I visited flamingo Land, for the first time ever on Friday, have mixed views on the place now, after seeing what the place has to offer.
On arriving at the park, I can't say I was struck by any form of excitement as I usually am when arriving at a Theme Park. The place lacked that special 'thing' that does this for me. The coasters were going around and provided a nice view whilst we ate lunch, before entering the park itself.
Although we entered at 2PM, we managed to do all the rides we wished to do, plus part of the Zoo. The queues were not too long, considering the park was quite busy with families & what seemed to be a majority of chavs / teenagers in groups.
Kumali queue reached 40 minutes (even when we joined at the 25 minutes point). They seemed to be very slow dispatching, as only one train was in use. The ride hosts also wasted time by not allowing people into the stalls until the train had arrived, and the gates had opened, adding a good 30 seconds on each time. It may not sound long, but when you consider the amount of trains before we got on, it adds up! Also, the themed 'announcements' were not timed correctly, and happened far too regularly (4 times in 5 minutes?). As each train arrived in the station, it's own announcement was played, usually over the top of the current 'no loose articles' one. It sounded silly and unprofessional for a Theme Park IMO. Despite this, it was a pretty good ride, even if I felt like I 'grayed-out' mid-ride!
The Lost River Ride also had a pretty lengthy queue; almost 50 minutes. Wasn't too bad, although it seemed the dispatch of each log were approximately one every 5 minutes (I have no idea if this is the maximum capability of the ride?). They seemed to be an absolute age in logs coming down the drop (again, 5 minutes). Was a pretty good ride, even if I did get absolutely soaked! It has to be the wettest ride I have ever ridden!
Velocity's queues were almost non-existent, with near enough walk-on each time. Quite an experience I'd say, the position in which you ride is just unique! It's a good experience, but I still prefer Rita :P.
Mumbo Jumbo seems to be near completion; all track is now in place, looks nearly ready to open. There were construction staff on site today, not too sure what they were up to; going up and down in a crane to the track. :? Didn't get any pictures (sorry!). I do have to say I think it looks a little, messy, in my opinion, purely for the extensive amount of supporting involved in the project. They seem to be everywhere, as the ride is very compact and crammed into a tiny space. Nevertheless, it does look like it's going to be quite a thrilling ride!
On another note, the staff at FL seem to be a little less trained that at other well-known Them Parks. On numerous occasions I heard swearing between the ride operators, smoking on the platform, and quite rude attitudes towards guests questions. This gives the park a very negative image, and does not do any good at all for the view. Whilst I'm on the subject, the staff operating Cliffhanger yesterday seemed to be careless & inconsiderate towards the guests who queued for 20 minutes, only to be turned away as 'the key broke' to operate the ride. Fair does, rides do break down, but they get fixed / engineers called as soon as it happens. In this case, it was the key to the ride that broke, and wouldn't engage in the slot. The op's tried numerous times to force it in, without luck. After realizing it wouldn't work, they discussed (quite loudly) the fact that they needed to radio for a new one, as the others had been 'lost'. Laughing between themselves for a good 5 minutes, they both refused to do it as they were too 'scared'. This is not acceptable behavior as visitors to the park paid good money to ride that attraction, only to be turned away because of the hosts being 'scared to radio for help'.
I also witnessed, on numerous occasions, teenagers tearing up the themeing around the park. During the queue line waiting, a pair of them attempted to tear down the rope fencing on LRR, and succeeded in destroying the top half, all of which happened in front of families. I hated seeing this kind of stuff, but remained silent as I don't like confrontation.
Overall, it was quite a good day & the weather was awesome! I hope to visit again in the Summer when Mumbo Jumbo should be open!
Managed to do all the rides,
Awesome weather (Y),
The 'Lost Kingdom' area was lovely-themed.
Poor dispatch times on most rides.
Chav-ridden & tearing up the place,
Ride op's seemed to be 'careless' about there language / overall image.
By the way, I have a few '2 for 1' vouchers to the Park, if anyone needs them. Just PM me and I can happily send them via post for you to enjoy!