Last weekend saw Alton Towers Resort reopen the gates to the theme park for the main 2022 season! TowersTimes paid a visit to check out all the changes made over the winter period, including the three new CBeebies Land attractions.

The first new for 2022 attraction is Hey Duggee’s Big Adventure Badge, a new play and adventure land which utilises the area previously occupied by Tree Fu Tom Training Camp. While some of the existing play equipment has been retained, there have also been some notable changes made including the addition of the Duggee’s Squirrel Clubhouse, which features interactive activities inside as well as two slides, alongside a meet and greet area where Duggee can be found over the course of the day. Throughout the playground, models of characters from the popular television programme have also been added.

Also new for this year is Andy’s Adventures Dinosaur Dig, which replaces Mr Bloom’s Allotment. Although we didn’t experience the attraction during our visit, we understand that it follows a similar format to that of its predecessor, with guests needing to search the dig site in the outdoor portion of the attraction for ‘fossils’ to insert into Andy’s fossilator for analysis. The second half of the attraction then takes place in the interior area, where guests help to build a new exhibit.

The final new addition is JoJo & Gran Gran At Home, which is situated in the building previously home to Charlie and Lola’s Moonsquirters & Green Drops. A large new facade has been installed on the building’s exterior, allowing guests to feel as though they are entering Gran Gran’s house. Inside, guests can explore the living room, kitchen and garden, with lots of interactive elements throughout to encourage curiosity.

To celebrate the arrival of these new friends to CBeebies Land, a special countdown was held at 10am, with Duggee and Andy in attendance among other well-known characters. This took place beneath the colourful new entrance portal which prominently features the playful Bugbies. The refurbishment of the area’s entrance has also seen new themed flooring installed, featuring vibrant patterns. Overall, as the area enters its ninth season at the theme park, it has in general been refreshed, with painting touch-ups and a new Bugbies trail with models added throughout the land. There are also two new shows in Big Fun Showtime with Hey Duggee Live: The Map Badge and an updated Bing Live show.

Elsewhere in the theme park, The Retro Squad are back with Funk ‘n’ Fly and Roller Disco returning from Planet Retrograde for another season. With Mixtape on an important mission elsewhere, new ride Spinjam has been sent in its place. Located in X Sector, Spinjam is a Tivoli Extreme and will undoubtedly provide the most intense ride experience of the three attractions, with a height restriction of 1.4m. However, it was still in the process of being set-up over opening weekend, but expected to open soon. While it is good to see the Resort acknowledge that the theme park benefitted from having the additional ride capacity provided by these attractions last year, this only emphasises the need for investment in permanent, themed flat rides. It would be disappointing if these pop-up rides became an established part of the ride line-up as a substitute for such investment.

As is usual over the closed season, works have taken place to refresh all areas of the theme park. On the entrance plaza, the Monorail station has been re-painted in purple which fits in alongside the other buildings and the Corkscrew monument. It is also evident that Dark Forest has been in receipt of a fresh coat of paint, which includes the entrance to Rita. Nearby, new glazing has been installed at Woodcutter’s Bar & Grill. Having been a focal point of the Resort’s February Half Term event, Mutiny Bay has also received cosmetic enhancements and a new soundtrack. In The World of David Walliams, new permanent lighting fixtures in the form of lampshades stood upon colourful stacks of books have been installed. The bins found throughout the theme park have also been painted in various bright colours, and the fences along the pathway between Spinball Whizzer and X Sector have been painted in the on-brand purple.