I've been trying to write a post for weeks but every time I try to write something crops up that I have to deal with. Its been a bloody nightmare.
Anyway, hopefully that is all over now and I can get to writing my weekly blog posts. I must admit I have really missed it. Things will improve now....(fingers crossed)
For the first time in 13 years we headed back to Southport Pleasureland. Our last visit was way back in 2006 when they Cyclone (wooden rollercoaster) was still there!
The fun cards are very easy to top up as there are booths all around the park so you don't have to keep going back to the entrance all the time. If you are on a budget, then I would advise going around the park noting the rides you wish to use (and the tokens to use them) before getting the tokens on the card.
My sister had spotted an offer advertised on the facebook page for £160 worth of tokens for £103, split across four cards. Since there was 10 of us going we thought this would be ideal so this is what we got.
The selection of rides is also very good - some small ones for the little ones to enjoys, great range of family and a fair few thrill rides for the older ones. We started at the back of the park where there was a large rollercoaster, a pirate ship and couple of kiddie rides.
Now one of my favourite games at theme parks/funfairs is the Kentucky Derby. I can't explain why but if I see one, I tend to have a go. Now what's interesting at Southport is that you can pay with your funpass to play (not sure if this is for all the games or certain ones).
The Southport one is also £1 per person which is unusually cheap (normally around £3) so we all decided to have a go not once but twice. This was mainly due to the fact we had two kids in the group they then got a little prize each. Because I played both times I didn't take any photos or footage which is a shame as it would of been fab.
Around 13:30 we got a little hungry so stopped off at the little outdoor cafe they have. Its has some seating around it enough for us all to sit together. I ordered a cuppa and a waffle with Nutella and Marshmallows (which I ended up sharing with my mum). Rebecca went with a pancake with squirty cream and marshmallows. I really enjoyed mine and didn't end up having a proper lunch as it was quite filling. Only issue I had was the cups of tea/coffee were £2 and the cups were tiny. Annoyingly, I didn't take a photo of the cups to show you.
We did some more rides in the afternoon and before we knew it, it was 15:30. Rebecca wanted to give the pirate ship a go so we decided to do that first then have a Mr. Whippy. Oddly, they aren't available in the park, but just outside a side gate there was a van selling a lot of different options! They were £2 each and a decent size so I treated half the group (my sister treated the other half).
After a few more re-rides before we had to look at leaving. I thought the park closed at 17:00 but it turns out it was 18:00 which meant we didn't have to rush as much as I thought.
Just before heading out we grabbed another drink and a 5 minute sit down to feed the baby before heading home. We popped in to the small shop hoping to get a fridge magnet for our collection but they don't sell any merchandise, which was a little disappointing. The shop was many full of seaside treats and soft toys.
Now, I have a weakens for fudge and I did spot a fudge counter in the shop. So with a bit of help from my Mum and sister I picked 3 bars (£10 for 3) to take home for us to share. I picked the Ferraro Rocher (which was amazing), the Jelly trifle (which was also quite nice) and the Parma Violet (which didn't work as fudge).
This was one of the best days out we have been on. The atmosphere in the park was great. We all really enjoyed ourselves. I would rather come here than to Blackpool Pleasure Beach!!!
We met some of the best staff here. They were all really friendly and polite. A couple stopped to have a chat with us (mostly about Go pros).
Food & Drink
We only really ate the treats and a few drinks. The drink we all felt were over priced for what you got. Mum & Dad had some chips which they said were ok. I think a proper Fish & Chippy would go down really well at this park!
It is worth noting that there were a lot of places you could sit and have a picnic if you wanted too.
Rides & Attractions
I thought there was a great variety of rides for all ages. Plenty for youngster and families with some big thrills thrown in.
I would really like to see a permanent coaster at this park. I think something like small woodie like Wood Express at Parc St. Paul in France or Heidi at Plopsaland de Panne in Belgium would really work here even a small Mack coaster would be pretty impressive.
I know a lot of people prefer to see permanent attractions, which I get, but I think having temporary ones at Southport works as they can change the line up each year which will then encourage people to come back and visit. Of course a few attractions that stay isn't a bad thing. but being able to mix it up each year isn't a bad thing either.
I've been a bit quiet lately as we have had a computer issue.
I store all my photos on a external hard before transferring them over to to the cloud. I had been a bit lax and hadn't done this since September 2018 so the drive had a fair bit on it.
So guess what - yep the drive has gone down and taken everything with it. I am gutted. All our photos from our Disneyland Paris trip all gone!
Not a lot i can do about it but I can certainly learn from it!
Easter Monday - we spent the week running up to Easter decorating the living so hadn't been outside in the amazing weather the UK was having for a Bank Holiday weekend. After a bit of discussion we decided we wanted to go out for a couple hours but no where really took our fancy.
Rebecca needs new school dresses so I suggested we go the Asda living store in Stratford then just go for a walk around the town and see what we find. So that's what we did.
We decided to eat in Asda as Straford cafes aren't cheap! Rebecca had the kids lunchbox - she loves that she can pick 5 items herself. She has become very independent of late. Robert had a sausage roll and a cappuccino (which is said was the worst he has ever had) and I had a cuppa and a ham & cheese toastie. For those who may not be aware, I am now back on the Cambridge weight plan so this was the last day where I got to eat normal food - Cheese and Ham toasties are one of my favourite things.
We headed down to the bottom of town were the river is. Rebecca wanted an Ice cream which we grabbed off one of the canal boats that is parked up. Must admit it was rather good in the heat,
We then walked the few minutes to the river. Rebecca spotted the swans and was fascinated by them. She couldn't understand why some were grey and some were white so we had a discussion about that.
Overall, it was nice just to get of the house for a few hours. Generally in the hot weather we don't go out as I burn so easily but we think we have found a suncream that actually works (that is another blog post).
Second week of the Easter Holidays and another soft play centre. This time my current favourite Safari MK. One of the things I like about this one is the size!
Due to the amount of children I wasn't able to get many photos on this visit to show you.
The main playframe covers a large area and includes 3 fab slides, a sports arena and a small car track. It is a 3 tiered frame although the 3rd level is mainly access to the slides. Inside the frame there is loads to do and the girls absolutely loved it on this visit.
The toddler area is pretty good too. There is a two level frame which includes a slide, ball pit and a smaller area for babies to play. The ball pit is the only one in the centre so a lot of the older children do make there way in to here on a frequent basis (there are signs up saying it is for ages 4 and under). Just be aware if you are taking younger ones at the weekend.
There is plenty of seating available here and it isn't cramped together so you don't feel like you are sitting with lots of the other families.
We arrived just after 10am and left just after 3pm. That's 5 hours in a soft play centre. They would of stayed longer but we needed to go to Ikea and get home so we had to leave at that point.
In total we spent £80. For 3 kids and 2 adults we paid just under £29 for entrance. This is quite expensive compared to some soft plays but I find this one to be very clean and tidy which I can't say the same for others we have visited. We then paid another £29 for lunch plus we had a few drinks each before that which was another £20. It is unusual for us to spend this kind of money in a soft play centre but we were there a lot longer than we had planned to be. Overall I still think it is good value for money.
So, would we go back?
Of course. I actually wish this was our local as we visit more often.
If you are looking for a play centre in or around Milton Keynes then I would recommend Safari MK. It is one the best we have been too and the kids love it!
We promised Rebecca that in the Easter holidays we would go to a soft play centre and she could pick. She choose Tigers in Daventry. We have been to this one before but it was way back in January 2015 and I wasn't a fan.
The playframe itself still felt rather bare and empty compared to others we have visited. It is a decent size tho and has 3 slides for the kids to whizz down plus a sports area and a large "go kart" track (extra fee of £1.50).
There is also a large toddler frame here (the biggest I have seen) but again its very empty.
I feel that the frames could do with a lot more things in them for the kids to interact with.
There are a lot of arcade style machines here (which they do advertise on their website) most of them are grab style machine where you are guaranteed a prize but one did catch my eye. An air hockey game in kids size. Now I have never seen one of these before and Rebecca does like these. So we let the girls have a go and they loved it. Much easier when they can reach!
One thing that did stand out for me was two members of staff - a young guy on the entrance gate and the young lady serving at the food counter. Bother very polite and nothing was too much trouble.
So, would we go back?
I asked the girls this and both them said yes instantly. They did really enjoy themselves and if you need the kids to run off some energy for an hour or two then yes we would certainly go back. I think any longer and they might get bored. Its a good price for unlimited play and the cafe food offerings aren't bad either.
We have our first youtube Premiere tonight. Never used that feature before so thought I would on this occasion.
While we have been sorting and tidying the house we came across a large pile of CD discs and it turns out they are some old theme park photos and footage. One of these is out first ever "vlogging" adventure way back in 2003 so I thought I would upload it.
Biggest issue is that the original footage has gone so all I have left is final DVD that I made. I've managed to get the footage off the disk but it has split in to 5 random sections. I tried to put it back together but the software I have just didn't like it so, I've decided to upload it over the next few weeks as a 5 part series. It will stop in random places but I hope that doesn't put people off from watching it.
Be interesting to see the difference between our attempt at vlogging back in 2003 compare to all those who it today. Looking forward to the feed back from it...
Rebecca has been asking for a party for some time. She wanted one last year but I said to her to wait until this year and she had a group of friends that she could invite. Well, she didn't forget what I said and since Christmas kept asking about it.
After a few options, she decided on a local soft play centre, Rugrats & Half Pints. Its quite a small play centre and the only one in Banbury. We booked a late party (1530-1730) to give me a chance to make the cupcakes in the morning.
I recently purchased a vinyl cutter and heat press so Rebecca asked if I could make her a unicorn t-shirt and leggings. Well, why not....I think they turned out quite well in the end (she loved them).
Rebecca decided she wanted to do Unicorn themed party bags for the girls and Dinosaurs for the boys. So the cupcakes matched these.
The party bags took a while to sort out. Rebecca wanted to put so much in them I had to cut it down. In the end I think they were quite a nice little thank yous to all that came...plus they all got a cupcake to take home.
Back to Rugrats & Half Pints - the party itself wasn't anything special. When we got there around 1520, the party room wasn't ready, in fact there was a family in there still celebrating. The staff moved them on and started cleaning up. We got in there at 1540.
Another issue was that the food was planned to be served really late. I was sure the party host had said to me that food was going to be served at 1615 and when by 1630 it hadn't arrived, I went to ask to be told they weren't planning to serve it until 1650 which I felt was way too late.
Overall, I won't be rushing back to have a party at Rugrats. They charge £12 per child and for this you get:
* Party Host
* Private party chalet
* Balloon for each child
* Free admission for attending adults
* 2 hours of fun and play
* Unlimited Squash
* Choice of Buffet
* Next visit free for birthday child
I just felt you didn't get good value for money. There wasn't anything that stood out for me at all. Saying that Rebecca thinks it is the best thing to of happened since Christmas.
At least we know for next year.....
It has been crazy busy here - complete and utterly bonkers. We had a family 70th & 80th get together at the end of February followed by a new baby in family followed by a week of Rebecca celebrating her birthday. Plus for a week or two I have been doing 10/11 hour days so not a lot has been done or planned for this year.
Over the next few days I will share a few of the projects I have been working on and review of Rebecca's Party at Rugrats.
I am off for two weeks in April so I am hoping to get a fair bit or sorting out done (including some decorating). We shall see how it all goes....
Today we headed over to the Children's Play Village in Warwick. I have heard a lot of good things about it so thought we would go and check it out.
Now be warned that this isn't something you can just turn up to and assume you will get in. You need to book online in advance of your visit. Now I looked online the first week in January and the earliest session I could get was the 17th February 2019 (over 7 weeks later) so bare this in mind if you want to go on a certain date.
One of the reasons for this is that each of the sessions is capped to make sure they aren't overcrowded (a very good move). There are 3 sessions a day - 930, 1230 and 1530. We attended the 1230 session. Each session lasts for 2.5 hours allowing the staff 30 minutes in between sessions to get it all set up ready for the next group.
Now the place isn't massive, which is great as the children can have a bit of a free roam without ever being too far from you. Rebecca is nearly 6 so she like to have the opportunity to go off and play without mum following her around all the time.
There is a cafe serving food from when you arrive (maximum 10 minutes before your slot) until 45 minutes before your session ends. There is quite a range available. We didn't try anything on this occasion other than a couple of hot drinks.
Before the kids go off and play they are invited by the staff to join them on the green to sing the welcome song. This was a nice touch for the staff to introduce themselves to the children. After that the kids where off....Rebecca and Aimee LOVED IT.
As soon as we left the girls were already asking when we could go back. I do feel this is more aimed at 3-6 year olds so they are on the upper age limit but I do think those younger and older will still have a great time. I would highly recommend a visit. Vlog will follow in the next few days.
I think its that time of year for me when I just feel down. I really cant explain or put in to words.
Our mortgage is being renewed at the moment, which to be honest is giving me the biggest headache ever. Not going to go in to details but I won't be using this broker again!
On top of the I really want our house to more minimalist as at the moment it is a cluttered mess. We have so much stuff, some which we haven't touched in 10 years or more, which we have kept "just in case". I really want to get it all sorted and then either sell it, donated to charity or bin it.
Hopefully when we have achieved a reasonable level on that we can decorate the living room. Since we moved in to the house we haven't decorated at all downstairs. We took all the carpets up so we just have the tiled floor. One the reason for this was the dogs. For anyone who hasn't owned a Dachshund they aren't easy to toilet train and really do not like going outside in the rain or cold.
This may not seem like much but these things have been stressing me out. I can't explain why but they have. I feel like I should have done them already and I really struggle to find the time to get things done.
This most likely sounds like some sort of pity post but its isn't. I think everyone has a moment where they really struggle and don't have help on hand whether it be for a chat or advice or to actually get the work done. I will get it done it isn't something I can fix over night.
Can't believe we are in February already. We ended up having a snow day on the 1st due to the massive 2cms we got which closed most of the schools. By noon most of it had melted which was annoying.
Only good thing was Rebecca has her first snowball fight and now wants more snow so she can have a much bigger one.
Anyway, I am currently planning Rebecca's Birthday Party. She is insisting that she was wants one this year rather than going out somewhere for the day. At the moment she wants a Greatest Showman theme so I will see what I can find and keep you posted.
2019 is going to be a quiet year for us. After getting our windows & doors and driveway done last year our savings account is now empty. We still need some working doing on the house so this year we are going to visit a lot less theme parks.
We have a few things planned in - mainly soft plays and activities where filming and photographs are going to be very limited.
We are considering a National Trust pass so we can pop out and do some of the more local stuff. I didn't realised that was going to cost around £300 for the 3 of us so it might end up being an odd visit here and there instead.
If you have any suggestion of places we could go and visit, then please let us know.
I really hoped 2018 was the year I could do some writing and run a blog but I just found the time so hard to find. I am hoping to get it back up and running again this year and aim for something weekly.
Its that time of year again where the annual street fair is in town. Our street fair is always in the middle of October and is on a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Now it isn't the biggest fair out there but there is a good mix of rides and attractions to suit all tastes. The little kids rides are £2.50 per person, then the family rides are £3 per person and then the bigger rides are £3.50 or £4 per person. You can pick up vouchers from the local papers and shops or Bob Wilson will usual have some vouchers you can print from there Facebook page.
We did spend a fair bit this year (almost £50) but Rebecca did 10 or 11 rides plus Robert and I did a few with her.
Some of the rides we did:
2. Mini Parachutes
4. The King
6. Super Bob
7. Super Bounce
8. Mini Ferris Wheel
9. Mini Wave Swinger
10. Car Ride
11. Go Gater
12. Tea Cups
There are a lot more rides at this fair than what we did. Rebecca really wanted to ride the Miami but she was just touching the line. So we decided to wait until next year for her to ride.
Overall we had a great time and are already looking forward to next year. We are hoping to do some more fairs next year instead of Theme Parks.
So, its been a while so I have a few posts to catch you up with. But first lets talk baby showers....
My brother and his girlfriend are expecting their first baby together In March 2018. They have decided to throw and Baby Shower along with a gender reveal party.
I have been given a few tasks by my sister as she is planning the whole thing.
First task is to make cupcakes and cake pops for the party. Easy, I hear you shout. I wish. She wants 50 cupcakes and 50 cakes pops making. Now I have a 5 year old to entertain (Robert won't be with us) and I am also at my mum's so using lots of equipment that is unfamiliar to me. Now I have a plan of action. I am going to be making the cake pops here the weekend before the shower. They generally last 2-3 weeks once made so I am hoping this will save me some time.
The cakes I will have to make the morning of the shower. I am planning to do all my fondant toppers at home in advance so all i have to do in the morning is the cakes and buttercream.
Well tha's my plan for that.
Now my sister's 2nd job is for me to be the Videographer and Photographer for the event. So I will be filming on the G7X and taking photos on my iphone 7 plus. Let's hope I don't mess it all up!
I will share with you some of the finish products if I remember to take some photos.
About a year ago I started slimming world. I started off well but after I had lost close to 2st it stalled. I just couldn't loose anymore. So I gave up - mainly due to frustration.
I had read online a little bit about the Cambridge weight plan. Didn't really pay much attention too it until a lady in work lost quite a bit of weight. We got talking and I decided to give it ago.
Basically you replace food with 3 products per day from Cambridge along with water. I was a little unsure at first but I have just had my first weigh in and I lost -6.5lb in one week! I am quite surprised and pleased with that. I never lost anything like that on slimming world.
My plan is to stay on this up until our visit to Disney. I will keep you posted with weekly updates.
I have been so busy this week that I haven't been able to do any writing on the blog. I have a lot on in work plus Rebecca and the usual housework to do which all has to come first.
Our YouTube channel has been getting quite a few hits lately (thank you if you have subscribed and watched our videos). I've just been online to update a few links on the about us page and we currently have 374 subscribers and just over 174,000 views which is crazy.
I enjoy making the videos altho I am planning to change them slightly over next year as I want to show more about the places we are at and record more reactions to rides and show etc. I also want to do some more top 5/10 videos from all the parks we have visited again for the memories etc so I have a bit planned it's just getting the time to sit down and do it!
Who doesn't like Christmas right - food, music, family time. What could make it more magical - a trip to Disney of course.
Now we went in November 2017 for 5 days/4 nights and stayed the Hotel New York in the Empire Club level Room. I had never been to Disney Park during the Christmas season before so wasn't sure what to expect.
Above: The Castle Right: The tree near the entrance.
On that note, I will leave this here. We are heading back to Disneyland Paris for Christmas again this year. We are taking my parents and staying the in the Disneyland Hotel this time so we are all very excited.
Rebecca loves nothing more than watching LOL surprise opening videos on Youtube. Of course she then wants them.
Now each set has around 36 to collect and if we assume you are really lucky and get all of them first try that's a total of £1008 on small plastic dolls. We made it very clear to her she can't collect them but we would let her have some.
Now as I type this Series 4 has been released. The little sisters and the pets are the same price and pretty much the sames as the series 3 balls. However, the big sisters have changed and are now £15 each. I have made it clear to Rebecca that she can have 3 from wave one and 3 from wave 2 and that is it as they are way to expensive. (They only release 12 dolls in the first wave and the rest are released in Wave 2, along with some of wave 1 becoming unavailable).
Why do we buy them if they are so expensive I hear you ask?
The first time we bought one we thought these would end up being ignored like all the other blind bag toys Rebecca has had in the past however we were quite surprised when Rebecca started playing with them, a lot. This lead us to buy a couple more which we gave to her for doing well in school.
She plays with these dolls more than her Barbies and Playmobil that she has.
I sat down one evening and thought about these dolls and the benefits that they do offer to children who actually play with rather than the collect them. The biggest ones is the imaginary play - these dolls have done simple things like have party, been swimming plus more exotic things such as going on lots of holidays together and even meeting Disney characters in meet & greets (Rebecca has a few disney store play sets). The ideas that Rebecca comes up with amazes us sometimes.
Leading on from that is vocabulary - learning new words and their meanings from the dolls names. Rebecca and I have had a few conversations about the doll names and what they represent. This had then lead to research on the internet to find out more information.
To be honest I never thought about them in that way before. Whilst, yes they are really expensive Rebecca is getting a lot from them so we will buy them, just not in large quantities.
Who doesn't like sweet treats? I was glad to see the Great British Bake of back on our screens last night. I love to watch this show. I watch it every year and always say I will try and create some of things they make. (I haven't to this day).
I love to bake cupcakes. I don't bake anything else unless I am asked as Cupcakes are my thing. I love to try new flavours and take them in to work for people to try and give me feedback.
I actually discovered baking a few months before I fell pregnant with Rebecca. Up to that point I hadn't even given it a second thought. I purchased a cake making kit from Tesco to see how easy it was. I really enjoyed so I bought a few more before researching how to make from scratch.
I must try and bake some more. Due to the hot summer we had I stopped baking as working with buttercream in that heat is always a nightmare,
Anyway, I'll leave you with a few examples of what I have done.
There are two main coaster club in the UK - Roller coaster club of Great Britain (RCCGB) and the European Coaster Club (ECC). There are a few smaller ones but I am going to be looking at the two named.
We have been members of the ECC since 2001 and have been lucky enough to do some amazing trips. In 2003 we spent 9 days touring Spain and in 2004 a 14 days touring Germany. We have also spent a few days doing day trips to Blackpool, Thorpe Park, Chessington and Alton Towers.
We joined the RCCGB in 2017 so haven't attend a trip yet. We are considering the Blackpool Bash in April 2019.
Benefits of joining a club
1. New friends - we have met so many people over the years through the club, many who we class as friends.
2. Great Magazine - the ECC magazine, First Drop, is great and is a great lunchtime read.
3. Organised trips/events - most trip days start early and finish late. The clubs will normally have one ERS (Exclusive Ride Session) where its just the club members who get to ride and sometime a meal is also included.
4. Member discounts - both clubs offer discounts at various parks around the world.
I would say if you are a theme park lover then a rollercoaster club is well worth joining
Our local children centre ran a trip to Bournemouth so I booked Rebecca and I on. Rebecca hasn't really spent much time on a beach so with the lovely weather the UK was having I thought it was a good idea. Unfortunately, the weather had other ideas.
We had to get the coach at 7am. Its a 2 hour drive plus a stop enroute as the coach was full of families. We arrived just after 10am. It wasn't very sunny but luckily warm enough you could wear a t-shirt.
First stop was a visit to the Oceanarium. One of the reasons I wanted to go was to see the otters. I love otters - they are so cute.... There are lots of exhibits with lots of different species of fish. Only bug-bare for me was that the glass wasn't very clean so it was hard to see in to the tanks especially for the kids. We did get to see the otters so I was pleased.
It wasn't very expensive to get in. I paid £30 for 2 adults and 3 children which isn't too bad as we spent a good 1.5 hours in there. I would recommend a visit if you are looking for something to do.
After our visit to see the fishes we decided to have an early lunch. I had done some research and found a cafe on the pier. Instead of taking lunch we were going to buy it then have sandwiches on the coach on the way home.
Anyway, we headed over to the pier. It costs £1.20 per person to enter the pier or £3.80 for a family ticket (2 adults & 3 children).
The Rock Reef Cafe is located inside the building at the end of the pier, called Rock Reef. Inside is a large Click & Climb centre. Unsurprising the girls wanted a go but we told them they had to choose between that or the beach and the beach won.
The cafe is located up the stairs on the left hand side of the pay desk. Once up the stairs there is a really small seating area. We sat down had decided to have two pizzas between us. Including drinks (1 coke, 1 tea and 3 x Slushies) was £25. I didn't think this was too bad considering it fed all 5 of us.
After lunch we had promised the girls a go on the little vintage funfair. They all wanted to go on the Helter Skelter, carousel, muffin the mule and the small chair-o-planes. These rides were all done on a token basis. The small rides were 2 tokens per person and the larger ones 3 tokens (tokens are £1 each). Whilst the girls were going up to ride the Helter Skelter the heavens opened which resulted in us getting soaked. Because of the weather I didn't manage to get many photos.
After the fun of little fair we headed to the beach. We picked a spot near the pier and quite near to the sea so we could see the kids. Rebecca wanted to build sandcastles. I got her dressed in to her swimming stuff just in case. Turns out that was a good call as within 15 mins she wanted to go in the water.
The beach is lovely. Beautiful soft, clean sand and lovely clean sea. One thing I hate about beaches is shingle but Bournemouth doesn't have any so getting in to the sea isn't a painful experience.
We spent around 2 hours on the beach. The wind really picked up and we started to have rain showers. The girls all asked if we could leave as they were feeling the cold. So we got them all dressed and headed to an arcade as they wanted to play on the 2p machines.
We walked along the front as I had seen an amusements building whilst we were on the beach. When we got there it didn't fill me with much confidence. It was very tatty and looked like it needed a good clean. Half the machines were empty which meant we couldn't really play much. After a quick walk around I suggested an ice cream may be a better idea, to which they all agreed.
After a quick ice cream we headed to the gift shop outside the pier entrance. Rebecca and I picked up a magnet for our collection. By the time we had done this it was time to go and meet the coach to go home.
We got back in Banbury just after 8pm where the rain greeted us once more. Overall we had an enjoyable day in Bournemouth and would consider another visit in the future.
We were invited to Weston to join family for family day. We had to get up early as we needed to be at Weston for 10am and it's a 2 hour drive from Banbury. We hit a lot of traffic on the M5 which delays us 45 mins.
When we arrived we headed over the Funland @ Tropicana as there were two coaster credits that we didn't have. Funland isn't massive. It has the 2 coasters, a pirate ship, dodgems, Waltzers, a carousel and 4 small toddler rides. It operates a token system. We purchased 20 for £20 and got 4 free. This was more than enough as we only wanted to do the coasters.
First up was the Wild Mouse. This was only 3 weeks old at the time we rode it. It has a very simple layout and one of the bigger coasters Rebecca has done. It was 4 tokens per person. Rebecca loved it, asking if she could ride again.
After the Wild Mouse we went over to get the 2nd credit a Wacky Worm. This is a very common children's coaster. This small coaster is 2 tokens as does 2 laps.
We had 8 tokens left so Rebecca and I went back on the Wild Mouse again. She even put her hands up. She really does love the coasters. (Which pleases us)
After that we headed back towards the pier. The rest of the family were still on the beach so we decided to get some lunch. We had seen a few fish & chip shops so Rebecca requested we go to the green one which was Famous Harry's.
We caught back up with family at Weatherspoons. They were going to mini golf which Rebecca hates so we parted ways again and headed to Grand Pier.
I had seen some vlogs from the pier so had a few ideas of what was inside. It's not that you see this for yourself that you realise how big this place actually is. There are a few rides and loads of arcade machines. Something I did note was that the claw machines are very cheap - they are only 20p a go or 6 goes for £1 which is the best price I have seen in the UK, We had a go on a few but we did go in with a budget
One of Rebecca's favourites is the 2p machines so we changed a few pounds and played on them for an hour. By the time we had done that it was nearly home time.
We had a fab time at Weston and will certainly consider going again.
We visited Gulliver's on Wednesday 15th August 2018. We went with the local children's centre on a coach trip.
We arrived around 1020 and the park was just in the process of opening. For those who haven't been to a Gulliver's park before, they do a little pre-opening show before the park official opens for 15 mins. A few characters come out and they do some signing and dancing. During this time, you are kept within the entrance area.
Once the park opened up we headed over the new JCB area which was Toy Land on our previous visit. They have installed a lot of digger themed items for the kids to explore and re-themed a few of the rides. A new drop tower has been installed, which is quite a good addition. That was the ride Rebecca wanted to ride first. This had a minimum height of 1.2m so we weren't sure if Rebecca would be allowed on or not. The ride op measured in 3 places and confirmed she was ok to ride. Rebecca loved it. This drop tower spins as it goes up and spins when it drops so it was something very different. The drops got me a few times.
We decided to have an early lunch at this point as the rest of the park didn't open until 1130. I really like the food options this Gulliver's. There is a food court under the castle where you can buy from quite a range - sandwiches, burgers, jacket potatoes and fish & chips.
Rebecca had a kids Chicken Nugget meal (nuggets, chips and drink) and I had a Cheese burger meal (burger, chips and cup of tea). This came to £11.45, which isn't too bad compared to some places we have been too. I did find it really filling and we didn't have another meal until we got home later that evening.
After that we did a few of the other rides that we had done before. Rebecca really wanted to do Twist and Joust, which is a family spinning coaster which is a lot of fun but the queue was way too long. Another problem was that it was only running with 10 of the 20 seats available so the queue was hardly moving.
Instead we headed back to the top area of the park to do the small wild west themed area (Junior Discovery cove). Whilst on our way there Rebecca found a play park and wanted to go and play. She had a good 15 minute run around before I got the "Can I have an ice cream now?" question.
By this point it getting close to our home time so I told Rebecca to think about what ride she wanted to go on. She chose the Crazy Crane drop tower by the entrance to the park. We headed over only to find the queue was really long and I didn't think we would make the coach if we queued up for it.
We ended up heading in to gift shop for a noisy. There is a lot of Gulliver's stuff - cups, stationary items and cuddly toys mostly but there is a lot of other toys in here so avoid if you don't want lots of "I wants".
Because Rebecca didn't make the last ride I said she could have a Mr. Whippy ice cream which we couldn't find earlier on in the park. These were massive and at £2.50 i was quite surprised. After we had eaten our ice creams we bought a bottle of water each for the coach and headed out of the park.
Overall we enjoyed our day but I feel Gulliver's was way too busy and couldn't cope with the crowd's that were there. We had 5.5 hours in the park and only did 5 rides in that time which is a bit disappointing, however we did go in the height of summer.
We will return but not until next year and most definitely not in the summer holidays.......