Pirate Takeover – An Adventure For Everyone?

Pirate Takeover - An Adventure For Everyone?

Ahoy there everyone!

This weekend we visited Pirate Takeover at Alton Towers for the final day of the event. It was our first visit, so we weren’t really sure on what to expect. The Pirate Takeover event was advertised as a “Swashbuckling day out” where the infamous pirates of Mutiny Bay took over the Resort and guests could live out their very own pirate story. Our comparison of a “takeover” event was the Smiler Takeover from last year which unfortunately missed the mark, so we were curious to see how this would compare. Advertising a treasure hunt, interactive experiences, and updated ride experiences – we were excited! To our surprise, the event parking was in the express car park which saved our legs a lengthy walk (But also meant no peeking at Nemesis!). We were quite amused by the parking attendant who when we drove up said “Are you here for Cbeebies Land?” – Which could have easily confused guests looking for Pirate Takeover, not sure why they only mentioned Cbeebies…

During the event, there was a limited ride offering: Mutiny Bay & Cbeebies Land which may seem like a put off to older guests / families with older children, but do not let this sway you. We attended as a couple of adults, and we had a fantastic time. This event does not need rides to make it work.

The Pirates had taken over Towers Street!

From the second you stepped into Towers Street; you were slowly immersed into the world of the pirates with decorations from bunting to smoking cannons, a giant pirate flag and even the frogs were dressed for the occasion in little pirate outfits (Which were incredibly cute!). The inclusion of a pirate themed soundtrack added to the experience as we made our way down toward Mutiny Bay, the main event hub which was decked out with even more decorations and theming to suit.

It was time for a treasure hunt!

Arriving at Mutiny Bay, we collected our treasure maps (and pens) for the “Pieces of Eight Treasure Hunt” which were provided by local Pirates. The trail lead around Mutiny Bay to various stations to collect either a number or letter at each stop to get the code to claim your reward. We were looking for numbers during our visit. Most of these areas were guarded by Pirates who would be happy to provide part of the code, on completion of a task. The tasks were varied and engaging for all ages – including finding the right window to find a Pirate captain, fishing and even a Pirate jig! The cast for this experience were wonderful, in character but also very welcoming as they helped you on your way to find the code. This experience took us a good amount of time to complete with eight separate tasks and places to find. On completion of the trail, we headed to the final spot to answer a riddle, finish the code, and receive our reward. The reward for this experience was quite generous – a Pirate Takeover themed bag, keychain and some freddo chocolates! This was a nice surprise as we weren’t sure what we would receive – the rewards we earnt were incredibly generous. Did we mention that this was an experience included with your entry price?

Our well earnt treasure!

Shark Bait Reef was open for this event with the addition of a live actor at the entrance who told the tale of his fellow smugglers who appear to have disappeared, leaving him all alone. This tied in with the projections in the ocean tunnel near the end which suggests they met an unfortunate fate. This was a nice inclusion to have and helped stagger traffic into the sea life attraction however we were expecting to meet a few other characters in there on our way around or near the end (As this attraction has a lot of space near the end as you enter the gift shop). It’s a pleasant walk through either way, the fish are always nice to see.

There were two live shows which took place during this event on the main stage over in the courtyard; Captain Finn’s Pirate training camp and Pirates of Mutiny Bay: The hunt for the crown of T’hulu. The shows ran multiple times a day and alternated between each other. Captain Finn’s show was an interactive family show with audience participation and dances which got the audience moving. The show was engaging and entertaining with Captain Finn available to meet afterwards too! The Pirate’s show was a whole story with a large cast of actors portraying Pirate crews competing to find the Crown of T’hulu. It was a lengthy performance with plenty of popular songs (with different lyrics to suit the story) and funny sections including a scene where all the pirates were trying to prevent an explosion. Both shows were presented by talented, engaging, and enthusiastic performers who did brilliantly.

Who would get the Crown of T’Hulu?

Roaming Pirates could be found around the area for guests to interact with. They were incredibly entertaining and interacting with the general area including interacting with the live shows and splashing in puddles. This was extra entertainment and made for added immersion into the world of Mutiny Bay,

Battle Galleons Seadog Starkey’s Sailing School was a new addition for 2024 and saw the popular Battle Galleons receive some attention during the event. This event removed the usage of the water cannons and replaced that with a new feature, a personal pirate for every boat. Guests would be sent out on the course with a pirate who would guide them through getting their Pirate sailing licence. This was a hilariously fun journey full of audience participation and jokes – some of which were completely improvised by the performers who made everything feel so natural and enjoyable. This was a really enjoyable experience and a welcome ride without the risks of being soaked by water cannons!

Time to set sail!

Overall, Pirate Takeover was a brilliant event with plenty of immersion and interactive elements for all the family. We were pleasantly surprised that this was an event which everyone could get involved in regardless of age – there was plenty of older guests on their hunt for treasure as well as the younger audience, it was something everyone could enjoy with code spots designed for everyone to be able to participate. The shows were delightful, and the cast were spot on at every location. Pirate Takeover should be on your list to visit if the event returns for 2025 and from where I am standing, if this is how Alton Towers have performed with their first event for the year, I am very excited to see how the other events will be in 2024! A fantastic event to get involved in – and one we hope to see return for many years!

Officially a Pirate now – Elise!