Last July (2006) Alton Towers opened the Peugeot 207 driving school with the primary audience of under 10’s. The attraction sponsored by Peugeot and costing the park £1m is based at the bottom of Cred street where a few other kiddie attractions are based. Its quite obvious from the description this is a driving school where kids not only drive small battery operated cars they also have the option of buying a driving license after the ride.
When queuing the kids all have their photographs taken and then they are lead out to a holding pen, once the pen is full the kids are walked through to the driving school where they get to pick their own single seat electric car. After a quick briefing by the staff the attraction is started on a 5 minute or so timer, after this period the cars just stop wherever they are and the kids get off and make way for the next bunch. In total they have about 20 cars operating at a time. Each car doesn’t go any faster than walking speed.
The attraction is very elaborately themed with bright colours and animals as you would expect, all the road markings in the driving school are marked out identically as we see on UK roads with roundabouts, give way junctions and stop signs. Of course try telling a child to stop and wait for people to go past is a bit of a joke as they take no notice and it’s quite common for the odd head on or side shunt from another child. Some kids are quite happy to go round roundabouts the wrong way, up kerbs, crash into traffic lights and even run over some of the Alton Towers staff who are trying to control the chaos.
They also have traffic lights again most kids ignore these as the excitement of controlling their own cars gets the better of them. At the far side of the attraction opposite where you enter they have a tunnel (car wash) that the kids drive through and a bubble machine which throws thousands of soap suds into the air.
This is a great attraction for younger children it’s also great for the adults to watch on at the chaos they are causing. Alton Towers has a few staff who work in the attraction that act as roadside assistance, clear traffic jams and generally help the kids along. There is also a bridge over the track that parent/guardians can look down on the kids or take photographs/video of them as they go around, of course stand on the bridge get your camera ready and the kids generally go the other way as they are concentrating that much.
This attraction is a great addition to the parks line up of attractions for younger children. Children have to be between 1.0m and 1.4m to drive the cars.
The cars are parked inside at night and are charged up ready for the next day, 12v chargers are plugged into all cars overnight.
Next time your at Alton towers with the kids its worth stopping for 10 minutes.
Heres a few pictures of the attraction taking during September 2007.
Zebra crossing with a Zebra.
The elaborate theming.
A couple of views from the top of the Bridge.
Looking down to the car wash.
The Car Wash.
The Car wash foam.
The Advanced Driving Area, this is a bit more challenging for the kids, although not many use it.
You have every reason to hide.
My Daughter, her mum taught her to drive 😉
Behind the scenes in the workshop/charging area.
Cars plugged in for the evening.
Underside of a car.
If you want to use any photographs on this blog please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org im quite happy to share and have high resolution copies of everything used, to see the complete gallery visit the Ridemad Gallery
Thanks for Reading.