&M coaster to be built at Alton Towers and the first of its kind. This rollercoaster opened in 1998 and remains to be one of the park’s biggest thrill attractions!


Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure

It was time to sound the Octo-Alert with the news that The Octonauts would be joining the CBeebies Land line-up with a brand new children’s rollercoaster.


Peugeot 207 Driving School

During the Winter Weekends of 2006, the Cred Street Carousel and Vintage Cars remained mysteriously closed and it became clear that they were to be replaced by a ‘Driving School’.


Rita’s Chicken & Ribs / Woodcutters

In a major shake-up of park catering, both the Hogs Head and Nemesis Nosh were replaced with Rita’s Chicken and Ribs (now Woodcutters Bar and Grill) for the 2007 season.


Rita – Queen of Speed

In 2004 preparation began for an exciting new project, with rumours from a booster bike to a wooden coaster, but in April 2005 Rita opened as Europe’s first Intamin rocket coaster.


Riverbank Eye-Spy

In 2007 the ride received an overhaul with the 2D scenery, added in 1999, being replaced by brand new 3D models, similar to those found in the popular Driving School attraction.


Spinball Whizzer/Sonic Spinball

In 2004, a new family roller coaster opened in Adventure land, located next to the corporate hospitality marquee and manufactured by the German company; Maurer Söhne.


Towers Street

In the 80s the park began to expand in size, by building on the former grass car parks. Take an aerial look at Towers Street under construction and the area prior to any development.



When Corkscrew closed at the end of the 2008 season, TH13TEEN filled the gap as SW6 and formed the centre piece of the new themed area – Dark Forest.


The Flume: Unplugged

In early 2004 the log flume was re-themed, and given new lining, with rubber ducks, taps, bath plugs and of course showers featuring heavily around the ride!


The Smiler

Covering a period of just over a year, follow the full construction process of Secret Weapon 7 from removal of the remnants of Black Hole through to the installation of all record-breaking 14 inversions!


Wicker Man

Commencing in late 2016, we said goodbye to The Flume for the construction of Alton Towers Resort’s first wooden coaster, and the first wooden coaster in the UK for over twenty years, Secret Weapon 8.


CBeebies Land Hotel

With an extension to the Alton Towers Hotel having been in the pipeline for several years, the plans were finally realised when the Resort opened the first ever CBeebies Land Hotel in July 2017.


Enchanted Village

The resort were set to expand their range of accommodation in 2015 with the opening of small village inhabited by little fable folk and forest spirits.


Splash Landings and Cariba Creek

Browse these galleries from the archive, which documented the construction of the new hotel and water park complex from the very start in 2001 all the way up to its shaky opening in 2003.


Stargazing Pods

Construction of the Stargazing Pods began shortly after the plans were approved by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council in July 2018, with the development completed for their April 2019 opening.


Enchanted Forest Tree Top Quest

At the end of November 2014, Alton Towers Resort submitted a planning application seeking permission for the addition of a high ropes course close, ready to open in May 2015.


Extraordinary Golf

Here we followed the construction of two extraordinary Alton Towers themed golf courses which are now situated alongside Splash Landings Hotel.