Has Alton Towers Retro Squad Had It’s Day?


Has Alton Towers Temporary Range Of Funfair Rides - The Retro Squad Had It's Day?

Alton Towers Retro Squad – the resort’s ‘temporary’ range of funfair flat rides first made their debut at the park back in 2021.

They were initially brought in to introduce more rides at the park due to most indoor attractions being closed as a result of the pandemic.

Adding temporary rides to their line up allowed the park to offer guests more for their money when it came to visiting Alton Towers during the pandemic, but has their welcome at the park officially worn thin?

The Retro Squad first debuted at Alton Towers resort back in 2021 as an answer to adding more outdoor attractions at the park as a result of the pandemic.
Are They Popular?

Now then, although it’s said that Alton Towers brought in the Retro Squad as an answer to the pandemic, we still can’t help but think they may have had other motives for doing so too.

From day one we have always said that The Retro Squad could have been brought in to trial the popularity of flat rides at the resort.

This is due to how many flat rides Alton Towers have removed over the years (with Enterprise also now joining the list of the park’s defunct flats).

Despite this, all Retro Squad additions appear to have proven a giant success with the general public, and at the end of the day this is probably what matters the most.

Regardless of this though there are still a small minority (mainly enthusiasts) who feel that the addition of funfair rides at the park is ‘tacky’ and ‘effortless’.

Sadly, as much as we do enjoy a good funfair ride, we definitely feel that funfair rides belong at a funfair and not a theme park.

Funk 'N' Fly was one of Alton Towers Resort's original Retro Squad members and still operates at the park to this day.
Changing It Up!

In an effort to keep things fresh and keep The Retro Squad ‘relevant’ Alton Towers have changed things up for the last two seasons adding a new ride to the line up each year.

While last year saw the introduction of Spin Jam, 2023 see’s the arrival of Twistatron – a unique scottish made funfair flat ride set to occupy X-Sector’s former Huss Enterprise’s plot next to Spin Jam.

Alongside this the park have also attempted to develop the story of The Retrosquad further (it’s all very Transformers though we have to say) by adding a new villain to their backstory.

In a twist in this year’s story, the new villain (who remains nameless at present) intercepts Twistatron mid flight and reprograms him to become evil as opposed to good.

It’s therefore fitting that this year;s arrival comes with the tagline – The Terror of Twistatron!

Twistatron is the latest new Retro Squad member to arrive at the park setting up residence next to Spin Jam in X-Sector.
How Much Longer Will Their Presence Continue?

Whilst we would much rather see the entire Retro Squad line up depart in favour of BRAND NEW permanent flats (and believe us, we really would!!), it’s probably not going to happen any time soon.

The Retro Squad will more than likely stay at Alton Towers for AT LEAST another 2 seasons in all reality.

This is due to the resort putting money into such future investments as Project Horizon (possibly Secret Weapon 9), ‘Nemesis Reborn’ (yes, it will probably be called that to be honest) & The Curse At Alton Manor (this year’s new ride).

It’s highly probable therefore that it will be at least 2025/26 before we see any significant developments taking place where permanent new flat rides are concerned.

Now don’t get us wrong, Alton Towers will have more than likely tagged on by now that the resort is in desperate need of them (these things NEVER go unnoticed).

Despite this though, the departure of The Retro Squad probably won’t be happening at any point soon (although we would love to be proven wrong).

Rollerdisco - a classic fairground waltzer ride was one of Alton Towers' original Retro Squad rides and took residence in Dark Forest.
So, Do They Need To Go?

As great as it is to see Alton Towers trying something different with The Retro Squad, the answer is unequivocally YES!

The Retro Squad have (in our opinion) definitely now had their day and need to make way for future permanent flat rides at the park.

Their need has almost certainly been proven by just how popular The Retro Squad have been (and still remain to this day).

Now, it’s not the fact that they are funfair rides that make them popular, but the fact they remain something completely different from the park’s many coasters.

Don’t get us wrong, we absolutely LOVE our roller coasters, but we also love our flat rides too and in order to be a ride at a theme park, they need to be ‘themed’ full stop.

Funfair rides have a name and The Retro Squad is certainly a theme, but it’s not really one that fits the calibre that Alton Towers Resort commands.

Mixtape was one of the park's original Retro Squad members too, however it has since been replaced by Spin Jam - *Image Credit - TowersTimes.
What Needs To Happen & When?

Ultimately (as stated above) The Retro Squad need to depart Alton Towers Resort once and for all (and in our opinion, the sooner the better).

Moving forwards we would love to see permanent new thrill flat rides take their spot with themes relevant to the areas in which they’re placed.

We would also love to see something completely different and innovative arrive at the park too (maybe some ‘world’s firsts’ – we all know Merlin Entertainments love those haha).

Adding new flat rides of this kind certainly wouldn’t be out of the question for Alton Towers and they would make all the difference in upping the ante where the resort’s future is concerned.

The million dollar question though is when – when (and will) it happen?

As stated previously with everything that’s currently happening at the park it will more than likely be around the 2025 mark, potentially after the opening of Project Horizon.

Will it happen though? 

Although we can never say anything for certain (due to being just as much in the dark on this as everyone else) we definitely feel like the chances are high!

At the end of the day, only time will tell, but The Retro Squad have definitely (in our opinion) outstayed their welcome at this stage.

Thanks very much for reading.