Opening in 1989 as the Britannia Building Society Farm, the Farmyard has been a popular area for children when visiting the Alton Towers Resort. However after 24 years, the area will receive a large retheme for the 2014 season.

It wasn’t until 1995 that Old MacDonald himself moved in, but the Farmyard has sustained it’s magical and child friendly image ever since. Nonetheless, Old MacDonald’s time is coming to an end as the Alton Towers Resort has huge plans for the season ahead.
The submitted planning applications earlier in September have shown that Old MacDonald’s Tractor Ride, Riverbank Eye Spy and Berry Bish Bash were to be the attractions that would be subjected to the biggest change. Now, the Resort have been able to confirm exactly what to expect for next year.
After plenty of rumours and speculation throughout the year that 2014 would be a family based season, the Resort have confirmed that the popular children’s channel, CBeebies, will be setting up home in the Farmyard over the coming months.
“Set to open in Spring 2014 CBeebies Land will be Alton Towers’ first area themed for a single brand and will feature some of the best loved characters from the UK’s favourite TV channel. The 5 acre area for pre-schoolers will include rides, immersive play, live experiences, character appearances and seasonal events with content updated regularly so that each visit to CBeebies Land will be unique.”
Over the past weeks, several rides and attractions in the farmyard have been shut down early in preparation for the developments that will see the transformation of the area over the winter months. Berry Bish Bash, The Dung Heap and Riverbank Eye Spy have all closed to allow work to begin, with each respective attraction sealed off from the public
The equipment inside Berry Bish Bash has been dismantled, and the central area of the attraction is being used to construct various pieces of new theming that will feature next year.
Riverbank Eye Spy’s closure has seen the fences within the attraction being torn down, and it’s expected that the figures throughout the ride will be removed shortly.
The path leading to the Dung Heap play area has been fenced off, prohibiting the public from gaining access anywhere near it. As well as this, signs of demolition work on the old Ice Show tent have begun to make way for the new entertainments venue for 2014.
The ongoing transformation to CBeebies Land has led to the relocation of Franklyn’s Freaky Farm for Scarefest. The popular family Scarefest area has instead been relocated to Fountain Square, and renamed Franklyn’s Freaky Fun Zone as shown on the Resort’s 2013 Scarefest map. Mark Fisher, Chief Development Officer at Merlin Entertainments said,

“The Alton Towers project is very exciting.  Most importantly it is the first project in what we hope will be a very important long term relationship with BBC Worldwide. CBeebies is a perfect fit for Britain’s number one theme park resort, and both BBC Worldwide and ourselves are excited by the chance to add a little extra Merlin ‘magic’ to some of the country’s best loved children’s characters.  CBeebies Land will add a different and original element to the already fantastic offering we have for young families, making Alton Towers Resort the ideal destination for both day trips and short breaks.”

Joe Godwin, Director of BBC Children’s, has said,

“I’m really pleased that our youngest audience and their families will get the chance to experience hands-on their favourite CBeebies shows and characters in a safe environment which has all the values and quality they expect from CBeebies. CBeebies has long been the number one TV channel for preschool children and their families, but we also know that these days they want to be able to have days out and happy memories with their favourite characters in the real world as well. Hot on the heels of our hugely popular CBeebies app, CBeebies Land gives families another new way to experience the brand.”

Katherine Duckworth of the Alton Towers Resort, commented
“Alton Towers Resort is all about providing memorable experiences for our guests.   CBeebies Land will be aimed primarily at families with pre-school children and is designed to spark their imaginations, and to get them and their families playing together and really involved with the characters – so is a perfect fit for us. Providing new adventures is at the heart of Alton Towers Resort and we are hugely excited to be the first to work with the BBC as part of this exciting new partnership.  I have no doubt that CBeebies Land will add a different and original element to the already fantastic offering we have for young families, making Alton Towers Resort the ideal destination for day trips and short breaks.”
As CBeebies Land is slowly built up from the ground over the coming months, TowersTimes will be bringing you all the latest regarding this magical development as we get it. CBeebies Land is scheduled to open in May 2014.
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