Editorial: The theme park community’s dark side

Rollercoaster

It seems to be a phrase occurring more and more often: The theme park community.

It is clear that the phrase is often used to conjure up an image of a group of people sharing interests all in perfect harmony with one another.

In reality however, the theme park community is like any other community – it contains individuals of many different personalities, including a minority with severe personality disorders, and even criminals.

And sadly, bullying, harassment and many more serious things do take place.

Many of you this week will have undoubtedly been made aware of serious allegations made against several YouTube figures in the world of UK theme parks.

It is not for us to comment on allegations, however there are now droves of people coming forward and this cannot be ignored.

In the now infamous case of Andrew Sealey – arrested outside of Paultons Park and later jailed after being entrapped by paedophile hunters – victims spoke out before, but were ignored.

Sealey was a predator who used youngsters’ love of theme parks to lure them in. He was at the most extreme end of what we have seen so far.

Had he not been caught, then the most horrific crimes may have been committed.

But it is also true that there are the select few with personality disorders within the theme park community who would seek to smear or destroy someone who is innocent.

All of these issues are complex and almost frighting to consider, particularly when the darkness usually takes place on mobile phones and the internet.

And while the reality must be faced, it’s important to remember that theme parks themselves are still one of the safest public places possible.

But now more than ever it is the responsibility of us all to be doubly-vigilant, keep our eyes wide open and look after one another.

If you’ve been affected by issues discussed in this editorial, you can contact us by using this form.