THEY SAY: Yorkshire’s ultimate Theme Park attraction & the UK’s most visited Zoo, plus a luxury Resort Village, for fantastic family days out, holidays & short breaks.
WE SAY: Fantastic theme park with something for all ages and great in all weather.
We’ve been to Flamingo Land at least five times in the last five years. We’ve been in the height of summer, in winter when just the zoo and the rides in Muddy Duck Farm and Children’s Planet are open, and we’ve also been right at the start of the main season (in March) when it’s cold, but everything is open and it’s very quiet (this is when you get the rides to yourselves and don’t queue for anything.)
FLAMINGO LAND IN SUMMER
IF YOU’VE got children of different ages it can be hard to find a family day out to suit them all. There aren’t that many places which can cater for babies and toddlers at the same time as putting a smile on your teenagers’ faces.
But Flamingo Land has something for everyone, and even plenty for the adults too. (And by that, I mean a pub with places to sit outside overlooking the sandpit, Costa Coffee and several restaurants.)
I think I can safely say the Splish Splosh interactive water play area was the highlight of the day for my three-year-old son Oliver.
He loved climbing on the pirate ship, where he could man the water cannons. Down below he could run through fountains, dart through tunnels and even have a go at water hopscotch.
Unfortunately, we had no idea it existed and so hadn’t packed the appropriate clothing – therefore he ended up running about in his pants. #mummyfail (Note to self for next time)
See the park map here
The park is divided up into seven different areas, which makes it easy to choose at a distance the places you most want to visit. The only problem is deciding where to go first because there is so much to do.
We really loved the Dino Stone Park – a prehistoric playground too, which was new for last the 2014 season.
In this area there are five themed rides, including a children’s roller coaster, but our favourite was the high-flying aerial adventure where the faster you pedal, the higher you go.
Our children also loved looking for the life-like terrifying creatures, including an Allosaurus, Pteranodon, Brachiosaurus and Triceratops from 65 million years ago.
Another favourite for us was the outdoor playground and sand area in Children’s Planet. It was just like being abroad, the children happily played in the sand while I enjoyed a glass of wine, sat outside of The Coach House Country Pub. (Well, we were staying on site so it wasn’t like I was going to be driving.)
If it’s bigger rides you are after you won’t be disappointed. Extreme rides include the Cliff Hanger, which is one of the tallest in Europe, so you can’t miss it. The vertical drop ride guarantees to have you screaming for more.
The Flip Flop – a swinging, rotating ride isn’t for the faint-hearted, either.
The newest white-knuckle ride is Hero – an £8m investment that delivers the sensation of free flight. Riders are suspended side-by-side and launched through swooping turns and breathtaking drops to experience zero gravity.
TIP: Dogs are welcome in most areas of the theme park, but not in the zoo.
Family rides include the balloon ride, tractor ride, the wagon wheel, and lost river ride, to name a few. There are also several scenic rides including the monorail and cable cars. There is also a massive indoor children’s area, if it does happen to rain.
You will practically get the rides to yourselves if you go at the beginning of the summer season. The downside is that it’s still fairly cold (March) and it’s full price – but the best part is the park is very very quiet so there’s no queuing.
If it’s animals you like, you’ve come to the right place. In the zoo you can see everything from lions, camels, giraffes and sea lions to the hippopotamus, lemurs, kangaroos and meerkats, not to mention the usual farm animals. Make sure you walk along the treetop walkway past the kangaroos for a great view of the penguins.
TIP: The water rides and gift shops are busiest at the end of the day
No visit is complete without a go on the cable cars either where you can be transported from near the massive Kumali rollercoaster right across to near where the lemurs are. It’s the perfect way to take in the sights. For animal enthusiasts, your journey will include great views of the giraffes and white rhinos.
There’s also the People Mover overhead monorail to get from one side of the park to the other. You can catch it from either Muddy Duck Farm (Next to the caterpillar ride) or – at the opposite end, from Seaside Adventure (near the climb on water pirate ship) to save walking across the park.
And a third option to get about the park is the the Daktari Express vintage train which travels around the centre of the theme park in a circle. There’s three stations along the way to get on and off at, or stay on for the full 20 minute ride. The train takes in part of the zoo too, so if you don’t fancy walking round it’s a great way to see some of the animals including giraffes, hippos, zebra, ostriches and a few more.
And if it’s indoor fun you’re after, Flamingo Land has that covered, too. HMS Bounty is an indoor soft play zone with a pirate ship theme. There’s a cafe inside and plenty of chairs.
TIP: If you don’t like queues the best time of year to go to Flamingo Land is either right at the beginning of the main season or right at the end of the main season.
Flamingo Land has its own holiday resort, so if you did think it was too far to go in one day you can stay over and make a holiday of it.
You can choose to stay in either a Scandinavian style log cabin, Riverside Cottages, caravan or you can camp.
We hired a “Gold standard” caravan and were very impressed. The three-bedroom caravan was brand new for the 2015 season, extremely clean and welcoming, and just a stone’s throw from the entrance to the park.
TIP: It was extremely reasonable to stay over because if you do book accommodation you automatically get unlimited access to the park and zoo throughout your stay, so it cost us very little more to stay over.
This private, self contained complex, has a leisure and fitness centre, featuring two pools, a fully equipped gym, sauna and jacuzzi. There’s also a nine-hole parkland golf course, supermarket and takeaways. There is also the club with a programme packed with comedy, cabaret, live music and dance.
Whether you stay for just one night or make a holiday of it, I fail to see how you can’t have a fantastic time which is worth every penny.
There’s an entertainment complex, with its family friendly Zoo Bar and Gourmet Grill which delivers a packed programme of inclusive night-time entertainment for you to enjoy.
Jasmine started pole dancing at a young age whilst at the evening entertainment at the Riverside One entertainment arena. There’s a packed programme of live entertainment at the all-weather stage. This includes a daily Farewell Show featuring Flamingo Land’s very own mascots, Mia & Mylo Meerkat. During a fun packed performance combining acrobatics, live music and dance, the cast are frequently joined by a variety of special guests.
There’s several restaurants, plus a wealth of cafes, takeaways and bars so you won’t be stuck for places to eat
- Reviewed August 2014 and March 2016
Flamingo Land in WINTER
Firstly, it’s a lot cheaper to go to Flamingo Land in Winter. Off-peak entry is £10pp which I think is a bargain, actually.
We had our first picnic of the year at Flamingo Land in 2015 – despite it only being February. OK so they look cold, but we enjoyed it, honestly! On the plus side, we didn’t need to pack the cool bag!
We were under the impression it was only the zoo that would be open, but there are also plenty of rides open for the younger children.
Children’s Planet, including Reptile River, Muddy Duck Farm, Treetop Walkway and the Aquarium were all open.
In the zoo, the kids enjoyed watching the flamingos, penguins, giraffes, and monkeys, to name a few.
There were also two walk-through enclosures open, which provided a truly unrestricted view and the opportunity for up-close encounters with lemur and wallaby families.
Winter at Flamingo Land is a great opportunity to catch up with the progress of the new arrivals, too, especially Kuasa, Bulan and Mentari, the Sumatran tiger cubs.
And, if you look up into the trees as you walk away from the Sumatran tiger enclosure, you’ll catch a glimpse of the red pandas.
For animal-lovers of all ages, there are free keeper talks, shows and Meet a Creature sessions from 11am each day.
Simply wait by the meeting point sign, located at each of the relevant enclosures, or make your way to the education centre at times listed on the website.
Despite it being cold the kids didn’t mind at all. We wrapped up well and went from one ride to another, with a few pit stops in the many cafes to warm up!
We love Flamingo Land because it’s far enough away to feel like you’ve had a full family day out, but close enough to home to visit in one day.
It’s also really good for children of different ages because, when the whole park is open, there really is something for everyone, with plenty for adults, too.
- Reviewed February 2015 & March 2016
NEED TO KNOW…
LOCATION: Kirby Misperton, Malton, Yorkshire YO17 6UX
OPEN: From March to November from 10am to 4pm, 5pm, or 6pm, depending on time of season. The zoo and a few rides are also open in winter.
PRICES: Adults and children over four: £31. (£37 on the gate). No charge for children three and under (proof of age may be required) In Winter: Adults £10.
CALL: 0871 911 8000