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Alton Towers theme park reveals a peek inside Gangsta Granny: The Ride

by Samantha Davis-Friedman

Ahead of World Book Day on March 4, 2021, Alton Towers Resort in Staffordshire, England, has revealed an exclusive behind-the-scenes video of Gangsta Granny: The Ride, a brand new family attraction based on the popular children’s novel “Gangsta Granny” by David Walliams.

Alton Towers, Gangsta Granny: The Ride
Images courtesy of Alton Towers Resort

The novel, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, tells the story of a boy named Ben who discovers that his Granny (who he thought was boring) is secretly an international jewel thief. In the never-before-seen footage, Merlin Entertainments Creative Lead John Burton takes viewers inside the groundbreaking ride currently under construction to show fans what they can expect when they join Ben and Granny on the greatest heist in history: to steal the Crown Jewels. Burton also reveals some of the special effects and cutting-edge animation incorporated into this first-of-its-kind attraction.

“Scene one of the ride […] is where we meet Ben and Granny,” Burton explained. “This scene is brought to life through projection mapping, lighting, and […] clever audio built into the ride vehicle that will really make you feel like […] you’re about to go on the heist of a lifetime. It incorporates so many different elements that we’ve never incorporated in one scene ever before, and I’m really excited to see how this one turns out.”

Alton Towers, Gangsta Granny: The Ride, John Burton
Merlin Creative Lead John Burton

In the video, fans will also get a sneak peek at David Walliams recording a voiceover for the ride, and in fact, Burton shares that the “Gangsta Granny” author is featured as several characters in the attraction.

“I’m thrilled that there’s going to be a ‘Gangsta Granny’ ride at Alton Towers,” Walliams said. “I’ve been working closely with the design team, and what I really wanted was the ride to be truthful to the book and the characters.”

Alton Towers, Gangsta Granny: The Ride, David Walliams
“Gangsta Granny” author Davis Walliams

Once they board a royal carriage, guests will embark on a Crown Jewels tour, but instead, they get caught up in Ben and Granny’s adventure.  During the ride—and with the help of state-of-the-art special effects, 3D projection-mapping, and animation inspired by Tony Ross’ illustrations—guests will descend into the sewers and be chased through the streets of London and even come face to face with the Queen herself.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. An entire area of the theme park will be transformed into The World of David Walliams, featuring rides and attractions inspired by the author’s work. Here, guests can pick up a crazy bargain in Raj’s Shop, race on a regal thoroughbred on the Royal Carousel, giggle with delight on Raj’s Bouncy Bottom Burp, and encounter many other fun surprises.

“Gangsta Granny” Fast Facts:

  • First published on Oct. 27, 2011, with an anniversary edition published in 2018
  • “Gangsta Granny” was Walliams’ first children’s number one bestseller, and it stayed at the top of The Sunday Times top ten for 24 weeks
  • Overall sales of “Gangsta Granny” are 1.75 million in the U.K. alone
  • “Gangsta Granny” has been adapted for the stage by the Birmingham Stage Company
  • A television adaptation aired in 2013 on BBC One. The cast includes Miranda Hart, Rob Brydon, David Walliams as Ben’s Dad, and Joanna Lumley as The Queen

Click here for more information about Gangsta Granny: The Ride at Alton Towers Resort and check out the behind-the-scenes video below:

Gangsta Granny: The Ride - Behind the Scenes
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