Christmas 2021: Christmas Markets

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Hi guys. According to this discovery by TowersTimes, Alton Towers are apparently looking for stall holders for some form of Christmas market:
https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https://www.stallfinder.com/&h=AT1zHWQfBqwg-UXkutCB4gr5UMLYesJ_ml13Ygu_HYw168LNMp5LWoFZHl8rU_LpdYpx17wUnpgg-kvJrVx4YOQbfttztRNAP6SaPLpx3MSXclNkhc1vjabpl342sRQ&s=1
The park are apparently also holding Santa’s Sleepovers for 1,800 guests, and are selling 4,000 day passes. Selected rides will be open, and the gardens will be illuminated, as they were last year?

What are our thoughts on this? Could this be the start of Alton trialling a larger Christmas event?
EDIT: Apologies; it would appear that the link doesn’t link directly to the Alton Towers memo. Go to TowersTimes’ Facebook page if you want to see the exact details.
 

AT86

TS Member
Yes the Christmas market was announced earlier in the year when they released all the event dates for the season.

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Good to see that plans are moving forward with the event. Not sure if I would want to pay to sleep in a Stargazing pod in December if I was a stall holder though!

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Thameslink Rail

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Smiler
Hi guys. According to this discovery by TowersTimes, Alton Towers are apparently looking for stall holders for some form of Christmas market:
https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https://www.stallfinder.com/&h=AT1zHWQfBqwg-UXkutCB4gr5UMLYesJ_ml13Ygu_HYw168LNMp5LWoFZHl8rU_LpdYpx17wUnpgg-kvJrVx4YOQbfttztRNAP6SaPLpx3MSXclNkhc1vjabpl342sRQ&s=1
The park are apparently also holding Santa’s Sleepovers for 1,800 guests, and are selling 4,000 day passes. Selected rides will be open, and the gardens will be illuminated, as they were last year?

What are our thoughts on this? Could this be the start of Alton trialling a larger Christmas event?
EDIT: Apologies; it would appear that the link doesn’t link directly to the Alton Towers memo. Go to TowersTimes’ Facebook page if you want to see the exact details.
Looking forward to this, I hope they go all out at Christmas as they'll want to regain money from last year, I'm guessing they will have a Christmas show and some street entertainment as that has worked for them so far this year.
 

Thameslink Rail

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Smiler
Come on, Alton Towers have taken us by surprise so many times this season, three months ago if I told you Alton Towers would be closing at 8pm outside Scarefest and Fireworks, having a big stage on the lawns with shows on throughout the day and running a massive event with a food market with pretty much whatever you like and stages around the park with loads of costumed characters; you would have thought I was absolutely crazy.

Running a decent Christmas event does not feel like much of a stretch now.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
Running a decent Christmas event does not feel like much of a stretch now.
They’ve been running a decent Christmas event for years, just previously it’s been hotel guests only to limit capacity, mainly as a Santa meet is a low capacity experience.
From what I’ve seen a majority of guests have been incredibly happy with the Santa sleepover events.

let’s hope they can scale it up to be a great event for day guests and hotel guests.
 

D4n

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Taron
Interesting that this won't be taking place on the front lawns.

Probably for the best considering the condition they were in by the end of Scarefest last year.

Towers Street is actually a *perfect* venue for a Christmas market; I have faith that they will pull this off really nicely.
 

NuttySquirrel

TS Member
I always just thought the Christmas event was geared up for families with small children and barely anyone else; it never seemed like an event that was targeted towards or would appeal to me.

However if they had the gardens illuminated, a full blown Christmas market with eggnog, mulled wine etc. (you can see where I'm going here!) and got some proper rides open I'd be there like a shot. However I guess they're always going to be restricted by the operating temperatures of the bigger rides in terms of what they can actually open, so that's probably not going to change.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
It's generally warmer in December than it is in February so they could run some coasters. back 15 years ago they would have about half the park open for winter weekends, but it was still hotel guests only.

I wouldn't expect many larger rides to open, they will probably try and focus on a central area of the park and mainly offer family rides, so Spinball would probably be the most thrilling ride open. I would expect Gangsta Granny to be open as well, maybe they would even use the old theatre.
 

AT86

TS Member
Over the past few years the rides in CBeebies and Mutiny Bay have opened, plus Spinball and at various times either Hex or Duel. I imagine they will want to include GG this year since it is indoors.

The winter weekends back in the day were also open to annual pass holders, but there were far less pass holders back then so it would have been easier to manage. They did indeed open pretty much all the coasters (half the park Nov-Dec, then the other half Jan-Mar) so it was possible to operate them in the colder temperatures, but of course lots has changed since then in terms of H&S and the risks they are willing to take, plus they probably don’t have the tech services resources to undertake everything in the required time for winter maintenance these days.

It would be good if they could get a couple more coasters open this year with the event expanding. Maybe Wickerman and RMT since they are close by the other rides that will open and can appeal to various ages.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
There is a full description on the website now Family Christmas Days Out | Alton Towers Resort

Interestingly there are at least four different ticket types.
Market only (car parking) £6
Market and selected theme park rides £16 (plus car parking)
Market and Lightopia only £20 (plus car parking)
So to do Lightopia and the theme park rides is £31! (plus car parking)

Or do Santa's Sleepover break in the hotel including a visit to Santa, waterpark, breakfast, dinner and market, rides & Lightopia.

I'm not surprised that Santa is going to be hotel guests only as it is low capacity but I wonder how many guests won't realise it isn't included in the £16/20 tickets.

Also I expect they will be wristbanding people so only those who have bought ride access can get onto the rides.
Similar light show evenings are probably £20+ too, but I've spent 1-2 hours looking at the light displays so I hope Lightopia lives up to its prices!
 
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swalesuk01

TS Member
Part of me feels they are still missing a trick if they are not letting day guests book to see santa.
We went last year and had a good day out and was looking forward to taking the girls again this year. My oldest has already been asking if we can go and see him again.
I am sure we won't be the only family put off by the lack of that option to save us from having to explain why they can't see santa unless they remove the grottos from the park. Though if they do that you could argue the 2 locations add capacity and I am sure they could found other place to create them.
When I looked the other year they were already creating grottos in the resort and good luck finding many sleepover for £85 pp when I looked at a few dates the other day it was over a 100 pp.
I am glad we have more of an event that can hopefully grow I just hope the lack of seeing santa doesn't put to many families or creates an awkward situation for families visiting.

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