The 2012 season see's the opening of two brand new attractions at the Alton Towers Resort, Ice Age 4D and the highly anticipated Nemesis Sub-Terra, which are both set to open in a little over 2 weeks time. However, the 2012 season also see's reduced opening hours for the theme park, which has also been seen in sister Merlin Entertainments parks such as Thorpe Park and Legoland.
On quieter days in 2012 the theme park will be closing at 4:00pm, during the busy month of August the park will be closing at 6:00pm (compared with last year's 7:00pm) but both the Scarefest and Fireworks events will remain at 9:00pm closes, so there will still be plenty of time to ride your favourite attractions in the dark.
Alton Towers (and most other UK theme parks) have traditionally had shorter opening hours compared with major European theme parks (Such as Europa Park and Disneyland Paris). However, Alton Towers are also known to increase their opening hours during the day if attendance is higher than anticipated.
For example, on Saturday the 31st of March 2012 here are the closing hours for select UK/European theme parks:
Alton Towers: 10:00 - 17:30 (ERT from 9:00)
Europa Park: 9:00 - 18:00
Disneyland Paris: 10:00 - 20:00 (ERT from 8:00)
Thorpe Park: 10:00 - 18:00
TowersTimes contacted Alton Towers and this is their response:
The Alton Towers Resort represents excellent value for money for a unique short break for the whole family. With the investment in two major new attractions this year, Nemesis Sub-Terra and Ice Age – The 4-D Experience, together with a host of other exciting world class thrill rides and unique experiences, we are yet again reinforcing our position as the UK’s favourite Theme Park.
Our operating season is amongst the longest of any similar attraction type in the UK, running as it does from 24th March until the 4th November this year, and our opening hours have always been variable. We have for example always closed earlier during our slower periods of March, April, May and September when the weather is usually poorer.
Interestingly, our busiest times are not, as one might expect, during the summer months, but in fact are during the October half term when we are open until 9pm. Our wonderful Scarefest event brings in hundreds of thousands of families from across the UK, as do the end of season Firework Spectaculars which have quickly regained their reputation as a ‘must see’ attraction! We have therefore simply decided to align our closing times this year more with our actual visitor use and this means closing at 6pm during the summer and between 4pm and 5pm during the off peak times. However we monitor our visitor feedback on a daily basis and review all our operations regularly as appropriate.
You can find the full Alton Towers opening hours for 2012 on AltonTowers.com