My family neatly divides into two, the speed freaks and the scaredy cats! Speed freaks hot footed it to buy fast passes as soon as they were in the park, we scaredy cats bimbled our way slowly around the tamer rides. Speed freaks had an awesome time, all loved the Smiler. Nemesis Sub Terra frightened the living day lights out the 10 and 14 old.
We scaredy cats had less of a great time, all rides seemed more like a supporting act, like a token gesture to satisfy the families of their target audience. The chocolate factory seems to be based on Disney's Small World ride but about a 10th of the distance and with not very much of interest to look at on the way round, that said, the great glass elevator was fun. Some of the rides are for small children so children over a given height are not allowed on despite the ride being age appropriate. As the mother of a spectacularly tall daughter this renders me frothing at the mouth with anger, she was turned away and yet the fully grown parents of other children were allowed to accompany them on the ride! How stupid is that?!
Food - quite mediocre and poor value. No branded concessions like McDonalds or Burger King. I had a baked potato that was only part baked. Some of the kids had pancakes with fillings but the pancakes were all pre made and warmed up.
In general we had a good day, but those of us in the scaredy cat group were definitely killing time wandering round gift shops. Other group had much more fun and with their fast passes didn't spend the whole day queuing.
However the whole place does seem rather grubby, the toilets are all ancient and I never saw an attendant/cleaner in any of them. The monorail station should be gleaming as the first part of the experience - but it seems they just view it as a necessary way of getting you in. I just kept thinking how fantastic it could be if it was Disneyfied! Some of the signage to the car park from the monorail just stopped, that's just lack of attention to detail.
All in all abit of a mixed bag, I probably wouldn't rush back but when I was a teenager I didn't see any of the bad bits and loved going - so I imagine my children will feel the same and we'll end up going again, only next time I'm taking a picnic and antibacterial hand wipes!
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