With an all female party packed eagerly into the Shazza (thank you Dads looking after the little two) we set off for Alton Towers with the sun shining.
With an all female party packed eagerly into the Shazza (thank you Dads looking after the little two) we set off luckily with the sun shining. Arriving mid afternoon we dumped our bags at the Splash Landings Hotel. The girls - Eve 8, Lottie 6, Emily 9 and Hannah 6, ooohed and aaahed at the Waterpark based in the hotel and Jo very wisely booked us in for a meal at the Secret Garden Restaurant for later on.
Hoping on board the Monorail was a great start to the Alton Towers Experience as the driver kindly let us all sit up front in his cabin. His chat with the girls was above and beyond the call of duty and really made a good impression on us all.
After realising Squirrel Nutty Ride just wasn't cutting it with the older girls we all decided our first brush with adrenaline was going to be the Enterprise. Dragging Hannah on kicking and screaming (much to the disgust of the waiting queue - such a bad mother), her screams of anguish turned into laughter. And as the doors were released "Mum... can we go on again" set the tone of the day.
Disaster struck on the Submission when dangling upside down Jo's phone made a bid for freedom and crashed on the floor 30 ft below. Luckily it survived and still works today but the realisation hit Emily that it may not be such a good idea being swung around at such great heights and let out an ear splitting scream. Needless to say it didn't stop her wanting to go back on.
Jo's best ride of the day was the Runaway Mine Train for its good all round family fun. I was dragged on to the Battle Galleons last minute and yes it would have been great fun but for a few male youths on dry land took great delight in drenching the lot of us, as we were sitting ducks. My first tip for the day is DO NOT GO IN THIS RIDE IF YOU DON'T WANT TO GET WET.
On our second day we felt we were better prepared and had made a plan of which rides we wanted to go on, knowing in advance the height restrictions. When visiting with little people it is advisable to know their height as there is nothing worse trying to go on a ride and being turned away, much to their disappointment. Mums and Dads please pin back your ears and listen to this valuable tip. If you really cannot resist the big rides and need your fill of adrenaline then most of the big rides have single rider's queues. These are on the whole, much quicker to get to the front of the queue and indeed while I was minding the kids with a quick ice cream break Joanne managed to get herself to the front of the Oblivion ride in no less than 5 minutes. Result!
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ride was visited no less than three times by Lottie, over the two days. And considering how much I hated getting drenched the day before, the Flume ride was a pleasant surprise. So much the better, as the girls pleaded to stay on for a subsequent go and their wish was granted.
We ended our day with a visit to the Waterpark. The girls were so excited and I think it just was the icing on the cake for them. My Master Blaster ride with Hannah, in a double inflatable ring, along the water chute was exhilarating and fun without being too frightening and I think there was a lot of wohoooow's going on around the chute. We didn't think we could be in there for longer than a few hours but the time went so fast before we knew it the claxon went and we were caught up in the stampede to get out.
There are definitely not enough hours in the day to cram everything in on offer at Alton Towers. The girls are already chomping at the bit to go back and we only visited a fortnight ago. I think it is only fair that next time, we hand the reigns over to the Dads. I am not convinced a day will go by without one of the kids being lost with them in charge (maybe not Bob but certainly Dave!) but I know they will all have a thoroughly smashing time!