Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Two theme parks in one week!

Ok, so I'm going to do a ratings score: here goes (scored out of 10)...
(I haven't added up the totals, so if you're feeling bored you can do that for me)

Gullivers Land (Milton Keynes)

Queues: 9.5 - barely any queueing, either to go in or to go on any rides.
Variety: 9 - Lots to do, different rides and shows.
Age range suitability: 8- This place is suitable for toddlers to 10years, so great for my kids, but perhaps not for older ones.
Wow factor: 5 - Nothing that made me go wow, but still enjoyable.
Cleanliness: 9
Friendliness: 9
Parking: 9 Easy parking, no long walk to front entrance. Car park was a bit boggy in places.
Cost:7 - We had vouchers that got us in for £5 per person. Otherwise it's about £10 per person, which seems alot if you have a family of 5 to pay for!
Commercialism: 8 - not too commercial. Once in, all the rides and activities were free.

Overall a very pleasant experience. Gentle for the little ones and no ghastly queues!

Legoland (Windsor)

Queues: 4- As always it was busy. Always queues for pretty much everything, which can get a bit tiresome after a while.
Variety: 9 - Loads to do for all ages. Even better in summer when families can make use of the outdoor facilities more!
Age range suitability: 9 - great for all my kids. There are fewer things for toddlers to do, but they get in free anyway, so perhaps that compensates!
wow factor: 10 - Well they had their fireworks event on, so I have to give it a high score for wow factor! The place is so huge though, it can't help but be impressive.
Cleanliness: 7 - overall quite clean, but with the sheer numbers of people the toilets can struggle!
Friendliness: 9 - despite the rain the staff did their best to be cheerful. Maybe that's all part of their training, but still, it makes a difference.
Parking: 6 - we were lucky this time to get a space fairly near the entrance, but it's not always like that. The car park is so huge that if you can't remember where you parked you might have to wait for everyone to go home before you can see your car!
Cost: 5 - extortionate if you pay full prices (does anyone actually pay full price?). We do the usual Tesco Clubcard vouchers, but there's no way we'd set foot in the place at the normal price.
Commercialism: 5 - Very commercial, lots of places and things to make you part with your money, which makes me a grumpy mummy. But...I guess that's what most theme parks are like.

Overall: If we didn't have Tesco Clubcard Vouchers we wouldn't visit. Yes, it wins on 'Wow factor', but at a price. Personally I find the commercialism and the queues irritating. But the fireworks are absolutely FANTASTIC and the kids love it!

One of the strange devices available for children to ride and experiment with at Gullivers Land. On this one you have to wind the wheels with handles. On another type of machine you wiggle the handles to propel yourself. I had a go on one contraption and I have to admit it was rather fun...(but I did have a sore bum afterwards).

We got bored in the queues at Legoland, so ended up taking some very strange photos of each other to entertain ourselves...I'll post some more when I get a chance. This is dd1 in her new mac that she got for her birthday. She had a perfectly good functional mac, but, alas, it was navy blue. Just NOT girlie enough! This one, however, is perfectly girlie (even for dd1) and it gets her approval. Some people are just plain fussy...

Ds2 in 'Miniland'. For some reason the kids love this bit of Legoland. Lots and lots of miniature versions of landmarks around the world with moving parts (all made of lego of course). Must be a 'child' thing, cause I can't see the attraction personally. I just get the urge to step over the railings and start dismantling all that lego. Very tempting.

Riding in the 'balloons' at Legoland. One of the few rides that usually doesn't have huge queues. Of course the kids had a fight about who was going to pull on the rope to make the balloon go up and down.
As it had been raining all day anyway and we were dressed for the weather with our macs and waterproof leggings we figured we might as well make use of all the 'wet' rides. We had our 2nd ride on the Viking thing (we tried it last year) and were very thankful for our waterproofs as everything got drenched! For the first time ever we also went on the log flume ( ds1 and dd1 and me). We were all fine until the bit when we realised that our little vehicle was about to drop off a precipice into the water channel below. As we got off the ride we had a look at the photos that are taken automatically and the one of us showed me with my head stuck down into the bottom of the 'log'! The kids were sat up straight, but I was being a complete woos. However, in my defence, I was at the front and could see where we were going, so it was much much much scarier...

Star Wars fireworks at Legoland

Have just had to edit this because I forgot to mention something. A work colleague arrived at work tonight a little late and gave me the news that it was snowing outside! (In case you wondered why I hadn't noticed this myself it's because I don't sit near a window, and besides, it all looks black out there at 7.30pm). So, it's snowed. That's the wet, sleety sort of snow (probably the stuff that the rail companies hate), not that nice crisp 'Christmas card' sort of snow.

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