Full details of the proposed extension to the Air Shop at Alton Towers Resort have been published on the Staffordshire Moorlands Council Planning Portal, revealing a new restaurant and the re-location of the retail area to a new part of the building.
The proposal indicates an extension to the both sides of the Air Shop building, with the kitchen & toilets at the rear, above the current disabled access pathway, whilst a new shop will sit on the existing front plaza area. Plans detail a new single storey Air Shop built on the existing picnic and viewing plaza overlooking the rollercoaster to the left of the existing building and utilising the existing fire doors from the exit stairs of the ride. A new corridor at the top of the stairs would be created with riders entering the shop on right. Upon entering the shop, guests would pass the ride photo counter before entering the main retail area (in a similar way to which the existing shop flows currently). A door on the left would become an escape access to the restaurant.
On the opposite side of the building, a two-storey extension housing the kitchen, toilets and plant would be built. The extension would be built on stilts to allow continued access for guests who require the use of the disabled entrance to the ride via the existing path behind the current building. Also proposed is a new themed feature entrance, with initial plans showing a large installation comprised of a mix of concentric arches, ride track and giant cutlery.
Thought to be a FoodLoop style restaurant similar to that found at Europa-Park, the new dining option will offer guests a fantastic new dining experience, however, the new location of the shop will likely mean that guests will be unable to benefit from the panoramic view of Air from the existing plaza walkway.
This new development comes after a recent setback for dining in Forbidden Valley following the recent closure of Nemesis Fish & Chips due to fire. It would see a much needed increase in restaurant capacity within the Forbidden Valley area, which is already served by Refresh @ Ripsaw and a Burger Kitchen stand, but aside from Gloomy Wood, is the only remaining land without a major restaurant.