Alton Towers Resort have today confirmed, via their blog, a number of key details relating to the 2016 season including the Theme Park opening calendar and a new scheme which will see a number of areas receive some ‘Towers Loving Care’.

As previously confirmed, the main 2016 season will begin on Saturday 19th March and run through until Sunday 6th November. One of the key changes for the 2016 season will be mid-week closures of the Theme Park on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the off-peak periods of the season. Currently the dates for these closures are scheduled to be: 19th – 27th April; 10th – 25th May; and 6th September – 12th October. The park will also close 1st – 4th November. These off-peak weekday closures are similar to those scheduled at other Merlin theme parks in the UK, with Thorpe Park Resort, Chessington World of Adventures Resort, and Legoland Windsor Resort all also set to follow a similar opening calendar. Dates for 2016 Scarefest and Fireworks have also been confirmed. In a slight change to previous years Scarefest will now run on weekends in October as well as the main October Half Term Week, meaning Alton Towers Resort’s annual spooktacular will now follow a similar pattern to Fright Nights at Thorpe Park Resort. The Fireworks Spectacular will round off the 2016 season on the 5th and 6th November meaning the traditional season climax will run for just two nights instead of the usual three. In what will be disappointing news for many, the Resort have also confirmed that the Theme Park will not be opening for February Half Term 2016. Instead, the Resort hotels will be hosting a “Pirates and Princess Week” featuring Cook and Line from the popular CBeebies show, Swashbuckle.

Further teasers have also been released regarding the upcoming changes to Air alongside a number of other changes for the 2016 season. Describing it as a ‘ground-breaking ride experience’, as well as using a range of seemingly space themed language – from 2016 being a “meteoric year” to the Resort preparing for an “out of this world season” – the Resort have dropped their strongest hints yet that the re-vamped Air will indeed have an intergalactic theme when it re-opens in 2016. Many people have also been speculating that the re-vamp could see the introduction of a virtual reality experience introduced to the ride, similar to that trialled on Alpenexpress at Europa Park earlier this year – could this be the “ground breaking experience” being referred to?

As well as the re-themed Air, 2016 will also see the opening of the new ‘Rollercoaster Restaurant’, construction for which is also underway in Forbidden Valley. Alongside the new restaurant the Resort have also confirmed that they will be opening a new coffee shop, although the exact location for this is yet to be confirmed. Brand new entertainment is also set to premier at the Resort, however the precise details of this is yet to be revealed.

The Resort will also be undertaking an extensive scheme of maintenance across all areas, with the aim of enhancing guests’ experience. Under the name “Towers Loving Care”, over the next three years the Resort will complete a whole host of improvements from re-paints of areas and improving signage, to the refurbishment or redesign of attractions. Exactly what this will mean for the attraction line-up for the 2016 season is not yet clear, however it is anticipated that potentially some attractions may be unavailable for at least part of the season whilst they undergo the maintenance planned for them.

What are your thoughts on these latest announcements from the Resort? Are you excited to see the changes which are coming to Air or are you pleased to see the Resort undertaking the refurbishment of a range of areas? Whatever your thoughts make sure you have your say over on the Attraction Source Forum. As we move closer to the 2016 season TowersTimes will continue to bring you all the latest news and developments.

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