As you may know, I’m a very big themepark fanatic and in particular I love Alton Towers. I’ve been going to the park since before I can remember and have enjoyed every visit. However I had never made it into the waterpark, until this weekend!
Cariba Creek (which is in the process of being renamed ‘Alton Towers Waterpark’, but I prefer Cariba Creek so I’ll uses that) is on the outset, nothing that special. I remember seeing pictures of it and hearing details of the place and being a little disappointed. It has many different attractions, but in my opinion, nothing other places around the world and even the UK had done before.
But I was wrong.
Cariba is a pure and simple case of having to see it to believe it. The area the waterpark takes up is quite small, but they’ve fitted a lot into that area. And the scenery is just brilliant. It’s probably the first thing that will hit you when you walk out into the park. You see a treehouse full of waterguns in the background, master blaster working it’s way around you, palm trees everywhere and a massive fountain in the middle of it all. It really is quite an awe-inspiring sight, the kind of site only Alton Towers manage.
So, on to the actual attraction in Cariba Creek. The main slide is The ‘Master Blaster’. This is a ‘watercoaster’ ride and launches you up ramps as well as sliding down. It really does look quite special. ‘And it had better be’ I thought as I waited in line for almost 1/2 hour to get a go. I really was wondering how the essence of Alton Towers would be conveyed in this park and it seemed the queueing was it!
Eventually I got my rubber ring and made it onto the ride. It is quite an experience. I’ve been on a watercoaster ride before, but this one easily beat it. Master Blaster sends you sliding down a fairly big drop (whilst spraying you with water from above) before launching you straight back up and into a long winding tube. After this you go up and down another 2 times as you make your way around the waterpark. After this the pace really picks up as you slide down the final few drops in total darkness. When you splash in the water at the end you really are traveling at quite a speed.
‘Master Blaster’ is quite a ride and even has a ride photo point. However I was unable to locate where you pick these up from (answers on a postcard please!). Despite the wait, it was well worth it.
So what about the other attractions? Well there are two more indoor slides called Rush and Rampage. These are just basic tube slides, quite fun but nothing special. Rush does have an interesting gimmick though. On the way down you meet many road signs, weird!
Also hidden behind the main pool is the lazy river which was pretty fun. As well as floating along with the stream, Cariba has mini tipping buckets and showers to randomly spray you along the way, great fun! The indoor section of the park also has a mini toddlers area with some spraying showers and a mini slide for the little ones.
As well as fun under the glass roof indoors, Cariba creek also has an outdoor area. I was surprised this was open when I visited (February) but also pleased. Outside there is another slide called Flash Floods. This slide starts off as two and then divides into three half way down. Once again , it was a good slide but nothing too special, probably more fun in the summer! Outdoors also has the ‘Bubbly Wubbly’ pool which is a giant jacuzzi. This was lovely and warm (and a bit surreal in the winter) but there was a bit of a lack of bubbles. Don’t know if it was broken, but I think there should have been more.
Moving back indoors we come to what I think is the crowning achievement of Cariba Creek, something which I have never seen in the UK or abroad before. The Wacky Waterworks. This area consists of a treehouse filled with waterguns, showers, leaks, buckets and anything else you could think of to dow with water. I’m a big fan of the ride ‘Battle Galleons’ in the Alton Towers park and this was a similar idea. A massive water fight. What impressed me were the varieties of ways you could soak people., it wasn’t all just guns. You could drop water on unsuspecting people below, spray them with a constantly running tube of water or just pull a leaver which caused a big leak!
And how could I mention the waterworks without mentioning the tipping bucket. This is something I have experienced before at many different waterparks. But the one at Cariba seemed to be bigger, last longer and was just set up better. The bucket tips in the middle of a walkway meaning some people don’t realise it’s there, which is always funny! It’s also great to see the lifeguards dart out of the way every time they hear the bell to say it’s coming.
The best thing about this area was that everyone was having a great time. Kids and adults alike ran into the treehouse and spent ages trying to chuck water at one another. It was a genuinely great atmosphere and this is due to the fact Alton Towers have really put the effort into the place.
There were some negatives to Cariba, firstly, I do still think it needs more. It is great at the moment, but a new slide or two would really help make this world class. Secondly, it does get busy. Towers can’t really help this, but it is annoying having to wait themepark lengths for a waterslide. And thirdly, I do think the price is a bit much for what you actually get.
I really had a great time at Cariba Creek and urge anyone who can to get to it. It is a bit pricey at £14.00 for an adult ticket, but it is just so much fun. Another successful attraction for the Towers!
- All Images From TowersTimes