The main 2009 season runs from Saturday, 28th March to Sunday, 1st November. For those of you who like some good old facts and figures – that’s a grand total of 218 days!

Within the season, there are likely to be several special events. The most major of these is to be “Scarefest” – Alton Towers’ Hallowe’en event which is entering its 3rd season. From 17th October to 1st November, the entire resort will become home to extra tricks and treats for all ages – including live shows, cuddly hallowe’en characters and intense scare mazes right up until 9pm in the park and 11pm at the hotel resort! There’s also the lazy summer evenings which take place from the end of July to the beginning of September when the theme park rides won’t close until 7pm!

ERT, or Early Ride Time is expected to return for 2009, which will mean that hotel guests and Annual Pass holders gain exclusive access to selected rides and attractions before the general public! From 9am, ride with minimal queue’s to give yourself a real wake-up call.

You may have already noticed that the theme park boasts several new additions – large and small – for the new season. If you’re looking for a new culinary experience, then the brand new Pizza-Pasta buffet that’s opening in Katanga Canyon should tickle your fancy. Featuring a Colonial African theme, “Explorers Restaurant” will open its doors for the first time on March 28th. Also set for some changes is the “Meltdown” outlet in X Sector. Towers Times believe that this is set to become an exclusively KFC restaurant this year. It has, of course, been home to both KFC and Pizza Hut for many years.

Further diversifying the resort, the new “Sharkbait Reef” aquarium will appeal to all ages and feature a walkthrough tunnel. Coming under the SEA LIFE umbrella, this pirate themed underwater world will feature aquatic displays and exhibits suitable for everyone to enjoy. Meanwhile, Cred Street has received a much needed refurbishment and will be re-opened as “Cloud Cuckoo Land” for 2009! Featuring a new theme, indoor play area, improved attractions and the re-located Ug Swinger (which formerly resided next to Boulder Rock Turn, Ug Land) – this area will be suited more towards families.

As the resorts Monorail system has now been completed, the full set of 9 themed trains is now available for operation to transport millions of guests each year from the hotels and car parks to the main entrance plaza. From a cow to a fish bowl and a basket of strawberries to a bouncing jelly bean, there’s sure to be a train to suit everyone’s tastes! Staying on the subject of transportation, the park will also be introducing brand new Skyride gondola’s for the new season. In a rainbow of colours, these will replace the tired, worn gondola’s which had certainly done their service to Alton Towers over the past two decades.

Finally, in brief, there’ll be new shows, street entertainment and much more on the way for 2009 – and we look forward to brining you the build-up along with all the news during the season – here on Towers Times! There’s so much to look forward to, we can’t wait for the season to begin!

EDIT: 04/03/09 – You are now able to view a promotional version of the 2009 park map on Towers Times. Visit our News section for a link to a copy taken from the 4th March edition of The Sun.