Whilst the Resort’s main season is not far away, the recent February half-term event saw the return of the Pirates and Princesses short breaks at Alton Towers Resort. For 2018 the Resort substantially increased the programme of entertainment, making this an unmissable event, particularly for those with children. TowersTimes was given exclusive access to look at the latest swashbuckling adventure.

Previously, February half term saw the Resort open the Theme Park with a limited ride line-up. However, since 2016, the action has moved to the Resort’s hotels, building on the Pirate Weekends previously offered during closed season before 2016 introduced a combined Pirate and Princess event. 2018 sees the biggest hotel based event yet with an expanded entertainment offering and, as it did last year, the event spanned two weeks (10th-25th February) to ensure it was available for the varying half-term dates across the UK.

Following on from the well-received Christmas event, the Resort has been able to provide a comprehensive entertainments offering with entertainment running up until 10pm and spanning multiple venues across the Resort’s accommodation, with the Enchanted Tipi, part of the Enchanted Village, providing an additional entertainment venue. During the day, guests were able to access Sharkbait Reef by SEALIFE, with talks given at scheduled times. Also included in the package was a round of Extraordinary Golf on one of the 9-hole courses, as well as admission to the Waterpark on the second day of the stay.

The Alton Towers Hotel was transformed with pirate and princess decorations and a range of shows and activities crammed into an impressive programme. Younger guests could get creative with a colouring competition in Sir Algenon’s Bar from the morning, with meet and greets with Darwin the Dodo and Eric the Yeti in the hotel reception in afternoon. The evening entertainment was centred around the ship in the hotel’s atrium, with a packed line-up of princess shows; including Princess School, where guests can help Loana the Brave remember how to be a princess, Pirate Pegg’s Magic Show, Princess Pop Party and Family Game Show amongst others.

Located just outside the Enchanted Village, the Enchanted Tipi added a range of much welcome evening entertainment in a very unique setting. Inside, Lost Boy Jess, Fairy Princess Emily as well as Ringo, provided back-to-back entertainment all evening. Featuring an outdoor treasure hunt (with an indoor option for poor weather), fancy dress parade, discos and shows with Ringo until late, the Tipi provided a cosy and intimate experience with space for younger guests to play as well as a bar and plenty of seating. The Tipi has proved extremely popular and is a really welcome addition to the Enchanted Village, and a positive indicator with the expected village expansion on the horizon.

The State Room, part of the Resort’s conference centre, was taken over by the motley pirate crew. Much missed from the Park since the removal of the Mutiny Bay Courtyard show, the Pirates of Mutiny Bay made a welcome return with a range of shows and entertainment throughout the afternoon and evening. The pirates had their own themed stage within the State Room, which has been constructed with a great level of thought and detail. Like the Christmas Panto, guests are given timed slots to watch the shows, with the pirates offering High Sea and Hijinx: A Pirate Adventure, which consists of three back-to-back adventures lasting an hour and a half. Comprised of Pirates of Mutiny Bay: The Lore of Treasure Unknown, a brand new swashbuckling show plus the return of the classic Pirates of Mutiny Bay: The Kidnap of Lady Victoria Sponge, and Captain Finn’s Training Camp, where budding buccaneers are able to brush up on those all-important skills needed to become a ferocious pirate.

In the evening the pirates were back with their Pirate Take Over, which consisted of a live show with songs and dances from the dastardly buccaneers, as well as the Pirate and Princess Party which saw the princess vocalists, Alexandra and Xenna join in for some more pirate fun.

The half-term adventure follows on from the strong Christmas event and with the back-to-back shows, and incredibly enthusiastic performances by a dedicated team has again shown the Resort has the ability to provide strong guest experiences. The events have also provided a strong argument to carry the entertainment momentum into the main season, and for hotel stage shows to feature during peak season. The energy provided by the return of the Pirates of Mutiny Bay also makes a compelling argument for them to return to park line-up as they have been a much missed part of the park atmosphere by guests.

With the packages starting at £160 for a family of four, which included all the activities, comprehensive line up of live entertainment, entry to Sharkbait Reef by SEALIFE, 9 holes of Extraordinary Golf, and Waterpark access, the event offered a seriously impressive bundle, that was guaranteed to keep families busy.

Have you experienced the Pirates and Princess Takeover at Alton Towers Resort this year? Make sure you share your experience over on the Attraction Source Forum.

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