With Christmas just around the corner, Alton Towers Resort have been offering a selection of festive short breaks to enable guests to enjoy a magical Santa’s Sleepover at the Resort. Featuring a complete range of Christmas experiences, from festive activities, a selection of rides in the Theme Park, the Resort’s very own Pantomime, and opportunities to meet Santa himself, the Resort offers a complete Christmas experience, TowersTimes paid a visit to take a look at this year’s festive offering.

Guests visiting the Resort for a Christmas getaway can enjoy one of three Festive experiences depending on which accommodation they choose to stay in – the Classic Santa Stay; Explorer’s Santa Escape; or an Enchanted Santa Break. Those staying in the CBeebies Land Hotel, or Standard and Moon Voyager Rooms at the Alton Towers Hotel can experience the Classic Santa Stay where they can meet Santa in his Woodland grotto in the heart of CBeebies Land. Guests are greeted by Santa’s elves who lead them through Mistletoe Lane towards the grotto to meet Santa. Tucked away in the trees, Santa can be found next to the fire in his grotto, surrounded by toys and presents. There are plenty of lovely traditional details to be found in the room, with a train set circling the tree and garlands, wreaths and stockings adorning the wall. Guests also have the opportunity to have a photo taken with the man himself as a memory of the day.

Those staying in an Enchanted Village Woodland Lodge can experience an Enchanted Santa Break and get to meet Santa, Mrs Claus, and the Christmas elves in the brand new Enchanted TiPi. Located on the Green near to the Enchanted Village reception, the Enchanted TiPi creates a magical, festive atmosphere throughout guests’ experience. On entering, children are greeted with a mug of hot chocolate, whilst adults can enjoy a cup of mulled wine. The experience includes a number of perfectly pitched activities, including the opportunity for young guests to make their own Christmas decorations, and the chance for everyone to enjoy a Sing Song with Mrs Claus. Of course there is also the opportunity to meet Santa too. The decorations with the TiPi, combined with the lighting looks really wonderful and makes the TiPi feel cosy for guests. The TiPi and decorations both fit well with the overall theme of the Enchanted Village and would make a welcome addition at other points of the year.

Guests opting to stay in a themed suite or themed room in the Alton Towers Hotel get to experience the Explorer’s Santa Escape. Offering guests the opportunity to start their day with a breakfast feast with Mrs Claus. Entering through doors in Dragon Bar, guests are are able to enjoy a buffet breakfast in the Emperors Suite. Guests are told stories of Sir Algenon’s adventures to the North Pole, as well as a chance to meet Darwin the Dodo and Eric the Yeti, something which helps distinguish Alton Towers Resort’s offering. The experience also sees guests enjoy songs and entertainment from Santa’s elves, and a special visit from Father Christmas.

Of course no Christmas experience would be complete without a pantomime and this year sees a fun packed production of Jack and the Beanstalk take centre stage at the Resort. The State Room in the the Resort’s conference centre has been transformed into a theatre with bean bags at the front for younger guests. Timed tickets are included in each stay, meaning all guests are able to pay a visit to the Village of Salad Dressing, where Fairy Sprout, the vegetable fairy guides the audience through the story, where facing eviction Jack, and his mother Dame Dolly Trott and cow Daisy find the answers they need atop of the beanstalk in an hour-long show. Other characters include Jack’s true love, Gill and her father; Baron Badland, as well as a range of supporting roles including Margaret the housekeeper, the henchmen and the larger than life Giant Blunderbore. Featuring multiple sets, theatrical lighting and special effects, the Resort has been able to achieve a show full of songs and jokes, which will entertain kids and adults alike. It would be great if the Resort could find the momentum to have evening shows performed during other periods of the year, but this would likely mean trying to find an alternative space to house the productions in order to preserve corporate bookings.

Towers Street has had its traditional Christmas makeover, with rich theming applied to facades, fences and lampposts as well as an impressive range of trees leading down towards the lawns where the big Christmas tree stands, surrounded with presents and sweets. Gold and red bows as well a range of baubles provide consistency across the Resort. The addition of the snow in mid-December also added a lot to the overall impression of the park.