Losing Our Appetite At The Rollercoaster Restaurant, Alton Towers

I had the ghoulish delight of taking on the Alton Towers Scarefest with a small group of my favourite people recently. I’ve never actually attended Scarefest before, and because I already own a Merlin Annual Pass (although the mazes cost £8 extra and you have to book them) it would be relatively affordable for me. We decided to go on Friday the 20th of October, due to Gail and Ste celebrating their anniversary on the 31st of October – what better venue to celebrate than a creepy gathering of freaks and gremlins right?
We decided long before the 20th that we’d be giving the Rollercoaster Restaurant a go – I spent a long time looking at reviews, Youtubers vlogs and reading experiences on TripAdvisor and generally looking forward to the visit. Sure, some reviews were negative on TripAdvisor but the overwhelming consensus was that it was a fantastic place to eat with a rather ‘fun’ twist.
When we got to Alton Towers, all the signage prompted us to ‘reserve a place’ at the restaurant – so we did. A glitch on the application meant that we actually reserved a place for the 3rd of November… I did tweet Alton about that at the time and they assured me they’d be taking walk-ins anyway. So no need to book a table. Like all the electronic signage was telling me to.
At around half past four, we went for our dinner.
We did have to wait for fifteen/twenty minutes as the tables became available – inside, there are 8-10 rather large tables which are split into sections, so you dine with other families on the same table but still have your own little ‘section’. Once we were seated, the staff who was seating the constant flow of customers did take the time to explain to us what to do with the iPad and menus – something I’m really glad of as it was a completely new experience for all of us. He recommended we ordered through the same ‘slot’ so that food arrived together.
Because it was Scarefest, the menu was a ‘special Scarefest menu’ which wasn’t very expansive. Three burgers, some salads, curry and ribs. Oh, and steaks. While I had a soft drink (as did our designated driver), Gail and Ste wanted to share a bottle of wine understandably – it was their anniversary and this was a huge treat for everyone! So drinks, along with 3 chicken curries and some ribs were sent through to the kitchen.

The curry, was £13 for a portion. The ribs, £15. Wine, £19.50 (or near enough..) and soft drinks around £3 each.. Meaning our meal total was £78 – a hefty sum of money regardless of where you eat. When it did arrive in little metal canisters which were whizzed around the framework above us to our table – I immediately picked up on the disappointment as my three curry loving diners began to dish up their mains. It smelt wonderful, even if it did look a little lackluster in the cans.. My main was brought to the table, with my sweet potato fries catapulting towards me from above.

My own main, the ribs were tasty – three sections of rib, with 2 ribs per section, so quite a nice amount. The sweet potato fries however were soggy and sad – with no seasoning, so it had that pungent sweet potato aftertaste. I put those to one side as I didn’t want to ruin the meal moaning about my food – until I looked at everyone else. Now, the curry had arrived a good ten minutes before my food had so they were all well into the meal.

This is what faced them.

All three were pushing it around their plates and I felt.. Well I felt bloody awful. At £78 – theme park food or not – you want people to at least eat the food sent. I tasted it, and there was just something off.. As Mike put it, it was as if someone had put a beef curry or chilli con carne sauce, with the chicken. It was truly vile. The chicken was tender, so they said – but that sauce was wretched!

I called over a waitress and explained the situation.. She offered new meals, but we declined them and just wanted to leave. As much as the whole experience was a disappointment, I wish I had her name – because she cleared our bill of food meaning we only paid for our drinks. She even sent me home with my ribs – the only edible thing of the meal – wrapped in tin foil. As we did leave, the gentleman who seated us apologised profusely too, so we didn’t begrudge the waiting staff.. But we won’t be visiting that restaurant again. We ended up settling at the Woodcutter’s Bar and Grill and sharing a plate of nachos as nobody was hungry after that experience.

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    • It’s a little infuriating just how terrible the experience was really – they have you over a barrel if you want to eat somewhere!

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