Originally planned for 2020 but it’s here now and it’s FINALLY open for us all to enjoy! The brand new dark ride based on David Walliams Gangsta Granny book is the ride you don’t want to miss. The book was originally released 10 years ago this October and now you have the chance to experience the story in person whilst having various effects to fully immerse you.
I love the exterior it’s beautifully bright but also simple. I was really taken back by the sheer amount of attention to detail throughout the entire queue line. From the moment of entering you are greeted by a staff member dressed in the guard style uniform who warmly invites you to the crown jewels tour. As we walked around the outdoor queue line we had guards interacting with us making the hype even more real but also providing us with a good giggle whilst also getting us involved in the story before even having the ride in view.
Heading inside the queue line is mesmerising by just how much detail has gone into creating this attraction. There isn’t an inch of the indoor queue line without theming. The wallpaper has subtle nods to Alton Towers with the towers incorporated into a crown and the themed wallpaper is consistent throughout the entirety. Even the flooring is themed to the attraction.
Throughout the queue line, there are several little riddles to help keep people entertained. There are various portraits with speakers underneath each plaque which each of them will have some audio at some point but also again little nods to Alton Towers history incorporated too. Not to forget little Bert & Ernie’s door, which as a dog lover is something that I love to see. In the middle of the queue line, there is a photo opportunity as well.
In all honesty, I was a little underwhelmed by the station. For some reason, I had expected a larger station than it is but perhaps that comes down to what we are normally used to. The station again is well themed and almost simple but far from too simple.
During COVID times the throughputs slow as expected given its individual parties boarding at one time, so if you are in a group of two you will be batched as a group of two only. The carriage seats 8 people at a time normally which would mean fab throughputs. However, at the moment it is a tad slow but that’s for the safety of us all and is understandable. There is constantly a carriage in the exit waiting to enter the station to be loaded there is no gap between a carriage leaving to one arriving.
SPOILER FREE ZONE!!!
The Carriages are a lot larger than I had expected in all honesty. It felt really snug and cosy with the high sides which I really liked, almost similar to the likes of Ninjago at Legoland Windsor. In all honesty, they were comfy also there is no lap bar or seat belt neither which just makes it even better.
The ride exceeded my expectations by all means. There wasn’t a moment where I thought anything could of being done better in all honesty. In all honesty, I was never expecting all the layers that have added up to create this fab ride like the special effects, the smells, the physical set pieces, the screens, the movement of carriages and so much more! It was just so consistent with the storyline to theming which helped make it incredibly easy to follow for someone who hasn’t read the book or watched the movie. I found the mixture of layers worked so well together without them becoming too overwhelming created a genuinely fab attraction for everyone to enjoy and get lost amongst. I also love silly humour which this has down to the t.
The movement of the carriages really embrace the story and make you feel even physically involved than normal with its movements but also helps to point in the direction of key moments too. It’s hard not to get fully into the story and feel a part of this adventure with Ben & Granny. The special effects are fab although there was a couple of scenes that felt as if there should of being some kind of effect happen it didn’t. I’m unsure as to whether it was just my imagination in what I would have expected to happen or whether perhaps it just hasn’t been added or turned on yet, I am not sure. I’m interested to know if anyone knows which scene I am talking about.
Each scene and transition between scenes are immensely done as there isn’t a moment of losing that immersive atmosphere. The final sections were fab but also caught us quite off guard and made us jump in all honesty haha. Again though the entire ride experience is incredible from start to finish and the duration is what I’d say to be perfect. It doesn’t drag out any longer than needed nor is it too short to the point you are lost in what actually happened.
You exit your carriage in an offload station then head down the corridor where you are basically where you left off on the ride. The story doesn’t just end because you’re not on the ride anymore unlike the majority of dark rides do it continues all the way through until you have exited the shop and even then it continues in some form with the roaming guards.
The shop itself is lush and you genuinely feel as if you’ve entered a corner shop. The staff member (Raj’s Assistant) in there is hilarious and will keep you entertained throughout your shopping experience. Again, I love the nods to the previous Alton Towers attractions such as Dooms & Sons. There are hidden eggs all throughout you just have to keep an eye out for them.
Overall, it is a brilliant addition to the lineup at Alton Towers and it is so nice to have such an uplifting ride to break up your day. I find it utterly bizarre to believe what was once within that building as you’d never imagine it now. I loved how much attention to detail went into making this attraction to the standard it is at. If you are like us originally and concerned about not knowing what’s happening due to not knowing anything about the book, honestly there is nothing to worry about, it is really simple to follow. I found it blew my expectations out of the water and has the best combination of all the elements that is used throughout. Don’t be deceived by the target audience as anyone at any age can really enjoy this attraction but the children will adore it especially the fans!
If you haven’t already I can’t recommend checking this brand new ride out enough. I’d love to hear your thoughts on Gangsta Granny or perhaps what you are expecting! Be sure to comment below your thoughts or expectations.
Thank you for reading…