After last years shitty visit to Alton Towers, I succumbed to a last minute request from the missus to take the kids there again as a last-minute holiday treat, given we've both worked a lot recently and myself in particular has hardly been home.
Well, again we had half a day in the water park and the following day in the theme park (this time the weather was great on the 2nd day). Yet again the over-priced package was acutely felt, the over-priced, over-rated food was consumed and we paid top dollar for common or garden drinks.
I also struggled to sleep in the crappy bed and woke up in a crappy mood as a result.
Suffice to say that I don't really recommend it - even at half price.
The kids thought the water park was great and I thought it was simply too packed (big queues for the water roller-coaster and slides) with barely room to move in the pool at times and little to no food available at lunch due to the crowds.
The actual theme park is more suitable for 12-20 year olds rather than my two at 10 and 6, who don't go for white-knuckle rides; although they enjoyed the water rides and the medium 'coasters. Fortunately due to it being a Monday and with kids returning to school, the park was quiet and we queued for few rides, the worst queue being for 'Charlie and The Chocolate Factory' which we didn't queue for last year since the queues were huge. It was about 40mins and needless to say, it wasn't worth it. Charlie and the 'Meh' Factory indeed - and that was what the kids said.
The food (we stayed in Splash Landings) was absolutely mediocre, despite there being a wide of choice of tasteless offerings to 'enjoy'.
We paid a lot for one night's stay (tasteless breakfast included), a day in the park and a day in the water (Cariba Creek). We paid extra for the minigolf, which the kids enjoyed and also for some astonishingly terrible Fish & Chips near the Nemesis/Air rides.
Theme park's eh... seems the theme is very, very bad value.
Still, saves being mugged in a dark alley. It won't happen again.