By Oliver Palmer
Billed as a ‘truly magical’ experience with the chance to meet your TV heroes, CBeebies Land, bought to you by Alton Towers Resort and in partnership with the BBC (CBeebies being the dedicated toddler TV channel), offers a wonderland for young children and their families alike. An immersive and intriguing experience from the outset, the amusement park is bursting with music, colours and shapes.
On arrival we were welcomed by the woodland character ‘Treefu Tom’ who invited us to join him on a high rope adventure (although in hindsight maybe not just after breakfast!) before we embarked on the first of our thrill rides (well … certainly for a 4year old and a young at heart parent!) the ‘Octonauts Roller Coaster Adventure’ where we ducked and dived in and out of an ocean voyage.
This was followed almost breathlessly by the ‘Go-Jetters Vroomster Zoom Ride’ – which I can testify is as exciting as it sounds – where you are in control of your own spaceship flying up down and around to catch the evil Grandmaster Glitch, as fun as it is educational, effectively using sights, sounds and music to expose facts about foreign countries and different environments around the world.
Meanwhile back on earth, our one year old was enjoying a somewhat more leisurely and serene, but still just as inspiring boat ride through the ‘Night Garden’ (which as any parent of a young child will tell you is a god send when it comes to bed time!) before following this up with a ‘toddle around the Something Special Sensory Area where he really could discover, look, feel and touch all manner of enticing objects and games aimed at an inquisitive and always learning young mind.
We catch our breath for a picnic lunch at the Big Fun Showtime Tent and the amassed group of excitable children, plus some already weary looking mums and dads, are sent in to raptures when the characters ‘Mike the Knight’ and ‘Duggee’ make an impromptu appearance, happily posing for photographs and gleefully high-fiving children (and adults alike) to great cheers and playful giggles echoing around the circus tent.
Respite over, we re-join the fun with Postman Pat (one I can relate to from my own childhood!) and help him complete his post round with the children joyfully driving along with Jess the cat in the passenger seat!
With the children still showing boundless energy and a thirst for fun, we also manage to squeeze some of the interactive shows taking place at regular intervals throughout the day with our first stop at the ‘Furchester Hotel’ were our very own little monster is encouraged by ‘Cookie Monster’ to help hunt down his emergency cookies, let loose to water wilting (singing!) flowers and hide guests luggage, all in preparation for the grand arrival of the famous ‘Chick Swagger’, a sunglass wearing, guitar touting rock star chicken puppet of course!
There is still time to fit in an educational visit to ‘Nina & the Neurons’ in their science lab and a chance to help Charlie & Lola feed the ducks in the interactive indoor playground before we round off our action packed day with a photoshoot with our favourite CBeebies characters, providing us with a lovely memento for the children to look back on with very fond memories.
All in all a CBeebies Land experience provides a highly recommended day out for children and their parents and it delivers it in such a way that you leave feeling not just that your children have had a brilliant time with their TV heroes (as well of course as their exhausted parents!) but importantly that they have also been encouraged to learn through play in what is a highly interactive and captivating environment.
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