PLEASURE ISLAND HAS CEASED OPERATING AS OF 2016
The UK has quite a collection of Theme Parks, some good, some bad, some we are surprised are still in business, but one has been defiantly plodding along for some time now, one we always loved visiting as Children, and now one we love taking our children to, and one which never lets us down.
Pleasure Island in Cleethorpes is a modern Theme Park in terms of when it opened, but has seen little investment in recent years, but does that let it down?
Getting to Pleasure Island can be quite a chore, fighting with the traffic heading towards Cleethorpes, but it doesn’t matter, set off 15 minutes earlier and get through the traffic, which does usually keep moving.
Built on the site of the old Cleethorpes Zoo, Pleasure Island had a troubled beginning, going through various owners, and it looks almost the same today as it did back then.
Getting to the park, I would urge you to ignore the small car park which sits at the front of the park, and head past the park towards the Thorpe Park Caravan Park, and park on the large car park behind, believe us, it will be much easier to get your car out of there at the end of the day than play dodge the pedestrian in the other.
The entrance is quite understated, past the McCormacks Family Bar and towards the small pay windows. People with pre-booked tickets are usually asked to enter a small reception area where their tickets will be issued.
Onwards towards a small gate, you are soon in the park. Pleasure Island becomes obvious, its not really a place of escapism, it is more of a place of family good times and memory making.
You don’t get the heavy theming seen at other Theme Parks, in fact, this area you now stand in is the most themed part of the park, with a few Moroccan style buildings. Moving on, you pass a Wave Swinger ride, and head down a Moroccan street, before it opens up to present to you the Gravitron, Cycle Monorail and the large lake in the centre of the park.
From the edge of the lake you can see the entire park, it really is quite small, but it does pack in quite a bit of selection.
We usually head straight to the big hitters, the Boomerang usually first, a shuttle roller coaster which goes forwards and backwards, and goes upside down 6 times, which is more times than most roller coasters in the country. The Boomerang, although not a modern masterpiece, still sits as one of our firm favourites, it has quite a bit of force to it, and I personally have very fond memories of the ride as the only one I could get to as a 15 year old, travelling by bus and train, followed by a long walk, just for a few rides then the same in reverse.
Terror Rack sits next to the Boomerang, but this is one ride we usually miss out. The Terror Rack is a ride which spins you around, upside down, and completely disorientates you, the clue is well and truly in the name, its terrifying, and one which caters for the young and foolish young teen who may be trying to impress the family.
By contrast to our least favourite ride, the other side of the Boomerang sits one ride which we absolutely love. Pendulus, a huge disk which spins you around while swinging back and forth, its quite a ride which you have to be prepared for, but one which will always get us going back for more.
Across from Pendulus is the newest area of Pleasure Island, Furry Friends Farm. This large area lets you walk down paths surrounded by animal enclosures, explore a large barn, grab the chance to meet and greet some of the animals and then take a tractor ride which travels above the farm giving you a birds eye view of the animals.
It’s a lovely little area which is probably the best Theme Park effort at a farm area we have seen in recent years.
Other rides of note are Alakazam, another thrill ride which spins you around, Hydro Max, the tallest ride in the park, and another we tend to avoid – another aimed at visitors a little younger than me I think, and a little ride with a massive punch, Hydroblaster, which shoots you up into the air on a 100 feet tower.
On a more family vibe, Century 2000, the Mini Mine Train and Shrieksville head the lineup.
Shrieksville which we are talking about it is our absolute favourite ghost train in the country, having had so much attention paid to the timings of the effects, and although not the scariest ride in the world, its certainly a good, solid ghost train which the whole family can enjoy.
Pleasure Island is always somewhere we head to when we want a guaranteed good day out. The park may lack the major rides of some of their competitors, however, the staff are wonderful, the atmosphere is perfect, and queues never tend to build up too much, meaning you can ride everything you want during the day, while not worrying about the park closing.
There is plenty of food outlets, serving everything from burgers and pizza to sandwiches and ice creams, and the facilities are kept very clean, as is the rest of the park.
At the end of the day, we tend to take the car down into Cleethorpes itself and head to a fish and chip shop to eat a bag of chips sat beside the sea, how else can you round off a perfect family day out?
Pleasure Island entry tickets are very reasonable, at £19.50 each, however they often have discounts running in the local press, and on Facebook which drops the prices below £15, and often even lower than £10 which means you can visit Pleasure Island without breaking the bank, so if you are planning on heading anywhere this year, this has to be near the top of the list.