I first went to Disney World in Florida when I was 10 years old; my dad was working at a conference there so he was able to bring the rest of the family along – me, my sister and my mother. We stayed at one of the Disney hotels (Coronado Springs) and had passes to the various parks to use over the course of a week.
I of course, felt privileged to be able to go where so many kids have dreamt of going, but did the Disney experience impress me? Even at the age of 10 I was aware that whilst popular, there are certain parts of Disney that weren’t as magical as I had hoped. When I returned to Orlando in 2007, this was confirmed to me once again. I realised that weather aside, I preferred a theme park in the UK over Walt Disney World. And that theme park is Alton Towers. Here’s why…
I believe that the big selling point of Disney World is the “feeling” – it’s a place where childhood fairy tales and stories come to life with characters and sets. At first glance of the Magic Kingdom you can only think “wow” but once you’ve grown accustomed to the sight, you think “what’s next?”. Of course, there are rides in Disney World – some of the best in my opinion belong to the water park Typhoon Lagoon – but on the whole you need to travel to the different parks in order to get the best pick of the rides. And when you consider that each park costs more money, this can be a pretty expensive challenge.
When you compare this to Alton Towers, you’ll soon realise how convenient it is to have a brilliant combination of rides all within one park. You can go on all the thrill rides you like at Alton Towers in one or two days and you don’t need to spend money travelling between areas or paying extra admissions. Thrill seekers love Alton Towers for rollercoasters like Oblivion, Nemesis, Rita, and – my personal favourite – Air. There is also a new ride this year called The Smiler.
Travel and weather
If you want to take advantage of a new ride Alton Towers has, it’ll likely be a train, bus or car journey for you. If you want to do the same at Disney World, you’ll be buying flights for the whole family. Clearly the weather in Florida is likely to be better overall than here in the UK, but that can come at a cost; it’s also worth noting that thunderstorms are almost a daily occurrence on August afternoons in Orlando. This means that visits to theme parks are best planned for the morning when the rides are more likely to be open. In the UK we are fairly used to rain and rides will run unless the weather is very extreme. Of course, we have nice days too so keep an eye out on the forecast and head to Alton Towers when it’s lovely and sunny for that Florida effect!
About the author : Heather Welder is a keen travel blogger from the UK. This year she wants to experience the new ride Alton Towers has and hopes that the UK summer will be hot and sunny.