Newest Review: ... and everyone seemed to enjoy it. The carts seat 4 so it is perfect if you've got kids who are unsure about going on their own. We got o... more
"The day in the country thats out of this world!"
The Milky Way (Bideford)
Member Name: lyndsey1989
The Milky Way (Bideford)
Advantages: Great for families
Disadvantages: Some may find entry price a bit high
We weren't planning to visit The Milky Way on our recent break to Devon, despite my niece constantly going on about how brilliant it was! However, when my partner won 2 free tickets from our holiday camp we decided to go along and see what all the fuss was about. We visited yesterday which was a Sunday in April.
We arrived at around 10:20, the park opens at 10:30 but we were unsure how far it was and also wanted to beat the queues. There were only around 3 cars in the car park and once we were all ready we walked up to the entrance. The doors were shut so we stood and waited where we were joined by a few other families. The doors were opened just after 10:30 and we went straight through and were served immediately by a very kind, friendly and helpful lady. She was keen to talk to the children and was a pleasure to talk to. She was keen to help my brother in law with his money saving voucher and gave us all stamps on our hands and a map of the attraction. She also told us about the shows taking place that day.
The children were desperate to get on the rides first to beat the queues so we tried to find these first. We didn't have much luck without the map as if you follow the building down it just takes you to the cafe! However, after having a quick look at the map and following some signs we easily found the rollercoasters. There are two rollercoasters at the park, one for adults and older children and one for younger children. This was perfect for us as one girl in our party is only 6 and had never ridden a rollercoaster before, this allowed her to have a go on one, like everyone else but on one which was more suited to her size.
The larger rollercoaster is for people 1.2m and above. My niece is 9 and she is just big enough so this will give you an idea of who can go on and who cannot. The rollercoaster is called Cosmic Typhoon and is quite simple with a few drops but nothing too scary. The ride lasts about 2 minutes and you go down one large drop and then a few smaller ones. It is quite fun and everyone seemed to enjoy it. The carts seat 4 so it is perfect if you've got kids who are unsure about going on their own. We got on the ride straight away as there was no queue and this meant that the kids actually went on 3 or 4 times in a row before we finally persuaded them to move on! The rollercoaster boasts to be the longest, tallest and fastest rollercoaster in Devon but it is worth noting that it is very tame compared to others at larger theme parks!
The childrens rollercoaster is called the Big Apple and it is shaped like a caterpillar. The ride lasts around 3 or 4 minutes and has a few slow and gentle drops. It does speed up a bit as you go round the track but all children over 3 or 4 should be fine on here. Riders must be at least 0.8m and if under 1.2m they must be accompanied by an adult. The children all enjoyed this ride and considering they range in age from 6 to 13 this was quite an achievement!
Next we went on the dodgems which are indoors. I thought this was great as it meant they could be enjoyed in any weather. The room has a real fairground feel to it and they play loud music and have disco lights so this was great fun. Over the course of the day we must have gone on the dodgems at least 10 times. There was never a queue which was good as it meant we spent more time enjoying ourselves. Minimum height to drive a car is 1.2m but younger children are allowed on as passengers. However, when a small child reaches the front the ride is shut off and only they and their family are allowed on to ensure they do not get bumped. This is an excellent idea in my opinion and means that everyone gets a go.
Next we went to Time Warp which is a very large indoor play area. I thought this would be boring for us adults as the kids always spend hours in this sort of thing! However, adults were allowed in too which meant we all had a whale of a time all mucking around together! There is lots of equipment in here including ball pools, a multi level assault course, drop slides and rope bridges. This was probably the busiest part of the park but there was plenty of room for everyone and it seemed as though at times the adults were having more fun than the kids! There was also a small section for toddlers and upstairs a cafe allowing parents to have a break. We spent a good hour in here the first time and then returned later and spent a further hour.
Next we went to The Clone Zone which is hard to describe really! You are taken through a place with a guide and it is all focussed upon a crashed alien ship. It is worth noting that this is quite scary and the staff make it their aim to scare you all! However, you can leave at any time. The zone is finished by a rollercoaster which is quite fast and in the dark and then you (thankfully) leave! The whole thing takes about 20 minutes and it is worth noting that none of our group (8 people aged between 6 and 34) particularly enjoyed it!
Then we went to the train which is an old style train. We the only ones on the train which was an advantage for the kids as it meant they could all get a window seat. The train ride is quite short and to be honest, we wouldn't go on it again. When on the train you go past the maze which has not grown yet so it seemed a bit pointless for us to give it a go.
We then had a go on the golf course, on the 18 hole putting course. All of us joined in with this and all equipment was supplied for free. I thought I would not enjoy this, having never picked up a club before but I absolutely loved it! We spent a good hour and a half here and we all really enjoyed ourselves.
We then had a look at the pottery section, where children can paint their own piece of pottery for a small charge. The man here appeared to be running his own business and wasn't an employee of The Milky Way but he was very kind, helpful and patient with the children. The kids loved this bit as it meant they could take something home that they had made themselves. We then went outside to the outdoor play area and had a go at the laser shooting. The children all really enjoyed both of these and enjoyed competing against one another.
There are also a number of live shows at the attraction throughout the day. These include We've got Talent featuring Merlin from the popular show. The show has magic tricks and comedy and although we did not get to see it ourselves we heard good things about it. There is also a good amount for toddlers to do including the indoor play area and Fantasy Farm which has indoor soft play and sandpits and drive on tractors.
We spent 9 hours at the attraction as although on first appearance there doesn't look as though there is too much to do, you can easily keep yourselves occupied all day. The children and ourselves all managed to get on everything we wanted to as many times as we wanted and never had to queue longer than around 5 minutes. The children all enjoyed themselves and have been talking about it all day today which suggests to me that it was a good day out!
There are plenty of toilets around the attraction and these were all spotlessly clean. There are also a couple of cafes, these were quite pricey so unless you are willing to spend a lot then I would suggest taking your own food. For example, a hot chocolate cost £1.70 (£1.90 with cream) which I thought was quite pricey.
The park is usually open from 10:30-6 apart from the winter months where the opening times are 11-5.
Prices depend upon the season and for the current season they are as follows:
Under 3's - Free
Adults and children over 3 - £11
Seniors - £8.50
Prices are raised slightly (by about £1 each) over summer but if booking online a small discount can be obtained. There are also plenty of money off vouchers floating about making small savings.
The price covers everything apart from archery where there is a small charge.
The park is located near Bideford, North Devon and contact details are as follows:
The Milky Way Adventure Park, Clovelly, Bideford, North Devon. EX39 5RY
Telephone: 01237 421255
As you can probably tell we really enjoyed our day here and recommend it for any families visiting North Devon.
Summary: Great place to visit
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