Brand new for 2022 is an event to celebrate the start of the Alton Towers season: Festival of Thrills.
Running from April 4th to May 6th, the event features four music stages outside the entrances of the park's major rollercoasters with live bands performing every afternoon.
Artists and music genres have been chosen to fit with the theme of each coaster, with a varied selection ranging from acoustic folk music, through electro pop and drum & bass, to grunge and goth rock.
Our day started 140 miles north of Alton Towers in the Lake District where we had been on holiday for the previous week
Three hours later and we were at the park entrance ready for a day festival and thrill
The essential first stop of the day was Corner Coffee for some caffeine!
Feeling re-energised, we met up with some more friends and went for a ride on Th13teen
Bag storage is back
Th13teen always gives a decent ride
A photo of Th13teen's ride photos
Time for an early lunch at Woodcutter's
You can now order meals via a mobile website
We found a shop assistant and beefeater coming out of Raj's Shop
The shop assistant seemed keen to try and sell us some pre-sucked sweets
We declined his kind offer and opted instead to go and ride Gangsta Granny
Hex is currently closed
Oblivion remains one of my favourite rides at Alton Towers
New in X-Sector this year is Spinjam, one of the RetroSquad rides
The ride replaces Mixtape which sat on the same site last year
Spinjam is by far the most intense of the RetroSquad lineup, but is lots of fun and is a great (if temporary) ride
Beside Spinjam was one of the Festival of Thrills music stages
A drum and bass DJ was performing live
He didn't manage to attract much of a crowd, but at least these guys seemed to be enjoying it
Crossing the front lawns and admiring the massive trees
Looking towards Towers Street - strangely the main stage lay empty and is not being used during the Festival of Thrills
Some nice flower planters have been put on the bridge
A folk duo were playing on the stage next to Wicker Man and were doing a better job of attracting an audience
Signs in the queueline encouraged guests to vote for their favourite band
We made our way through the queue to reach the station and were next in line to board the ride
when the returning train came into the station, but only made it half way into the platform before stopping ...
There was a bit of a wait while the engineer came to sort things out and test trains were sent around before we could get on
As always the wait was well worth it and we were rewarded with a superb ride
There were actors inside the Wicker Man shop interacting with guests as they got off the rollercoaster
The path underneath Wicker Man which was previously only available on
Fireworks nights seems to be permanently open this year
The queuetime board was advertising a 45 minute wait for Galactica
We were sent up and around the extended queueline, although it was almost entirely empty
Climbing the lift
Up and over
The Festival of Thrills programme for the Forbidden Valley stage
The Forbidden Valley stage was set up on the plaza next to Galactica's portal
StacÆ 3, a Pop & Synth group representing Galactica
Galactica flies over the stage
This year is the final opportunity to experience Nemesis in its original form:
the rollercoaster's track will be almost entirely replaced next year to prolong the ride's lifespan
Before leaving the park there was time to look inside Towers Trading
Chocolate is always tempting, but not at that price!
Time to leave the park
Festival of Thrills has the makings of a regular event to kick off the Alton Towers season, but as it stands it feels a bit under-developed.
Most visitors seemed to be oblivious to the music acts performing on the various stages, or at least by and large were ignoring them as they walked past.
The addition of live actors around the park is definitely welcome, but overall the event could do with a proper boost if its really going to attract anybody's attention.
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