Why Alton Towers Oktoberfest may have just marked the start of a brand new annual tradition for the resort!
Beer, Brats, Oompah music and good times! What could be better right?
Well, when you factor in the fact you also have an entire theme park at your disposal at the same time, well then you may just be onto something!
Alton Towers Oktoberfest marks the start of a brand new style of event for the resort in the fact that there hasn’t really be an event of this calibre for quite some years.
Mixing traditional style bavarian cuisine with some real top notch german themed entertainment Alton Towers Oktoberfest shows just what the resort can achieve even when faced with such challenging restrictions on their day to day operations and overall capacity.
What's on offer?
It’s no secret that when someone says Oktoberfest, your mind immediately goes to images of giant flagons of german ale, mammoth bratwursts and some truly delectable treats to say the least such as indulgent chocolates, huge salted pretzels and everything sticky and sweet!
Well in arranging this brand new event it’s clear that Alton Towers really have done their research when it comes to keeping guest experience and the cuisine on offer as traditional and whole hearty as possible.
Upon entering the arena (on the front lawns) you are met by the smells of wood smoke, BBQ and sweet aromas all emanating from the small selection of vendors on offer to the right handside.
These consist of everything from your obligatory Bier Keller and traditional German Spenkel to some slightly different options such as loaded fries and even giant toasted marshmallows (which you can even toast yourself!).
Now, although there is a full range on offer when it comes to getting your Oktoberfest fix, what we did find a little steep were some of the prices, however this is to be expected when it comes to bringing in external caterers to cater to such an event.
This does therefore mean you weren’t unfortunately able to use your Merlin Annual Pass discount on any food or drink options purchased within the arena, however this could still be used on merchandise purchases (which of course we did make a couple).
In terms of quality however the food on offer was around what you would have expected from theme park food, however that doesn’t mean it wasn’t delicious at the same time.
If we’re honest although our loaded fries didn’t really feel too ‘loaded’, the quality of the food by far made up for this.
There was also a great range of alcoholic and none alcoholic beverage options available as well and these included the exclusively brewed draught Spaten Beer to Cadburys hot chocolate and of course a few other options besides.
Although Beer could be purchased from within the arena at the Bier Keller you could also purchase the same options within the Welcome Inn Courtyard at the former BBQ outlet now a newly refurbished purpose fitted bar.
Of course, when you think of any event at Alton Towers what’s one absolute must which you can always guarantee will be available? Merchandise of course!
Oktoberfest does indeed have it’s own special range and this ranges from the iconic refillable Alton Towers Oktoberfest steins (seen in the above picture) to hoodies, t-shirts and even a limited addition pin badge.
Prices for these are infact very reasonable and range from £5.00 for a pin badge to £35.00 for a limited addition hoodie.
Being a Merlin Annual Pass holder however you can also scoop yourself the same level of discount on these items as you would in any other merchandise store on resort, however there are of course limitations of the quantity of some items you can purchase such as pin badges which are strictly no more than two per person.
Although many other outlets in the park do accept cash on purchases, all options within the Oktoberfest arena are strictly card purchase only, and this is of course to ensure that all guests are kept as safe as possible at all times whilst in the arena.
Let's talk entertainment!
Now, when it comes to keeping you entertained it’s clear that the resort really have tried to approach this from a family focused stand point rather than just a ‘let’s just hire in some german musicians’
With everything from some fantastic roaming actors and actresses in traditional german attire to two stages packed with live entertainment and even a mascot it appears that Alton Towers have done all they can to try and keep the entertainment on offer as varied and family friendly as possible at all times.
The fantastic German Juke Box are an absolute must to say the very least!
It’s clear that although live entertainment isn’t really as prevalent as it once was at the resort nowadays, Alton Towers definitely haven’t lost their touch and still appear to be capable of delivering a very high standard of live, themed entertainment when they want to do.
This is definitely the main area the park need to focus on improving in the coming years, however with the launch of Oktoberfest happening this season (in the resort’s 40th year) could this be the start of a return to the gold age of live entertainment at Alton Towers in the years to come?
It is true that over the last few years we have seen roaming actors such as the Alton Towers Traffic Patrol and the fantastically creepy Alton Towers Ancestors, however when it comes to set shows the only ones which currently operate are the IP shows based in the park’s children’s area Cbeebies Land.
We therefore feel that the introduction of a live show for the older park goers definitely wouldn’t go amiss and when you think of how much potential there really is for this happen the resort would be foolish not to look at making this happen in the years ahead.
With the resort also staying open later than normal that can also therefore only mean one thing – NIGHT RIDES!!!
Oktoberfest also offers you the chance to bag yourself that usually illusive chance to experience your favourite rides and attractions from sunset until darkness falls!
Whether it’s feeding the flames in the dark and hurtling towards Big Bob like a bat out of hell or whether it’s surrendering to Oblivion Oktoberfest offers you a chance usually only afforded to you during Scarefest whereby you can climb aboard and experience some of the UK’s top coasters and attractions after the sun has set (which believe us really makes this event worth a visit in it’s own right).
There really is nothing like hurtling down the track in the dark unaware of where your surrounding are which trust us happens no matter how many times you may have ridden your favourite ride!
So, What did we Think?
When we heard earlier this year that the park were set to introduce this brand new event we have to admit we weren’t really sure what to think as this type of event seemed a little out of character for a theme park.
In reality what we have actually got is a great and very traditionally Bavarian feeling family festival that really seems to be the perfect fit for the resort as a whole.
There really is so much on offer and when it comes to spicing up your experience and giving you something new Alton Towers really have hit the nail on the head.
There is of course still room for improvement and given this year’s event is the first of it’s kind at the resort this is bound to be the case.
We definitely felt that the price of food within the arena could be a little cheaper than it actually was.
As much as we understand the fact outside catering will not be cheap, we did see quite large amount of people going elsewhere for food as opposed to purchasing from some of the vendors on offer.
Maybe the introduction of annual pass discount may stop this happening?
We have to be honest though, other than that everything else was pretty much spot on and we feel that this event will only grow in both calibre and popularity in the years to come.
Overall we were very impressed and would like to thank Alton Towers for inviting us down to check this exciting new addition to their fall events line up out! We really did have a blast.
Oktoberfest is set to run from 11th of September all the way up until the 4th of October and admission to the event is included in the price of admission which means this is not an upcharge event.
We therefore highly recommend checking Oktoberfest out and can’t wait to see what the future holds for this brand new addition in the years to come!