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Gullivers Land - Not Only for the Children!
Gulliver's Theme Park (Milton Keynes)
Member Name: elfbwillow1
Gulliver's Theme Park (Milton Keynes)
Advantages: A theme park for the children ! And adults love it too !
Disadvantages: Closes too early !
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,
Summary: A theme park made for children
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