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Surprisingly good for even toddlers!
Flamingo Land (North Yorkshire)
Member Name: pinkprincess24
Flamingo Land (North Yorkshire)
Date: 10/10/11, updated on 30/10/11 (212 review reads)
Advantages: theme park with zoo
We visited Flamingoland last week on the way back from our holiday in Yorkshire. Flamingoland is based in North Yorkshire on a very large site, situated off the A169 Malton to Pickering Road . It is basically a theme park and a zoo in the same place. It is very easy to spot as you can see the rides before you approach the park.
Whilst the exact dates vary, the park opens late March until October. The park is open until 4pm in winter, and 6pm in the other seasons. It opens at 9.30am, although a lot of the rides do not open until 10am or 10.30am depending on the ride. When we arrived it was 10:45am and a lot of the rides hadn't yet opened which was a bit annoying!
It is quite expensive though not as expensive as other theme parks or attractions. You can get half price vouchers on eBay for approx £5, and anyone who visits the park gets half price vouchers (one per person) for another visit. The typical prices without discount are:
Adults and children over 4: £27
Children 3 years and under: Free
OAPs and Disabled plus carer: £18
Family ticket (2 adults and 2 kids or 1 adult and 3 kids): £95 which saves you £13.
Children who are 3 or under but look older are asked to bring photo ID (how ridiculous, a kid's passport is £50 anyway)
The site is massive and there is ample parking (which is free). There are also ample disabled parking bays at the front. There shouldn't be far to walk from where you park unless it is full, as the car park is very wide and right at the entrance. You pay at a booth and are given a map of the site and vouchers. You then hand your ticket to a member of staff and enter via a turnstile.
There are free shows shown at various times throughout the day, at least 3 times. There is a sea lion show, a bongo warriors show and a bird show. We saw the bird show and it was amazing - the birds were really close and well trained. The arena was massive too. There is usually a star show too, like Postman Pat for example - however we went last week (beginning of October) and there was no show on.
There are a couple of gift shops which sell the usual overpriced tacky souvenirs. You can also have your photo added to a backdrop of your choice, like a lion's cage, which actually looks quite good! There's a Starbucks which serves coffee and a few snacks like sausage rolls. There are various ice-cream cabins too. There's a pub which serves nice but expensive food, and various other outlets and cafes for food, hot dogs etc. All of them are overpriced but you expect it!
There are the usual 'skill' games like shooting targets etc. that you expect at a fairground. There are 7 extreme rides too: Corkscrew (rollercoaster that well, corkscrews!), Cliffhanger (180 feet high, shoots you up and then down, very scary and I didn't dare try it, it's one of the highest rides in Europe) Flip Flop (one of those two and fro type rides), Sky Flyers (two carriages that criss cross at the top and go round in circles), Velocity (a motorbike simulator ride), Mumbo Jumbo (the steepest rollercoaster in the world) and finally Kumali (a suspension rollercoaster, suspended from the top not the bottom). Needless to say I didn't have the stomach for any of these after watching them!!
There's a giant log flume that soaks you and a water 'splash' zone with lots of wet rides suitable for all ages really (if supervised) including a water pistol that you can squirt at anyone (it's massive).
My daughter is just under 2 so we weren't expecting to spend long at Flamingoland as we didn't anticipate there being much she could do apart from the zoo. However we were pleasantly surprised at the number of young children's rides like carousels, spinning helicopters etc. We spent all day there and didn't leave until closing. There were a few runalong trains that we were able to go on, and a few mini rollercoaster train type rides too. My daughter absolutely loved all the rides! She especially loved 'driving' the trains lol. There aren't loads of baby rides but there are a few. The rides are categorised as 'children only' (more suited to over 3s), "adults only", "height restricted" (42 inches tall) or "height restricted unless with an adult" and the rides have coloured logos so you know which is which. This meant that my daughter could actually go on a lot more rides than expected as we were with her.
A good ride was the children's haunted house - not very spooky of course but a good giggle!
There are no dedicated pushchair parking zones but we were able to leave the pushchair outside the rides (taking all valuables with us of course) and everyone else seemed to do this too.
All in all, a great theme park for all ages really!
This was the part I was most looking forward to but it was slightly disappointing. It is on a massive site so it is a very long walk which I don't like lol. It meant that we had to take the pushchair as it would be far too much walking for a toddler.
The zoo has a reptile house which was pretty much empty when we went as they were relocating it - but there were a few snakes, lizards, turtles etc. There is an aquarium which was rather disappointing - a few tanks of big fish and then a few of 'normal' fish like guppies etc. There's a children's part which has pigs, cows and the usual farm animals, and there are 16 different types of bird.
The other animals include: lions, camels, Tapir, Sea Lions, Chimpanzee, Giraffe, Baboon, Hippo, Lechwe, Lemurs, Mangabey, Meerkats, Mara, Kangeroo, Wallerby, Bat, Onyx, Tiger, Vicugna, Saki and Rhino.
The namesake flamingos were hard to spot - and so far away it was hard to photograph them, yet there was no close access or any alternative other than to try and spot them from the bridge. A bit of a disappointment!
The lion enclosure is in the middle of the log flume ride, so if you don't fancy riding that and/or getting wet., don't expect to get a good look at the lions as the access to them is limited. The tiger enclosure on the other hand is very easily accessed and you can look at them through the glass or from above.
There is a 4d cinema experience - basically where the seats throw you around a bit - which is ok but annoying, and children have to sit on the static seats at the front which is a huge downside as it means that either a) you have to miss out on the 4d and sit with them like I did, or b) you can't supervise them which is useless if you have a toddler. The clip at the time was 'cloudy with a chance of meatballs'.
There is a soft play area which is unsupervised but quite good, it's indoors but there were so many children ignoring the age/height restrictions that I really wouldn't recommend it for toddlers. There is a huge outdoor play area with the usual slides etc. but again more suited to slightly older kids, say 4+
There are ample toilet and baby changing facilities which were clean, and the rest of the park was actually surprisingly clean especially for a zoo. The food and drink facilities are widespread so you don't have to go far for something to eat or drink.
A big disappointment is the experiences, like the 'meerkat' experience, need to be paid for, at a hefty £20 each. This is ridiculous, I certainly wouldn't pay that just to get a bit closer and *maybe* touch one! You can also pay to be a keeper for the day which is £150 in advance.
The enclosures were clean and spacious which is nice to see, and the park uses reclaimed or renewable timber pretty much everywhere - it's very eco friendly.
All in all, very expensive but a nice day out!
MAY ALSO APPEAR ON CIAO UNDER MY USERNAME PINKPRINCESS244
Summary: a nice day out
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