10 Things: Alton Towers

10 Things you may not have known about Alton Towers.

  1. The Theme Song of Alton Towers is a classical composition by Edvard Grieg. The writer of the song said: ” I have written something that so reeks of cowpats, ultra-Norwegianism, and ‘to-thyself-be-enough-ness’ that I can’t bear to hear it, though I hope that the irony will make itself felt.” 
    Edvard Grieg, composer of the Alton Towers Theme Song


  2. King Ceolred of Mercia was besieged in his own fort in 716, built where Alton Towers currently stands. Ordnance Survey maps list the spot below the rides at Alton Towers as “Slain Hollow”
  3. Since 2009, the cost of going to Alton Towers for a family of four has risen 60%.
  4. More than 90% of visitors to Alton Towers will be taking advantage of a special offer or have booked cheaper rates in advance. Only 10% of visitors pay full price for tickets.
  5. Because so many vehicles speed down the local village surrounding Alton Towers, £40,000 worth of speed bumps were built by the city council earlier this year.
  6. The front carriage of the original corkscrew car was sold for £7,200. John Taylor bought the car and intends to display it as a garden feature. All funds were donated to the Merlin Magic Wand charity.
    John Taylor and his children enjoying their new garden feature
  7. In 2007, Alton Towers announced it intended to use ‘rain control’ techniques to prevent rainy days during the parks busiest season. Rain control had previously been used by communists in the Soviet Union to keep rallies dry.
  8. Alton Towers is the least healthy of the Merlin theme parks. Out of 25 points for availability of healthy food, drinking water and fresh fruit, Alton Towers scored a measly 5. Legoland scored 12 and Blackpool Pleasure Beach scored 2.
  9. A system called Your Day previously allowed visitors to be ‘tagged’, as security cameras followed them around the park and on rides. A DVD was available to buy at the end of the day, which showed footage of the visitor on rides and around the park. This reporter can say, from experience, that it was just terrible.
  10. In May 2005, Alton Towers gave anyone with a gnome free access to the park. The event was a success, but over 200 gnomes were left in the park by forgetful visitors. Alton Towers set up a gnome créche for anyone in need of a garden ornament.
    200 abandoned gnomes at Alton Towers resort