In the first of a five-part series for family groups, we take a look at Theme Parks.For family groups looking for a day filled with fun, laughter and smiles, Brenda Watkinson brings you a selection ranging from adrenalin fuelled rides and historical adventures to days out getting close to nature.
Drayton Manor Park in Staffordshire is home to a theme park with lots of big, wet and scary rides plus a 15-acre zoo and the much loved Thomas Land. New this year, is the ride ‘James and the Red Balloon’, which is based on the beloved Thomas & Friends character, and the zoo will be welcoming new arrivals including Sulawesi Crested macaques, Red pandas, Golden Headed Lion tamarins and Flame-bellied zonures this spring.
Drayton Manor Park offers packages for group bookings (12 or more) which include free entry for one organiser per coach or mini bus, free parking for all coaches and mini buses, free entry for the registered PSV licensed driver (if the group travels together in one vehicle) along with a free meal voucher. Plus up to two familiarisation visits per year for organisers.In Surrey, Chessington World of Adventures is sure to please everyone in family groups too, with 10 themed lands and over 40 rides and attractions, a zoo with over 1000 animals such as tigers, lions, gorillas, monkeys, penguins and sealions, and a sea life centre that features live shows throughout the year.
For something special, Chessington offers VIP Experiences such as Behind the Scenes Tours, Birthday Parties and Giraffe Feeding.
Southport Pleasureland offers a great day out for family groups with rides to suit everyone and free entry. As well as rides, there is a Go Kart track, a family amusement arcade, stalls to test your skill or luck, a gift shop and food and drink outlets. There is also a permanent caricature artist as well as temporary glitter tattoo and face painting for the children.
Southport Pleasureland now operate an e-card token system, called a Fun Card, to enable visitors to enjoy all of the rides and attractions in the park. The VIP Fun Card gives four consecutive hours of rides.The LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort is a unique and exciting venue for groups. Using the exclusive Groups Explorer Pack and Map, groups can explore all 55 rides and attractions including the brand new LEGO® NINJAGO® World and LEGO NINJAGO® the Ride.
The Resort is most suitable for three to 12-year old children but they are also able to offer experiences for under three’s, particularly in the DUPLO® Valley area where children can enjoy Brickville where the landscape is designed for exploring and imaginative play.
There are a number of resources provided on the website to help groups and leaders prepare for trips. Leaders can download a Risk Assessment form along with information regarding Adult to Student Ratios and Ride Height and Age Restrictions to assist in pre-planning for the day. Bookings can be made online or through a dedicated agent. A groups’ team is also available to give additional help and advice.