Alton Towers Newsletter

Alton Towers Resort Community Update for January-March 2019

Hello all and I hope you enjoy reading this first Community Update of 2019.

After a very busy Christmas and New Year period (both now a dim and distant memory!) work is steaming ahead to get our new attractions up and running in time for the new season. We have two new additions to the line-up this year and a completely re-themed Wacky Waterworks for children enjoying themselves in the Waterpark!

Stargazing Pods – open 12th April
Visitors will now be able to get even closer to nature by booking into one of our 102 camping-style Stargazing Pods! Making the most out of their diminutive size, each houses a double and two single beds sleeping up to four people. Each one also has heating, charging points and WiFi, as well as under-bed storage and a small terrace and there will be a communal block offering toilets, accessible showers and baby changing facilities. The Pods are situated near to the Enchanted Village and will be arranged around ‘the green’ where children can play or use the telescopes to study the night sky.

The Alton Towers Dungeon
The Alton Towers Dungeon will build on the success of other Dungeons around the group and bring a uniquely thrilling attraction for guests to laugh and scream their way through some of our local history. You’ll be able to see, hear, feel and (ahem) smell the chillingly amusing characters of the ‘bad old days’ as they come to life before you! The Alton Towers Dungeons will be lurking at the perimeter of the Theme Park in a building behind the famous Towers themselves!

Opening dates
Whilst we don’t fully open until Saturday 23rd March, we are open for the two preceding weekends (weather permitting) for exclusive buy outs. On each date the park will open from 9am with rides starting from 10am; they will close at 5pm so we would expect most visitors to be off site by 6pm. On Sunday 10th March the event includes live entertainment on a stage on the front lawns between 4pm and 9pm with music and a live PA system (it’s an annual awards event so prizes will be handed out to attendees).

As in previous years we will be closing on selected days throughout the season including Wednesdays in May (until the half term week) and Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays during September and October until the schools start to break up for half term.

Local resident passes
Just to remind everyone how the process works, we allocate up to 20 complimentary passes to residences within 3km (1.8 miles or thereabouts) of the Resort. Over the years we’ve tried to be flexible around the absolute border to ensure that people living on the main sign-posted routes are also issued with tickets even if they are outside of it – so parts of Denstone and Oakamoor for example – and we’ve tried to use junctions to mark the boundary. There will always be places where some houses get passes and their neighbours don’t and I am sorry, but I can’t expand the lines beyond what we currently have. I also need to remind you that the passes are your responsibility once they’ve been issued so please only pass them on to members of your family or close friends. If we see any being offered for sale on any social media site, we will have to cancel the whole batch, which means you’ll potentially lose your allocation for the rest of the year.

If you are eligible for passes, now’s the time to start thinking about sending in your Council Tax bill and requesting them – either electronically or as physical tickets. If you want to pop along in person to the Ticket Sales and Collection Point at the main entrance between 9am and 3pm on the following dates, with your Council Tax bill, the team will be able to process applications and issue passes in person.

25th, 26th, 27th, 28th February
1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th March

If not, you can email your details to ATTicket.Request@alton-towers.com and they will process your request as quickly as possible. They will be tremendously busy around the start of the year though so please be patient!

Please remember we can only issue passes to homes with a Council Tax bill that confirms it is being used as a permanent full time residence.

Charities and Community Support
As an individual attraction, the Alton Towers Resort has a very robust social responsibility agenda supporting a number of charities and community engagement projects in Staffordshire and the Staffordshire Moorlands every year either through financial donation or complimentary tickets. This is in addition to all the work that we do to support Merlin’s Magic Wand, our own group’s charity that provides magical experiences to children who are seriously ill, disabled or disadvantaged.

Some of the charities in this area that we donated to last year are:

The Lighthouse refuge in Cheadle
Midlands Air Ambulance
St John’s Church in Alton
Alton and Oakamoor community flowers
Alton Community Events for children’s swings
University Hospital for the North Midlands (Stoke) day out for children on the cancer ward
Denstone Community information boards for their new Meadow wildlife area
Moorlands Home Link
Staffordshire Wildlife Centre
Leek Food Bank
Alton Community for wine for the Christmas carols event

As always we are happy to consider applications from registered charities or from people who are raising money for charities (in which case we will need supporting documentation on letter headed paper that explains what the fund raising is for) or for community engagement projects from within Staffordshire Moorlands and Staffordshire. If you feel that your application meets one of the following criteria, please email me. We are sorry but due to the volume of requests we receive, we will only be able to reply to those who have been successful and sadly not all applications will be. Priority will always be given to those groups closest to the Resort.

Registered UK based charities that provide assistance to children, including those associated with hospitals or research into specific medical conditions that particularly impact on children’s lives
West Midlands, East Midlands and Midlands Air Ambulance services
First Responder groups (Staffordshire only)
Hospices, particularly those providing care for children (Staffordshire only)
Organisations such as Scouts, Guides, Brownies and Rainbow Groups (Staffordshire Moorlands only)
Young carer groups (Staffordshire only)
Community transport schemes (Staffordshire Moorlands only)
Environmental and wildlife conservation and protection groups (Midlands only)
Marine conservation through the SEALIFE Conservation Trust
School or Church fund raising raffles (Staffordshire Moorlands only)

Application Period
The Theme Park season runs from March until November and complimentary tickets are valid until the end of September. For this reason we restrict the application period as follows:
Applications received from 1st August 2018 – 31st July 2019 will receive 2019 tickets (available in February 2019)
Applications received from 1st August 2019 – 31st July 2020 will receive 2020 tickets (available in February 2020)
All tickets are non-exchangeable, have zero face value and must not be passed on or sold

Merlin’s Magic Wand
Merlin’s Magic Wand is the charity of our parent company, the world’s second biggest global visitor attractions group, Merlin Entertainments!

Founded in 2008 the Charity makes FUN accessible to children with three Magic Spells: “Magical Days Out” providing tickets and funding travel grants to families to enjoy their day at a Merlin Entertainments’ attraction; “Merlin’s Magic On Tour” working with local communities at hospitals and hospices to bring the magic to the children wherever they are; and “Merlin’s Magic Spaces” designing and creating amazing projects in hospitals, orphanages, Learning Centres and more all around the world. Since we began more than 110,000 children and their families have benefited.

You can apply to Merlin’s Magic Wand on line – simply visit www.merlinsmagicwand.org for further information.

Also don’t forget if you want to come off this mailing list please reply to this email with UNSUBSCRIBE in the Subject line and I’ll take you off it. Similarly if you are happy to stay on and receive updates, can you please ensure you let me know if you change your email address.

I think that’s all for now but if there’s anything else you want to know, please just drop me a line on liz.greenwood@alton-towers.com and I’ll do my best to help.

Liz Greenwood
Local Community Engagement
Tel: 01538 704 017
Mob: 07968 998 922

Please note my usual working week is Monday to Wednesday