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“Probably Your Best Bet - But Make Sure You're Hungry...!”

Explorers Pizza And Pasta Buffet
Ranked #9 of 12 Restaurants in Alton
Cuisines: Italian
Restaurant details
Stoke on Trent
Level 6 Contributor
362 reviews
173 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 175 helpful votes
“Probably Your Best Bet - But Make Sure You're Hungry...!”
Reviewed 1 January 2014

If you go to AT and don't take sandwiches, you're either prepared to pay for their food (expect @£8-10 each) or are sadly deluded. Years ago, AT had a range of high street names where you could get food,knowing exactly what you'd get for pretty much the same price you'd pay at your local branch of McDs, Burger King, KFC or Pizza Hut. However these are long gone, replaced by AT's own versions. There are, surprisingly, only a couple of options at AT for a sit down meal, and this is one of them, albeit it's all you can eat, so not really much sitting down!

The price is comparable to most theme park all you can eats, and in fact most non-theme park versions too, however the choice is significantly less. The pasta is basically bolognaise, and the pizza is a few different varieties. We went during Scarefest when they were all given suitably spooky names, to fit the theme.

As you'd expect, this is a busy location, however the staff control this well. We took an AT buggy in and the staff were sensible enough to seat us out of the way which both kept our little one asleep but also from inconveniencing anyone else. Unfortunately, the biggest issue here is the layout, where the whole restaurant flock towards one Central point in the centre of the restaurant where the hot food is served. There's no queuing, this is pushing in at its best. Theoretically, the three sides of the servery are all serving the same pizzas, so whichever side you go to, you should get the same, however with no notices to say this, it just becomes crush. Having been to similar restaurants at Legoland which didn't have this problem, I can't believe it can't be better organised!

However, perhaps the biggest issue for me was the drinks. Yes, it's all you can drink fizzy drinks - but what if you don't like fizzy! One tea or coffee, or one Capri Sun. This seems to clash a bit with their healthy eating policy.

I would return here, as it's the best option in the park really, but do hope the experience at Legoland is past on to AT.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank ADsMum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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157 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
1 review
Reviewed 20 October 2013 via mobile

My boyfriend and I on our latest trip to Alton towers thought that we were getting a good deal at the explorers pizza & pasta buffet place... But how wrong were we!!
Alton towers do an offer that is £22 per person which means you can eat & drink as much as you want from pretty much anywhere in the park. However, my boyfriend and I thought this was a bit steep. £44 for us to eat for one day...? I couldn't eat that much food in a week!
Anyway, as we ventured around the park we came across the pizza & pasta place which advertised an all you can eat for £9.75 per person. This, we thought to be reasonable. We then enquired inside and were specifically told that we could come back at any point in the day and eat/drink as much as we want, and that it closed at 9pm (it was the scarefest). So we sat down, paid and started off with a light bite to eat before going on some rides. We would then return later in the afternoon, and perhaps again before it closed at 9pm. The food itself was great, but when we returned later for a big evening meal we were told that we would have to pay again as it is only unlimited each time you sit in and pay!!
Obviously we were appalled by this as we were specifically told that we could come back and eat all day. Paying again was never mentioned!! We then upped & left and went for a burger instead, which also cost a fortune!
So to summarise, we spent £20 on a light bite in the morning, £10 on snacks & nibbles throughout the day & another £13 on two burgers...! All because the staff told us we could come back & eat again later. We may as well have spent the £22 each and got more value for our money.

Be careful not to get tricked into this people!!

Thank Ellie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herne Bay, England, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 October 2013

Fantastic value for money, all you can eat and drink buffet. There was a varied selection of pizza, salad and 2 great pasta choices to fill your plate with, all freshly cooked, along with unlimited refills on drinks, and all for only £9.75 (adult price).

An excellent place to take a break and refuel whilst enjoying an exciting day at Alton Towers.

Visited October 2013
Thank Saz7_1989
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
greater manchester
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“One of the better restaurants on park, but could be better”
Reviewed 21 June 2013

Visited Explorers yesterday as part of a trip to Alton Towers with friends. Like most places on park this restaurant has a very high throughput of customers throughout the day.

The concept is good. You're seated and your money is taken up front. Once you receive your plates, cutlery and a drink cup you can go to the buffet as many times as you like.

There are some things that could be SOO much better about this place:
The main place the hot pizza and pasta is served is a complete mess. Most visitors queue needlessly and get annoyed when you walk upto the counter ahead of them. However that's the design. There is no queue, if there was service would be a lot slower, as would getting seated and actually eating. This needs to be highlighted to stop people from queueing unneccesarily and then getting frustrated.

None of the hot pizza's are labelled. You have to guess what the toppings are and this leads to confusion from the guests and ultimately a lot of waste afterwards. They seem to offer the following choices:
Beef & Onion and veggie.

They used to do chicken but have stopped now. The pasta is one type, thick penne in a tomato based sauce. It didn't look appetizing on this occasion. They also do garlic bread (flat pizza style).
Why not have the pizza's in dedicated labelled areas? This would prevent people getting annoyed and would create better spacing around the area where the pizza's come out.

The have a salad bar too, which offers plenty of variety. There are fizzy drinks on offer to accompany the meal. It would be great if they offered fizzy water instead of just pop.

All together when your tired and on a timer to get on more rides this does the job. Compared to other places it works out reasonable value wise too, but like most things at AT it is expensive compared to your average pizza hut buffet.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank kitty1894
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dartmoor National Park, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
1,297 reviews
703 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4,258 helpful votes
“Best value meal option in the park”
Reviewed 7 November 2012

It's definitely not gourmet food but in my opinion this is one of the best options for dining if at Alton Towers. For £9.45 an adult and about a fiver for a child it's all you can eat pizza, pasta and salad (Pizza Hut buffet style). You also get unlimited (fizzy) soft drinks or a single tea/coffee if you ask. There's usually two pasta dishes and six or seven pizzas to try, plus plenty of salad. The food is hot and has a good turnover so it's fresh. The pastas are fine and the pizza is tasty enough, though a little oily at times. However, you could eat here and not again all day, and if you compare it to the £7 for a single burger or £6 for a pork roll it is good value. Located at the Runaway Mine train ride. Can get busy with a queue to get in during peak hours. Service is friendly and helpful, you pay on arrival.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank chammp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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