Beard likes to get his money worth with things like this, so despite promising the kids numerous times that we would one day go to Alton Towers, he had no intention until Finn reached optimal height. Poor little sod. For about two years, he measured himself hoping one day soon his dream would come true. But despite going to bed early in the hope he would grow, he still wasn’t quite big enough, and Beard would say, “no mate, we aren’t going. I’m not paying all that money to go round with you on the spinning cups…” so as soon as Finn reached the milestone height of 1.4 metres, I booked!
The kids nearly wet themselves with excitement when we said we were going. Moreover, even better for them – when we said we were going without Austyn, which meant it was a “grown-up” day with no ‘poo pit-stops’ getting in the way, as Josh calls them.
The downside was that the Airbnb accommodation I booked was a bit further than I thought. Who knew Shropshire isn’t near Stoke-On-Trent…?!?!! Another geographically challenging moment for me.
Also, who would have realised that I cleverly booked one day at the waterpark and the following day had inadvertently reserved for the actual theme park. Beard was not best pleased when we had to do the three hour round trip two days on the trot; however, it has got me out of ever planning a weekend break for a while.
But if you want to stay in a beautiful, quirky off-grid place in Shropshire (which is NOWHERE near Alton Towers, take a look at our holiday break here).
With prices at £32.50* an adult and £27.50* a child, it’s not a cheap day out. Plus £24* for all your pictures using the Digipass bolt-on and, of course, the cost of the waterpark at £15* an adult and £10.50* for a child. Oh, and then there’s the extraordinary golf; £6* an adult and £5* a child.
Of course, thinking ahead, the kids will also want to go on those games where you win a soft toy bigger than your house. For your information, that costs £20* per child – but gives them £50* of games vouchers.
So all in, you book for a day and you’re £257.00* lighter. Oh, and then there was the £20 each in the gift shop, the obligatory refillable drinks, sugar doughnuts and bag of sweets, plus dinner in The Rollercoaster Restaurant. So add another £140* plus more if you decide to go for Fast Track. Thus bringing it to a grand total of £397.00* for a family of four for one day out.
I’m pretty sure Beard was crying as we were driving, and he asked the shuddering question, “so how much did this set us back then?”
There’s one thing I’ve never realised before. You see, I LOVE rides, rollercoasters and being flung all over the place. Primarily I shit my pants at the time but then go back for more. Furthermore, I’ve always come off a ride laughing, so I thought I enjoyed this kind of thing, but apparently, my face doesn’t!
In most of the pictures, I look as if I’m being tested on by Aliens and pulling a weirdly demented expression.
You know that point where you come off the ride and walk through to the screens to view your photographs? I could feel everyone looking around to see who the imbecile was. And there I was, standing with two mortified kids next to me, just shaking their heads and uttering, “at least it’s not your Mum…”
As the day went on, the embarrassment got worse because Beard somehow managed to put his back out on one of the rides. This meant he could hardly turn his head, had an unusually straight back and an awkward sort of limp going on. We looked like the funny family to avoid, that’s for sure.
The rides at Alton Towers are next-level scary. I’m not entirely sure how the kids managed to survive some of them, but Finn was determined to conquer The Big Six Challenge, and I can confirm they were defeated! By doing all of the mega rides, you get free tickets for your next visit, BUT everyone in your group needs to download the app, and each of you has to scan the barcode at the end of the ride, or it doesn’t apply. We didn’t realise this 🙁
Alton Towers was an expensive day out, but it was a fantastic day out all the same. In Josh’s mind, it’s been the best day out for a long time! Even Beard with his old man back and me with my deranged, unhinged face enjoyed it. We’ve made incredible memories, so it’s a small price to pay, and we can’t wait to come back in December for Austyns CBeebies Christmas experience.
Plus, where on earth can you go to a restaurant like this?!
*At the time of booking.