I’ve taken my family along to the children’s themepark on several occasions over the years and now that my eldest daughter has reached the grand old age of eight(!) I was beginning to wonder if her interest would be waning.
Not a chance... judging by the protests when it was time to go home after an action-packed day trying out all the rides.
Sure, both my daughter and her younger brother (aged 6) have grown out of their former favourite – the Horses Carousel – which greets you as soon as you walk through the entrance to the park, but Gulliver’s is catering for those aged 2 to 13 so there’s bound to be a few attractions which will no longer hold their interest.
It’s perfect for families not yet ready for the cut and thrust of Alton Towers, and I’m glad we can stick with Gulliver’s for a few years longer at least. That’s because when children’s favourites at Gullivers like the Tree Top Swings of Adventure Land or The Tug Boat of Toyland leave me feeling a little queasy, goodness knows what I’ll be like when I’m dragged to themeparks aimed at teenagers/adults in a few more years (gulp!).
If you haven’t been before, there’s plenty to discover in the themed zones of Main Street, Lilliput Land, Lilliput Land Castle, Adventure Land, Junior Discovery Cove, Discovery Bay, Toyland and Gully Town.
There are more than 70 attractions including rides and shows to enjoy – including 31 rides for all the family, 16 rides for those under 90cm, 10 rides for junior thrill seekers, 15 rides under cover and 42 play attractions. There’s alsofive family dining areas with indoor seating, plus 10 stage and theatre shows.
The best thing about Gullivers is, although there’s always lots of people milling around, you never usually have to queue very long for a ride.
We visited on a Thursday during the school summer holidays and on the very odd occasion we thought the queue was a bit long, when we returned a little later the wait was much, much shorter. For example we gave the popular Jungle River Ride a miss initially in the morning but walking past a couple of hours later there were only a couple of families waiting.
The same thing could be said of one of the best rides in the park, the Log Flume. Quiet when we chose to go on before lunch, but for some reason more popular around 3pm (never fear as we’d been there, done that and got the fridge magnet photo of us looking terrified by then).
My personal highlights were without doubt that Log Flume, Runaway Train and The Python.
But it’s not really about me. I was just going along for the ride (pardon the pun). So what did my kids like?
My son’s top three were the Crazy Mouse, Cycle Monorail (a killer on the legs, parents) and the Log Flume, while my daughter loved the flume, the Drop Tower and the The Python.
A new ride for 2014 (Twist and Joust) was in the final stages of being installed so we missed out on that rollercoaster. Never mind, that’s the perfect excuse for a return visit!
> It’s not just theme park-thrills on offer at Gulliver’s. The resort is also home to a campsite, the Dinsosaur & Farm Park (a land of giant dinosaurs and real-life farm animals), the SplashZone (an indoor water-play factory), and the NERF Zone (an indoor “training facility” and “combat arena”).
For more information about Gulliver’s Milton Keynes, call 01925 444 888 or visit www.gulliversfun.co.uk.