We visited Flamingo Land Resort yesterday for their zoo only days and here's what we thought of our experience overall!
It feels like a life time since we stepped foot in a theme park here in the UK, however after over three months of lock down and some rather difficult times to say the least we were absolutely thrilled when yesterday (Saturday the 20th of June 2020) we were finally able to step back in a park once more and pay a visit to one of our favourite tourist destinations here in Yorkshire – Flamingo Land Resort.
We were so eager to get back yesterday that we even got to the park a whole 40 minutes ahead of the opening time, however just to be able to drive back into the car park and see the brand new coaster in the flesh made it well worth it.
The rest of the day however was set to be jam packed so full of little surprises and delights that we can safely say that the price of admission was well worth it and then some.
The irrevocable truth remains however that covid-19 has irreversibly changed many tourist attractions here in the UK for the foreseeable future, and in that retrospect theme parks and zoos are no different.
So the main question we’re everyone will be asking here is how have Flamingo Land resort adapted and changed the resort to enable them to safely reopen to the public and protect all those who choose to visit?
Well, it’s safe to say that Flamingo Land just like any other theme park here in the UK have done everything they can to ensure the safety of not only their visitors, but also their staff when it comes to combating the current pandemic.
This means that the resort have introduced a whole host of different measures which we can definitely say promoted a safe and reassuring experience for us whilst visiting the park.]
These measures included regular hand sanitising stations situated very accessibly throughout the entirety of the resort (as seen above), social distancing markers placed throughout as well to ensure safe distancing of guests, a keep left system for the movement of guests throughout the park and a very reduced capacity which seems to have become a standard thing amongst all attractions of this kind throughout the world in general.
Other measures included hand washing stations, segregated queuing and controlled guest movement throughout the resort.
The only thing that did take us by some surprise however was the fact that we didn’t have our temperature checked prior to entering the park. Whether this is something we can expect to see change with the opening of the theme park later in the year is yet to be seen, however we definitely think that this is one measure which the park should have added upon reopening.
The rest of the park including the ride areas however were kept off limits to guests and this was achieved through the use of camo net covered metal fencing located at the entry points what would normally be the rest of the resort.
This also sadly meant we weren’t able to quiet get the closer look at the brand new ride we had also hoped for as well, however having talked to some of the staff on resort it’s clear that this project is on hold for the current time due to the contractors now officially being off site until further notice.
Even this this is indeed sad it was by no means expected, however given the fact that our last visit was back in November of 2019 it was finally great to not only see this brand new coaster fully installed, but to also get a better look at the ride in the flesh so to speak.
Putting this aside however we still had the chance to really get a better look at just what the zoo offers it’s guests, and it’s clear that unless you take the time explore this area of the park in depth you may not realise just how big this area actually is!
Flamingo Land Resort not only plays host to some of the most unique rides in the North of England, however it also plays host to one of the biggest selection of animals here in the North as well.
With everything from Tigers and Lions to Reindeer and Cows it’s clear that Flamingo Land really has aimed to cater to all ages when it comes to varied range of species it house and looks after onsite.
Our personal favourite during our visit had to be the tigers as we were truly humbled when we were able to catch them out and about and greeting visitors up against the glass viewing windows (which we have never seen before in all the years we have been visiting).
We were also extremely fortunate to be able to see a Joey sat in it’s mother’s pouch and 2 baby penguins being lead out by their keepers into their new home in the penguin arena!
It’s also extremely fair to say that given all of the current pressures the zoo’s keeper teams have been facing they really have and continue to do an amazing job.
We had the pleasure of talking to one or two throughout our day yesterday as well which we were very grateful for. This meant that we were able to gain even further insight into just how harsh this current situation has been not only for the teams behind the resort, but also for the animals as well.
This is due to the fact that not only has the resort suffered when it has come to securing some deliveries for animal necessities, but it has also meant the rationing of some supplies throughout the lock down in order to keep the animals well fed and safe throughout.
Having sad this though it’s clear that you really wouldn’t know any different from the outset and this in itself remains a true credit to the teams for all of the effort they have put in over the last couple of months.
A Joey just chilling in it's mother's pouch
A baby penguin taking a dip in it's brand new surroundings
Now, due to the current restrictions in place it did sadly mean that any indoor spaces within the zoo including the aquarium and other such locations had to remain closed, and whilst this is a shame we completely understand the reasons for this being the case,
There was however a range of catering options available including a take away counter at the Muddy Duck Cafe serving ice creams, hot drinks and cold snacks and the fish and chip take away serving hot food next to the Peter Rabbit’s storytime building,
This was a really nice touch in our opinion and it meant that we were able to enjoy some absolutely fantastic fish and chips whilst chilling in the hot sunshine which in our opinion was absolute bliss!
There was also toilets available next to the Peter Rabbit building as well and again this included separate queues for both men and women outside the facilities, however we never actually saw any queues form during our visit which considering the projected guest count supposedly 500 plus was astonishing.
The resort staff also did a fantastic job regularly wiping down surfaces, cleaning counters and also keepin toilet facilities clean as well.
We were also very pleasantly surprised to find that Flamingo Land were also running their sea lion shows as well which can be viewed currently at 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00.
This we felt again was a really nice touch and just gave you that little something extra for the price of admission which we honestly weren’t expecting.
Within the arena the teams have ensured that guests were kept at a safe distance by taping off rows of the benches indicating where you could and couldn’t sit.
The staff were also very good at ensuring that everyone attending the shows were kept safe throughout as well and we therefore really enjoyed this added bonus to our visit.
Overall it’s safe to say that we thoroughly enjoyed being back on resort yesterday and after being confined to the house for near on three months just to be able to get back to where we loved the most was an absolute god send, even if there were no rides to get on.
So, how much does it cost to get in? Well, current prices for the park’s zoo only days are set at £20.00 per adult and £15.00 per child unless under 3 in which case the child goes free,
Annual pass holders are still able to attend for free however they must use an online portal in order to pre-book a place prior to visiting which can be done at no extra charge unlike Merlin who are currently charging pass holders a £1.00 fee per person to book in advance.
We would therefore definitely recommend visiting the park and supporting them as this will definitely aid in their recovery in the months to come and will also help look after the animals ensuring they have everything they need to keep going.
It’s extremely important that at this present time we do everything we can to ensure the security of independent parks and attractions within the industry and that’s why we plan on making plenty more visits to parks and attractions throughout the UK in the months and times ahead,
Thank you so much to all of the staff at Flamingo Land Resort for a truly memorable visit and we can’t wait to get back again as soon as possible!