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UK Theme Park Round-Up - April Review and May 2014 Preview

Alton Towers

CBeebies Land

CBeebies Land construction is well underway, with the much anticipated May launch fast approaching. Due to open on Saturday the 24th, in time for the May Half Term Holiday, CBeebies Land is Alton Tower’s big new attraction for 2014 - its target audience being families with younger children.

It is the first time the BBC have worked in conjunction with Merlin Entertainments, and it seems we can expect them to create an immersive, educational and interactive experience based on the CBeebies TV shows, with 12 attractions to explore and enjoy.

The Smiler

No news is good news for The Smiler over at Alton Towers this spring, as there have been no major recorded newsworthy breakdowns or otherwise. It seems the winter refurbishment has done the rollercoaster some good, and fingers crossed the reliability will continue into the peak summer months.

Legoland Windsor

Star Wars Miniland Experience

Star Wars fans everywhere have a reason to be excited this spring – not only have the cast just been announced for Episode 7, but Lego Star Wars event days are running over at Legoland Windsor, from Saturday the 3rd of May to Monday the 5th of May (first Bank Holiday Weekend in May). The annual unofficial Star Wars Day, May the 4th (taken from the Jedi greeting “May, the Force be with you”) is also conveniently that Sunday.

Events such as lightsaber training and daily marches of the 501st Garrison will take place over the Star Wars event days, as well as the opportunity to see a full-size replica of a podracer, to explore the galaxy in the Lego Star Wars Miniland model display, and to build your chosen intergalactic Lego Star Wars characters brick by brick. Guests are also encouraged to dress as their favourite Star Wars characters, so be prepared to see many young Padawans running around the theme park on their interplanetary adventures.

Drayton Manor

Air Race

Alongside opening the only thrill ride in the UK for 2014 - Air Race, another world record attempt was claimed for the Staffordshire theme park this year, as Drayton Manor smashed the world record this April for “the largest gathering of people wearing one-piece pyjamas”. To help achieve the world record, Drayton Manor apparently reduced their ticket prices - and it appeared to have worked. 3,152 people turned up in onesies, breaking the previous record of 1,184 quite significantly. The world record attempt only made the news when Drayton was forced to close their gates due to visitor numbers at 12:30pm on the day of the record attempt.

Wrap-up

With 2 brand new theme parks lands due to open this May, theme park fans everywhere will have a chance to experience the likes of Angry Birds and CBeeBies in an immersive environment. 2014 doesn’t appear to be a good year for thrill-seekers, unlike the introduction of The Swarm and The Smiler in 2012 and 2013, but any good theme park enthusiast appreciates the fact a mix of thrill rides and family fun makes for the best parks anywhere, and 2014 will be our year for that. Feathery friends and Postman Pat will be launching in our parks this May - let’s wait and see what fun they bring to our beloved theme parks.

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