When rumours first emerged back in 2018 of a Gangsta Granny attraction, alongside the possibility of other attractions themed around David Walliams’ books, I was quite optimistic for the area, as I did think and do still think it is an IP well-suited to the Alton Towers brand.
However, I can’t really say that anything in today’s announcement gets me especially excited. Of course I’m not the target audience, but I do have concerns that those who visit for the land and “headline” attraction are going to be left underwhelmed and disappointed. The floorplan for Gangsta Granny: The Ride does suggest that its length is going to be relatively short, and the compact layout seems to mean that the different scenes have very little depth. There doesn’t seem to be anything especially groundbreaking about the ride, so hopefully what’s there will at the very least be well done, and result in a charming addition to the park. If it is successful, hopefully it will give Merlin more confidence to produce more ambitious dark ride projects.
Then there’s the rest of the area, which, in terms of attractions, will just consist of a rethemed Frog Hopper and Gallopers Carousel - not exactly the most compelling offering. It sounds as though Cuckoo Cars will remain awkwardly unchanged at one end of the land, and at the other will be the unused former site of Twirling Toadstool and the empty theatre building. It just seems a bit half-hearted.
When you see parks all around the world making major investments to coincide with their anniversary years, it’s a shame not to see the same repeated for Alton Towers (and indeed Thorpe Park last year).