Reviewed by Zoey Caldwell
Gulliver’s Land in Milton Keynes is not far from Junction 14 of the M1 and is signposted so it is easy to find.
There is a car park and an overspill car park at the main gate, as well as additional parking available for Dinosaur Farm Park & Splash Zone.
My family includes 2 adults a 9 year old and a 3 year old who is very close to 4. We had visited Gulliver’s many years ago and were prepared for the fact that Gulliver’s caters for the younger children, my 9 year old had been pre-warned!
When we arrived there was a small queue at the ticket office, I spoke to a member of staff near the gate and explained I needed to pick up tickets, he lead us to Guest Services. A member of staff was just finishing with another member of the public and I explained why I was there. After speaking to her manager and showing her my ID card and an e-mail, the Manager promptly went to the front desk to bring is 4 coloured wrist bands to wear.
Just inside gate is an old fashioned Carousel ride. Nether if my boys showed an interest in it. The park is designed to look like an Olde Wild West town. There is a theatre and some shops directly as you get in, we carried on up the street and opted to go on the tea-cups as our first ride. There was no queue and we were the only family on the ride. The kids had a blast turning the wheel to make us spin… as for mummy and daddy? Well I know I felt sick as I got off, we were all laughing and enjoying a rare family day out.
After a few minutes sliding down a slide designed as a shoe we took off again and decided that we would walk around and see what there was before deciding on a ride. We didn’t get too far before we arrived at Jungle River Ride. We didn’t wait long but longer than necessary I think, the assistant was rather laid back in his approach. It is a short route around on a rapids style boat. If I am brutally honest the ride looked “tired” considering we are at the beginning of the season and the park has been shut for winter, it lacked a lick of paint. Once again it took us longer to depart the boat than it should have, no sense of urgency seemed to be the rule of the day for the assistant.
Still feeling queasy from the tea cups I said I would give the Pirate Ship a miss for the time being and we went on to The Silver Mine. A laser gun ride through a mine. A very quick ride (over very quickly, not to do with speed).
I needed a break and the ladies was clean enough and stocked so no complaints there. While I was in there the boys went on the Rio Bravo Train… which got stuck twice on the first bend! The staff member had to physically push it. It was really quite cold so we decided to warm up with a hot drink so went into the Castle Food Court for a hot drink. The boys declined any food so it was drinks all round. We found a table, it wasn’t clean, I ended up with debris from previous visitors stuck to my jeans.
There was a new spinning rollercoaster that is not on the map correctly. I went on with my eldest, as the ride finished it got stuck, so we had to wait for a team of men to come along and release us. We did notice that although the men were dressed in shirts and ties, their Gulliver land jackets were not the cleanest. As was the assistants on the next ride The Dodgems. As it is fairly early in the season not sure why their jackets would be so dirty?
Almost opposite the Dodgems there is a set of 4 mini diggers that the children can sit on and control to collect small balls. Two of these were not working. One go on the Rocking Tug Boat and we were ready to head for the Dinosaur part. We love a log flume but today it was just too cold! So we were a little bit disappointed to leave without going on.
We were overall disappointed with the whole experience. Not so long ago we were at another well-known theme park and Gulliver’s falls far behind on all counts. I understand that it is aimed at the younger market and that they may not notice flaky paint and not care whether a ride breaks down but it did impact on the overall impression to us. Displays still had Halloween props in??
It really needs some thinking, money spent and maintenance. For this early in the season on a quiet day for all those problems to arise, I do not know how they plan on coping high season!
The Dinosaur Farm Park is newer and is still in good repair, but it is hard to write a conclusive review because there was so little of it open, once again though a small manual mining trolley on a track that requires the rider to push and pull lever to move, 1 out of 3 worked. To be honest I had enough by then so we went to the barn to see some lambs, calves and baby rabbits then headed off home.
If I had paid the £76 it would have cost for us today I would have been bitterly disappointed. A whole lot of time, work and money needs to be invested into the site in my opinion. On the plus side all the staff were courteous and helpful enough and it wasn’t their fault that machinery wasn’t working properly.
The children enjoyed the day out as would a lot of children, but it has to be worth the money spent and at the minute the experience doesn’t match the entry!
I would give this whole experience 2.5/5, sorry!
Tickets cost £17pp (Dinosaur Farm Park, Splash Zone and Nerf Zone are extra). Save money by booking online.
For more information or to book tickets online visit www.gulliversfun.co.uk/milton-keynes.
Gulliver’s Land, Livingstone Drive, Newlands, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DT