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Blue Planet Aquarium (Cheshire)
Member Name: kellylouj
Blue Planet Aquarium (Cheshire)
Advantages: Walk through Tunnel, Touchey Feely area. Clean well managed facilities.
Disadvantages: Attractions are quick to view and the admission price is very high.
Despite living 20 minutes away from Blue Planet Aquarium in Ellesmere Port I have never ever been there so when our son turned 2 we decided to take him there for the morning.
~*~Where is it?~*~
Blue Planet Aquarium is located right next to Cheshire Oaks Outlet Factory in Ellesmere Port and just off Junction 10 of the M53.
It is well signposted and easy to find.
You can prebook online to save or pay when you arrive;
Adult £15.50/ £13.50 online
Child under 12 yrs £11.50/ £9.50 online
Concession £13.50/ £12.25 online
Family 2 Adults, 2 Children £52.00 / £46.00 online
Groovy Grandparent 2 Senior Citizens, 2 Children £48.00/ £43.50 online
Children under 90cm are admitted free of charge.
Booking online you will however get charged an additional £1.50 per transaction.
Open weekdays 10am - 5pm and weekends 10am - 6pm.
Closed on Christmas Day.
We decided to purchase on the day as we were visiting during term time in the week so when we arrived there were only a few people in the aquarium.
When we arrived we walked over a small bridge into the attractions
Coral Cave - A wide selection of fish and a place where my toddler could get up close to the glass to take a look, he was actually very good as he just stood and looked at the various fish in the tank.
Amazing Amphibians - A selection of frogs to view and read up on. Due to the height of the tanks we had to lift our son up to take a look but he was amazed to see the brightly coloured frogs as they crawled up the front of the glass to the top of the tank.
Aqua Theatre - Although we did not see any shows during our visit our son enjoyed sitting in the aqua theatre and watching the sharks and fish pass the window. He could get up close to the glass and be really close to the sharks and fish which he absolutely loved. At the back of the room there were a set of electronic scales where you could compare your weight to the weight of the sharks contained behind the glass.
Underwater Tunnel - This was fun as there was a pathway as well as a moving walkway which was ideal for little legs to take a rest as you are transported through the tunnel and able to get closer to the various sharks and fish on display. For me it brought back memories of snorkelling in the Maldives when we swam with the triggerfish and the reef sharks. Our son loved the Sand Sharks as they were quite often compared by him to Bruce.
Reef Magic was another firm favourite from our son as he loves "Finding Nemo" so he was quickly able to recognise Dory and Nemo and decided to shout it all over the aquarium, there were plenty to see and the large displays are ideal for when it is packed to still get a good view.
The Rock Pool Area was a little too old for our son and for me I just did not fancy getting my hands wet! Here you could really get up close to rays.
There is a restaurant at the Aquarium however the prices seems a little high. With a burger, fries and drink costing over £6.
There are light snacks available such as crisps, chocolate, muffins and cookies and various hot and cold drinks if you just want a light snack to keep you going.
We had decided to go and eat elsewhere and take advantage of the numerous restaurants just a few minutes drive away.
The restaurant was very clean however and there was plenty of tables and chairs to sit on.
There are numerous ramps throughout the attraction making it easy to use for wheelchair users and parents with prams and buggy.
There is a large baby changing room with the facility for two babies to be changed at any one time. Again the facilities were spotless.
There are also facilities for heating baby food and milk at the restaurant.
~*~My Final Word~*~
We spent just under 2 hours at the aquarium and we would have struggled to have gotten a bit more from there. I was a little disappointed that when we purchased our tickets we were not informed of any feeding times or activities taking place so we just took our time taking in the attractions.
It was nice to visit on a quiet day as we were able to spend plenty of time uninterrupted at the attraction without feeling like we had to move on, which was nice for my son to really take in the fish and especially the sharks.
The restaurant was quiet so he was able to walk freely about with his dad and enjoy riding on the rides that were strategically placed by the toilets!
There is a lift taking you from the restaurant up to the entrance/exit.
I do think that the price is a lot and that the discount for booking online is not really that great and we would not visit here a lot but for a one off visit it was nice but I think that we exhausted the attractions fairly quickly and after visiting an aquarium in Cape Town where there was an interactive area for children where they were able to draw while they visited was a nice feature as this didn't really offer all that much for younger children and it could definately be made a bit more fun to keep them interested.
I found that the attraction lacked something and although I enjoyed my visit I doubt I will be returning any time soon.
Summary: A good attraction but a little overpriced.
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