Myself, dh and two dcs had never been here before. I decided I would treat them this half term and booked the tickets online. It was very very expensive at £135 for all of us. I then booked some food vouchers as we were going to be there all day for another £45. We can rarely afford days out like this so were all very excited to go. We live about 2 hours drive away so obviously petrol was pricey too. Anyway we left really early to get there for 10am opening. As we left the motorway to get on the A road the problems started with a massive queue of traffic, all heading for Alton Towers. It took about 2 hours to get to the car park. We parked up at the nearest available space then had to tramp over mud and stones for a mile just to get to the park entrance. Now when you have to pay £6 just to park, which i think is a complete rip off as you pay so much for your tickets, you would think the car park would be free. We printed our tickets online so could go straight throught the turnstiles but then had to queue for another near hour to redeem our food vouchers. After getting those we were told we had to go to the cafe to collect our re-fillable drinks vessels. We asked a waitress if we could just collect them immediately as we weren't ordering food and drink but no...we had to queue to collect them behind others ordering food. Altogether it had taken us about 4-5 hours with no ride at all so far. We finally got to the stage where we could ride and came across the sonic spinball. We were in the queue for that for an hour and a half and so it went on. Every decent ride was over an hour and a half wait. We spent a whole day in the place and got on 5 rides in total. We never got a chance to go to hardly any of the rides the dcs were looking forward to. The whole day cost us over £200 to spend most of it standing in the cold in queues. Why why why do they take that amount of money from people and let them in when they will get to go on hardly anything. Surely there should be a maximum amount of people they let in. I have been to many theme parks in the past and know that you have to queue but this was just ridiculous. The children were upset and disappointed and I was angry we'd spent so much for so little. When we left to return to our car it was dark and the mile walk back to our car had virtually no lighting and no footpath for most of it so we had to dodge cars coming the other way. I will NEVER go to this place again!
I'm so sorry for you but I wish you'd asked for tips.
I'd never have bought food passes, just snacked at a convenient time or taken a couple of rolls. And I also live 2 hours away which is why I aim to get there by 9 am and parked up before it opens so you can get to the other end of the park to get on the main rides the second it opens.