Opening its Enchanted Village to the public over the weekend, Alton Towers have implemented 125 new houses of residence for those wishing to stay for a few nights whilst exploring everything the theme park and resort has to offer.
Allowing Female First a sneak peak, my mother, 11-year-old sister, 4-year-old brother and I were transported to a world of wonder with magic around every corner.
Though it's just a short walk away from the main Alton Towers hotel, guests will feel as if they've stepped into a whole new world with their first look at the Enchanted Village. It's a place that looks as if it were built for the set of an epic fantasy flick, with crooked chimneys and mischievous Fable Folk.
Toadstools protrude from the ground, children's play areas are dotted around to keep the little ones smiling and 120 lodges stand handsomely alongside five luxury treehouses for those visitors who are looking for something just a little more luxurious.
Given our electronic key for our two-bedroom Woodland Lodge - which can house up to five people in a double bed, bunk bed and pull-out bed - we walked into accommodation that is on the inside much grander and comfier than any of us expected.
Each Lodge comes with its own plasma television, drink-making facilities, bathroom, double bedroom and curious small windows and doors to add to the enchantment. There's also a copy of The Enchanted Village by Jeanne Willis for each family to take home and cherish as a memory of their experience forever.
When it got to visiting restaurant The Crooked Spoon for dinner and a night of entertainment, there was a wide range of food on offer, from red mushroom bap burgers to potted prawn cocktails - all delicious and extremely filling following a day of fun on the rides the park has to offer. The staff were friendly, polite, helpful and courteous, always making sure that we were happy and having a great time.
The Alton Towers team pulled out all the stops for the preview night, bringing the Enchanted Village's mayor, elves, fawns, a grand wizard and a hilarious pair hailing from 'Oblivia' (now on fire unfortunately, with water coming next year) into the mix to chat to guests as they sat around the restaurant. Turns out my four-year-old brother is a wizard with an invisible beard - he was given the title of 'Invisibeard' by the elves, none of whom stepped out of character for a second and had us beaming from ear to ear.
After a reading by Jeanne Willis of the brand new children's book inspired by the location that every visitor gets free with their visit, we were all encouraged to go for a wander through the darkness, following the lights of the grounds and watching as smoke and tittering of the sneaky little Fable Folk guided us on our way. The Mayor of the Enchanted Village took us along paths to his podium, where he declared the area officially open after a fantastic lights show - see below for a video of the action.
A new addition will come to the Village in May, when guests will be able to swing from the trees and navigate their way throughout the woodland, starting from the turret tower and negotiating through nets, swing tyres and stepping stones. An 85 metre zipwire will see those brave enough hurtle back down to earth - and for those who want even more excitement, there's a more complicated set of obstacles and a zipwire through an enclosed tunnel.
Another huge success for one of the UK's most prestigious entertainment resorts, Alton Towers has done the impossible by topping all previous efforts once more.
The Enchanted Village's woodland lodges and luxury treehouses are now available to book online at www.altontowers.com, prices starting at £31.25 per person per night, based on four people sharing on a bed and breakfast basis when booked in advance.
Treehouses are priced at £600 per night based on eight people sharing. Prices start at £16 for low ropes and £20 for high ropes for the forthcoming Tree Top Quest when booked as part of a hotel package.
Check out our previous reviews of Alton Towers attractions:
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