The resort’s annual Fireworks Spectacular is now in its seventh consecutive year, and it’s safe to say the various shows over the years have divided opinion amongst enthusiasts.
In this article, we wind the clock way back to 2010 when the fireworks were first brought back following a four year hiatus, and take a look at the music and theme of previous events right through to the present day. And if you want to remind yourself of the soundtrack from each year, we have Spotify playlists with the majority of tracks included too!
2010: 30th Birthday Celebration…
The 2010 season saw the introduction of the “Ultimate Rollercoaster” in Th13teen, as well as the theme park’s 30th birthday. After an 80’s concert in the Summer, the resort rounded off the season with the return of an annual end of season fireworks spectacular.
2010’s theme saw a Th13teen inspired introduction with the main title theme from the Dead Silence soundtrack. This was followed by three sets of music mixes from the 80’s, 90’s and the 00’s. The display culminated in the now traditional finale of Edvard Grieg’s ‘In The Hall of the Mountain King’
2011: Mashups and Fire Dancing…
Following on from last year’s 30th birthday celebration, 2011 featured a pre-show of fire dancers and lasers to Ganga Giri’s Murrie Gubar. The countdown and TV spot for the year was done by Peter Dickson – otherwise known as the voice of X-Factor.
The show itself consisted three mashups (pop/dance, classical and rock), including Duck Sauce’s hit track complete with a cheeky edit from ‘Barbra Streisand’ to ‘Alton Towers’.
2012: Alton Towers, Come In…
2012 saw the return of Peter Dickson voicing the event, and mashups were again used for the second year running as opposed to a story based show.
Kicking off with DJ Fresh’s Louder, three separate mashups followed. The first being a mix of the year’s chart hits, followed by predominantly rock and finishing up with a dance mashup. As with last year’s Duck Sauce edit, Labrinth’s ‘Earthquake’ had its ‘Come in Labrinth’ lyric replaced with ‘Alton Towers, come in’.
2013: The Ground May Shake…
Some 7 years after a story last featured in 2006, this year’s display marked what many saw as a welcome return for the format. 2013 featured The Gatekeeper, the guardian of the memories made at Alton Towers Resort. The soundtrack celebrated the history of the park, and featured a section representing each of the park’s ‘big 6’ – Th13teen, Rita, Nemesis, Oblivion, Air and The Smiler. Dead Or Alive’s ‘You Spin Me Round’ also featured, as a nod to the park’s first coaster – The Corkscrew.
In keeping with the theme of the park’s newest addition, The Smiler’s section featured a progressively more crazed mashup of songs, eventually resulting in The Gatekeeper losing all of the memories made at the resort. Fortunately, all’s well that ends well, as The Gatekeeper realises that the memories not lost – but are made and kept by guests themselves.
2013 was particularly memorable for an effect used at the start of the show. As The Gatekeeper explained that ‘the ground may shake’, huge ground based fireworks were set off, which did exactly as he said – leading to gasps of amazement from the audience.
2014: Dreams Vs Nightmares…
Hot on the heels of 2013’s ‘memories’ theme was this year’s theme of dreams vs nightmares. Featuring water screens for the first time since the reintroduction of fireworks, the display played out a story of good vs evil – as the embodiment of people’s dreams did battle with evil nightmares.
The sound track represented the battle, switching from harsh tracks such as Tainted Love and The Prodigy’s Breathe representing nightmares, to Coldplay’s Sky Full Of Stars and David Guetta’s Titanium representing dreams.
2015: This Could Blow Your Socks Off…
The resort went BIG for their set piece in 2015, when a travelling Huss Enterprise was erected in front of the lake. Loaded with lights, the ‘Sonic Visualiser’ was an invention by Sir Algenon. Introducing the ride at the start of the show, he explained it was intended to allow people to ‘see’ sounds.
However, before it could be demonstrated, it needed to be started in a specific way. A number of musical sequences followed – Classical, Rock and Roll, Dance and Pop. Sir Algenon’s assistants armed with light up classical instruments were situated on podiums around the lawns to assist in starting the Visualiser.
Once started (and broken – thanks to a ‘Bieber overload’!), the display and Sir Algenon’s eventually culminated in a stunning 5 minute finale with music by IMAscore. The track was especially created for the show and recorded with the Budapest Film Orchestra. It featured re-workings of tracks from the park’s signature rides, and of course In the Hall of The Mountain King! The track was so well received that it’s now used year round in the Monorail station as guests leave the resort.
2016: Space Theme…
Although we have few details so far on this year’s show, the 2016 display has been announced as having a space theme to tie into Air’s re-theme to Galactica for the 2016 season.
Preparations start way in advance of Fireworks weekend, so we’ve already caught glimpses of this year’s setup. A huge stage full of lights and an LED screen surrounded by a circular truss which seems to represent a portal has been constructed on the lawns, with testing continuing both in the daytime and at night during the final days of Scarefest.
With the park now closed for the rest of the week, the finished setup will be the next thing guests see on Saturday. We’ll have a 2016 playlist online shortly after this coming weekend, and check out our Facebook for live updates throughout the weekend.