“ Address: Livingstone Drive / Milton Keynes / MK15 0DT / England „
My son had a birthday party at Splash Zone Gulliver's Park Milton Keynes few months ago. When I booked this party I spoke to Manager of this place and I was told that I should not be worry of anything that everything would be good organized and there would be professional people who take care of all the party. In practice it simply was a lie. The place where children ate was hardly decorated, the one guy who was supposed to entertain children walked out few times disappearing every time for few minutes leaving children bored and without any supervise, which was not safe at all. When he was with children to be honest he looked lost and was not able to entertain them at all. At the end he took my cake wrapped in foil exactly how I had left it with them (I was ensured the cake would be prepared and nice serve to children) Everything I had to do myself even entertain children which were bored. It was embarrassing, I was not prepared for this especially that I was heavily pregnant at that time.
In my opinion they have a lot of lies on their website about professional and amazing birthday parties. Maybe someone else has different experience, mine was not pleasant at all.
I made a complain, sent the letter twice and no one even bothered to make a reply. That makes me think they just do not mind if their clients happy or not with their service.
At the end I can say that the play area is really nice and probably it is worth to go there with children for play time but for sure they are rubbish in organizing birthday parties.
I hope others have different experiences.
My daughter and I visited the Splashzone in January 2011. We had only been there for five minutes when she went down the middle blue slide. As she sat down, she slipped and fell so that she was propelled down the slide hanging off the edge. As she came round the back, she came off about 3ft up and landed on her head.
She suffered from mild concussion and damage to her teeth, as well as severe trauma. She still has nightmares. Gullivers have treated us as if it is 'one off' and were very condescending, even offering my daughter an icelolly, as if that would make her better!
They have not replied to my complaint letters. They have even lied to a friend, telling her that the accident had not occured. They have not apologised, not told me what they are doing to ensure more safe and the slide has not been modified.
If you chose to go here, I would highly recommend going into the water part with your child. All the slides are very fast (and obviously slippy) and it is not as 'safe' as I had been led to believe.
Gullivers Land Milton Keynes
Please note: This review is for Gullivers Land in Milton Keynes not any other Gullivers parks around the country!
Many of us love theme parks (unless in old age you start to become fearful like me - and I'm on 27!), and why should children be any different to us adults? When I was younger if I had wanted to go to a theme park I would have had to wait until I was old enough to go to the 'big people' parks on the adult rides, but not any more!
Gullivers Land is a theme park designed for children (though don't worry, adults love it too - we did!). All those rides you love as an adult are here - in minuture!
DESTINATION - GULLY'S TOWN
Gullivers Land is situated in Milton Keynes not far from junction 14 off of the M1. From here it is signposted well with those lovely brown signposts we all love. If you are coming from Milton Keynes center, you need to follow signs for Willen Lake until you pick up these signs. If you are coming by train, you will need to catch a bus from the train station in Milton Keynes. There are regular busses from the station which drop you off a short walk from the park. (Address and contact details for park can be found below under additional info).
If traveling by car you will find parking very easy as there are two large car parks, one right outside the main entrance and the other across the little road into the overflow car park. Both with adequate parking spaces.
Once at the park you will also find that it does not seem as busy as you thought - yes there are many people there though there are plenty of entrance booths so you are not queuing very long at all (and this also applies to the rides in the park too).
Prices for all of these kinds of attractions are expensive, though compared to many Gullivers do offer slightly better prices (see below)
Standard prices are £12.50 for both adult and children over 90cm tall (Some rides do not allow children under 90cm which comparing to my daughter and nephew you are looking at around two and half years of age though there are still loads of rides for those under this height) under 90cm go FREE. Older people get in at the slightly reduced price of £11.50. You can also receive slight discounts for group bookings of over 20 people.
If you wish to go into the farm and dinosaur part of the park as well as the main park it is just over £3.00 extra on top of your Gulliver's ticket. We did not go here on the same day as we went to the park as really, there just is not enough time to do both. Well worth the annual pass if you want to do this.
Gullivers Land also offers (as many do) a season ticket of £49.99 per person which covers not only Gullivers Land but also Dinosaur land and splashzone.
Unless there are special events or certain winter months, the park is open from 10.30 until 5.30.
So now we have the formalities out of the way, come inside the park with me and let me show you around!
INTO THE PARK
Gullivers land opened in 1999 and not only are there rides, there are also stage attractions and characters to meet and greet.
As we entered the park, my daughters eyes lit up in excitement. The first thing we come to is a lovely carousel with two levels of horses to ride, and that was just the beginning.
The park itself is not huge though with everything to do there, you will still miss lots on your day out. There are loads of indoor activities and rides as well as outdoor ones and both the children and us adults loved them all. Adults can go on nearly all the rides with the children.
There are a few different areas of rides and attractions;
I won't mention every ride in every part of the park as there are too many though I will mention some of the best ones in each section.
The newest part of the park which is all indoors in case of rain. Full of little shops, workbenches, post offices, soft play, ball pit and much more - the younger children loved this area. We didn't spend much time in here, though, as the day was so nice and we had a 5 and 7 year old with us so they watched bigger rides.
This was the next stop on our day out and also where we decided to eat lunch (each part has café's and picnic benches). Here we found a range of rides suitable for all ages. A couple of rides in this area was not suitable for under 90cm though as the queues were so short (no more than 3 minutes each) we were able to take the younger ones on other rides in this area whilst the older ones went on the bigger ones. The car rides were a favorite for all the children though unfortunately as we went on it one car broke down so we had a shorter ride than usual, though they fixed it within 5 minutes which was great. The cycle monorail ran overhead which we did not go on as we had open toe shoes on, though my brother in law took my brother on and they loved it. It isn't overly high though for those who don't like heights it can be a bit scary especially as it is you who controls it going along by cycling!
Next stop - adventure land. This is probably where we spent most time. Here you find a bigger rollercoaster (though very short) for those older children and adults and a minute child size free fall (which still turned my stomach!). Catch a train here to go all around the park and go into the maze (although as the hedges are very thin I wouldn't call it a maze really!). There is also a ball pit and playarea here as well as many other rides for all ages.
Here you will find the log flume - and although it is smaller than adult sized ones, you still get very wet! A crazy barrel ride (like teacups) was a hit for the younger ones and with my brother in law turning it, no wonder they got dizzy! The runaway train was great and there was absolutely no queue here at the time we were there which meant we could go on it lots of times. The younger ones couldn't so we took it in turns to take them on other rides.
Junior Discover Cove
Right next to Discovery bay is the discovery bit for the younger ones packed full of exciting rides such as horse races, flying boots, western houses to play in, smaller drop rides and more, not forgetting the mini beach with real sand.
Lilliput Land Castle
Right in the middle of the park you will find a castle fit for any princess or prince with a beautiful ferris wheel, an enchanted forest, play areas and more rides.
This was the last part we got to and unfortunately everything was started to close as it was near closing time of the park and we didn't realize that they closed half hour early for the finale show at the entrance to the park. Something to keep in mind! We did, however, get to a couple of bits in here such as the small giants house rollercoaster in the (near) dark, and the dodgems. There was face painting here too though unfortunately it was already closed, as well as an indoor toy factory play area, 3d water maze, diggers, tug boat, miniature golf, mirror house (which we did go to and the children couldn't stop laughing!) and a few other bits - possibly more suitable for the younger ones.
Back where we started from with the carousel. Also here you get the finale entertainment with all of gullivers land characters singing and dancing and having photo time, and under 5's indoor play area, more food and drink places, shop. And train station.
As mentioned above there are absolutely loads of rides, both indoor and outdoor so come whatever the weather ( though I much preferred the warm dry weather!).
They do put a warning out for toddler rides (under 90cm rides) that some may shut though when we went there - my daughter who is nearly two, and two year old nphew, both under 90cm went on loads and loved it.
Also there are many stage shows with the gulliver's cast and crew which looked a lot of fun, though apart from the finale show, we unfortunately didn't see any of these.
FOOD, DRINK AND OTHER
Here are many places to get food and drink around the park, though as you would expect, quite expensive (though saying that, probably cheaper than a lot of places like this). The restaurant serves hot food between 12 and 3 (which is not really a lot of time but what can you do?!) though the food court offers both hot and cold takeaway food such as sandwiches, pizza, fish and chips etc. There are also doughnut stalls and many other refreshment stores around the park. We took our own picnic and found many picnic benches around so there was enough room to sit outside. We still brought doughnuts at the end and they were lovely! A bit of a wait to get them though.
There are also adequate toilets and baby changing, complete with disabled toilets.
BIRTHDAY PARTIES AND SPECIAL EVENTS
Like many places aimed at children, special events occur over special periods of the year. Events are subject to change so I would suggest always checking before going in case you miss the event to really want to go to. They all look really great and we are considering going to the Christmas or Halloween events (or both) this year!
Below is a basic outline of what events Gullivers Land offers;
As well as all the normal rides and attractions, there is a big easter egg hunt for children to be involved in. If your child comes wearing a home made easter bonnet they get £1.00 off of their entry ticket. The Easter bunny will also be walking around the park and egg Olympics games will be run by the staff. Sounds a lot of fun though you may perhaps run the risk of the children only wanting to hunt for eggs and ignore the rides...?
Teddy Bears Picnic
Around June time (again, check the dates each year) children are invited to bring their teddies and join in not only all the rides but also a special picnic in the afternoons, a missing teddy hunt game, craft corner full of teddy bear craft and also a teddy hospital where children can bring their teddies for a check up. Sounds really interesting and a lot of fun for the children!
Fathers Day Special
Not so much an event though is accompanied by two full paying people (adults and children) then the dad goes free! I am wondering why there isn't a mothers day one though - doesn't seem fair to me! They even do a grandparents weekend!
On 5th July come celebrate Gully's birthday and if you come in fancy dress you can get £1.00 off the entrance fee and be entered into the competition for prizes. There is also a big party in the afternoon with cake an a birthday dance with prizes for best dancers and the usual craft corner.
A special weekend for scouts, beavers, guides, brownies etc. Chances to undertake many activities for badges. If booked by a group, discounts apply.
If you run a charity for children you can apply for FREE tickets for children of the charity - a great opportunity.
Halloween and Fireworks
Everyone always looks forward to this event as well as the Christmas one - and one we may be going to this year! If you come in fancy dress you get £1.00 off of your ticket and could win a prize. Extra events in the park full of spooky ghosts and fireworks in the evenings, and rides all dressed with Halloween things. A special stage event leading into the fireworks, all ending at a special extended time of 8pm. All for the same price as usual - a great event that I cant wait to take our daughter to.
The event of the year for many and possibly the biggest event at Gullivers - one we are definitely going to try to go to. All the rides are dressed in Christmassy decorations plus a few extra rides open. Go to the elf school and become a certified elf, visit santa in his grotto, help the toymaker build toys (and play with them after!), watch brilliant pantomimes with all the great characters of gullivers, Festive food in the café's and great fireworks in the evening. Different packages cover different things so check online for more details.
Want to celebrate your birthday here? I know I would love to celebrate my daughters birthday here as she would love it! My sister is already considering having a party for my nephews next birthday. Obviously you would want to know what is involved in the parties here at Gullivers before deciding and booking. I would suggest looking on their website for full birthday packages (website below under other info), though I will take you through the basics. As I have not been to one of these childrens parties yet, I can not give a full opinion.
There are three birthday packages at this moment at Gullivers Milton Keynes (you will find another two different ones at the other parks). The party packages to choose from here are;
Gully's Birthday Party
A full day out at the theme park enjoying the rides and attractions, meeting the characters followed by tea with Gully in an exclusive party room!
Dora the Explorer Birthday Party
A special Dora the Explorer themed party tea and the chance to meet Dora the Explorer while testing the rides and attractions.
Gulliver's farm and dinosaur birthday party
Be a dinosaur detective and feed Farmer Gully's animals before your special Gully's party tea, served in one of our party rooms. Perfect for animal lovers and dinosaur fans!
THE END OF THE DAY
By the end of the day the children were all tired out and slept in the car. We ended up leaving at 6.00 in the end and so my daughter had been up 12 hours straight! I felt very proud of her as usually she has a sleep in the afternoon but she was so excited being there - it was wonderful for not only the children but for us adults too. I would certainly recommend this to everyone - we had a great day and cant wait to take my daughter back again!
This review covers the Milton Keynes park, though there are two other Gullivers Lands that I know of and you can find their addresses below aswell in case they are nearer for you.
Gulliver's Milton Keynes,
Gulliver's Matlock Bath,
Gullivers is a theme park aimed at younger children, personally i would say it is suitable from 6mnths due to soft play areas up until around 12 years. There are 3 different gullivers around england, the one i am reviewing is based in milton keynes and is called gulliver's land, there is gulliver's kingdom in matlock bath and gullivers world at warrington.
My little boy is 3 years old and i can only think of 1 ride he isn't tall enough to ride on and that is the rollercoaster, generally they have to be over 90cm to ride but that generally requires an adult riding also but in my eyes is obvious, i wouldnt send him on a ride on his own.
Gullivers land is really easy to get to you exit the m1 at junction 14 and then follow the brown signs until you arrive. The parking at gullivers is free and the entry charges are £12.50 for adults and £12.50 for children 90cm and above, under 90cm are free and o.a.p's are £11.50.
There are plenty of toilets located around Gulliver's and they are reasonably clean which i suppose is expected when they are being used constantly mainly by children, there is also numerous places to eat at Gulliver's which include pizza, hotdogs, burgers, fish and chips and jacket potatos, there are also ice creams, doughnuts, waffles and cakes.
On entering Gullivers you are on the main street which features a carousel, the station to board the train, a theatre, under 5's soft play area, magical dancing waters, sweet shop and a coffee shop.
Lilliput Land Castle is the next area which as a large eating area featuring most of the food i stated previously they also have an enchanted forest which is indoors and you walk around and press buttons to hear things such as trees telling stories, there is also an indoor play area located here. There is also a fairy tale academy and a princess play area which i cant comment on having a little boy, then there is a gullivers travels ride which we dont really rate and a balloon ferris wheel which only goes round once.
Lilliput land is located close to lilliput castle and as a small kiosk to get ice creams and drinks. The teacups are located here which we love also the veteran cars, lilliput train station, a cycle monorail, music express where u perhaps sit on a guitar on go on whats like a merry go round but very slow lol, gullivers galleons which is exactly the same but in a boat and a fire engine where you have to put a pretend fire out............. we also love this one lol.
Next is Adventure Land which features the rollercoaster as i said at the beginning my little boy isnt tall enough for this so we havent been on, adventure land station is there, tree tops swings which are basically little swings that all spin round, there is a maze, a jungle river ride, a ball pit, some little bikes for children to ride on, some pretend animals in a cage that sing and a monkey climb.
Discovery bay features the much loved log flume and a kiosk to buy pictures of yourselves riding it, there is also gold panning, discovery bay station and a runaway train, discovery bay is also where during 2009 (hopefully it will get extend) you can meet dora the explorer and go diego go.
Junior Discovery cove is next, just above Discovery bay and i think it is new as we have never been to it either that or we just never got that far, sorry i can't be of more help there.
Last but not least is Toy Land which is home to the dodgems, minature golf (requires a deposit), face painting, another play area, the tug boat which swings you all over the place, a water maze which you do need to be carefull on as it is slippy and not attended, the mirror house and also 4 diggers which have a little ball pit so you can dig the balls up and drop them again, my little boy loves them.
There are around 6 different sets of toilets loacated around gullivers and also baby changing, and to be honest Gulliver's isn't huge so you can always find a toilet. It's just the right size for younger children and still leaves plenty to do. In my opinion it is a great day out at a very reasonable price and we are planning our next trip closer to christmas as santa and his reindeer will be there and it also snows everyday.
Finding entertaining places to take children in the summer holidays can sometimes be a little tricky. When my children were younger we discovered Gulliversland at Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire. We have visited several times but our last visit was last year so my review may not be comprehensive regarding any recent changes. However since there have not been many enormous changes over the last 8 years I am sure most of it will be relevant!
The park has recently had a name change to "Gullivers Milton Keynes", I think this is because the owners have several parks further north and they all had similar names so I think they now all have the same name just with the place name after it. This would certainly make sense for merchandising purposes.
Gullivers opened in Milton Keynes in 1999. It has always marketed itself as a family Theme Park particularly aimed at children aged 2 to 13. This year my children are 12 and 15 and I would say they have probably outgrown it now but it was certainly ideal when they were slightly younger. The site itself is quite compact. This is good for younger children (and parents!) as they do not get too tired walking around, this is also a benefit when children are older as they are able to go around with a friend but are never too far away if you need to get to them.
Gullivers is easy to find by following the brown signs as you head towards Milton Keynes. This is an area I find very difficult to navigate but I can always get to the park easily. (However getting home again is another story!). The car park is large and even when I have been on a lovely day during the summer holidays there has never been a problem to park. Parking is free.
The entrance fee for adults and children over 90cm tall is £12.50, for some reason OAPs are £11.50. I do not know what the current policy is on disabled visitors, several years ago my friend took her brother who has Downs Syndrome, when she asked for a disabled and carers ticket which she usually buys elsewhere she was told that because he could walk he had to pay full price. She was surprised by this and said it was the first time she had encountered that attitude. It is one Theme Park that does not seem to have many offers so you usually have to pay full price.
The park is split into several areas with particular themes. I cannot possibly review all the attractions in each section but thought I would give an overview.
Once you have paid and entered the park you end up in Main Street. There is a lovely traditional looking carousel with an upstairs deck that my children have always loved. This area also houses a gift and a sweet shop and a snack bar. At the end of the day there is a little show here with the parks mascot (a mouse) dancing and singing which is a nice way of rounding off the day. There is also a restaurant but this is sometimes closed for functions so if you hope to eat here it is probably worth checking before planning. A little further along there is an indoor play area aimed at young children.
---Lilliput Land castle---
The castle contains a fast food type restaurant. The food we had here was OK but I always feel it is very dark inside so prefer not to eat here. There is a ride through story of Gulliver's travels, the models are animated but unfortunately they do look very tired and in need of some TLC, however this is a restful few minutes so I always like to go on to get a sit down! On the next floor of the castle there is an enchanted wood which is a walkthrough attraction with interactive displays, young children can sometimes be a little scared but older children seem to like it. This emerges into another soft play area suitable for older children. This is a good area but it does get very hot and there is no air-conditioning and no water-fountain or snack outlet.
This houses the usual tea-cup ride which I avoid now as it makes me sick but my children whizz around very fast on that for quite a while happily! There is an aerial cycleway but beware! I had previously visited Legoland where you sit on an aerial ride and it carries you around, on this ride you have to pedal! I am only 5'2" and I really struggle to reach the pedals so I find it very hard work, my children couldn't reach so I had to do all the work and on a hot day I thought it would never end! However I suppose it made me feel less guilt about the ice-cream later. There is a small simulator of travels through Egypt which I thought was quite good but sometimes they squash a lot of people on so you can get very familiar with total strangers! For children there is a fire-engine based attraction that sees them get very wet so is really on suitable for a warm day.
This is my children's favourite area of the park as it contains the best rides. There is a cracking little coaster called the Python, it is only small but is a great introduction to roller-coasters and it does go quite fast. There is also a pirate ship and a flying carpet as well as a large chair-swing carousel. There is also a river ride, this is certainly not worth queuing for, the first time my son went on this he was only 4 and he found it dull, it is very slow and passes a couple of very sorry looking animal models, the queue tends to be long so we don't bother now.
This area has the Log Flume, I find this a bit of a disappointment as there is no scenery and it is not terribly exciting but you do get very wet. This is the one ride in the park that I have probably found the most unreliable, it seems to break down frequently and this is not managed well. One year we had queued quite a long time and when we got to the front it stopped, we were told to go away as they would close it for an hour or so, we asked for a ticket or something so that we wouldn't have to queue again but we were told they didn't do such things which I felt was poor customer service.
Also here you will find the Runaway Mine train and the silver mine where you are in a truck and have to shoot at targets as you go through the mine. This is great fun as if you hit the target it activates an animatronics. There is also an animatronics show here which is embarrassingly bad but it is undercover so I have sat in there to get away from the rain!
This is a brightly coloured area with several attractions. The dodgems and the Tugboat ride are probably the most popular and are good fun. There is also something called the Cheese-Factory which is a roller-coaster in the dark. The only problem is the fact that it is not very dark at all! There are several play-areas here with ball cannons, water mazes and diggers so children usually spend a lot of time here.
Looking on their website this year they appear to have opened a new indoor area called Gully Town which looks like it has play shops and garages aimed at a young age range which looks nice. In general a lot of the attractions are undercover and so is most of the queuing. I have been there on wet days and it hasn't spoilt our enjoyment.
I find that like many such places the food is expensive so I tend to take a picnic. Due to the size of the place it is not a big deal to pop back to the car to fetch it at lunch time (they operate a hand-stamp system to let you back in). There is no specific picnic area but there are plenty of benches and walls to sit on.
Gulliver's is nice and clean and the toilets were always spotless when we visited. There are nappy changing areas but I have not used those. The park is attractively laid out. I am lucky enough to have been to Disneyland which is probably why I feel some of the attractions here look a bit tired and could do with a little attention to detail but overall it offers an enjoyable day.
The only thing that bothers me about the park was the lack of attention to security of children which I feel they need to address. In one instance my friend and I and our four children got on the Mine train and the attendant put another child on with us. I explained that the child was not with us (she was about 5) and that she didn't appear to have parents about. He said it didn't matter and sent her off with us. When we got off I wanted the staff-member to keep her there and call for assistance but he wouldn't. I ended up having to look after the child who would me she didn't know where her parents were, luckily she spotted them as I walked her towards customer services but I felt that it was an irresponsible attitude. The other instance was on the Silver Mine when I was on the cart with my son and my daughter was in the one behind on her own (they wouldn't let us squash 3 in one cart). It took me a minute to realise that her cart hadn't come out behind us. I went straight to the attendant and explained and he said it had stopped. I asked him what to do and he just shrugged. At that point my daughter walked out of the doors, she had decided to get out when everything stopped, and considering it was very dark in there she was very brave but probably not very safe.
Now I have read back over this review it makes the place sound awful. It isn't! It is a great day out for a young family with lots that you can do together. We have probably been about 8 or 10 times and have only had a couple of incidents. The children love the idea of a theme park where they can go on virtually anything. There are a couple of height restrictions so do check the website. Due to the target market it is never unbearably busy and there are not coachloads of teenagers or young adults as you can get at Thorpe park etc so it feels nice and friendly. Opening times vary and it is not open everyday out of season. We have found that when we have visited on a nice day the park seems to stay open slightly past its stated closing time and we have never felt in a rush to leave. I have given it four stars because it is good fun but I wish they would pay some attention to staff training.