Alton Towers & The Sonic Suite

Alton Towers & The Sonic Suite

As you may have already read, I was the first person to sleep in the brand-new Sonic the Hedgehog themed hotel Suite at UK leisure resort, Alton Towers. My stay was earned by winning a quiz on the coach to the theme park on Friday; a coach that contained a bunch of community luminaries, bloggers and press (with myself in the unique position of both press and community). Except T-Bird, who is still in Japan. I missed his hat.

The special trip to Alton Towers was arranged by Sega, to celebrate the opening of the new Sonic Spinball rollercoaster (and of course, the Sonic Suite). After a three-hour coach journey, we all huddled around the ride entrance where Sega representatives and ‘Sonic’ officially cut the celebratory ribbon. We were then free to stumble in curiosity towards the rollercoaster itself. It was the day before Alton Towers opened for the new season, and so we were the very first people to try this attraction out.

Sonic Spinball may well be an older ride with a new lick of paint, but the nature of the rollercoaster seemed like a perfect fit for the blue blur. Four-seater pods periodically pass through the track, which start rotating as the ride begins and you turn the first corner. Then you meet the initial climb upwards, which was really quite fast, giving you barely any time to soak in the impending drops, twists and turns that lie ahead.

The following events involve high-speed belting around tight corners, V-shaped curves which force you to face the drop as you go down, and a zig-zag of highs and lows sporting a camera at the end. In the free hour given, we must have jumped on the ride six or seven times each, with free unlimited photo prints to keep those high-octane memories forever. To the side of the photo booth were two UFO catchers with Sonic plushies up for grabs – so our time was adequately split between riding the Spinball and attempting to win a Tails doll.

It had to end at some point though, so we all caught a coach back to the hotel where we all stayed; as everyone else took a tour of the special Sonic Suite, I was at reception signing out all of the gear that goes in it – two PS3 controllers, two Xbox 360 controllers, two Wii Remotes, one Wii Nunchuk and a bunch of Sonic games. These included Sonic Unleashed (PS3), Sega Superstars Tennis (360), Sonic 06 (PS3), Sonic and the Black Knight (Wii), Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Wii) and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (Wii).

Once everybody else had taken their Sonic Suite tour and saved all their photos, it was mine and Jemnezmy’s turn to step in and soak in the room that we would be sleeping for the night. And despite it’s rather pokey size, it’s a rather impressive room for the big-time Sonic fan. Opening the door activates a sound clip that welcomes you to the room – ‘Sonic’ (in a rather trying American accent) introduces the Suite with different phrases each time the front door is opened, including “Hey-Hey! Have you tried Sonic Spinball yet?” and “Watch out for Dr. Eggman! Let’s Go!” alongside boost and spring sound effects.

The wallpaper is a colourful print which takes its design from the recent Sonic the Hedgehog 4 trailer, although there are new elements that you have probably noticed already. Extra platforms, springs and Sonic 2-esque dash pads all feature on the Sonic Suite walls, but none of them look like in-game segments of the game – rather like higher-quality images that have been imposed on top of the landscape seen in the three-second gameplay clip.

The widescreen TV is pretty snazzy, alongside the Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles that are all hooked up to the unit. A drawer underneath the consoles reveals a couple of Sonic plushies, chocolate coins and a Priority Pass for up to 6 people to ride on Sonic Spinball. Yes, we totally cleaned that drawer out.

Awesome Sonic references are everywhere in this room. The lampshades are Chaos Emeralds, the bed’s headboard is a giant ring, and there’s the most awesome palm tree in the corner that I tried to steal the next day. People would have probably noticed it under my arm, though.

Other festivities that took place outside of the Sonic room included dinner in Alton Towers’ beach resort room (complete with steel drum band and playtests of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing), an open bar until 2am, giant Connect 4, and a day’s VIP pass at the theme park on Saturday. It was truly a delicious day, and I met several people who attended Summer of Sonic last year who came especially to ride Sonic Spinball. No doubt they all had as much of an awesome time as I did on the ride.

Head to the Alton Towers website to find out more about the theme park and Sonic Spinball ride, and to learn more about booking the Sonic Suite for yourself. You’ll have an awesome time, trust me. Gallery of all images below, go take a look.

Published by

Dreadknux

Sexy founder of The Sonic Stadium, and creator and co-organiser of the Summer of Sonic fan convention. By day, I'm a super-fantastic games journalist, el professionale. By night, I'm the mother-loving Sonical Batman. I keep the site ticking, look after the TSS Network, and get all excited about Sonic games so that you can too. May contain nuts.

30 Comments

  1. That is way cool. Though they should have included Brawl with Sonic already unlocked on the list of Wii games. Hopefully they’ll eventually fill the claw machines with more than just Sonic, Knuckles, tails and Shadow. Maybe they’ll get plushies of Robotnik, Amy, Big, Blaze, Silver, Jet, The Chaotix maybe? That would be groovy.

  2. The idea seems…interesting, but the room itself seems nowhere near the price. It’s supposed to be a suite, yet it looks like the size of a regular room and regular bed. Not to mention the kiddy theme of it all really deters away from the luxury feel a suite is supposed to have. Just seems like another poor gimmick, like most Sonic games lately.

  3. Awesome.

    By the way, I don’t know how to send news tips so I guess I’ll say it here. There is a bundle on the U.S PlayStation store that features Sonic Rivals 1 and 2 called ‘Sonic Rivals “Set My Pulse Racing” Bundle’ it is 653 MB and $29.99.

    There is also a ‘crazy taxi & full auto 2 “driving me crazy” bundle for $19.99 and is 1.3 GB

    I don’t know if these are in Europe or japan.

    And I’m not sure if it’s cool to post tips here, but since I’m a new TSS member I thought I’d help out by giving you a tip!

  4. By any chance did they have merchandise such as T-Shirts and keyrings? They originally had some for Spinball Whizzer so I gathered they’d have Sonic Spinball.

  5. I’m real jealous! Why can’t we have this in the U.S.???

    but I’d have to agree that the size of the room isn’t worth the price at all. (I’d probably still pay it, though, if I ever got the chance to go. 😛 )

  6. Man I want to go to Alton Towers again so badly, I went October last year and went on the Spinball Whizzer which is great fun, I will definently go October again this year and try for the Sonic room

    Forthose who like Alton Towers, Late October, shockinly enough is the best time to go, Its quiet, The park is open later (9pm close) and as I said, being quieter that time of year, you get loads of ride time, Oblivion for instance, one of the top draw rides, no queue at all, at 5 30 pm, great stuff.

    Glad you enjoyed it Dread lol

  7. @Edwin shy: 50% of Sonic fans will buy any crap as long as Sonic’s face is plastered on it. Sorry, but I’m not one of those people. I spend quite a bit of time in hotel rooms, and looking from a financial standpoint, this room is a ripoff, just another cheap gimmick.

  8. Look at me!

    I’m the only child there! DDD:

    @Sonikdude750: So slaughter us. 😐 Because killing the weak and stupid solves everybody’s problems!

  9. Well I’m going, and it’s expensive, but is it a gimmick? No! Because I intend to have fun and enjoy myself with the people I love. That for me, is worth any price tag.

  10. oh man I want to go so bad… might have to make a trip to the UK just for this some day. hahaha Now if only they would bring SEGA World back in London…

  11. ARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH….. WHY…WHY I CANNOT GO THERE? WHY IT COSTS AS MUCH TO GO FROM MY COUNTRY TO AMERICA? AND THE T-SHIRT OF THE TYPE THAT APPEARS IN THE PHOTOS I LIKES SO MUCH, I WANT TO GO THERE! T_________________T

    p.d:sorry for my terrible english, guys

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