I might be alone on this but I think Alton Towers has a large collection of recognisable characters to use. There’s the ministry of joy and all it’s ‘colourful’ characters, the phalanx and the nemesis creature, galactica and the astronauts, Thirteen and it’s wraiths, wicker man and the beoren and the earl and beggar from Hex. This alone is a worthy line up of characters, who each could have an incredibly well themed and beautiful parade float. They already have well designed costumes for most of these characters since they were used in promotional material or in scaremazes, so that part would be easy to do. Even if they’re not instantly recognisable to all, from colours and theming it wouldn’t take the GP long to figure out what/who they are. Then, that could give Alton towers a standing to do more things with them, making the characters of the rides also become the characters assossiated with the park.
You're quite right there! When you really think about it, they've actually got so much to work with already! Doing a parade based on the park's rides is probably the best way to do it to be honest.
Me thinking aloud...Nemesis
– float could be based off the Nemesis monster, and Phalanx operatives could walk by the float to guard the monster.TH13TEEN
– float based off of a ruined part of the Towers, surrounded by Wraiths, some walking alongside the float, interacting with guests, some actually on the float itself. Hex
– float based off of the Chained Oak. Characters from the legend such as the Earl and the Beggar walk along, interacting with guests. The Smiler – float based off the Marmalizer. Dr. Kelman would stand at the front of the float. "Smiler Men" and "Smiler Women" would dance alongside the float.Runaway Mine Train – float themed to mine, with train (bit like the original float). Miner characters could dance alongside the float.Wicker Man
– float based off the wicker man effigy. Beornen characters walk alongside the float interacting with guests and "worshipping" the large wicker man on the float. Fire dancers could also be on the float.