From 'Ooompah to Arghhhh' Alton Towers has Autumn covered with Oktoberfest family-festival and annual Scarefest
Merlin bosses are bringing to life a little of the annual German festival celebrating traditional Bavarian cultural by launching their own family inspired festival at the Staffordshire theme park.
'Oktoberfest' at Alton Towers resort will be running through the month until October 4.
And what a cracking opening weekend it was, with a large dose of sunshine alongside the tastes of Bratwursts and pretzels washed down with a Spaten beer and a five-piece Oompah band to get thrill seekers in the spirit of the occasion.
With live entertainment performing for the crowds from 3pm each day, across two stages, it was the perfect way to break up a day of ride hopping instead singing and swaying to the sounds of Munich's favourite Oktoberfest songs.
The park is still opened to limited capacity under Covid 19 guidelines, with pre-booking booking mandatory for your day trip or stay.
This was a first family visit to an outdoor theme park post lockdown and we were very impressed with the sterling job by staff in keeping queues under control and eager guests in line, whilst ensuring all still enjoyed the usual delights and a fun-filled experience.
One way systems have been installed throughout the 910 acre theme park, with social distance markers at all queue lines and face coverings mandatory on many of the rides.
The new entertainment led festival adds another layer of excitement to build into the afternoon, ensuring plenty of leisure and merriment with live acts, Bavarian dancers, street entertainers and an Alpine Horn player. There are additional acoustic acts and accordionist Robert Burton, who proved a real hit with the crowd.
Access to the festival area is completely free and is well monitored. The Oktoberfest stalls all accept contactless pay methods.
Across the park regular tannoy announcements were made throughout queue lines to maintain the strict social distance policies, which were in the main adhered to and caused us no concern at all.
Pre-planning a trip is well worth the visit and easier than ever with the dedicated Alton Towers app, which gives regular updated information on both family and thrill rides.
A family of four with two young children we were able to make most of the day across the park, queuing together and parent-swapping, which in some ways was in fact simpler and easier.
Single rider and fast track options are limited at present but queues capped in the main at the 80 minute mark and in reality 10 or almost 15 minutes under the time on some occasions.
The late night riding for those whose feet can last is well worth taking the advantage of and a big shout out to the Runaway Train team who ensured the last of the days ride was quite the party and one to remember for the little ones, before allowing the train to make it's final stop at the station. A highlight of the children's trip.
That along with the Rollercoaster Restaurant, where evening visits are pre-booked only.
The restaurant located in the Forbidden Valley is a real treat for first-timers and adds a whole new meaning to fast food. Staff couldn't be more helpful in ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable dining experience in socially distanced times. The menu is on the pricier side, compared to the other outlets but was enjoyable and plentiful.
Kids main meals start from around £8.
The same level of attention with the new measures have carefully been put in place at the Alton Towers Hotels and accommodations. Face masks where possible are encouraged in social areas, with exceptions to the restaurants. Staff are most welcoming and it stands out as one of the best in family focused accommodations, well worth the stay.
Guests can enjoy Oktoberfest until Sunday October 4. On Mondays to Thursdays rides will close at 6pm. The Halloween extravaganza 'Scarefest' with two new added attractions opens on Friday October 9 until November 1 (selected dates.)
For full details visit https://www.altontowers.com/A full list on Covid 19 measures and to plan your visit https://www.altontowers.com/plan-your-visit/before-you-visit/know-before-you-go/