Alton Towers Resort brought the 2017 season to a close this weekend with their annual Ultimate Fireworks Spectacular. With the park at virtually full capacity across the weekend, the final weekend of the 2017 season promised to be one of the best of the year.
This year’s display was themed around ‘What Alton Towers Means to Guests’, and combined well choreographed lighting and lasers with an impressive range of fireworks – including some which created new and different effects to what has been seen in previous Alton Towers fireworks displays. The show was accompanied by an emotional soundtrack, which featured the voice of John Wardley, who helped make Alton Towers Resort what it is today. It also included the voices of the whole spectrum of guests, including some TowersTimes and SouthParks community members, from the very young through to older guests who visited the Resort when it first opened as a theme park.
TowersTimes was given an exclusive look behind the scenes of this year’s show to see how the Ultimate Fireworks Spectacular was put together. For 2017, a new control suite was installed on the left side of the lawns, from which the pyrotechnics, lighting and sound were all coordinated. Inside, the suite is split into two sections, one for the lighting and sound, and one for Jubilee Fireworks to fire the pyrotechnics. In order to ensure all guests are fully immersed in the show, additional lighting, and an extra sound tower were placed at the bottom of Towers Street which meant the sound and lighting effects were projected further back than ever before. Whilst needing to stay within noise limits for the benefit of local residents, the show also utilised several different firing zones for this year’s display, including some not used in previous years, as well as a range of new firework effects.
With the Theme Park full to capacity on Saturday and almost reaching capacity again on Sunday, a range of additional infrastructure was put in place for the weekend. The usual extra food and beverage units were stationed at the bottom of Towers Street by the lawn and, for the first time this season, Mutiny Bay Burger Kitchen re-opened. The pathway from Mutiny Bay to Katanga Canyon was also opened once more, with guests also being able to walk underneath SW8’s lift hill for a short period immediately after each display as one of the site access roads was opened to help ease guest flow towards Forbidden Valley. After 2016’s event having issues with Annual Passholders not being admitted once the park reached capacity, the ability to pre-book tickets was a welcome addition by the Resort for this year. However, it could be argued that the £5 per-person charge may have made attending the event expensive for some, particularly those with families. Whilst it is understandable that the Resort would want to ensure that guests make use of their reserved place, for future events it might be nice to see the reservation fee be partially refunded in the form of magic money or offer vouchers to use on Resort. Organisation surrounding entry and exit to the Resort was also far better this year with queues for the car parks, and on the Entrance Plaza, very well managed ensuring guests were able to move forward swiftly and keep any delays to a minimum.
Did you get to see this year’s Ultimate Fireworks Spectacular? What did you think of 2017’s display? Join in the discussion over on the Attraction Source Forum. With the Theme Park now closed until the 2018 season, TowersTimes will continue to bring you the latest updates throughout the closed season.