As part of the latest guidance from the UK Government which allows outdoor paid attractions with open grounds and parks to re-open, the resort will be opening the Gardens on a limited capacity basis between 10am and 4pm each day (with last entry at 2pm). Those wishing to visit will need to pre-book their tickets online. Adult tickets will cost £12, children £5, whilst those with a Merlin Annual Pass and Alton Towers Season Pass will just need to pay a £1 booking fee. Parking will be free for all guests.
To help guests follow social distancing and hygiene guidelines the Resort have implemented a number of measures throughout the grounds. Hand sanitiser will be provided at various points and the best routes around the grounds will be sign posted for guests to follow to avoid crowds or queuing. Guests will also see social distancing markers on the floors to help them keep 2 metres apart. There will also be enhanced cleaning regimes in place to disinfect high touch areas. Hot and cold drinks and ice creams will be available to purchase with guests asked to make payment by card (cash will not be accepted). Guests are also welcome to bring their own picnics, although these may not contain alcohol and the Resort requests that any litter is placed in the bins provided.
Whilst the Gardens will be open for guests to explore, the Resort’s rides and attractions and Resort Hotels will remain closed in line with the current COVID-19 guidelines from the UK Government. At this time it is not known when the Resort will be able to fully re-open to guests with much depending on the UK’s continued efforts to decrease the rate of infections.
Speaking about the opening of the Gardens, Emma Catterall, Divisional Director of Alton Towers Resort said:
“The Gardens have been open to the public in one form or another since 1839, but are often overlooked by guests as they rush from one ride to another. We are delighted to have this opportunity to offer guests the chance to enjoy the Gardens in themselves.
“We are limiting the number of guests each day, and have put a raft of hygiene and safety measures in place to protect our visitors and employees. We are excited to be welcoming guests back to the Resort and offering families a beautiful place to enjoy time in the outdoors together.”
This latest news is a much needed positive first step in the phased re-opening of the Resort. It follows on from the recent announcement that Alton Towers Resort had taken the difficult decision to postpone the opening of Gansta Granny: The Ride, and the accompanying area, The World of David Walliams. When the Resort does eventually fully re-open for the first time in 2020 guests can expect to see a number of changes and procedures in place, including temperature checks, social distancing measures on rides, in queue-lines, and across the Resort, and changes to the food and beverage offering, all designed to make a day out as safe and enjoyable as possible in what will be a new normal.
Are you excited to see Alton Towers Resort re-open their gardens? Will you be taking advantage of the opportunity to visit? Make sure you share your thoughts and experiences over on the Attraction Source Forum.