If you’ve followed us for a while you’ll know that this year wasn’t the first time we’ve done an Alton Towers Santa Sleepover. We previously did one 5 years ago and absolutely loved it. I’ve been desperate to do it again, this time with Baby Bear. We also had our best friends join us which made it even more special!
So what does an Alton Towers Santa Sleepover include? Your package includes the following:
- One day entry to the theme park (not all rides are open but CBeebies Land and a number of others are. We didn’t actually manage to do them all!).
- Visit to Santa in his woodland grotto within the theme park. Each child receives a gift.
- Entry to the Lightopia winter lights trail.
- 3 course Christmas evening meal
- Entertainment in the hotel
- Overnight stay in a themed room in an Alton Towers hotel of your choice
- Buffet breakfast
- Round of adventure golf
- Entry to Splash Landings waterpark
Its a lot to pack into two days but its so much fun. Just be prepared with comfy shoes, warm clothes, a pushchair if you’re taking little ones and plenty of snacks!
The theme park is decorated with lots of Christmas trees and decorations and also has a winter market to enjoy. There are stalls selling all sorts of gifts as well as food stalls too. I had a Greek gyro from one of the stalls and it was delicious! They also had various musical acts in the market throughout the day playing Christmas songs, including a one-man band which was fun to watch.
In terms of rides within the theme park, not all of them are open but there were certainly enough to choose from. Most of CBeebies Land was open and we spent the majority of our day there. Elsewhere in the park there was also Spinball Whizzer, Marauders Mayhem, Heave Ho, Sharkbait Reef, Hex, Gangsta Granny, Cuckoo Cars, The carousel and a couple of others open too. We didn’t have time to do them all sadly but I guess that just means we’ll have to go aback again! The queue times were pretty short. A lot of them the kids were able to walk straight on. We did wait 20-30 minutes for the Octonauts rollercoaster and Iggle Piggle’s boat ride (although the second time we went on this we only waited a few minutes).
We purposely booked Santa’s Grotto for after 4pm so it would be dark. I think it makes it more magical following the fairy lights through the small woods to his log cabin when its dark. Santa spent time asking each of the kids what they would like for Christmas. We were able to take lots of our own photos as well as having a professional group photo done. Each of the kids received a lovely Teddy Bear from Santa with the year 2022 on its paw and a red scarf on its neck with Alton Towers Resort in gold writing. It’s a lovely keepsake of our visit.
Lightopia is amazing! This is a much longer light trail than we’d expected so we had to rush round it a bit quicker than I would have liked to get to our dinner reservation. My advice would be leave yourself about 2 hours to really take your time wandering round it and taking photos. The animals and characters along the trail look amazing. We also really loved the interactive drums, angel wings and water projection finale. If you’ve got young kids then take a buggy for them as its quite a long walk. There are some benches to sit down along the route and it is wheelchair accessible.
Secret Garden Restaurant
We had our evening meal in the Secret Garden Restaurant in the Alton Towers Hotel. There is a 3 course Christmas dinner included in your package. I chose the celeriac and parsnip soup for starter, roast turkey and trimmings for main and chocolate s’mores cheesecake for pudding. While the meal was good we were disappointed by the lack of vegetables. Literally a parsnip and 3 brussel sprouts. The kids had their own menu and chose pigs in blankets for starter (‘festive’ nachos for Big Bro), chicken dippers and chips for main and chocolate brownie for pudding (traditional Christmas pudding for Big Bro). They really enjoyed their meals. The chicken dippers were like KFC!
I really like the atmosphere in the Secret Garden Restaurant. The staff were helpful and friendly. We had a buffet style breakfast in there the next morning which had plenty of choices including cooked traditional English and continental options.
Moon Voyager Room
We stayed in a Moon Voyager themed room in the Alton Towers Hotel. I love these rooms as the theming is good fun and the kids have their own little area with bunk beds and a games console. The bathroom is equipped with a shower over the top of a bath and has plenty of towels for everyone. The room also has a tray with hot drink options, kettle and biscuits, open wardrobe space with hangers, drawers, chairs and a side table, plus a dressing table with hairdryer. The beds were comfy and the room was clean and well maintained.
Splash Landings Water Park
Alton Towers Santa Sleepover packages include the Splash Landings water park on day 2 of your stay. We had a great afternoon playing on the slides, lazy river and pools. A particular highlight was the outdoor slides which whizz you down the tiered pools until you reach the pool and hot tub at the bottom. It was freezing cold outside yet the pools were warm and it was just such a fun experience. The younger ones in our group loved the tots pool which has its own little slide which they could go down on their own. There are lots of different slides plus a huge water play frame.
You can borrow towels and float suits for free and also get a free swim nappy for any tots who need them. There is a shop selling swimwear and water toys, floats, etc at the water park entrance. The changing rooms have single, double and family size cubicles. Just be warned the changing rooms do get busy so you may have to wait. You will need a 20p for the lockers to store your belongings. There are lots of tables and chairs around the pools and you can even buy drinks and snacks poolside! The pool was busy but not overcrowded and there were loads of lifeguards everywhere. As a swimming teacher and ex lifeguard I am very conscious of the dangers of water but I felt we were safe at Alton Towers.
A Few Notes…
A few extra little bits to be aware of during your trip to really make the most of it.
- When you check into your hotel pick up a ‘letter to Santa’ template at the reception desk. Get the kids to fill it in and post it in the postbox in the foyer. They will receive a letter back from Santa the next morning under your hotel room door. I completely forgot to do this on our recent visit but we did it last time and got a lovely glossy print letter.
- There are treasure trail sheets at reception which help keep the kids busy if you have a bit of time to burn. Once completed, take the sheet back to the reception desk to claim a small prize.
- There is a floor in the Alton Towers Hotel with a mini arcade. Near the staircase on this floor is a ‘Giant’ chair which is a great spot to get some family photos!
- Pop badges don’t really seem to be a thing anymore. We have loads of them from previous trips and used to trade with staff members but didn’t see many this time. Pin badges seem to be more of a thing now instead. Have a look in the resort shops for different designs and lanyards to put them on.
- There is a small shop in the foyer of Alton Towers Hotel which sells essentials such as nappies, paracetamol, toothpaste, etc,etc so if you forget something its worth popping in there to see if they have it. The shop also sells souvenirs and sweets. We always buy a fridge magnet to commemorate our trips.
- There is a cinema in the hotel which shows various movies throughout the day. This is particularly handy on the second day of your trip if you have a later slot booked in the water park and are looking to kill some time.
- The mini golf is great fun but during wet weather it becomes flooded. We abandoned it very quickly on our recent trip and it was pretty much water logged.
- There is a corridor which links the Alton Towers Hotel to Splash Landings which is useful if its raining outside. It is a bit of a mission to find your way around it but worth it to avoid getting drenched! It gives great views of the water park too.
- The hotel restaurants do not serve food except for your evening meal on day 1 and breakfast on day 2. Take plenty of snacks with you if your kids are always hungry like mine and get food in the theme park (day 1) or water park (day 2). We ended up going to a service station after leaving the water park as we didn’t realise we couldn’t get food in any of the hotels.
- There is a bus service running constantly from the Alton Towers Hotel entrance to the theme park gate all day. You don’t need to fold buggies down and they have a ramp for wheelchairs. Just be aware you may end up standing for the journey as they do cram people in.
Prices start at £356 per family for this package, although this depends on which accommodation you choose and how many are in your group. Mine cost me £550 for 1 adult, 3 kids 22nd-23rd December in a Moon Voyager room at the Alton Towers Hotel. Personally I think when you look at just how much was included in the package it was well worth the money. We had an amazing time and our friends loved it too. This was our second Alton Towers Santa Sleepover experience and may not be our last! I highly recommend it for all ages.
Address: Alton Towers Resort, Alton, Staffordshire, ST10 4DB
Price Band: £££
Disclaimer: I am not in any way associated with Alton Towers or Merlin. All words, photos and opinions are that of my own. I booked and paid for my package in full myself. You can read about our previous Alton Towers Santa Sleepover experience here.