Whilst Cbeebies might seem a like strange word, its the channel name used by the BBC to market programs at kids under 5. In addition to the UK, versions of the channel are broadcast in Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong, Poland, Indonesia, Mexico, Australia, parts of Africa, and also in the USA (albeit in Spanish only). Additionally shows from the network appear on other channels internationally.
Although no specific shows or characters are named to be featured, UK newspaper The Guardian speculates that characters from "In the Night Garden" and "Postman Pat" are likely to appear. The press release calls the area a "planned five-acre site" which will include character interaction, immersive play areas, rides, as well as seasonal events.
The press release is not clear if this is a redevelopment of existing child focused areas (such as "Cloud Cuckoo Land" and "Old MacDonald's Farmyard), but does seem a bit quick for a completely brand new land.
This is perhaps an interesting choice as Alton Towers does not currently charge for guests under the age of 4, and has of late been better known for its roller-coasters such as Thirteen and The Smiler. The owner of Alton Towers, Merlin Entertainment, also operate the Legoland parks internationally, giving them some specialised experience targeting the child theme park market.
Whilst perhaps not exciting for those of us over 5; the idea that the BBC is willing to license at least some of its properties for theme park use gives hope to other properties (such as Doctor Who, Merlin or Atlantis) may see more thrilling attractions in the future.Tweet
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I can see why they're doing it (of the UK Merlin parks family-friendly Legoland and Chessington attendance was up last year, while Alton and Thorpe were down) but I'm not sure it'll be much of a draw. It's in an area largely overlooked, and most people go to Alton for the thrill rides, particularly The Smiler this year.