If you have children and live anywhere within mainland UK, the chances are that sooner or later your little darlings will decide that they absolutely must have their next birthday party at Alton Towers theme park in Staffordshire. Blithely ignorant of entrance and parking fees, queues and driving distances, having a party at a theme park is a rite of passage for many kids, and being fairly central, an Alton Towers birthday could be the obvious choice.
Is it really worth it, however? Having recently taken a merry band of 8 and 9 year olds there for a birthday treat, I would have to say it definitely is, as long as you do a little forward-planning. Don't buy your tickets on the day, at the gate; book online in advance and save £7 per adult/£5 per child. Depending on your party size it might be more economical to book a family package, and you get even better prices if booking for a group of 10 or more.
There are plenty of picnic areas within the grounds so take a packed lunch and, if possible, your own party cake, and avoid the overpriced eateries. Our lot loved the sky lift that takes you from one end of the park to the other, and the water rides in particular were a big hit (if you have any room left in your rucksacks then take cagoules...) All in all, an Alton Towers party is a great birthday treat and worth the outlay (and the long car journey!)