Berry Bish Bash
Indeed the barn on Old MacDonald's Farmyard was spread over two levels and filled with hundreds upon hundreds of foam balls to collect. You then had all sorts of options; you could load the balls into cannons, fill the conveyors or stock a range of interactive machines before launching the balls through the air at unsuspecting friends and family.
If the ball filled fun wasn't enough a series of other obstacles could be found around the barn from various slides to climbing frames, making a journey round the bard the perfect fun-filled adventure for children with plenty of energy.
The Life & Times
The story of the Ribena Berry Bish Bash starts at the turn of the millennium, long before the attraction had ever been considered for the park and far away from Old MacDonald's Farmyard. On the Greenwich Peninsular in London the Millennium Dome opened it doors on January 1st, 2000 to welcome guests to the Millennium Experience, the centrepiece exhibition of the government's programme to celebrate the arrival of new millennium.
One of the attractions found in the dome was The Timekeepers of the Millennium featuring a multilevel playhouse filled with thousands of foam balls which guests were able to propel around the playground using cannons as well as host of other interactive equipment. Sound familiar? When the ill-fated Millennium Experience came to the end of its one year run, the Foam Factory attraction was acquired by Chessington World of Adventures, where it became Dennis's Madhouse in 2002 and soon became a firm favourite with guests at the Southern Park.
In the meantime the Foot and Mouth crisis had ravaged the country during 2001 resulting in Alton Towers' controversial decision to cull the animals that had previously lived in Old MacDonald's Farmyard. Not only had this left the Animal Barn unused for the following seasons but also left the area light on attractions to draw people in.
With a popular new type of attraction wowing guests at one of their other parks and a large readily available barn structure needing a new use in a quiet corner of Alton Towers it did not take Tussauds long to formulate a plan. And so in 2003 the Ribena Berry Bish Bash opened as the premier new kids attraction in Old MacDonald' Farmyard.
What Happened Next...
The Ribena sponsorship of the ride was part of a deal that had also seen the Berry Bouncers built at Chessington World of Adventures as well as the Rumba Rapids makeover at Thorpe Park. In 2007 Ribena ended their sponsorship deal with Merlin, resulting in all the attractions dropping the brand from the ride experience. The Berry Bish Bash continued to operate however with little change apart from a shortened name and the loss of the Ribena Berry photo opportunity outside the attraction.
The Berry Bish Bash continue providing adventures for young guests until September 2013 when the Berry Bish Bash closed its doors so that Justin and his friends could move in to transform the attraction into Justin's House Pie-o-Matic Factory.
But the story didn't end there... and Bish Bash fans were pleased to discover, when the Pie-O-Matic Factory opened in 2014, that Justin's pie making technique is very similar to that which Old MacDonald had previously used to juice his berries.