“ Located in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Open daily from 14 April until 5 November. Info line: +44 (0)1834 891 376. „
This summer I visited Oakwood for the first time in nearly 15 years with my family and friends. We managed to get our tickets from Tesco Clubcard vouchers and my 2 year old son got free entry so we didn't have to spend a penny which was a nice bonus in this current climate.
As we live in South Wales it only took us about an hour and a half to get there which makes it one of the closest theme parks to home. Having not been here for a long time I noticed that they have built a new road that makes a more direct route to Oakwood as you come off the A40. The route was clearly signposted from junction 49 of the M4 just to lessen your chances of somehow taking a wrong turn. Oakwood is situated in Pembrokeshire near Haverfordwest in South Wales (set your SAT NAV to SA67 8DE).
If your not lucky enough to get tickets from Tesco Clubcard vouchers or other loyalty schemes then you will be glad to find plenty of 2 for 1 offers in various magazines, newspapers and fliers. You simply can't fail to miss them as they seem to be everywhere at the moment.
Standard entry prices for adults are around £19.95 or £14.50 for juniors between 3 and 12. Under 3's are free and there are discounts available for disabled or senior citizens. There are also various family ticket deals which will save you a massive £4! Or you could opt for an annual adult or child pass for £60 or £44 respectively. Group deals can also save you money but parties have to consist of 15 or more persons.
We arrived in the car park nice and early about 10 minutes before opening time and waited for our other party to arrive as they were about 15 minutes behind us. We had decided to visit at the end of the summer holidays when it wasn't going to be very busy. Luckily the weather had held out and although it wasn't very hot, it wasn't raining which was a bonus.
Once the others arrived they parked up close to us in the car park and we all quickly headed over to the main entrance to Oakwood. We were instantly greeted with our first disappointment of the day by a sign that read 'The train ride will be unavailable today due to a mechanical failure, we apologise for any inconvenience caused'. We were all a bit gutted about this as we all remember going on this ride as a child that takes you from the entrance into the park. I was also disappointed for my son as he has started getting into Thomas the Tank Engine and would have loved the train ride. Taking it on the chin we started to walk into the park using the alternative footpath route.
My memories of Oakwood span back to when I was a young child, maybe only 7 or 8 years old. Although I could not remember much we have family photos to remind me of my visit as a child. Going on the Bob Sleigh with my dad and playing in the outdoor assault course back in the 80's was about all that I could vaguely recall.
As we walked in one of our friends suggested that we should all head over to Oakwood's newest ride Speed so that the queues wouldn't be too big. It was a great call as when we got to the ride entrance, there was no queue at all.
Speed was built in place of the old Senior Go-Carts in 2006, although it was supposed to have been built the previous year.
I'm not a huge fan of thrill rides as I had a phobia of them when I was in my early teens but being forced onto an upside-down ride at Drayton Manor several years ago eased my fears slightly. I still hate heights and long winded inclines but as long as you don't debate too much about whether or not to go on a ride I find it is a lot easier to just start queuing and just get on with it.
One of our friends decided not to go on the ride after looking at the vertical incline at the beginning so she watched my son as we took the plunge. The ride cart seated 8 persons so 4 of us, including myself got into the front with 2 in the back. I thought nothing of getting into the front and only realised when we started moving that I'd made a mistake! As we got to the incline my heart began to beat faster as it tipped us back vertically and we started to climb. All I could see from the front was the clouds above and the rail which we were climbing. It was the longest 10 seconds of my life, there was no turning back now!
As we reached the top, the cart tilted forward greeting us with a view of the entire theme park. There was no time to think as the ride did not hang about, it rolled over the edge straight away and dropped us 110ft vertically downwards and slightly back on itself. Believe it or not but the vertical drop was not the worst part of the ride as the second dip was much worse as you were travelling faster up to 60mph. Several loops and twists later and feeling the G's on the cornering, the ride was over. I didn't even realise that we had been snapped for our photo on the ride as I was concentrating more on holding on. Although it was over pretty quickly I did enjoy it and my photo proved this theory.
As we came away from Speed we all decided to have a go on Waterfall. With this ride you sit in a single sledge and get dropped from a high water shoot into a shallow pool of water below which you skim across as you hit the bottom. If you're lucky enough you won't get wet at all but lots of people have come off their sledge at the bottom and ended up soaked in a pool of water (largely due to not learning forward). Although this ride has been here for as long as I can remember it was the first time I went on this ride as I had chickened out on this one last time I visited the
Pictures of Oakwood Leisure Park, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Oakwood Leisure Park, Pembrokeshire, Wales park several years ago. The ride doesn't look too bad when you are watching it from the bottom but believe me, when you get to the top and sit in your sledge you'll quickly realise that the drop is a lot bigger and scarier that you first thought. You can understand why several people turned back down the steps at seeing the drop. Albeit was a fun ride.
As I've mentioned already, I've never been a fan of heights and the fact you have to pay an additional £33 per flight (or £16.50 for 2 and £11 each if there are 3 persons) to go on this ride made my mind up pretty quickly that I wasn't going to go on it and neither did anyone else in our party. We did however stand and watch 3 people go on this together which you could see was a high adrenaline experience, especially when you see them being hoisted up 164ft into the air towards the tall arch and then released for a freefall flying experience. Queue lots of screaming! Not one for me.
Moving onto Bounce I decided to look after my little one for this ride whilst some of the others started queuing. I'd been on this ride before and wasn't a huge fan of freefall drops so I decided not to go on it this time. It is a much similar experience to Tower of Terror in Disney World in my view which I hated. This fires you up 150ft into the air before bouncing back down to ground. It then slowly takes you up to the ride's highest point and drops you in freefall. Watching from the sides it seems that the staff controlling the ride add to the experience by distracting you with safety measures on the speaker before they shoot you up into the air mid-way through talking. Looking to the side of the hill by Bounce you can see remains of what once was the assault course playground. This is another example of how Oakwood have replaced some of its original attractions for thrill rides which have taken away some of its family leisure park heritage.
Snake River Falls
Situated next to Bounce are 4 unique experiences of a water dinghy ride for 1 or 2 persons each with their own name based around snakes. 2 of these slides are open top with the other two being closed so that you can't see where you are going. I had the pleasure of trying out one of the closed slides and one of the open ones which led to a soaked backside on both occasions. I didn't manage to try this on my own as it was more fun being on the ride with someone else. The queuing did take a while though which was probably down to there only being 4 dinghies in operation. There would only be 2 dinghies at the top of the ride ready to be used, whilst the other 2 were at the bottom being loaded onto an escalator after the riders had exited them. If they had 8 of these in operation it would have reduced the queuing times (bearing in mind you could see a few deflated ones at the top of the ride).
We then headed over to the next closest ride which was the Pirate Ship. This is one of the worst rides for me as it just turns my stomach so much it makes me sick. I don't get any pleasure from these so I left this one to the others. The queue for this was pretty quick but you may have to try the ride a few times to get a back row seat. One of my friends regretted going on this twice in a row. I felt sick just watching it.
This is another original ride that I can remember from years ago which was Oakwood's first steel rollercoaster that opened in 1989. The coaster takes you though dense woodland in between fir trees at speed (well 22mph!). It's been over 20 years since this was first built and you can see that it is still a popular ride today although much less thrilling than you remember as a child. This ride is more for younger children and adults who don't fancy riding on some of the bigger rollercoaster rides.
Lost Kingdom & Wacky Factory
It was time to do something for my son as he had been patiently watching us in his pram for much of the morning. The lost Kingdom is basically a huge multi-level soft play area filled with slides, ropes, swings and balls. Our son absolutely loved this but being only 2 years of age we had to take him around the play area to make sure he was safe. It kind of put me back to my childhood days as a few of us in the party went inside too and had just as much fun as the kids!
The wacky factory is a new addition next to Lost Kingdom where kids can fire soft balls out of various button controlled cannons and load balls into vacuum tippers and pipes. This section also has a small play area where you can reach cannon guns at a higher level and fire balls at others.
There is probably enough area of play to spend a good hour here.
Play Town Rides
After being worn out from the Lost Kingdom we took our son onto the Play Town rides. This area hosted a few fairground type rides for kids, which consisted of truck rides on a rail track, a plane ride that lifted up and down as it went around, a small carousel, a clown mini coaster, tractor ride and mini Ferris wheel. We took our son on most of these rides including the clown coaster which he wasn't very sure about but the Ferris wheel was out of order.
The tractor ride, more commonly known as the Bunny Rabbit ride consisted of several tractors on a rail that took you round a track in a small holding of guinea pigs, rabbits and chickens. The rest of our party watched us and took photos from a bridge walkway that was built over part of the track. Our son loved turning the steering wheel and playing with the gear levers as it went around the track. My only disappointment with this ride was that it only did one lap of the small circuit when it could have gone around twice. There were only 1 or 2 other children queuing for the ride so this was a bit of a shame as my son cried when we took him off the ride and we had to explain to him that it had finished.
On the way over to the Bob Sleigh a few of us had a go on the Sky Leap. This is one of the first rides ever built at Oakwood where you drop from the top of a near vertical slide in a sack. This is another ride where it looks easy from ground level but much higher when you get up to the top. There isn't really a queue for this ride so we were only here a few minutes before moving on. Just remember to remove your shoes!
The Bob Sleigh was what Oakwood was all about back in the late 80's. This was one of their more authentic rides which had always been popular with families. It is basically a toboggan ride which takes you up to the top of a hill on a traditional metal slide via a chain. At the top it then releases you as you travel downhill and around bends. The rider is in complete control of the speed using the lever at the front of the sleigh to apply the brakes. There is a clear warning before getting on the ride that if you fail to brake altogether you may capsize the sleigh but I've never seen this happen.
All but my partner queued up for this ride and I decided to take my son on with me (much like my dad had done with me when I was a boy).
It wasn't the most toddler friendly queuing system in the world as it was a wooden footbridge that had gaps in between the panels. These were big enough for my boy to fit through so I had to keep hold of him, which at his age is very difficult as he likes being free and is in to everything. Having said that, when we finally got on the ride it was a great experience and he loved being at the front. I was slightly cautious with the brakes with the 2 of us on the ride but I later went on it a second time with my partner separately for a much faster ride.
The only disappointment with this ride was the time it took to queue. We must have been queuing for nearly an hour due to the fact that it was one off, one on for the sleighs, every minute or so.
Wild West Dive Show
This was new for 2011 which is situated next to the large open picnic area. There was nothing 'Wild or West' about this show apart from the announcer who was trying to put on a western American accent and doing a pretty bad job at it. They may just as well have called this 'The Dive Show'. Having said that, it was enjoyable to watch the 3 divers doing the synchronised and high diving from the different platforms into a small circular water pool. The announcer would try and get the crowd involved with clapping and cheering up to the big finale which involved one diver climbing up a very tall ladder which must have been around or close to 100ft in the air and diving into the water pool below. It was surprising to see such a high dive and it was all done without any safety measures. The ladders were all open so the divers could actually fall from them considering they were also wet and there were no safety nets to the side of the pool should a dive go wrong.
When we returned to this area later in the day on the way out, the picnic area had a DJ setup with lighting playing loud music. This was part of Oakwood's late night opening days which are spread across the summer.
Megafobia is probably Oakwood's best ride and has been voted one of the best rides in the UK and Europe. You could arguably say this is scarier than Speed because of the rattling wooden structure. Since my last visit to Oakwood they have added extra lap belts to the ride and padded out seating making it more safe and comfortable. This ride is a great experience of heart dropping dips and sharp turns and will have your adrenaline pumping. The queuing wasn't too long for this either as you can get a lot of people in the coaster for every ride. This is another ride that takes your photo half way through which you can view or buy on the way out. The biggest drop on this coaster is 82ft with speeds of up to 55mph which is amazing for a wooden coaster.
I went on this ride twice although some of our party had time to do this 3 or 4 times.
We could also see the Boating Lake as we rode on Megafobia but decided not to bother as we could have ridden pedal boats at anytime at some local parks and were mainly here for the bigger rides.
This ride has changed considerably since it was once Voodoo Mansion prior to 2003. You are seated in a ghost train ride wearing 3D glasses and taken through a dark mansion house with scary spooks along the way. All you can hear throughout the ride is evil laughing, screaming and ghostly noises. The 3D experience probably made this a whole lot better with some nice visual effects which made creatures appear like they were coming at you.
We were kind of forced to take our son on this ride with us as everyone in our party wanted to go on it. He was fine for most of the way around the ride until a creature popped out and made a loud noise which did frighten him. Towards the end of the ride they also had a real person wearing a mask walking around and scaring people which added to the fright.
Gold Panning is where you can sieve Jake's river water for gold (not real gold of course but fool's gold). We didn't actually manage to go here due to time constraints but to be fair it was tucked away at the back of the theme park and could easily go unnoticed. Some other reviews I've read suggest that you could spend hours here with children as they get so much enjoyment out of it.
The site itself is at the location of Jake's Town which was scrapped by Oakwood in 2000 and pretty much put to shame the 'theme' in their claim to be a theme park. Jake's Town was the only true themed section of the park (Wild West) which has taken its fair share of neglect over the years. Jake's shooting gallery near the Spooky 3D is a prime example of this neglect where almost half of the air guns were broken or out of order and some of the targets inside the gallery were worn to the point that they no longer registered a hit. We did however manage to find one broken gun that gave unlimited credits for free so we did enjoy it!
Brer Rabbit's Burrow
This ride was previously known as Nutty Jake's Goldmine and has seen a considerable revamp to turn the entire ride into a child aimed rabbit adventure. This was quite disappointing as Nutty Jake's Goldmine used to be a good ride and sat well within the themed area. I no longer see Brer Rabbit as something current and most children will not have even heard of it. My son however did enjoy the train ride and looking at all the rabbits (not real ones) on the way round.
Just outside this ride there were some amusements along with some carnival type stalls where you had to throw or kick balls at bottles or targets to win a soft toy. Some of the prizes however were pretty poor. There was a teddy bear with 'I Love you' written on it which isn't something you would want to win for your children as this is more of a prize aimed at couples and a few Smurf toys which had been hanging from the stall for some time and were very dirty or had holes in them. One winner was very disappointed when he wanted a Smurf but had the choice of a dirty one or nothing at all as they didn't have anything else in stock. I also think that although the Smurfs were something current due to the movie being released in cinemas, this was more of a fluke and they were just flogging old stock.
After we came out of the Brer Rabbit ride with my son we met up with the others just outside who were already playing mini golf so I decided to join in. You have to pay a deposit for this and a one-off fee of around 50p. On our way around each of the holes we saw more examples of neglect whereby most of the golf courses were worn so that golf balls could not be placed correctly or did not roll along the ground as it should. Despite this we all had great fun on the course and went around several times before moving on.
Formally known as Hydro until 2011, this is one of the biggest water coasters in the world and one of the tallest water rides in Europe. It has a 100ft drop which is almost vertical into a million gallons of water. This creates a 45ft wave of water which also splashes over the wooden viewing area (onto some unsuspecting viewers).
I refrained from going on this ride for 2 reasons. Firstly, it does not open until 2:30 in the afternoon and it was colder by that time than in the morning and I didn't fancy getting soaked (and I mean drenched, like the name suggests) and have an uncomfortable afternoon. You can however purchase a thin water proof anorak before you queue but that would take some enjoyment out of the ride. Also the hot air dryer outside which you stand inside (and have to pay for) was out of order.
Secondly, a 16 year old girl died on this ride back in 2004 which led to its closure for 12 months. They ended up adding over the shoulder restraints and belts for better safety instead of just a lap bar but in my opinion the shoulder restraints should have been there in the first place due to the sheer drop.
Viewing the ride from the side where you don't get soaked I could see a few of the others who went on the ride beginning their incline to the top. It seemed that they had been queuing for ages before they even got on the ride. This was surprising because there wasn't anyone else queuing and you only ever saw the ride perform every 15 minutes or so.
As they reached the water fall I could hear them all screaming as it tipped over the edge and shot down vertically at speed into the water. It almost looked like the ride tilts too far forward before splashing into the water but they all survived it safe and sound to some cost. Unlucky for them there were some people squirting them with the water canons next to the ride so they got even more wet (you had to pay for these but one of them was broke and had a continuous flow of water out of the end free of charge). When they finally got off the ride and joined back up with us we could really see how wet they were. They were shaking from the cold and soaked right through as if they'd just taken their clothes out of the washing machine! One of our friends had dyed her hair a few days before and this had run all over her white top which was now skin tight. As for some of the viewers on the bridge, they were just as wet and they didn't even go on the ride!
Food & Drinks
Although we decided to take a packed lunch to save on the cost of food, some of our party decided not to. Outside Spooky 3D there was a Fried Chicken style restaurant where meals cost in the region of £5-£6 consisting of a fillet burger, fries and a drink (or similar options). This was quite pricey considering you can get a Mcdonalds meal for under £4 and kids meals for under £3.
Outside Megafobia there was a stall selling hotdogs, doughnuts and slush drinks (to name a few items). The seating area next to this seemed to be pestered by wasps which was very annoying. Out of some spare change we had we expected to get a few warm doughnuts as a treat but these were very over priced considering their size and we only had enough for 1 each.
Next to Speed there was also a stall selling food but I'm not sure it's placement works well here. I wouldn't want to see the results of someone eating here and then taking a ride on Speed!
Dotted around Oakwood there are also various vending machines selling snacks and ice cream and also stalls selling candyfloss. Next to Drenched you can now find a new traditional Sweet Shop which is something different to find at a theme park rather than your usual sickly treats. My advice on food is to do the same as we did and take a packed lunch but eat it at the picnic area so you get good seats for the diving show.
With everything taken in to consideration Oakwood is an enjoyable family day out with plenty to do for a reasonable price. You could quite easily spend 2 days here and get to go on your favourite rides more than once. The placing of the rides are not too far from one another so it doesn't take too long to get around the park. There is however a lot of evidence of neglect with several amenities or older attractions out of action or in a poor state which was sad to see. Even the changing facilities next to Drenched were out of order and being made into a home by several birds who were flying in and out of the unit!
If I could make any improvements to Oakwood then I would certainly put some life back into the older attractions and add more themes as they are pretty much non existent. Although it has lost most of its themed areas, there have been some great additions to the park recently with Speed and the Wacky Factory for kids.
I do not agree with having to pay extra for rides once you have paid at the entrance so paying up to £33 per flight for Vertigo is daylight robbery. It also takes bookings in advance and they should just scrap that idea and introduce a queuing system.
The ride waiting times on our visit could also have been improved if they had concentrated on adding more riding materials such as more Bobsleighs for Bob Sleigh, more dinghies for the Snake River Falls and more sledges for Waterfall. There was a lot of evidence of deflated dinghies and out of use sleighs next to these rides that were obviously out of action for some reason or another. Maybe they will use the winter months to do some much needed maintenance?
It does seem that Oakwood is drifting away from its heritage as a family park to a thrilled theme park but if it is to compete against the likes of Alton Towers or Thorpe Park then it needs to invest in more rides and look up the meaning of the word 'theme' in the dictionary.
It is however Wales's best theme park so I would still recommend a visit despite some of its negatives.
Oakwood is West Wales's premier theme park. It boasts the worlds largest wooden rollercoaster Megaphobia - although I must say it is significantly smaller than many of its steel counterparts. Having said that Meagphobia is a fantastic white knuckle ride. Although it is not an old rollercoaster it does have that old feel, perhaps it is made all the better that your not bolted into the seat like you are with many newer style rollercoasters.
oakwoods perhaps most unique ride is vertigo. You and a couple of friends are dragged up by a bungee rope beneath a giant steel arch, before pulling a cord to let yourself drop and swinging at a great height above the theme park. However this ride does cost an extra £30, although this cost can be split between up to 3 friends on the ride.
Other rides include bounce (as seen at many theme parks), a pirate ship (likewise) various wter rides and a childrens areas.
The cost to enter the park is in the regoin of £15 per person, alhtough a family ticket can be bought which works out more economical. There is ample car parking and road links are very good.
The park is great for a family, although for real white knuckle ride seekers may be dissappointed. Its relatively small size means it does not attract massive crowds, so queues are rarly a problem, but avoid just before the school holidays when schools go on trips there.
Overall i would give oakwood a dooyoo rating of 3 out of 5.
Oakwood is a family run theme park in pembrokeshire about 10 min drive from Haverfordwest and about 10 min from Tenby.
I have lived in pembrokeshire for around 20 years and this park has grown and grown every year to compete with the bigger parks such as Alton Towers and Thorpe Park. Built into the welsh country side, the park now has over 21 rides or activites for all ages. For the smaller children it offers the lost kingdom which includes soft activity areas for kids to run, climb and cause general chaos.Whilst outside it offers play town consisting of childrens rollercoasters and teacups. Mini Golf, the Wacky factory and Brear Rabbits garden complete the kids section .. plenty to keep them ammused.
For the adults there are fun rides such as the pirate ship which has been there for years but is still a laugh and also the tree tops coaster which was Oakwoods first coaster ride, its small but fast and whips you round the woods so its still a good ride to experiance. Two of the water rides, waterfall and snake river falls envolve sitting on boars or rafts and shooting down a slide eventually getting wet .. all great fun!
The larger rides include the bounce and Vertigo which costs an extra £10 which hoists you up above a giant arch and lets you pull your own cord to drop and swing in terror for a few mins. This is a good ride to prepare you for the big three at Oakwood.
Megaphobia is (or was) the largest wooden rollercoaster in europe and is great fun as you can hear the creaks of the track as you go along, cues can be long for these rides in peak summer as everyone wants a go on the big three!!! but thats what you have to expect.
Hydro is a giant vertical water drop rollercoaster .. YOU WILL GET WET!!! as a wave of water hits you when you decend .. its literally a straight climb and one drop into water ... GREAT FUN!!
An Speed is the final biggie .. a rollercoaster that twists and turns up to 95mph .. enough said, it amazing!
Also at Oakwood is a spooky 3D cinema, boating lake and bobsleigh that winds around the park. With Plenty of food outlets to keep everyone going for the day and even night opening in the summer with a show and fireworks this is a great day out. If you can bear the ques in the summer then please go and enjoy yourself.
We recently visited Oakwood Park when on holiday in Pembrokeshire in July 2009 and realise that my experience of the day is going to be slightly tainted by the fact it chucked down with rain for most of the time we were there. However despite it being school summer holidays it felt like the park wasn't properly open as there seemed to be the minimum number of cars on the rides in operation which just meant that the queues were longer - and when you are queuing in torrential rain it feels even worse!
The best rides we went on were Megafobia which is a wooden rollercoaster and although it isn't perhaps as scary as the white knuckle rides of Thorpe Park it was the most enjoyable rollercoaster I've been on, you felt as if you had left the track with every bump. We also enjoyed the toboggan ride where you sit on sledges either individually or with a child and control your own speed on the descent, great fun.
There are a number of water rides including the Hydro which everyone seemed to come off drenched from. There is a great indoor play area for younger children - under 1.3m or so and gives an opportunity to dry off and some smaller rides just outside this area so I would say this park is suitable for all ages.
It has a lovely family feel and if only all the rides had been fully operational and fully staffed I would have been happy to buy a return ticket for another, dryer day - you can pay £8 to come back another time.
We used Tesco vouchers to buy tickets and we needed £80 worth to pay for a family of 5.
Oakwood Park is Wales' biggest theme park. It is located in Pembrokeshire, in the South-west of Wales, a popular spot with tourists from all over the UK and beyond.
I first visited Oakwood as an 11 year old in 2002. Since then, I have been another 3 times, the most recent in the summer of 2007, so I guess I can say I've experienced Oakwood at different stages in my life!
The most positive thing I can say about the park is that it has something for everyone. Had I been a few years younger when I first went, I would've thoroughly enjoyed what family rides and entertainment they have on site, for example the Brer Rabbit Lair. The rides that appealed to me the first time I went were the ones aimed at the whole family, such as the pirate ship, tree tops roller coaster and snake river falls, all three which I enjoyed as a 16 year old during my last visit!
For the visitors who prefer more of the adrenaline rush, there are what are called the 'white knuckle rides'. There are 5 of these, of which 2 are roller coasters (one wooden, one steel), one water coaster, one 'Shot n Drop' tower ride, and a free fall type ride.
The wooden roller coaster is Megafobia. It is perhaps Oakwood's most famous ride, given that it is one of the most famous wooden roller coasters throughout Europe, and I've often seen it in the top 10 roller coasters in the world on these Sky countdown programmes. It is a great roller coaster to ride if you're wary of roller coasters in the first place. It has no inversions, but is very rough and noisy, adding to the excitement! It is quite tame for regular roller coaster users, never the less a must have a go!!!
The steel roller coaster is Speed, which was added to the park in 2006. It has a vertical incline, and a more than vertical descent! This is a roller I'd recommend for anyone who likes a bit of everything, as Speed has everything, literally! It has a loop, a helix, a barrel roll - everything! The incline isn't as scary as it looks, once your on it it's quite an experience then you enjoy the next 90 seconds of twists, turns and exciting! It's a ride that will make you want to get off and get back on, it is so much fun, and in my opinion the best ride at Oakwood!
Vertigo is the free fall type ride. It costs additional including the entrance fee. Up to 3 people can ride, for a single rider it is £33, £16.50 for two, and £11 for 3. So I recommend to book in advance otherwise you could be disappointed on the day. The only time I went on it was during my first visit in 2002, I shared with 2 strangers, and it was a fun experience! I wasn't one for heights back then but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it was £10 well spen (Used to be cheaper).
The 'Shot n Drop' tower ride is called Bounce. It's pattern of operation tends to vary, as sometimes you are shot directly into the air, and straight back down via a few bounces, and sometimes you are elevated slowly to the top, and then randomly dropped when near the top. I have to say both ways are as exciting as each other, so you won't be too disappointed whatever the outcome!
Hydro is the water coaster, and the last of the 'white knuckle rides'. It is simply a water drop from 80ft, and tends to get very busy during the summer. You will also get very wet if you do go on it! I've never been on Hydro, but I do enjoy standing on the exit platform and 'avoiding' the splash of the car when it hits the water. Unfortunately the Hydro ride was closed for over a year following the death of a 16 year old girl in 200, which damaged the reputation of the park a bit, but never the less, it remains as popualr today as it's always been.
Entry to the park varies with the time of year as well as time of year, so I recommend you check out their website. I don't know it off hand, but google Oakwood Theme Park and you'll find it!
Visit Oakwood this summer and holiday in beautiful Pembrokeshire!
Oakwood is Wales's answer to a theme park, based in Pembrokeshire and open from April to the end of october/ early november from 10am to 5pm. Directions from their site:
From South Wales follow the M4 West until Junction 49 and take the A478 to Carmarthen.
From Mid Wales follow the A40 to Carmarthen.
From North Wales follow the A487 from Machynlleth, then the A478 Cardigan to Tenby road. Then turn right at Penblewin roundabout onto the A40.
Oakwood is clearly signposted on brown tourist information signs from the end of the M4 and throughout Pembrokeshire.
You can find us off the A40 at Canaston Bridge, 8 miles East of Haverfordwest.
The price list is:
children 3 - 9 £14.50
adults (10+) £14.95
family ticket for 4 £55
family ticket for 6 £77
senior citizens £11
Now down to what the place is actually like. Firstly the rides:
Megaphobia, the biggest wooden rollercoaster in Europe. This is the main ride in oakwood and is by the far best, it is huge and the sense of danger from it makes it soo much better than a metal ride.
Bounce, This ride involves being shot up into the air and back down again, this is really exillerating, and the view from the top before they hrul back to ground is spectacular.
Speed is one of the newest rides in the park and is by far the fastes and longest at 2000 feet long and travelling up to 95 kph. This track takes you around twists, turns and loops, and straight up and back down a huge vertical drop.
Those are the main rides however there is still plenty more to do, if you have children then you have nearly half of the park to keep them entertained, with the techniquest, pirate ship, play town rides, magic factory and lost kingdom to name but a few.
There is plenty of places to eat, not many of them healthy though. There is the restaurant, woody's burger bar, dixies chicken diner, smugglers food and many more.
Overall it is a very good day out for the whole family.
I've been to Oakwood several times over the years, most recently this summer and have been impressed at the way the park has developed to try and keep up with the big theme parks like Alton Towers and Thorpe Park.
Firstly it's a lot cheaper than the two mentioned, and well worth it. On a wet/quiet day you will wasily get to go on everything you want to at least twice with time for a long lunch along the way. The rides have improved tremendously since I first visited about 14 years ago!
Megafobia is a wooden rollercoaster not like anything in the big parks. It creaks its way around a track that's bare knuckle and the whole ride will have you clinging on for dear life.
Hydro is a log flume that will take your breath away and quite possibly everything dry you're wearing if you sit in the wrong place. You will get wet, but the view from the top and the gut wrenching descent is well worth it.
Speed is one of the newer rides and the scariest of all. A vertical ascent and inverted descent will make you feel like you've left your breakfast back on the ground. It twist and lurches and leaves you a little green.
Oakwood has more than just the scaries though, it's a great park for little ones and the small-ish area of the park means that it's easy to get around in a day.
Oakwood park is the nearest themepark to me. I enjoy every visit I make there, however I do not think it is as enjoyable as Thorpe Park and Alton towers this is due to size though. Oakwood is alot cheaper than most themeparks though which is an advantage for many people. Oakwoods queues are always fairly reasonable compared to other themeparks.
Oakwood park attracts 400,000 visitors a year on average. Oakwood has five main "white knuckle rides" Megafobia, Vertigo, Bounce, Hydro and the latest to be added two years ago is Speed. Speed has the steepest drop in the UK and this ride has attracted many visitors to the park after seeing the brilliant advertisement on TV. Oakwood park is more suited to families as it has a wide selection of rides for children and even has a fun factory.
Now to dicuss the rides a little bit:
Bounce - A large tower which boosts you up the top at 70mph and back down again bouncing you several times. This ride makes you catch your breath and your tummy will almost certainly flip.
Megafobia - A wooden rollercoaster which more or less starts off with a massive drop and then multiple mini drops, each drop makes you catch your breath and scream. It is a very enjoyable ride and has been voted the best in the UK a few years back. Many people tend to get off megafobia and want to go straight back on.
Hydro - A water ride that carrys you 100ft up and then drops you at 80mph. This ride is guarnteed to get you absolutely soaking so I recommend you leave it until last. I know many people are aware of this ride after a girl sadly lost her life on it but I have been on it many times and enjoyed it. I have not been on since the girls life was took tragically.
There are many other rides for the children to enjoy such as the pirate ship, snake river falls, waterfall and treetops falls. Treetop falls is a mini rollercoast which many families tend to really enjoy, its great fun and takes you through the tree tops at quite a speed.
The food is reasonably priced and I think there are about 4 restaurants in total and plenty of stands selling snacks which are available all around the park. The food is quite expensive but you expect this on a day out at such a big attraction.
Oakwood is fairly easy to find as there are signposts on and off the M4. Narbeth train station is only five minutes way if you are travelling by train. The themepark is not on the bus route so you will not be able to access via bus.
There are height restrictions on most rides which can upset people who are too small. Safety first though.
I recommned this theme park to families wanting a reasonably priced day out at a themepark. If you like white knuckle rides then Oakwood may not be the place for you.
I have been a regular visitor of Oakwood Leisure Park for the past four years, it has kept me coming back again and again due to the experience, although it is quite a drive for me.
Oakwood Leisure Park is situated in Pembrokeshire, just off the A40 at Canaston Bridge and is next to CC2000 Bowling Alley and Entertainment Centre. The park has seasonal opening times and usually opens in March through to September. During the 6 week summer holidays they open for late nights and a firework spectacular.
Oakwood is home to Megafobia which is a CCI wooden rollercoaster. It was built in 1996 and is often ranked in the top 10 wooden rollercoasters in the world.
Other main rides include:
Bounce - A 'shot and drop' tower manufactured by Huss, it is one of the tallest rides in the park standing at 160ft. You get shot up the air and then gradually bounced back down to the bottom (hence the name)
Speed - A Gerstlauer Eurofighter rollercoaster which boasts a 97 degree drop and includes a vertical loop, sharp overbank, heartline roll and helix.
Hydro - Oakwoods biggest (and wettest) water ride standing at over 100ft and almost a vertical drop into a pool of water creating a 40ft wave of water
Vertigo - Riders must pay a total of £33 to ride Vertigo (holds upto 3 passengers) This is described as a free fall experience without the parachute. Having done it twice now I can say it is worth the experience for the adrenaline rush.
Plane Crazy - A flying scooters ride themed as aeroplanes
Waterfall - A two lane waterslide
Bobsleigh - Toboggan Ride
Treetops - A steal rollercoaster that takes you into the trees (tall people mind their heads)
Snake River Falls - A water chute ride
Pirate Ship - offers half swing on the hour.
There are also a selection of rides in a childrens area located at the top end of the park in a small area next to Speed. Also in this area is a Techno Quest.
The rides do have height restrictions, so would probably be best to check on the boards before heading into the queuelines.
The main disadvantage is the quality of the food, although if you dine in the main restaurant it is quite good quality (but a little overpriced) also this year I found near Speed there is a food area that serves very tasty bacon baguettes for reasonable price.
When visiting I usually like to ride Megafobia several times, I find this to be a fun ride and definitely re-rideable. I also enjoy riding Speed however it can be a bit intense coming through the helix. Also both rides are very painful in the rain (which Wales seems to get a lot of). Hydro is one to be done on a hot day as you get completely soaked, although there is a dryer and changing rooms next to the ride. Usually I'm not keen on shot towers but I enjoy Bounce, I don't find it as intense as most tower rides.
This is a park to be enjoyed by adults and children alike.
Oakwood theme park is one of Wales' top leisure attractions. Located in Narberth, West Wales, the park was opened in 1987 as a small family park, and has developed into one of the best theme parks in the UK, incorporating over 30 attractions in total.
There are 5 main rised at Oakwood:
Megafobia: A wooden roller coaster with a 55 degree drop, and has been voted one of the best roller coasters in the world.
Hydro: The tallest water coaster in Europe, with a 100ft near vertical drop, creating a 45ft wave of water on impact.
Bounce: A 'shot n drop' ride that shoots you up 160ft in the air injust over 2 seconds, before bouncing you back to ground.
Vertigo: A free fall ride that straps you in vertically, takes yo to the top before releasing you to give the feeling of freefall.
Speed: The latest attraction at Oakwood, is a smaller, faster roller coaster to Megaphobia, with a vertical loop.
I go back to Oakwood with family and friends every year, and we never get bored. The ultimate thrill park experience!
Well I have finally been to Oakwood! Dave and I have wanted to go ever since they built Megafobia, the wooden roller coaster, as we are real coaster fanatics and the 'woodies' are the best of the lot! First of all how did we get there? We went to Tenby and stayed at on the Heywood Mount Hotel for a couple of nights. Oakwood is a hop, skip and a jump from Tenby heading back along the A4075 towards Haverford West. If you're heading to Oakwood from farther afield just follow the M4 west until you get to junction 49 then take the A48 to Carmarthen then you will see Oakwood signposted in Carmarthen and throughout Pembrokeshire. The park opens at 10am each day from the middle of April until the end of September and this seasons costs are as follows: Family Ticket (2 adults and 2 children) £46.80 Standard (aged 10 years to 59 years) £12.95 Junior (aged 3 years to 9 years) £11.95 Senior Citizens (aged over 60) £8.70 Disabled Visitors £8.70 This entitles you to go on any ride as many times as you wish, apart from Vertigo which attracts a supplementary price of £33 per flight, up to a maximum of three flyers at a time (£11 each) The park remains open until 10pm during August with shows, rides in the dark and fireworks. So what are we going to get for our money then? Well, there is a good selection of rides from white knuckle to family rides to children's rides, so everyone is catered for. I'll try and tell you a bit about each of them to give you a flavour for the place. As with all the theme parks some of the rides do have height restrictions to make sure that the riders are held firmly in place by the seat harnesses when riding. Megafobia Well I had to start the opinion as we started the day with Megafobia. We queued for only 10 minutes and then,
there we were, on the wooden coaster waiting for the off! We were not disappointed either! With an opening drop of 25 metres, 11 crossovers and banking turns it was superb! For my money the Grand National at Blackpool Pleasure Beach is still the best woodie I have ridden but this comes a close second if only for that first drop! You sit side by side in twos, with about 20 people riding at a time. You are held in by a lap seat belt and then a bar, which pulls forward into your lap and locks in place. We went on three times during the day with the second and third queues being about half an hour each, but the ride did get progressively faster as the day wore on and it warmed up. It is also faster if you ride at the back of the carriage. Obviously with this and all the white-knuckle rides, it is not recommended for people with back problems or pregnant women. Hydro This is the new ride here at Oakwood and it?s a belter! It?s like Oblivion at Alton Towers with water! Basically the car holds about 28 people in about 7 rows each four deep. You are held in with a lap seatbelt and a metal bar, which locks in place into your lap. All your loose bags, cameras etc. are left on the platform - which isn't a security problem as there is only one car on the ride so no one else is picking up stuff whilst you are out on the ride. They also asked us to remove our spectacles as 'the force of the water might push out the lenses' WHAT? It was at this point that I thought I'd like to get off! LOL! The car climbs up a steep slope quite quickly so I didn't have chance to worry about the height, round the top equally quickly and is then dropped down a near vertical waterfall into the pool below. The result? An amazing adrenaline rush and a soaking! This is one ride where you WILL get wet. Some people not content with their soaking on the ride stood on the bridge over the po
ol ju st where the ride hits the water for a further soaking on the way out! Bounce This one offers you a pull of 4g as you travel at 70kph! Not for the faint hearted - Ok I'm a wuss, I let Dave do this one alone! Basically the ride consists of a square tower with about 6 seats on each side around the bottom. You are held into the seat by a harness dropping over your head onto your chest and locking in place. The square of seats is then shot up to the top of the tower - a height of about 47 metres - and allowed to freefall back down. Dave said it was great, but I tried the one at Blackpool once and nearly passed out so I?ll take his word for it on this one! Tree Tops Roller Coaster This one is more of a family ride, as it's Ok for younger children. You sit side by side in twos in a car containing about 20 people in all, and go on a fairly fast although not too hair raising ride through the trees. A lap bar holds you in and this is a good ride on which to calm down between white-knuckle experiences! Pirate Ship Basically a big boat shaped car seating about 48 people in 8 rows of 6 all facing the middle of the boat, so you have four rows facing the other four if you see what I mean. You are held in place by a lap bar which locks in place and the whole boat swings back and forth like a child's swing, until it is almost horizontal. I love this one as I always loved swings as a child! Incidentally the best ride is on the back row! Voodoo Mansion This one is basically a ghost train. You sit in cars containing 4 people two by two and you wear 3D glasses to get the full effect, although I kept taking mine off to see what difference they made and I couldn't see any!! It's a fairly good ghost train with a few jumps and one or two surprises, which I won't tell you about or they won't be a surprise to
you, will they? Snake River Falls This one is another water ride where you sit one or two in a small rubber boat holding on to handles on either side, and slide down a water slide of your choosing. There are 4 slides to choose from, 2 inside ones called The Cobra and The Python these are large tube like structures and you slide round though dark and light areas until you reach the bottom and 2 outside ones which are just straight slides with bumps in them. I must admit neither of us tried this one. Dave didn't fancy it and I am happier if am strapped into a ride if I am going to travel at that speed! Waterfall This is another water slide and for this one you sit on a plastic tray, hold onto handles on the side and slide down a near vertical water slide, bouncing along a stream of water at the bottom - in the same way as a stone skims across a lake. Not for me I'm afraid, as I said before I do like to be strapped in! Bobsleigh They also have a bobsleigh run here, but the queue was long and we ahve one identical on the great Orme here in Llandudno so we didn't bother with this one. It is a good ride though. Vertigo This is the only ride attracting an extra payment. It's £33 per flight and takes up to three people at a time; so three people flying together would each pay £11. Presumably the extra payment is to cover the extra costs in the amount of staff making sure everything is safe and the extra insurance cover this ride must need. The ride is a 50 metre inverted U shaped with cables attached to the top. The riders are harnessed and strapped into the support at the bottom of the cables and then pulled up into the air and let go to swing freely until they stop. Apparently you fly at 110kph in 1.5 seconds - I'll take their word for it! There is no way you?' get me on this one! My fear of heights would be too m
uch for me. <br > I once watched Dave and two friends go on the one at the American Adventure Park and I shook for about 20 minutes afterwards! For the children There are pedallos on the lake which take two people pedalling with a further two seats on the front for lounging and admiring the scenery! There is a special area of the park with the ordinary swings and slides, together with mini versions of the Pirate Ship, Big Wheel, Gallopers, Roller Coaster and Go Karts. There is also the Wacky Factory with ball pools etc., and Techniquest which is a science type centre for the youngsters. There is even a really interesting looking Crazy Golf course too. OK so if you still have the stomach to eat after all this lot what are the options? The food outlets all seem to be owned by Oakwood rather than being franchises of the big chains like KFC and they are all clean, reasonably priced and the one's we tried were delicious! There's a burger bar, a bacon bar, a chicken diner, a restaurant, hot dog stands and a candy shop. We went for chicken and chips and I was very impressed. The chicken wasn't nearly as greasy as that which you get from KFC and there was a lot more meat on the drumstick. The chips were crisp and again not at all greasy and the cost was about £4 each for two drumsticks, plenty of chips and a drink of our choice. We had donuts from the candy store for afters - yum! In Conclusion We had a great day! We never queued for more than half an hour and this was in the middle of August on a sunny day - beat that Alton Towers! The rides were great, the food was good, the safety was excellent ? what more could you ask? There is even a little train to take you from the entrance to the park if you don't want to walk the couple of hundred yards! Oh and there are lots of nice clean toilets scattered around th
e park too all with baby ch anging and feeding facilities. We will definitely be returning in the near future! For more information you can visit the website at www.oakwood-leisure.com
Oakwood is situated in Pembrokeshire, Wales and has traditionally been a family oriented park. My parents took me when I was younger during holidays to Tenby. I remember plucking up the courage to go on the steel toboggan run - I'm pretty sure it was my first real theme park ride. I've now grown up (a bit), and am more of a thrillseeker. Oakwood still has it's family rides, but when I heard of their world class wooden rollercoaster an nearly vertical water flume, I had to check it out. For nostalgia purposes, the toboggan run was also a must-visit. FIRST IMPRESSIONS After being an Alton Towers regular for a few years, the change of pace at Oakwood is rather refreshing. There's nobody trying to shovel 'magic' down you, and a distinct lack of vending machines. The pace is rather slower, and there's no need to plan ahead to avoid queues, as they won't cause you a problem. The only themed areas at Oakwood are the New Orleans and kids areas, the rest of the park being set amongst woodland. This works really well, and feels like a family run park (which it is). At Oakwood, a day out at a theme park really can be relaxing. OAKWOOD: COASTER COUNTRY? Yes, an interesting title, seeing as Oakwood only has two coasters (arguably three with Hydro). I'll work up in my order of preference. The Treetops coaster is more in the style of a 'family coaster'. It's fairly slow moving, and weaves through some thick woodland, narrowly missing branches. This ride is fun for the near-misses with tress and should be suitable for most stomachs. Megafobia, on the other hand is really quite stunning. When constructed in 1996, it was consistently voted the world's best wooden rollercoaster. It's still hanging around the top five in the world, and is unquestionably the UK's best. For the uninitiated, a wooden coaster may seem like a step backwards, when we have steel
that can twist and loop in quite amazing ways (take a look at Alton Tower's Nemesis for a brilliant example). Steel can be quite lifeless though, whereas wood has character - it moves with you. A ride on Megafobia smoothly twists and turns you up, over around and through itself many times. From the 85ft drop at the beginning to the end brakes you never quite know where it's headed next. Megafobia is also full of 'airtime', which lifts you out of your seat before gravity catches up with you - you'll need to let go of the lap bar with your hands to experience it though. Amazingly for a Woodie, there's plenty of airtime wherever you sit on the train, not just at the front or back. I was lucky enough to sit on both the front and back rows of the train, and these are well worth heading for if you can. For fans of airtime the back row is quite breathtaking, while the front is also pretty good airtime-wise, but better for the fact that you can see the wooden structure flying towards and underneath you. But wherever you sit, this is a fun ride, and has no loops or extreme g-forces, so is suitable for a pretty wide audience. Hydro is a near-vertical water flume and was new in the 2002 season. It's officially the world's steepest and wettest water ride, and comes complete with a drying booth at the end of the ride. Yes, it's wet, very wet. I walked into the carpark after riding, someone took one look at me and said 'You've been on Hydro, haven't you?'. I had my own personal puddle of water. Stupidly, I sat on the front row and got soaked to the skin. That's skin buried underneath a fleece and t-shirt. I think the area under the restraint and my lower back were dry for a while, but they soon got wet as water seeped down. Hydro is the first ride you see upon entering the park, and unfortunately is somewhat of an eyesore. It's at the highest point of the park but consists of a fairly bl
and w hite steel structure, perching over a large pool of water surrounded by concrete. With the rest of the park looking so natural, it doesn't quite fit - even Megafobia looks good, mostly hidden behind trees and blending into the wood. Hydro has a themed loading booth and a large 'boat' which probably sits around 25 people. You're strapped in by the attendant with a lap bar, as there's no over-the-shoulder restraints. There's a fairly steep lift hill leading to a track that takes you round 180 degrees. Admire the view of the surrounding countryside quickly if you like, then grab on tight (or defy logic and put you arms up). Before you know it the car is whipped over the top of the slope and you're headed down at a near-vertical angle, looking directly at the pool of water below, you know it's going to be wet. And sure enough, you see nothing but white spray for a good five seconds after impact. Yep, you can close your eyes, you won't see anything more. As the deafening rush of water dies down, the screams and yelps of excitement can be heard. People on the row in front glance round to see if anyone else is as wet as them. But due to the banked seating and 'innovative' boat design, everyone gets a share of water. You're given a while to dry off as the boat sedately floats round to the station for more passengers. Yes Hydro may be excessively wet, but it is fun. The drop itself is a huge adrenaline rush, much like Alton Tower's Oblivion, and the use of lapbars gives it a nice sense of freedom. There's only one other ride like Hydro in the world and that uses more restrictive restraints, and I doubt it can boast the scenic views from the top ("Ohh look, there's Ha-MWAAAARGH"). Nice one Oakwood! THE OTHER RIDES The other thrill rides at Oakwood include 'Vertigo', a huge swing contraption which I'm sure provides nice views too. Vertigo co
sts extra (£30 for 3 riders) and is a large 'Skycoaster' ride which can be found at numerous other theme parks. You get winched up to a silly height, then released to swing underneath the ride structure and up over the amazed onlookers (who are probably watching for falling loose change). The Bounce is a tower ride, but is rather unique in that it shoots and drops (the only one in Europe, I believe). Riders sit around the central tower with over-the-shoulder restraints. When you least expect it, you get shot up to the top of the tower, only to fall back towards the ground, then up, then down, as the ride bounces up and down it's tower. When it's done bouncing, you're lifted to the top of the tower and dropped down, again bouncing to a stop. It's not the tallest tower ride in the world, but is tall enough to give some stunning views and more than enough thrills. I believe that in peak seasons the the tower either shoots or drops at certain times of the day. I went towards the end of the season, so they combined the two ride programes. FAMILY RIDES - ALSO SUITABLE FOR BIG KIDS Elsewhere in the park, you'll find the Voodoo Mansion, a surprisingly good 'Ghost Train' style ride (Alton Towers could take some tips from this in their forthcoming Haunted House revamp for the 2003 season). It has shocks and scares dotted around the ride, but one sound effect is too loud for comfort (yes, it'll make you jump, quite possibly out of your skin). It might be a little too intense for younger riders. Snake River Falls is a water ride consisting of a number of intertwining tubes, similar to water slides typically found in water parks. You ride in a rubber 'dinghy', and is deceptively good fun. You'll pass through tunnels on the way to the end, and may not even get wet (although you'd need to be pretty small to avoid water). There's also a Brer Rabbit car ride, a show, and a slide
. In addition, you'll find a pirate ship and a steep water slide. There is also a dedicated childrens zone with an indoor play area and rides. Kids can also ride the steel toboggan run, although this may be more suited to kids riding with parents as the ride brakes are controlled by the rider. This is a pretty thrilling ride, so is not exclusively for kids by any means. Especially if it's been raining :) OTHER STUFF TO KNOW I did not eat in the park, but food was available from a number of outlets, and it would be perfectly possible to bring a picnic in, as benches are provided (and the car park is not far away) I visited Oakwood when it was quiet, but on busy days they stay open till 10, and hold a fireworks display and 'After Dark' theme event. I would imagine that whatever time you visit Oakwood, the queues should not cause too much hassle. Entrance is pretty cheap and includes all the rides (and evening events in the summer, I believe) except Vertigo. When pay-as-you-go theme parks charge nearly £5 a ride, Oakwood is incredibly good value. In my opinion, it's worth the entry fee just to ride Megafobia a couple of times. AND IN CONCLUSION... Oakwood is a fun park, and now has enough white knuckle rides to please thrillseekers. Oakwood doesn't forget that it is also a family park, and has rides suitable for everyone. Rumour has it that they're planning to build a second wooden coaster, which would be a fantastic addition to the park. A large steel coaster would ruin much of Oakwood's charm, unless it is done very cleverly. Megafobia not only fits in with the woodland aspect of the park, but even passes remarkably close to nearby sheep - only in Wales! If you're a thrillseeker, you may have problems filling a full day out at Oakwood (unless you want to get very wet repeat riding Hydro), but it costs nearly half the price of the bigger parks so this is perfec
tly sensible. Most rides were a walk-on (no queue) for much of the day I visited, including Hydro and The Bounce, which significantly cuts down the time it takes to tour the park. I only visited for half a day in September, which left plenty of time to ride almost everything once, and Megafobia, Hydro and The Bounce at least 3 times. Oakwood proves that a day out at a theme park doesn't have to be filled with resisting clever marketing tricks and playing the 'find an area to sit without vending machines nearby' game. It makes a refreshing change. UPDATE: Fixed summary section
Almost every year I go to Oakwood Park as it's about an hour away from my house. This is the biggest theme park in Wales. This isn't the kind of theme park for white knucklers but more for the family and kids. Two trips ago I went with the school and my friends and had a brilliant time. There wasn't much queues when we went there so we went on loads of rides in a short period of time. I will now explain most of the popular rides ********* MEGAPHOBIA ********** This is supposed to be the biggest wooden rollercoaster in europe . When your little or have never been on a rollercoaster before this is a good starters but if youve been on loads like me this isn't what you would call a white knuckle ride but overall a good ride for most of the family. ********* BOUNCE ********* This is a ride that blasts of into the sky and drops down and goes up and down as if you were bouncing.When it first opened you went twice , first fast up and slow down and then you reached the bottom and started over again but went slow up then fast down but for some reason it only goes up once now and isn't as good now than when it used to be. ********* VERTIGO *********** Your all strapped in and are going up.One you reach the top you press the button and drop down and swing back and for. Ive never been on this as you have to pay £30 extra to go on but if two other people went on with you it would be £10 pound per person but know one ever goes on with me sadly. *********** HYDRO ************* This is the new ride for the year 2002 in Oakwood this year and is brilliant. This is the steepest , fastest , wettest water ride in either europe or the world. It's steeper and quicker than Megaphobia and just to let you know if you take a coat on with you you'll still get wet , doesnt matter where you sit. ********** VOODOO MANSION ********* This is loads of rubbish.Its supposed to be a haunted house but it's n
ot even scary. The effects in it are rubbish and if theres a queue dont bother waiting. ********* PIRATE SHIP ********* This is a boat that goes back and for like always and used to be one of my favourites but I wouldn't put a 6 year old on it as I put my brother on it when he was six and he was trying to scream but nothing came out of his mouth and from then on hes only gone on the kiddies rides. *********** TREE TOPS ROLLERCOASTER ******* This is a loads smaller version of Megaphobia that goes through like a little fforest with little drops.I thought this was slow , that once when I went with my friends I got band from this for lying down on the ride as he thought it was dangerous but the carts are so small you can hardly move your legs in it plus there's no way you can fall out unless the bars come up. Plus there's loads of kiddies rides in a little area plus some more family rides. ********* RESTURANTS ******* Theres quite a few stalls there and is expensive there cause once my Nan gave my brother 2 pound for a hot dog and when he came back it was really small and there was no onions. ********* PRICES ******** The price are quite cheap for the day . Its about 13.00 for the day and about 11.00 for kids. I would recommend this for people that dont go on much rollercoasters and white knucklers as its more for familys that thrill seekers
I spend alot of time in Pembrokeshire, and have visited Oakwood several times as I am a major fan of themeparks! It is quite cheap, about 11 pounds for a day, and although it is very small, this is one of the best themeparks I have been to, for children and adults alike. The rides are not your classic thrillseekers rides, although there are a few exceptions. The atmosphere is very friendly, and if you go at an offpeak time then they let yuo stay on the rollercoasters as many times as you can stomach! It is definately a family day out, and can also be quite coupley. Don't go with an odd number of people though, someone is bound to get left out as many of the rides are seated in twos. For the thrill seekers out there, there is the bounce, which is basically a tower with loads of seats around it and you get shot upwards and downwards at aphenomenal speed, not for the faint hearted! Megaphobia is also described as a thrillseekers ride, but to me it is pretty tame, one to go on with older kids. However, the main attraction is a ride called vertigo. It costs thirty quid, for one, two, or three people, so if you get together with a couple of mates it's only a tenner each. Although it may seem like a cheek to charge for a ride within a theme park which you have already paid to get into, it is well worth the money! They have to charge for it really, as only 3 people can go on at once and it is incredibly popular, but you can understand why! It is the closest thing to doing a bungee jump without doing one. You are raised up to a great height, attatched to a rope by a harness, and then one of you pulls a handle and you plumet to the earth and then the rope gets taught and you swing for ages. It is a breathtaking experience which I would recommend to anyone looking for a fright! For those of you of a nervous disposition there are tamer rides such as the ghost train, adults and kids go-carts and numerous kids rides. There is also an arcade, techniques
t science games, a farmyard for kids, and fireworks and shows in the evenings during the summer. The shows are great, full of talented musicians and there is also a bar open with bands playing and areally nice atmosphere. I would recommend this place to anybody, the best times to go are between easter and the school summer holidays, when you tend to have the place to yourselves. Even at peak time though, queues are never too long and there is plenty of parking.
Oakwood Park is set deep in the Pembrokeshire countryside, about 15 miles from Pembroke and Haverfordwest, this theme park is ideal no matter what age you are. I actually live in Pembroke, and so have vistited Oakwood at least once a year, every year since it opened, probably about ten years ago (correct me if i'm wrong, please). It's a great park, no doubts about it, but when they renamed the park "Oakwood: Coaster Country" a few years back (about 3 years ago, I believe), they gave visitors a false impression of what to expect. In actual fact, there are only two roller coasters. The first is the "Tree Tops" rollercoaster. This is a steel coaster, that definately does not fall under the "White Knuckle" category. Not surprising, as this was one of the orginal rides at the park when it opened. At that time, it certanly was just about a "White Knuckle" free zone, but that has changed over the years. The Tree Tops coaster is, however, very good, and certanly worth a ride. While you never get up any serious speed, it feels a lot faster than it actually is. The coaster tears around the track which is completely surrounded and inter-twined with trees, creating a very exciting ride from something that would normally be considered very tame. The other roller coaster at the park is the now internationally famous "Megafobia". When built about four or five years ago, this was the biggest wooden rollercoaster in Europe, and has only reacently been beaten by a wooden racing coaster in Spains' Port Aventura. Megafobia is truly unique, and for any true roller coaster enthusiast is one not to be missed. It's quick, tall and best of all, smooth. Many wooden roller coasters suffer from the trait of being so rough, that your back si suffering for hours after you come off the ride. While Megafobia is far from being "jolt-free", it is a lot smoother than any other woody that I have ever been on
. Of course, Oakwood does not end there. In fact, there is a huge variety of other rides to be enjoyed by all the family. One of the original attractions is the Tobogan run. The tobogan run is your typical Garsteiner steel tube tobogan, but nevertheless it is a unique feature of this theme park, being built in to a natural hill side within the park, allowing you to look over several other rides while you are pulled up the initial incline. The only problem with this ride is that you control your own speed. If you go to fast, you come off, though there is plenty of soft grass to land on. The problems really start with those who go slow. They hold up everybody else, and as this is one of the more popular atractions, you may end up queueing for 30 minutes only to go down the run at little more than walking pace. Note that this ride does get shut down during the rain (which you do get a lot of in this part of the country), as it is an obvious safety hazard. One of my favourites from when the park opened is the Go-kart track. Actually, Oakwood has two tracks, one for juniors, one for seniours. All the karts are the same (roughly), so you always get a good race, even though it is just a small figure-8 track. Many of the original rides have now sadly gone, giving way to newer rides. While in some peoples few the new rides are far superior to the old ones, Oakwood lost a bit of its unique quality when it removed rides such as Nutty Jakes Gold Mine Ride, and the infanous Obstacle Course, with it's own zip-line! Voodoo Mansion is one of Oakwoods most critically aclaimed rides. Essentially, it's a ghost train with style. Personally, I don't enjoy this sort of ride, as I simply don't get frightened, but those who do ensure me that it is infact a great ride, and worth the praise that it has received in the press. Voodoo Mansion is actually set in what was "Jake's Town", the setting for Nutty Jakes Gold Mine ride. This area
of the park still has a slight "Wild West" feel to it, but this is now fast disapeering. This year, Oakwood are opening a new ride, called Brer Rabbit. From what I can gather, this will be aimed at the younger "Tweenies" age range, and will actually use the train and track from Nutty Jakes Gold Mine, being set on the old area of land. One of Oakwoods more well known rides is Vertigo. However, this ride is not included in the entry price, and cost £30 for up to three people, bookable in advance. You all get strapped in to a harness, attached to a string rope from an overhead gantry. You then get pulled, upwards and backwards, before YOU press the realease button that un-hooks you and your friends, sending you flying towards the ground, then up and over a path full of on-lookers. Further into the park is the Bounce. This is almost identical to the famous "Playstation" ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, just newer and slightly better. Also in this area of the park is Snake River Falls. This is one of three water rides in the park (see later). Here though, you ride a rubber dinghy down one of four slides, two open and two enclosed tubes. This is a great ride, as it is both fast and thrilling, yet has the benefit that you do not get soaking wet! One of the other water rides simply involves you sitting on a little piece of plastic, and then being pushed down a straight drop, finishing in a rather wet splash pool. I forget the name of this ride, but it is right next to the Go-karts, and believe me, you will get wet, very wet. The last of the three water rides is the boat lake. A very sedate ride indeed, allowing you to 'sail' around a lake in a peddle boat, which can take up to four adults. That just about covers the main rides. For the younger children, there is Kidzworld. Oakwood have always been very good at catering for their younger guests, and this area of the park has a multitude of smaller rides tha
t every kid is bound to enjoy. Oakwood also has a small Techniquest, simillar to the other around the country. Finally, their is the train. From the car park, you have two choices of how to get into the park itself. After you have paid the admission fees, you can either take a very small train around to the main park, or walk what is in fact a very small distance ( about 400 to 500 metres). If you are in a hurry to be the first to ride Megafobia that day, then walk (or run as I tend to do). Generally, you'll get to the park before the train does, as it takes a much longer route through a small forest area. If you've got young children, take the train, as they love it. Car parking at Oakwood is completely free, and is in plentyful supply. Admission fess go up each year, but last time I went, you were looking at about £12 for adults, less for children and OAPs. Food in the park is not that expensive comapred to other parks, and they certanly do not rip-off their guests. But, if you are not going to pay to eat food, take a picnic with you, as they don't mind this. But, make sure you buy your food before you leave the town you are staying in, as their are no shops nearby due to Oakwoods loaction. As with most parks, you have the traditional range of gifts, and some more unique to this park. Some of the bigger rides have cameras on the rides, to capture the look on your face, which can be very interesting. If you are in the area, I strongly suggest visiting. If you aren't in the Pembrokeshire area, Oakwood is easily reachable within two hours from anywhere in South Wales. So, go to Oakwood. No matter how old you are, you are bound to enjoy it!