THEY SAY: The Ultimate Adventure Theme Park Experience where children and adults alike can ride, drive and operate REAL diggers.
WE SAY: A day out with a difference. A Must try. Surprised how good it was.
IT’S the place you and your children get to operate live, real diggers – and it’s not as easy as it looks.
Before arriving, I was a bit worried my three-year-old son would be too young to enjoy the rides, but measuring over a meter tall he was allowed to go on practically everything.
For most rides, children have to measure a minimum of 90cm and staff do measure them ahead of every ride to make sure they are safe to go on it. There is also a minimum height to drive some of the rides.
But there was something for everyone. There was even a baby digger ride for my one-year-old daughter, and the attraction was perfect for my seven-year-old nephew and five-year-old niece.
But, I must say, I think some of the adults in our party enjoyed it just as much as, if not more than, the children did.
As a desk-bound office worker, being let loose on a JCB digger isn’t something I ever imagined doing, or ever thought could be so much fun.
But I can’t have been the only adult enjoying it because a quick scan of the park revealed plenty of adults queuing up to have a go, without children in tow.
We started off with a gentle ride, on the Dig-a-round – sitting in digger seats that went round and round like a carousel – which was fun for the younger members of our party.
We also had a go on the Diggerland train – again, something for people of all ages.
Next, the children went on the mini land rovers. It’s one for children between 90cm and 140cm, so not one adults can join them on.
They all loved it because the cars are not computer driven, so the children must drive them around the track themselves, through a mini-course, which includes navigating over a bridge.
All three children with us loved this, and we only had one crash between them. Next, it was time to operate a giant digger.
Operating a huge piece of machinery by digging, lifting and releasing the dirt might not sound like fun, but it genuinely was.
My son Oliver sat on my knee in the cab and basically went wild at being let loose with the controls. It was like giving him free run in a sweet shop.
The fact he could control such a huge piece of machinery “on his own” was an amazing experience for him.
Across the park are the smaller diggers, which have very cleverly been turned into a game of hook a duck, which tests the drivers’ skill and precision at the controls. For the more daring customer, there is the Spin Dizzy ride – the biggest at the park.
My mum and sister could be heard screaming across the park as they were hurled up in the air on a massive JCB and spun around.
The best part about it is that the rides are operated by a staff member and so no two goes on the same ride are the same.
I didn’t brave Spin Dizzy, but I did have a go on the Shuttle, where you are raised high in the air by a forklift.
I thought it just went off for a gentle drive, but once behind the trees in an open field of mud, the driver went crazy doing skids to give us a thrill.
There is also an indoor soft-play area, and a café and plenty of picnic benches should you want to take your own picnic.
Although there is plenty to enjoy included in the theme park entry price, there are also a couple of extra paid-for rides, including the dodgems and motorised cars.
If you’ve not got Diggerland on your list of places to visit this summer, I’d highly recommend you do. It’s not a cheap day out but worth it for such a memorable one.
- Reviewed Summer 2014
Need to know…….
LOCATION: Willowbridge Lane, Castleford, West Yorkshire WF10 5NW.
OPEN: Every weekend from 10am to 5pm and during school holidays. A full opening times list is available online.
PRICES: £16.99 for people who measure 90cm and over – if booked online. £19.95 on the gate. £9.95 for those aged over 65. Free for visitors under 90cm tall.
CALL: 0871 2277007.