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I didn't see a Flamingo....
Flamingo Land (North Yorkshire)
Member Name: obscuredbykep
Flamingo Land (North Yorkshire)
Advantages: Good All Round Day out for people of all Ages
Disadvantages: Weather controlled fun...
Flamingo Land, is perhaps the most gay named theme park in the UK, not benefitting from a cool, fear inducing name like ALTON TOWERS which could scare small children without them so much as setting foot on a rollercoaster, they chose to opt for something with two feet, fluffy, and pink. Which may I add, I saw not one of.
Flamingo Land is in essence, two things, there is firstly the Resort, which is a place you can stay, I am not reviewing that, so if you want to read about that have a look here:
So, now we have the correct audience, let us enter THE FLAMINGO LAAAAAAAAND..
Flamingo Land is located in Malton, North Yorkshire, which is not too far (21 miles) from Scarborough. We actually thought it was in Scarborough, but it isn't, so it meant that Mum had to shoot off driving my brother and I there, and jet back to Scarborough for the Wedding she was attending.
It is a quick drive, but we managed to take a wrong turn and get lost which added more time on. So, maybe having directions would have helped. If you are in Scarborough, you can get a bus to York then from York to Flamingo Land, or something complicated and long like that...
== The Tickets ==
To ensure it wasn't a wasted visit, we booked our two tickets online the day before, and then printed them off - saving all the queuing hassle. Booking online is very simple, just a case of following onscreen instructions, entering details and then printing.
The standard ticket price is £23.00 but ordering online saves you a whopping £2.00 per ticket. There is of course other ticket prices, for example children under 3 can enter for free (if they have ID for proof of age..) and Seniors / Disabled can enter for £11.50, then there are all the group tickets and school fares and bits.
== Opening and Entering ==
Flamingo Land is open from March 28th to November 1st from 09:30am, with the rides opening up at around 10. It then closes anywhere between 4pm and 6pm dependant upon the season.
Your drive there, you park/get dropped off. You walk up to the front gates, and if you have a ticket already just walk to the barriers, if not you queue for your tickets. The barriers then have people to scan the tickets, to ensure they are valid. And Voila! You are in.
From then on in, you are free to explore the place at your heart's content, going on any rides you wish, eating food, or seeing the zoo.
== The Rides ==
Probably the main thing with a theme park is the rides it has. Obviously, Flamingo Land isn't as famous as other, more butch sounding theme parks, but it does have a great array of rides, including the official worlds steepest metal rollercoaster!
I didn't get a chance to go on all of the rides, since it was raining, my brother got cold and wet, and so was all pissy and moany. This meant I had to appease him by staying with him, mostly on the bumper cars, though there was a few I went off on my own to sample.
The first ride we went on, was called '''Corkscrew'''. It is one of the first rides to arrive at Flamingo Land, and looked like a good rollercoaster to start off on. It is a simple ride, which hurtles you at 40mph over 2400 ft, which doesn't last too long, but isn't exactly quick. It was great to start with, although, rather boring in terms of the design.
Next up, was '''Velocity''', which is apparently the UK's first and only motorbike rollercoaster. You are sat on what is essentially a toy motorbike, slanted forward, then shot off, reaching 60mph in 2.8 seconds. It is a really fast paced ride, and was much more thrilling than before. The only downside, was we were sat at the back, and my brother thinks he may have ended up with someone's spit on his face... This rollercoaster also takes a photo of you, so you can buy it for some amount of money. We didn't get ours, since it looked really rubbish.
Beginning to drizzle now, we went on what would be the most "terrifying" rollercoaster of the day. '''Cliffhanger'''. It is a 180ft column, of which you are sat around. Wait a minute and it lifts you around 20ft into the air. And back down. Then back up, slowly and gently. Then.... WOOOOOOSH, straight up to the top, and that is what I didn't like. The rapid incline, and there you are - sat 180ft in the air, on what feels like it could be the worst made seat in the world, secured only by the pins and bolts, which in my mind could have come out at anytime. And you sit there for ages. I think what I didn't like about this, was that it was raining, and I just thought "shit, if the thing breaks then I don't have a proper grip on this metal bar.." Suddenly, you are hurtled down to the near bottom - which was awesomely fun.
In case you didn't work out from that, I often think about what could go wrong on the rollercoaster, even though it probably wouldn't. I don't have Vertigo, but I don't like the idea of plummeting 180 feet and becoming a pizza.
Now, it began raining in earnest, so we dashed off into the amusements to keep dry. That was boring, so we gave up and went off to wander around the Zoo, but more on that later...
The next ride we tried, were the '''Bumper Cars'''. Not a rollercoaster no, but I think I can call it a ride. I think we went on these countless times, since they were covered, and certainly great fun. We spent most of the time trying to get each other, but each round would pick someone we would both target, which was fun. By the end of the day, I had good control of the cars, managing to really get to grips with bumping... sure I was taught not to do that in my driving lessons.. The best round, was when there was a kid with Downs Syndrome on (I saw Kid, must have been at least my age). He was mental on them, and got me in some excellent collisions, in fact, I think he managed to get most people in some proper good crashes.
Next up for me, was '''Navigator''', which is a stand uppish ride, where you perch on a little seat. It is a huge disk, of which you face the outside, and is on a half pipe. It spins you around, and moves up and down the half pipe, which means you are going round and round up and down, but not in a too fast motion. It was definitely fun, especially when you went right to the top and felt like the disk was about to spin off into the sky...
Now onto '''Mumbo Jumbo''', the only ride I had a seriously long wait with, and what is officially the steepest rollercoaster in the world. It plunges from 98ft, at an angle of 112Ės. It was the best rollercoaster I went on, and was definitely worth the wait. A slow incline and sharp fast decline, it was - awesome. People were screaming in fear, I was shouting "Feck Yes" and such alternatives with extreme excitement. It was, just great. At one point there is a sharp bend where you hurl around it, overlooking the road, that was nerve-racking.
Finally, we both went on '''Flip Flop'''. A rotating circle, in which you are sat, legs-a-dangling, it rotates and swings on a pendulum, reaching a peak of 78ft. It was great fun which we both enjoyed, and you very nearly go upside down which was great.
_That was it with the rides for us, since Liam was so cold and stuff, we had to leave after Flip Flop, though I would have rather stayed and experienced the other rides they have._
'''Sky Flyer''', is one such ride I wanted to use. It is essentially two large legs, where you are in the bottom of one, they both rotate around the middle, hurling you up in the air. It looked really fun. '''Kumali''' was the other I wanted to try, which is a simple dangling coaster, which you hurl around at 54mph, over a track of 2202 feet, and includes a drop of 111 feet. I wish I had gotten a chance to go on it.
_If you want to see these rides, then look on the Flamingo Land Website, since it is really hard to describe a rides layout. www.flamingoland.co.uk_
There are rides for all ages, from the simple carousels to the rollercoaster's, so it can be a real family day out. There is also a tandem-bike thingy, where to seats next to each other, you pedal around the park on a monorail - that looked pretty cool to try and see how fast I could go and bits, but was another I didn't get a chance with. I didn't have to queue long for any of the rides, other than Mumbo Jumbo, getting on most within 10 minutes or so.
== The Zoo ==
Being a wet and horrible day on the 1st of August, the walk around the zoo was a rushed and cold experience. From looking at a map now, I see I missed a few of the parts too. There is a simple trail that leads around the Zoo area, which is just north of the rides.
There is a good number of animals, from Giraffes, Hippos, Rhinos, Chimps, Lions and Tigers! They also had Snakes, Penguins, Emu's and Flamingos (obviously). If it had been a nicer day, we would have spent more time walking around, and perhaps looked at the animals more intently, but alas, they were pretty boring looking to me, the Tiger was sleeping, the Rhinos were just walking around. I would much rather see the animals on a Safari or in their natural environment, but am sure Kids would enjoy it.
There are Sea-Lion Shows, and Bird Shows throughout the day, but we didn't stop to see one.
If you have the spare £125, then why not become a Zoo-Keeper for the day? Yes that is right, pay £125 to do the general skivvy jobs of mucking out the enclosures and whatnot, with the possible perk of feeding a couple of animals. It is suitable for people aged 8+.
There is also a number of "Adopt an Animal" packages available. These involve you paying money to get your name on a "Thank you" List in the zoo, with the perk of getting some free tickets. But you are paying more than the ticket price. The only decent packages here, seems to be the Gold Adoption pack, which at £265, you get 8 free tickets to the zoo and 2 people can be a zoo keeper for a day, which I think works out at you getting it less than cost price. Otherwise these doesn't seem like that much fun...
== Food, Amusements & Toilets ==
There is a load of different food establishments dotted around the Park, from Fish and Chips shops, Burger places and the like. We chose a simple little pastry place which was large inside, just having a quick, hot Chicken Bake. It was good quality and reasonably priced (£1.50 or something) which was good, as I had expected to pay over the odds for it. The food court area I was in was kept tidy, and the others I saw seemed so too.
The toilets I used were always clean, and didn't smell - the two things I looked for when reviewing toilets, so no complaints there.
Amusement wise, there were a few different amusements scattered around the place, including arcade games, slot machines and the like. We spent about an hour in total in a couple of different ones, essentially wasting money - although I did win two Rubik's Cube key-rings...
== In Summary..==
Well, it was definitely a good day out, and worth the £21.00 each we paid. The choice of rides is great, and most were certainly thrilling, and had I had more time, I would have explored them all a few more times. Unfortunately, it seems to be something which is greatly dictated by the weather. If it is nice and sunny, you can have a great full day, explore the whole zoo area, take all the rides and leave when your too tired to take anymore. If it is wet, you probably don't want to be dredging around in the rain, looking at animals running for shelter, or hurling yourself around in the soaking wet.
It would definitely make a good family day out, with so much to do for people of all ages, and would have definitely been something I would have enjoyed visiting just as much when I was a little kid. I would still go again, to have another go on a few of the rides, but probably, had I not been in the area, it wouldn't have been my choice.
After all, if you want to go to a theme park chances are you will think Chessington World of Adventures or Alton Towers, and if you wanted to go to a Zoo, then you would think Colchester, or London Zoo or something. But the combination does make for a good, all round fun filled day.
Summary: Good All Round Day out for people of all Ages
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- Wetlands Animal Park (Nottinghamshire)
- Tayto Park (Kilbrew)
- WaterWorld 2000 (Staffs)
- Marine Aquarium (Lyme Regis)
- Crocodiles of the World (Oxfordshire)
- Natural History Museum at Tring (Hertsfordshire)
- Knockhatch Adventure Park (East Sussex)
- Birdworld (Surrey)
- Park Farm Snettisham (Norfolk)