To be perfectly honest, I’ve been putting off going to CBeebies Land for 2 main reasons – Lily doesn’t really watch TV much, and theme parks are such an expensive day out. Well, I needn’t have worried – it was an absolutely incredible day out, and I’d definitely go back again!
We bought the Parent & Toddler ticket for just £25 for the day. I paid an extra £5 for an add-on coffee cup, which gives you £1 refills. I don’t usually pay for the add-ons (and there are LOADS offered to you for CBeebies Land online bookings), but we usually get 2-3 hot drinks on a day out anyway, and it pretty much paid for itself in the end. A friend even bought one at the park too (for £7 in the park), as they worked out better value in the end.
My reservations at whether I’d done the right thing of coming there continued right up to the gates. The parking area is quite a distance from the main entrance, and involved getting a monorail to the park. Lily was so excited by the monorail, and I didn’t mind the distance, just was put off by the people in the queue who thought it was OK to push their entire family in front of you!
I only mention the monorail because if you’re meeting friends in the park, you need to factor in the extra time to get to the monorail, queue up, take the monorail, collect your tickets (this seemed to take ages – it took about 15 mins for the lady to print the pre-booked tickets which was odd!), and then get through the barriers/bag check, before getting into the park.
But from then on, every reservation was wiped – we had an absolutely epic day!
CBeebies Land itself is close to the main entrance, and has its own separate themed entrance, where you’re greeted by very friendly staff who offer to take your photo under the sign, and welcome you to the park.
The queues at the main entrance to get in had dispersed, so people were mainly heading to the main park, and very few people were heading to the CBeebies Land itself. We walked straight in, and all day we rarely had to queue for the rides for more than about 5/10 minutes at the most.
The rides were great – even for kids who don’t really like rides, there was plenty to do. There was a treetop trail which led you around the trees, giving you a bit of a tour to what you could see, and then a variety of faster/slower rides (from the awesome Octonauts rollercoaster – Lily’s favourite – to a relaxing In the Night Garden boat ride – as someone who isn’t a fan of ITNG, I really loved the boat ride!).
She absolutely loved the Peter Rabbit ride, Postman Pat, and the Go Jetters rides, plus we just walked straight on without having to queue! For those you do need to queue for, there are also some little interactive games for them to play along the ropes/barriers to keep them distracted… though we were lucky enough to walk straight past these on most rides, to walk straight on.
The staff were also really friendly and supportive, clearly understanding how kids can react to uncertain situations – for example one of the little boys in our group didn’t want his height measured, but the lady was so good with him that he managed to get measured and was allowed on the ride with a big shiny wristband as a bonus!
They also allowed children who clearly had different needs onto the rides with a separate entrance, meaning they didn’t need to queue – something I know can be really difficult for some children – and the rides were really accessible to all the children to enjoy, which was lovely to see.
The Sensory Garden
The Mr Tumble sensory garden was another lovely area in the park, which was really relaxing, and the kids loved looking in his Spotty Bag to see what insects or items he had hiding in there.
It was beautifully laid out, and a really enjoyable, interactive little area – with funny mirrors to look in, things to play with, and screens with Mr Tumble teaching the children to sign what they were seeing.
Lily’s never been one for organised entertainment, but she was totally blown away by the live shows. They took place in a beautiful stage area in the middle of CBeebies Land, with toilets, a snack area and picnic benches, and shows from different CBeebies friends throughout the day.
We went to the Hey Duggee Live show, which was fantastic – Duggee is a legend in himself anyway – and Lily’s day was made when she was picked to go and ‘help’ him on the stage! The kids were all up dancing, and made to interact with the show, which was so much fun.
At the end of the shows you have the chance to meet the characters (Bing and Teletubbies were on earlier in the day, but we didn’t go to see them).
You have to form an orderly queue in front of the stage to get a quick Meet & Greet with the characters, so we waited to see Duggee, and although we started at the middle of the queue, people pushing in somehow landed us at the back – which was slightly annoying but the staff were great.
They stand at the back with a sign stopping anymore people from joining the queue after a certain point. It was really worth the wait though – she loved getting her real life Duggee Hug!
We also saw the Furchester Hotel indoor show which was 15 minutes and the little ones enjoyed that too – again it was interactive and fun. We didn’t have a chance to see the Mr Bloom one, but that also runs at various times throughout the day.
The Play Areas
There were also 2 indoor interactive play areas (for Charlie & Lola and Justin’s House – but we didn’t go into either, only as far as the entrance to Justin’s House but one of the little ones didn’t like the noise) and also a TreeFu Tom outdoor play area which the kids loved, complete with giant slide, balance beams and a zip wire.
There were also a few picnic benches around here for sunny day picnics, or to have a seat while the kids let off some steam!
In the show area there are also lawn games to play in little tents, such as bowling and hoopla, which the little ones really enjoyed, as well as interactive elements around the park for them to play with.
I had no idea there was a Sealife area at Alton Towers, but a 5 minute walk along the beautiful lake front from CBeebies Land, and you find yourself at the Sealife Centre. It’s really fantastic and a lovely contrast from the bright colours and loud rides of the theme park.
I’d really recommend a visit to give the little ones a bit of a change of scene that’s a bit more relaxing. We loved the jellyfish and seeing the big shark through the tunnel, as well as the seahorses, and stroking the starfish!
Food & Drink
We took our own packed lunch, but despite it starting to drizzle, we still managed to enjoy the picnic lunch as there is a little indoor café in CBeebies Land itself that lets you eat your picnic lunch indoors.
We did buy coffees when there (making the most of the £1 refills!), but the food did look good, with light and healthy options for everyone from children’s boxes to adult salads. There was a fairly long queue but the staff were quick and friendly.
Another lovely bonus is that throughout the site there are free apples for children, which was a lovely touch! They also have microwaves to heat up the baby food if you need.
In all, we absolutely loved the visit, and would definitely be back. We were there from 10am opening through to about 4pm, and there was still a lot we didn’t manage to do. The kids all loved it, and for the £25 entrance, it was a really great day out.
The mission back to the car was a bit frustrating as we were all tired by then, and the queues for the monorail were quite long (and it started to rain heavily then!), but it didn’t dampen the buzz from the day – so thank you to everyone at CBeebies Land for making it such a fantastic day for us.
Tips for visiting with families
- Remember to factor in the extra time to/from the car parks. Those with pushchairs were made to fold them on the monorail at busy times, so remember that if you have smaller children in buggies.
- If your little ones get easily tired from walking/standing a long time, you may still need to take the buggy – but there are plenty of buggy park areas by all the rides and in the CBeebies Land itself.
- Take note when you get there of where the toilets are (particularly if potty training!) – these can be quite far from where you are in the CBeebies Land. There was still a good distance to the toilets from the Lunchbox café which was a bit annoying (you can find them behind In The Night Garden), but there are also some bigger ones in the outdoor show area.
- The refill coffee cup online was a definite good purchase as definitely saved money (we even filled up with a £1 hot chocolate for the ride home!)