“Why I’ve visited only one UK park this year”

Well the 2014 season is well and truly in full flow which now sees all UK parks open at least weekends and some everyday, so why have I only visited one park in the UK this year?

Well for me, as a thrill seeker, there is simply nothing new being offered by any of the major parks within the UK.

The Merlin parks are all family friendly this year and after seeing some reviews of their operations and investments in 2013/2014, it doesn’t make me want to part with my hard earned cash to visit their attractions.

Is a new CBeebies area at Alton Towers going to make me want to spend nearly £50 on entry? Is an Angry Birds re-theme of Detonator at Thorpe Park with an addition of a new Dodgems track and the re-invention of the 3D cinema going to entice me into spending £48 to see it?

How about a new repaved market square and re-imaged Runaway Train at Chessington?

Well no, not really…..

So what about the other parks and family owned attractions?

Well again, it seems the UK parks are very family friendly this year, with lots of family attractions being installed. There are a plethora of family rides being installed at parks like Paultons Park and Gullivers

Lightwater Valley have moved some of their family attractions out of the woods, in preparation for their holiday village and have moved their park focus to a family orientated point of view. But again, nothing for us thrill seekers.

Even parks like Flamingo Land, which always seem to install attractions for all, have left out thrill seekers this year with their new area re-theme.

Pleasurewood Hills, have bought Flamingo Land’s old Wild Mouse in what can only be described as an uninspired choice.

So are their any thrill rides in any major UK parks this year? Well Drayton Manor are installing a Zamperla Air Race attraction which is classed as a family thrill ride, and with the capacity chosen by the park is going to result in some long queues.

So where does all this leave us thrill seekers? Well to be perfectly honest, we really have to look further afield to some of the seaside parks we have,

We have seen Star Flyer type rides installed at Clacton Pier and TIR Prince in Wales which are welcome news to us thrill seekers.

However apart from that, we only have a new 40mph zip line being installed as a new ride at Wicksteed for us thrill seekers.

We are all collectively looking at Oakwood in hope of a new thrill ride. After Ride Rater exclusively revealed the theme of Oakwoods new themed area to be based on the Legend Of Sleepy Hollow, rumours have been spread about what kind of attraction is to be based in the area.

As of the date of writing, no details have been released, but we all hope that Oakwood can induce some energy into the flagging thrill seekers attitude to UK theme parks.

It seems that, by the vast majority of parks that us thrill seekers have been left in the dark and to either accept their investments or not.

Don’t get me wrong, I love fantastically themed rides which are low on thrills, but we don’t even get that in the UK. I have a soft spot for dark rides, but apart from a handful of these rides, we don’t even do those well.

As mentioned, I personally have only visited one UK park this year and I have no immediate plans to visit any other major park UK, why is this?

Well Europe is only a short tunnel or ferry crossing away and its sometimes even cheaper to visit a vastly superior park in Europe than it is in the UK.

Unfortunately there are many better parks on the continent than what the UK has to offer for the same price and until the UK parks install something for me, they wont be getting my money.

2014 is such a disappointment, lets hope that 2015 is better for us thrill seekers.

Peter Andrews