I had scheduled an update on my Sunrise over Snowdon trip for today. However, I am postponing that because today I need to rant!
Yesterday was my daughter, Zoe’s, birthday and after struggling for a few days to think of somewhere to go or something to do, we made a spur of the moment decision to travel to Warrington and visit Gulliver’s World.
Best Family Day Out in Cheshire
With over 80 rides, attractions and shows to see each day, Gulliver’s World guarantees you one of the best family days out in the UK. Gulliver’s World is the perfect theme park for children.
We’re a family run theme park, specially designed for families with children aged between 2 and 13 years of age. Our age-appropriate rides and attractions undoubtedly make Gulliver’s one of the best days out for toddlers and older children in the North West. Older kids will love the excitement of the dodgems, log flumes and tree-tops swings; while the younger ones can play around in the Clown School!
We pride ourselves on giving you one of the best value-for-money fun days out in the UK and it’s worth following Gulliver’s on Facebook and subscribing for our special offers!
*From their website
We didn’t tell the kids where we were going, so after just over an hour by train and taxi, (with the kids trying to guess where we were going) and approx £70 lighter in our pocket, we arrived at Gulliver’s World at 11am, just half an hour after it opened. There weren’t long queues to gain entry, so we paid our £74 entry fee (2 adults & 2 children) and we were in. We were all excited and looking forward to our day, as we hadn’t been before.
Having paid at the entrance we had ‘paper tickets’ and were directed in through a gate off to the side of the main entrance which I thought was a bit strange. As a ‘bonus’, however, it was Princess and Pirates day and my grandkids got treasure bags containing a couple of coins and gems which they were told they could trade with princesses and pirates to get better treasure and at the end of the day they could trade that in for prizes. Sounds good doesn’t it… except that except for the princesses at the entrance who gave them the bags, we didn’t see another princess or pirate during our visit!!
My first impression was that it looked old and tired, and could do with a lick of paint and a bit of TLC.
We wandered through the Entrance Plaza and into Wonderland, where we joined a short queue for the Mad Hatters Tea Party (spinning teacups) while we waited the kids went into the Maze of Cards – a small wooden maze, with no cards! The Mad Hatters Tea Party was fun although I did get a bit queasy from the spinning, lol! From there we went on the Fire Engine Ride and then on into Western World where we joined the queue for Apache Falls (water ride).
While we were in the queue the ride broke down, we waited while they got it running again and after around half an hour we got our turn. It was a great ride, we laughed and got soaked. Unfortunately, this was the highlight of the day!!
There didn’t appear to be much going on in Gully’s Cartoon Studios, but we decided to stop and have lunch at Gully’s Grill. The average price for a burger/chicken burger with fries and a drink was £7 (overpriced but expected in a theme park).
After eating we moved on to Smuggler’s Wharf and the Antelope Wooden Coaster. My grandson and I are not fans of coasters so neither of us were too upset to find that the ride had broken down, although it was a huge disappointment for my daughter and grand-daughter. We decided to come back later and went to stand in line for the Pirate Ship, only to discover that that wasn’t running either. It was then that another visitor told us that there had been a power cut!
We wandered around, past visitors in still queueing for rides that weren’t working, past ride attendants who were just standing around, not talking to the visitors, past staff members who weren’t telling visitors that there was a problem. We eventually found a staff member who would talk to us, and he told us there had been a power cut, that some of the rides at the other side of the park were working ‘at that time’ and that they were working on it, but he had no idea how long it would take or whether they could get everything up and running. He didn’t have a radio or any way of contacting anyone to get any updates! He also told us they had no tannoy system and were, therefore, unable to let everyone know what was happening.
It was noticeable, as my daughter, the kids and I sat to discuss what to do, that many of the visitors were still wandering from ride to ride completely in the dark. As we made the decision that we might as well leave and see if we could get a refund, yet another member of staff wandered aimlessly by, again not talking to any of the visitors, and my daughter commented as much. At that point, he rounded on us and brusquely said: “If you ask, I’ll tell you!”
After trying to explain to him, that maybe they should be talking to people and not waiting to be asked, the whole ‘conversation’ went downhill, our frustration and his rude manner led to an argument. At one point he asked, as they had no tannoy, whether we thought he should walk around shouting to let people know, and when our reply was “yes” he stated that it didn’t work that way, but couldn’t tell how it did work. He upset my daughter, which obviously upset my grandkids, but he was too busy being rude and berating her to notice.
We made our way back to the entrance where there were a number of staff members and a plenty of other disappointed visitors. My daughter and the kids left the park while I waited to talk to someone. The member of staff I spoke to was pleasant and apologised for the problem… the first apology we’d had! She explained that we couldn’t get a refund there and then because the tills weren’t working but asked me to leave my name and phone number. What she couldn’t tell me, was whether we would get a full refund, a partial refund or tickets for another visit, but agreed that tickets would not be appropriate and was sure that under those circumstances a refund would be offered.
I await their phone call and will let you know. I’m fairly sure, however, that the cost of our journey won’t be refunded!
I left the park to find Zoe having a panic attack, and my grandkids trying to comfort her. Thanks for that Gulliver’s World – you could have prevented that by letting us know, early on, what was happening.
No matter what I am doing or where I am if something happens and no-ones communicating my anxiety is gonna take over. – Zoe
As you can see, my daughter’s birthday treat didn’t turn out as expected. I was frustrated and angry, my daughter was distraught and my grandkids were upset and disappointed.
Gulliver’s World could be a good place to visit, but it is severely let down by it’s lacklustre (and just plain rude) staff members and customer service.
As I thought about it later, it occurred to me that not having a system in place where they can contact the whole park is outdated and ridiculous…
How many children get distracted and wander off or lose sight of their parents?
“It’s a scenario that happens hundreds of times a day at amusement parks all across the world. You’re walking along with your family or group, young child in hand, but when you look down a minute later, alas, he or she is gone!”
How do they put a call out that a child is missing, or that one has been found?
How do they evacuate the place if there is an emergency?
Some reviews on yesterday’s fiasco at Gulliver’s World from tripadvisor.uk
The day started well with the extra pirate involvement to engage the kids. However this was short lived when we started seeing rides stopping in dangerous locations and guests being helped to safety. There had been a power cut.
We too experienced being evacuated from a ride which was disappointing.
The worse part of the day was the lack of communicating due to some staff not having radios and were unaware of what rides were in operation. We therefore spent most of our day traveling amoungst crowds of guests having been told a ride or area was in operation only to arrive to a closed ride.
This then meant that the rides that were functional were experiencing very long wait times.
I would not go back in a hurry, we got there at 11 which was all good, cost just under £100 for 2adults and 3 kids which was fine only to get on the park and realise there is a power cut after walking round for a bit we decided to go for lunch just as the electric come back on after lunch we went on 2 rides by this point the electric had gone back off! At this point we are not happy. We go to find staff to ask what’s going on and all we got was they are coming back on now go to the other end of the park (we had a 2&3 year old with us who by this point were tired and hot! When we got to reception we were approached by a very rude member of staff called Paul who was shouting at us and to basically go home as we were not getting a money back! Absolutely appalling if you ask me! Quick enough to take your money but when something goes wrong it’s not there fault!
A terrible day out due to power cuts stopping rides. Big queues with no communication. You frequently saw rides stuck with in the air with frightened families awaiting rescue.
I have contacted them but the respose was I should hear back within fourteen days; not good enough!