Spike and I went to Gulliver’s World together two years ago, it was a gorgeous July day, before the school’s broke up. We went with her nursery as a final trip before she left. The entire day pretty much was spent with her best friend and her mum. Therefore Spike had fond memories and has begged to go back ever since
Our First Gulliver’s World Trip
As mentioned, it was July, a weekday and glorious. There wasn’t a single queue for anything and it felt like Spike’s nursery group were the only visitors. We got on everything within minutes. We rode the Wriggler rollercoaster 4 times without actually getting off. We went in armed with food for the kids as nursery provided a packed lunch, and grabbed our food on the way round. Safe to say it was pretty much the perfect theme park experience.
Gulliver’s World in August 2021
We warned Spike that this trip would be different to her memories. That there would be queues and no friend to play with on the play areas. We warned her that there would be no packed lunch picnic but we could get ice cream. Obviously. And we were right. There were lots of queues, even for the much littler rides like the carousel! I spoke to a woman while I was waiting for T and Spike to have their go on a ride I didn’t go on, and she said she goes all the time and it was the busiest she’d ever seen it. Even pre-COVID. I don’t think Gulliver’s World are limiting their numbers, just reducing the number of people entering at the same time. So if you are looking for a place with social distancing, don’t go on a hot day in the school holidays I guess!
We didn’t go on as much this time because of the queues, but we still loved the ones we went one. The rides at Gulliver’s World are quite assesible for most ages top be honest. I didn’t have an issue last time we went, when spike was only 100cm and now she’s over 110cm we could get on pretty much everything. There were quite a few things she couldn’t ride on alone still, but that wasn’t an issue. This time we headed to the log flume first. But the queue was huge, so we did the tractor ride then headed over to the pirate ship. Then ended up on The Wriggler, which is actually older than me as it was moved from Camelot theme park to Gulliver’s World when Camelot shut down – I only know that as T recognised it! Spike did manage to go on Togo Tower this time round which she was upset we missed last time. I left her and T to go on this as it was a two person per dingy ride and I watched as they zoomed down it!
Queues, queues, everywhere
I don’t mind queues in theme parks. I understand that’s what happens at these places. And to be honest they weren’t ridiculously bad. For the more popular rides, like the pirate ship, the Wriggler the water ride Apache Falls, the roller coaster and the log flume, there were long queues. We waited for the ship for about 40 minutes, the Wriggler we waited for around 30 minutes and Apache Falls for an hour and 15 minutes. Spike was desperate to go on the Togo Tower as that was closed last time we went, and the queue for that was around 30 minutes too. They weren’t terrible but what was a bit annoying was the fact that you had no idea how long the queues would take when you joined them. A lot of parks have implemented a live queuing system with apps that tell you how long they’ll take, or at least have a sing on the queueing area saying things like “from here the wait is X minutes”. Gulliver’s didn’t have any of that. They also had no real roped off area for queues meaning we nearly had queue jumpers while we were waiting for Apache Falls.
Play areas at every turn
Because Gulliver’s World is aimed at younger children, the one thing they do well is the play areas. When there are places with big queues, they have play areas next to the queuing area so your kids can play while you wait. Spike was happy with that and we could pretty much see here the entire time we were queuing at all of them. Apache Falls was the only one that we didn’t like as we couldn’t see her.
Grabbing food on the go
We got to the park at around 11 and obviously needed to eat pretty soon after getting in. I didn’t expect this to be a problem as there were loads of food places on the map. However it turns out very few of them were open when we actually got there! The cafe and toilets were closed over near the log flume. The grill place was shut by the entrance too. We went past the fish and chip place and that looked open but we didn’t fancy them. So we ended up at the hot dog bar for hot dogs and fries. They were pretty reasonably priced to be honest so at least that was good! The food place over by the main rollercoaster was open too but we didn’t get near that until a lot later than lunch!
Events at Gulliver’s World
One of the things I remembered from the first time we were there were that there were stage shows on and this summer they had the Clangers. I wanted to see them but to be honest, the timings were so bad we missed them. We only ended up near the stage twice throughout the day. They had pirates and cowboys etc walking around the park in certain areas who sprayed people with water pistols to make it a bit interactive there too, but that just upset Spike when we got sprayed in the face. I definitely don’t think its worth making the trip just because they have certain “events” on as you would have to go out of your way to see the events. Which is good to realise when they make such a big thing about Christmas there.
We really did enjoy our day at Gulliver’s World but I think for seasoned theme park visitors it would be a bit disappointing to have the same experience we had this time round. There was far too much standing around, with not a lot of information about how long you’d be there for. The crossover of people coming off rides to get people onto them was slow which made the queues even slower. I think now we’ve done it again Spike is happy and I don’t need to go back – though we will end up at a theme park again that’s for sure.