Alton Towers Resort launched their brand new event, Oktoberfest on Friday 11th September. TowersTimes was there over the opening weekend to take in the festivities and see what the new for 2020 event has to offer.
The event is primarily located on the front lawns, with a large inflatable entrance feature welcoming guests to the Oktoberfest arena. A new Oompah-inspired soundtrack has been produced especially for the event, and paired with some bunting and other themed decorations, it certainly gives the theme park a more up-beat atmosphere to help guests get into the festival mood. The Mutiny Bay Courtyard is also serving as a secondary area of the event.
The main Oktoberfest arena itself encompasses the entirety of the front lawns, with plenty of socially distanced picnic benches and stand-up beer barrel tables available for guests. The focal point of the arena is the main Oktoberfest stage, where live entertainment is provided from 2pm daily including live vocalists, themed characters and Oompah band, German Jukebox. A second, smaller stage that features additional entertainment is situated on the side of the arena nearest Mutiny Bay. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, guests can also interact with a range of roaming characters which include Beer and Bubbles, Alpine Horn Man, and The Barrel Monks, as part of an additional street theatre offering.
It wouldn’t be Oktoberfest without food and drink being available, and by drink, we specifically mean beer! Available from the Bier Keller in the main festival arena, and the Wunderbar in the Mutiny Bay Courtyard are a selection of English and German beers including SPATEN, Erdinger and Becks. Food options include a range of wursts, as well as a hog roast and various options of loaded fries. For those with a sweeter tooth, toasted marshmallows and hot chocolate are available. Hot Spiced Glühwein is also available from a dedicated stall. Most of the food outlets are able to cater for Gluten Free and Vegan diets. Annual Pass discount is unfortunately not available on any of the food or drink options. Although card payment is preferred, cash is accepted at all refreshment stalls.
The Resort have a selection of Oktoberfest merchandise available from a shop located in the festival arena. Among the products on offer are branded Oktoberfest steins and mugs, as well as a pin badge and various items of clothing. Annual Pass discount is available on merchandise, however the outlet is only accepting card payments at the time of writing.
Oktoberfest has seemingly also caught the attention of The Beornen, with members of the mysterious group spotted once again on the plaza in front of Wicker Man. As well as their usual practices of ritualistic chanting and dancing, they have also been seen encouraging passing guests to join them in their ritual.
Oktoberfest is a fun and vibrant event that is vastly different from anything the Resort have done previously. Originally announced prior to the development of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is pleasing to see that the Resort have still been able to deliver the event as planned, with adaptations made to allow for social-distancing. The Resort have already been successful in creating a suitably Bavarian atmosphere, but with the Wunderbar located in the Mutiny Bay Courtyard, this area could potentially benefit from the addition of a third stage for entertainment.
The event runs daily until 4th October with park hours of 10am-6pm Monday to Thursday and 10am-8pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (although CBeebies Land closes at 7pm), with entertainment continuing to 7pm and 8:30pm respectively.
Did you experience Oktoberfest over opening weekend, or are you planning a visit to the event? Have your say over on the Attraction Source Forum.