Travels With Ted

Alton Towers for Toddlers – The Best Rides for Kids

Alton Towers for toddlers - Sharkbait Reef Sealife centre Ray Pool

Alton Towers for Toddlers and Young Children

You might think there’s not much at Alton Towers for toddlers, but the good news is Alton Towers offers a wide range of rides for kids. Most families with small children will already know about the CBeebies Land, but they also have plenty of rides and activities in the rest of the park which toddlers (and their older siblings) will love. In this post, you will find all the information you need to make a really great family day out. This includes Alton Towers ride height restrictions, a guide to wait times and suitability for children (using my 2-year-old mouse and my 4-year-old daredevil as a baseline). I’m here to let you know all about Alton Towers for kids.

Note – All waiting times listed are relative. They were noted at 1.30pm on a Saturday in July. When we visited on a weekday in June, all queues were 0 to 10 minutes.

To start with, here are a few quick tips for planning a visit to Alton Towers with kids:

CBeebies Land is Alton Towers for Toddlers

Cbeebies Land Welcome
Welcome to CBeebies Land

CBeebies Land is heaven for toddlers. This is Alton Towers for toddlers. This relatively compact area of the theme park is packed with rides for pre-schoolers. Some of them still do have ride height restrictions. There are many more though that have no limits or where children simply need to be accompanied by an adult. You will also find shows, dedicated play areas and lots of other fun stuff. Ted (the 4-year-old) is a fan of all the rides in CBeebies Land without exception. May (the 2-year-old) has some reservations. She hated the Octonauts, and the Go Jetters rides from start to finish but loved everything else. Even children who consider themselves too grown-up for CBeebies at home will find something to entertain them, and the Octonauts ride is an excellent introduction to rollercoasters.

I am not going to dwell too much here on the CBeebies Land rides. You can find a full list with reviews, heights restrictions and queue times in my CBeebies Land rides post.

Mutiny Bay

Once they have exhausted (or grown out of) CBeebies Land the first area of Alton Towers you will probably head for is Mutiny Bay. The good news is that it’s pretty close to both CBeebies Land and the entrance. This pirate-themed area has lots of introductory rides that Ted (age 4) loved. This is definitely the next level up from CBeebies Land, but there’s still fun here for toddlers. The theming isn’t too heavy or scary either.

Battle Galleons

Queue Time: 15 minutes

Ride Height Restrictions: Children must be over 0.9m to ride. Children under 1.1m must ride with an adult.

Suitability for Children: This is a fun ride for the whole family.

If it’s been a while since you last visited Alton Towers, then you might be expecting to see the Swan Boat ride here (or if it’s been a really long time then you’ll be wondering where the rowboats have gone). No longer. It has been replaced with the slightly less tame Battle Galleons. Instead of swans, you sit on pirate ships. And instead of a sedate glide around a lake, you use water cannons to knock down pirates. Judging by the length of queue space available this ride occasionally gets very busy. Or they might simply have made the queue that long because they have installed water canons along the way which you can use to blast the people on the ride with jets of water.

This ride went down well with the whole family. You should definitely remember your wet weather gear though. One thing Ted is not keen on is getting wet!

Heave Ho

Queue Time: 10 minutes

Ride Height Restrictions: Children must be over 0.9m to ride. Children under 1.1m must ride with an adult.

Suitability for Children: Our toddler was not keen on this one, but it’s relatively tame, and most kids will be fine.

Heave Ho is not your typical pirate ship ride, it goes side to side as well as up and down. It’s quite a fun, quick little ride. It’s also tame compared to your traditional pirate ship ride (see The Blade below) but still a little too much for our 2-year-old.

Sharkbait Reef

Visiting Sharkbait Reef SEAlife Centre in Alton Towers
Sharkbait Reef SEAlife Centre

Queue Time: NA

Ride Height Restrictions: NA

Suitability for Children: Perfect for children of all ages.

For a complete change of pace form the rest of the theme park I would recommend checking out Sharkbait Reef. Like all of the Merlin owned SEALife Centres in the UK, this aquarium is both beautiful and excellent. As you might expect, it’s not as big as the other SEALife Centres, but it has all the classics including ray tank, touch pool and the all-important shark tunnel. If you have toddlers, this is the ideal place to recharge.

Marauder’s Mayhem

Queue Time: 0 minutes

Ride Height Restrictions: Children must be over 1.1m to ride. Children under 1.3m must ride with an adult.

Suitability for Children: The ride height restrictions rule this out for toddlers. It’s perfect for older pre-schoolers

Think spinning teacups but with a pirate theme and you’ve got Marauder’s Mayhem. It’s a bit more exciting than most teacup rides I have been on. It has a bigger ride height restriction to many of the other children’s rides in the park, so the 2-year-old was unable to ride (probably for the best), but Ted had a great time.

World of David Walliams

In 2021 Cloud Cuckoo Land was revamped as the World of David Walliams. Previously a strange little area of the park with several rides here for small children. With the arrival of CBeebies Land, it became mostly obsolete so a re-imagining was overdue. The revamp of this area has greatly expanded what there is at Alton Towers for kids. It’s not very far to walk from the entrance and CBeebies Land, or you can reach this area on the Skyride (more on that below).

Gangsta Granny: The Ride

Queue Time: 60 minutes

Ride Height Restrictions: Children must be over 0.9m to ride. Children under 1.2m must ride with an adult.

Suitability for Children: David Walliams fans will love this.

The new Gangsta Granny ride is completely new for 2021. You hop on to a royal carriage to help Granny on a daring diamond heist. The thrilling ride is full of special effects.

Flavio’s Fabulous Fandango

Queue Time: 0 minutes

Ride Height Restrictions: Children must be over 1.2m to ride.

Suitability for Children:

New ride for 2021.

Cuckoo Cars Driving School

Alton Towers for toddlers - Cuckoo Cars
Alton Towers for Toddlers – Cuckoo Cars

Queue Time: 10 minutes

Ride Height Restrictions: Children must be between 1m and 1.4m.

Suitability for Children: All children love it as long as they fall within the height restrictions.

Until recently this was the main reason families still come to this area. Our fairly tall child was able to take part at age three. How this works is that children are taken into a driving school area, shown a brief video on how to drive then thrown into a cute electric car. They then drive around the track without having retained any knowledge on the laws of the road and with no idea what they are doing. It’s usually hilarious.

Raj’s Bouncy Bottom Burp

Queue Time: 10 minutes

Ride Height Restrictions: Children must be over 0.9m to ride. Children under 1.4m must ride with an adult.

Suitability for Children: Our 2-year-old was tall enough to ride this, but we decided it probably wasn’t for her. Most children would be ok with it.

Previously the Frog Hopper. This ride is not designed with adults in mind, but children under 1.4m must ride with an adult. Both of us parents squeezed into it for the sake of the 4-year-old who loves it. It’s a fairly basic concept, 6 people sit in a row, the seat is raised then “hops” down.

The Royal Carousel

Alton Towers for toddlers - Galloper's Carousel
Alton Towers for toddlers – Galloper’s Carousel

Queue Time: 0 minutes

Ride Height Restrictions: Children under 1.3m must ride with an adult.

Suitability for Children: Fine for all children.

A carousel is a delightful addition, not least because it’s suitable for children of all ages. The Royal Carousel has been rebranded from Gallopers Carousel. Don’t get me wrong, no amount of nostalgia for rides of the past is enough to bring you up to this area for a carousel. If you’re here anyway then you might as well hop on.

Katanga Canyon

Katanga Canyon has two good rides for pre-school aged children, and I love it for that. However, it is an area of the park that is designed for crowd absorption and not entertainment. Take it from someone who spent a long time sitting on the area’s only bench with a bored 2-year-old while an excitable 4-year-old insisted on riding the Runaway Mine Train half a dozen times. Also, the parent of a 4-year-old who needed a wee desperately on at least two occasions while we were in this area with no toilets. Seriously, the nearest loos were miles away. Anyway, the rides.

Congo River Rapids

Queue Time: 15 minutes

Ride Height Restrictions: Children must be over 0.9m to ride. Children under 1.1m must ride with an adult.

Suitability for Children: The 2-year-old loved this one.

This was hands-down our 2-year-old’s favourite ride outside of CBeebies Land. It’s a bit of a hike to get to, Katanga Canyon is uphill, and then the queue line is monstrously long (I honestly don’t think I could cope with Alton Towers on a truly busy day). Once you get to the front, it does move quickly. You jump in a boat and float gently out into some river rapids. Every step of the way there’s the chance you might get wet but that all adds tot he excitement. Miraculously we always stayed relatively dry, but you should definitely have your wet weather gear on for this one.

Runaway Mine Train

Alton Towers for Toddlers - Runaway Mine Train
Runaway Mine Train

Queue Time: 30 minutes

Ride Height Restrictions: Children must be over 0.9m to ride. Children under 1.1m must ride with an adult.

Suitability for Children: We decided not to try the 2-year-old on here. It’s a step up from the Octonauts Rollercoaster and was perfect for the thrill-seeker 4-year-old.

Is there a theme park without a Runaway Train? This was one of Ted’s favourites, he begged to go on it again and again. It’s a proper rollercoaster, and it does go pretty fast but not fast enough or inverted enough to require any restraint other than a lap bar.

Forbidden Valley

In times past I might have headed straight for the Forbidden Valley to jump on Nemesis (I’ve definitely done that). Nowadays there’s not much reason to get off the Skyride here. We did visit this area for two reasons. The first was to go to the Rollercoaster Restaurant, a restaurant where your food is delivered on the back of a mini rollercoaster. We stayed at CBeebies Land Hotel in the Alton Towers resort and in the evening this area of the park can be accessed via a back gate so anyone can eat at the restaurant. After visiting the restaurant, we decided to come back the following day so that Ted could see the two rollercoasters located in this area in action. While we were in this section of the park, there was one ride the 4-year-old could go on.

The Blade

Queue Time: 20 minutes

Ride Height Restrictions: Children must be over 1.0m to ride. Children under 1.3m must ride with an adult.

Suitability for Children: Despite having a lower height restriction than Marauder’s Mayhem (pirate teacups), this is definitely not one for most pre-schoolers.

The Blade is a proper pirate ship ride, complete with a near-vertical swing. The daredevil 4-year-old went on twice, but after the second time, he was more than happy not to go on again. It’s a great thrill ride for older children who might not have reached the 1.2m or 1.4m height restriction required for the big rollercoasters.



Alton Towers Skyride
Alton Towers Skyride

Queue Time: Various

Ride Height Restrictions: None

Suitability for Children: Fun for all the family.

The Skyride is a cable car with three stations around the park. The first station is near the entrance, just next to Mutiny Bay. The middle station is in the Forbidden Valley area and is the only comfortable way to get there (from someone who was stuck there with a toddler). The final station is close to Cloud Cuckoo Land.

The Skyride is more than just a means of getting from one area of the park to another, it’s a bit of an adventure. The kids love gently gliding over the gardens and past enticing rollercoasters.

The Gardens

Most people will only view the gardens from the Skyride, and I must admit if I hadn’t been trapped in the Forbidden Valley that is as close as I would have ventured too. It was the gardens that first drew visitors to the park when it first opened to the public, and they are indeed a thing of beauty. If you find the children need some chill time between exciting activities, then this is the place to come.


The monorail is the primary means of getting from the carpark to the main entrance. It is possible to skip it if you don’t mind the walk or you pay for priority parking. (You also get priority parking if you stay at the resort, but you have to ask).

For young children, the monorail is the start of the excitement. It is the first ride of the day, and the journey offers glimpses of what is to come.

Alton Towers Ride Height Restrictions Table

Ride Height RestrictionRide with an Adult
CBeebies Land
Go Jetters Vroomster Zoom Ride0.9m+Up to 1.25m
Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure0.9m+Up to 1.10m
Postman Pat Parcel PostUp to 1m
In The Night Garden Magical Boat RideUp to 1m
Justin’s House Pie-O-Matic Factory0.9m+
Peter Rabbit Hippity Hop0.9m+Up to 1.10m
The Bugbie Go RoundUp to 1m
Get! Set! Go! Tree Top AdventureAll
Mutiny Bay
Battle Galleons0.9m+Up to 1.10m
Marauder’s Mayhem1.1m+Up to 1.3m
World of David Walliams
Gangsta Granny: The Ride0.9m+Up to 1.25m
Flavio’s Fabulous Fandango1.2m+
Cuckoo Cars Driving School1m-1.4m
Raj’s Bouncy Bottom Burp0.9m+Up to 1.4m
The Royal CarouselUp to 1.3m
Katanga Canyon
Congo River Rapids0.9m+Up to 1.1m
Runaway Mine Train0.9m+Up to 1.1m
Forbidden Valley
The Blade1m+Up to 1.3m
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16 thoughts on “Alton Towers for Toddlers – The Best Rides for Kids

  1. Thanks for all these tips, we’re hoping to make it to Alton Towers over the summer holidays so they will be so useful.

  2. We love Alton Towers! Just wish we lived closer. Thank you for such an informative read. It’ll help with planning the next trip.

  3. Great review! I actually preferred going to theme parks when my son was younger as I’m not great on rides myself but I’m ok on kids rides!

    He’s more adventurous now at 11 so I am pleased his step dad is ride mad!

  4. Amazing! I had no idea it was so toddler friendly there, I’m sure mine would love all these rides!

  5. This is such a great post as Alton Towers with the kids is definitely on the to do list!

  6. This park is looking so much interesting to visit, Thanks for making us aware of such park.
    We will now surely try to visit here as soon as possible.

    1. He could certainly go on all the rides described here. It depends on how tall and how keen but he may be able to go on some of the bigger rides. Check the app before you go, it has information about all the rides.

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