If anyone has ever read my previous articles, you’ll understand I have actually a vast soft spot for Toyland Tours, an eccentric journey through a toy manufacturing facility that was a staple of Alton Towers until the mid 2000s. The ride had actually come to be somewhat exhausted and they essential somepoint brand-new to take its place…enter Charlie and also the Chocolate Factory.
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Firstly, let it be recognized that I don’t mind an IP at all. Of course, there’s commonly a small more cinjury and heart through an original concept however I believe an IP deserve to perform the majority of excellent for a park. Charlie and also the Chocolate Factory is a much loved story of a young boy who wins a golden ticket which permits him on a tour of Willy Wonka’s cacao factory, something unchoose any kind of Charlie has ever knowledgeable before. The children’s book was composed in 1964 yet has stood the test of time and is still very popular, spawning 2 various film adaptations. The ride opened in 2006, a year after the release of the second adaptation, and added to the story’s tradition.
The facade for the manufacturing facility was significant and bold, filled through colour and also done in a kind of 2D fashion to compliment the book’s illustrations. This was really striking compared to the entrance to the previous iterations of the ride system and also really stood out in the area. I understand a lot of human being didn’t choose the way it was done, but I was a fan. I believed it worked through the theme well and carried attention to a space of the park that was feeling rather sorry for itself. Sure fire win, right? Well…not really.
A expensive trouble with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was exactly how insanely slow the queue would certainly relocate. The physical queue line exterior the building was brief however the queue of world was regularly much bigger and also stretched ideal across the route in the direction of Cloud Cuckoo Land also. Once you’d made it to the structure, you weren’t done and tright here was more waiting in there. It did smell like cacao though so that was a win. That being said, the ride still wasn’t as well-known as Alton Towers had actually hoped. The queues were huge however not with popularity. It was more with bad operations and batching.
After the queue, tright here was then a pre-show which introduced our guests to Charlie, the other winners of the golden ticket prize and, of course, Willy Wonka, before being boarded in watercrafts for your ride down the chocolate river.
The boat ride complies with the story and also shows the fate of each of the other youngsters. All the timeless scenes are there prefer Augustus Gloop being sucked up the pipe, Violet Beauregarde turning right into a blueberry and Veruca Salt being sorted as a poor nut, all done in the very same style as the Quentin Blake illustrations. The physical theming was incredibly simple, via largely static pieces, vinyls and basic animatronics to tell the story. Honestly, right here I feel they might have done more. I appreciate time and money constraints but tright here was a real lack of depth as soon as it came to this ride. There wasn’t a lot soul or character considering exactly how wacky and also brilliant the resource product is.
As guests reached the finish of the boat ride (a shortened version of the device supplied previously), tright here was an additional short video which verified Mike Teevee through you all stuck inside a TV display screen. You were then directed to one of two Great Glass Elevator and Willy Wonka advises you to hold on tight for the last percentage of the ride. This was a nice touch and somepoint fairly different and also distinctive. The Great Glass Elevator springs to life and also sends out guests on a tour of the factory and beyond as it simulates the feeling of really being in the elevator at the finale of the story. It judders and also shakes and also soars prior to breaking via the glass ceiling and also plummeting earlier to the ground, finishing the ride suffer. The CGI and effects provided below were really enjoyable and also produced a great experience…the only problem, aacquire, was just how busy it was. These elevator rooms weren’t astronomical and on a busy day, they’d pack them full which made it tough to check out at times and also tough to totally immerse yourself and take in what was happening about you.
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As I said formerly, the ride, though a fun little addition, wasn’t as popular as they’d hoped and specifically after the first few periods of procedure, interest in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory dwindled. There were a couple of points to blame for this but a HUGE one that definitely played a part in its downfall was the lack of re-ridebility. The ride was not worth waiting for and also so world didn’t. The Great Glass Elevator was a nice bit trick however the watercraft ride lacked many the cinjury that made Toyland also Tours so loveable. Tright here was incredibly little bit to look at in each scene and also the entirety point dropped level. There were complaints from the gain go about this and also Alton Towers did make a couple of changes in an effort to remedy the trouble, yet it wasn’t enough. The endure was drawn out and also negative operations, aobtain, led to waits before the boat, after the boat, before the elevators, throughout the entirety suffer which damaged up the immersion and also excitement.
In 2016, I’m sure no one was really surprised when Charlie and the Chocolate Factory quietly and unceremoniously closed its doors. It had actually a great 10 seaboy run and I’m sure a lot of world loved experiencing the factory for themselves. Tright here just wasn’t sufficient, in my opinion, to save me interested and also excited about the ride. With Toyland also Tours, I could ideal that eexceptionally trip and also still discover new points to see and gain myself. I rode Charlie and also the Chocolate Factory possibly 3 or 4 times in its whole life time…also with younger siblings.
The location was left pretty a lot abandoned for the following 3 years until the Alton Towers Dungeon opened up in 2019 to combined reviews. It is a shame that we lost a children’s dark ride, something that Alton Towers absolutely lacks, but Charlie and also the Chocolate Factory never before lived up to its complete potential. What will the future hold for this ride system that has actually been around for nearly 40 years? We can only wait and also view.