Kiddies Kingdom arrived at Alton Towers for the 1986 season, providing a much needed area where kids could escape to the park’s £250,000 new adventure playground.
- Cost: £250,000
- Opening Year: 1986
- Closing Year: 1996
- Amazing Maze
- Ball Pool
- Biff n’ Bash
- Building Site
- Cookie Mountain
- Enchanted Parrots
- Fireman’s Pole
- FreeFall and Tube Slides
- Grimble’s Clown-a-Round
- Net Climb
- Paddling Pool
- Radio Models
- Soft Play
- Tarzan Run
- Toddlers’ Funbag
- Trim Trail Obstacle Course
- Tube Slides
The kingdom boasted a wide range of equipment aimed at a variety of ages, from the ball pools and soft play for the very young, through to attractions for slightly older youngsters, such as the Trim Trail or Cookie Mountain.
The entrance to the area was housed under the somewhat iconic towers and bridges of the FunRun, which ran along the entire front end of the area. Beyond this sat the Net Climb and slides that dominated the area’s central arena, including the fear inducing Freefall slide and beneath the lower of these structures was a room of punchbags known as Biff n’ Bash. The centre of the area also housed the Tarzan Run, Radio Models and Amazing Maze.
Along the end of the area nearest to Towers Street was the Trim Trail and two pagodas, housing the Cookie Mountain and the Fun Bag (which was later replaced by a Bouncy Castle). Finally the back of the area was dedicated to Toddlers, with a large area covered by a tension membrane, which housed the Soft Play and Ball Pool, as well as a junior version of the FunBag, so no one missed out on the fun. Sitting slightly away for this under their own pagodas was the Building Site and Bouncy Castle, which sat next to the tented home of the parrot show.
During the years John Broome managed the park, Kiddies Kingdom remained much the same as it was when it opened, with the only significant change being Grimble’s Clown-a-Round replacing the parrot show.
Tussauds however were more proactive with the area and when they took over, the FreeFall slide and Funbags were swiftly removed, surely much to the relief of the park’s Health and Safety officer. The FreeFall was replaced by a second Astroglide and third Tube Slide, whilst Bouncy Castle replaced the FunBags.
When Storybook Land opened for the 1996 season the Cookie Mountain and half the FunRun was removed to make way for the station of the Squirrel Nutty Ride. This coincided with area becoming known as Adventureland, however it wasn’t until the following year that the area changed significantly with the removal of the Trim Trail, Amazing Maze, Radio Controlled Models, Tarzan Run, Building Site and several of the slides and Adventureland starting to become the area we see today.
Looking at Adventure Land today it’s very difficult to imagine how such a small area could hold so much, and to work out where everything sat back when the area first came into existence. Here’s a rundown of the locations of the former area’s attractions:
- Cookie Mountain and FunBag – The pagodas which held these attractions were removed at the end of 1995 to make way for the queueline of the Squirrel Nutty Ride.
- Trim Trail – This was removed at the end of 1996 and replaced by the Beastie.
- Free Fall and Net Climb – The Free Fall was replaced by a Tube Slide and Astroglide for the 1991 season. These remained until 2002 when they were replaced by Space Adventures. The Net Climb was removed to make way for the station to the Squirrel Nutty Ride for 1996.
- Tube Slides, Biff n’ Bash, Radio Models and Astroglide – These were all removed in 1996. The area was later home to Castle Adventures in 2002 and then to the Spinball Whizzer photo booth.
- Amazing Maze and Tarzan Run – These were replaced by the Gallopers Carousel in 1997, with the site later becoming the entrance area for Spinball Whizzer.
- FunRun – One end of this was removed to make way for the station of the Squirrel Nutty Ride, while the rest remained until the end of 2000. The area went on to contain the Immelman element of Spinball Whizzer.
- Building Site and Bouncy Castle – The pagodas that contained these attractions became part of the Hospitality Suite (which replaced the tent that contained the Parrot Show). They were removed at the end of 2003 to make way for Spinball Whizzer as they sat in the area where the coaster’s break run was located.
- Ball Pool, Soft Play and Toddler’s FunBag – The FunBag was replaced by a bouncy castle for the 1997 season. These attractions then remained in place until 2002 when the high tension membrane that covered them became home to Little Magic, a selection of play equipment, sand pits and a bouncy castle. Little Magic and the membrane were removed at the end of 2003 with the site becoming home to the station and lift hill of Spinball Whizzer.