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“S**t hole” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Pirates and Princesses

Pirates and Princesses
2nd Floor, Brownsea House | Dolphin Shopping Centre, Poole BH15 1SR, England (Formerly Ollie's Playland)
01202 680485
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Ranked #49 of 68 things to do in Poole
Attraction details
Poole, England, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“S**t hole”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014

Took my kids here and I was very disappointed the the standards of the soft area well where do I start, the seating area near the caffè was sticky the seat are dirty rubbish everywhere also with flies soon as you put a drink/food down them land on it, the the lady toilet there's a bin about 3ft tall and it fall to the top of use nappies. (We arrived at 10am and left at 3) there no way that bin could get that fall in that time that days of not being emptied, maybe even weeks! As nobody come in anymore, also the food is so over price £1 for one wild frube yoghurt when in the supermarket you can buy the some branded yoghurt £1 for six, no fresh fruit . I'd rather go to the ark it cheap, better, cleaner and more friendly, and nicer food

Visited August 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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35 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Poole, United Kingdom
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2014

I've been here a few times now ,the last twotimes a member of staff have swore ,the toilets are filthy and the customer service is crap! I also seen the young chef picking their nose ! Won't be going back!waste of money!

Visited August 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Thanks so much for a fantastic party!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

We started going to Pirates and Princesses shortly after the re-branding from being Ollie's when taken over by new management a couple of years ago. We were introduced to it through Poole Council who hire the play centre for an exclusive session for special needs children on Mondays from 3.30pm. My twins have severe autism and learning difficulties and it would not of been possible for us to access this facility at all without first being introduced to it in a gentle and planned way. The staff soon got to know us and our fun but sometimes chaotic ways and after regular visits with what we affectionately call ‘the group’ I was then able to start to take the children there on my own on quite sunny days and we have now become regulars; visiting at least once if not a couple of times a week ever since and evidently the boys can now cope with it when it’s busy too as we found out during our party (see below).
Recently the council and Pirates & Princesses have worked together on adding a lovely sensory room which works really well as a ‘chill out’ area for our special kids and there’s the most fantastic ‘changing rooms’ facility; there is no-where else I know that is so well equipped with washing machine and dryer, adjustable height sink, hoist and even a bidet – the large changing bed makes is so much easier for me to attend to my children’s personal care needs – I wish I had space to make a facility like this at home! At the same time they also updated and improved the usual toilets for others too – the lovely fancy light up windows are just perfect for us princesses to preen ourselves 
This year was the first time in nine years that my children actually understood what a birthday meant and could look forward to parties, cake and presents – in their own special way; so of course I had to book my and my children’s favourite play area for their first ever birthday party – and it was a huge success - we and all of our guests (about 28 children – 18 with special needs and 20 accompanying adults) had a blast!
Having got to know the management over the last couple of years we knew that everything that could be done to make our day as special as possible would be done – however I am also empathic to some of the challenges of running a play centre like this having done so myself in the past (BC - before children!) I know it is hard to recruit and train and retain good staff and also balance the cost of wages with the charge to customers; I know that the manager has now taken on board some of the comments on this forum and has realised his mistake the recent ill-advised admission reduction which resulted in him taking on cheaper staff – he has now readjusted his prices and taking the matter of supervising and training the staff very seriously as he is very upset at reading the negative comments on here. Because the main supervisor is off recovering from an operation – which came earlier than expected - there was a slight mix-up with my booking so when I checked in the morning of the party the manager had a bit of a shock as he been told that my party wasn’t until the following week! It just happened to be that the staff there on that day were all new that day – however, the manager did a really good job of keeping everything running the best that he could - although this did mean that he had to close the kitchen down for the duration of the party. I am sorry (having read it on here) that other people were disappointed they were unable to order hot food at that time however I had offered everyone in the play area an ‘open door’ policy to the pirates room where our party buffet was laid out – which really shocked some people and confused many others “really – are you sure, isn’t it just for the party??” Another thing that took us all by surprise on the day is the weather suddenly changed; after days of hot sunny clear skies Saturday was overcast and threatened rain so lots more families retreated to guaranteed dryness in the indoor play centre – I was worried that this might upset some of the special needs children who came to the party – however all the children (and the accompanying adults thoroughly enjoyed all the activities on offer; the buffet in the Pirates Room, the soft play and the fantastic Disco Room!
I think it is fantastic that the manager is happy to take on board the comments on this forum and make actions to remedy any issues so quickly. We really had the best day ever and here are some of the comments from the other parents of special needs children that came that day….
“It was lovely, H and L loved it xxxxxxxx”
“Thank you do much we had a great time xxx so pleased the boys enjoyed themselves x you did them proud “
“Thank you for inviting us …, we all had a good time. The boys were exhausted!
Hope k and c enjoyed it xx”
“hi .., thx sooo much for inviting us to c and k’s birthday party, we all had a blast, very well done to you for doing an amazing job being hostess with the mostess xxxx”
“Thanks so much for the party. It was lovely to see the kids have such fun. Your boys coped really well and seemed to enjoy it. I loved seeing them so happy and free in the disco bit. J loved the music too”
“Hey sam many thanks for inviting us to c and k brilliant party. Hope they had loadsa fun - i know L did.”
I hope that those who have complained on here will understand that the party was a really very special occasion for lots of special children and will also give Pirates & Princesses another chance and when they do I hope that they are pleasantly surprised by all the improvements that are being made.

Visited July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Disappointed again!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

After writing a review back in 2011 (when it was Ollie's play land). I hadn't really visited for a few years.
About a year ago I started visiting again as it had changed hands and I now have another young child. Initially I was very impressed - the food was good, the staff were friendly & the prices were good.
I was going in with friends regularly & would often just pop in for lunch & a quick play whilst out shopping as the price was very reasonable at just £1 for babies under 18 months - I always spent plenty on food & drink as well.
In recent months things have been slowly going down hill & I have been less & less inclined to visit with today being the final straw.
The staff have changed several times in the last couple of months now having been replaced with people who don't seem to have a clue what they are doing, the menu has changed & now does not have such a good selection & now the prices have been increased too.
Add all of that to the fact that the place is VERY dirty & unsafe for children (I have seen cleaning cupboard and an office left wide open for anyone to go in with no staff anywhere I'm sight)
The price increase has been from £1 to £5.75 - which is for a 15 month old who hardly uses any of the equipment.
Unfortunately I will not be returning here & will be using other much cleaner soft play areas such as THE ARK in Poole park (which cost £4.95 & has the advantage of free parking)
It's such a shame because this place has such great potential in the right hands & is in a great location when out shopping in Poole.
I really hope this gets taken over by someone who can maximise the potential & turn it into the great soft play area that it could be.

Visited July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Terrible and disappointing”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2014

Arrived tidy - incredibly dirty. Staff did not know what they were doing. They couldnt cope with food demands so just stopped serving food. Wanted to cancel drinks order and was going to leave to get hot food but were told they don't know how to do refunds. I've been to this place for years when it was Ollie's playland. Whoever owns it now has run it into the ground which cheap young staff which haven't been trained properly and focused on selling parties that the rest of the customers are left with a very unsatisfactory experience

Visited July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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