The last time we came to Gullivers Land at Milton Keynes was almost 5 years ago! I was pregnant with Arthur and we took Jack and Oliver for a day out. The day was really overcast and the park was empty! There must have only been a handful of families there and because of the weather some of the rides were closed. It didn’t dampen our day and we made the most of it! Mark and I felt a little underwhelmed with it all but the boys loved every minute! and to be honest that was the most important thing. Fast forward 5 years and we are here again!
Jack and Oliver both wanted to make sure their Gully teddies from their previous trip came with us! We promised Arthur we would buy him his own one before we leave to go home. When we arrived it was another overcast day! We prefer visits like that, it means it would be quieter so no huge queues! However as we pulled into the carpark we noticed 3 coaches! It wasn’t going to be a quiet one, but we were prepared! Mark and I were ready to see what had changed since our last visit.
The MapGulliver Land at Milton Keynes
One of the things we both agreed on was the place needed a lick of paint. Most of the attractions looked dated and worn out. BUT, our first impressions from this visit was you could see that it looked fresher and well looked after! The entrance looked pretty awesome and the boys were really keen to get through the gates and to explore!
From the moment we walked through there was the hustle and bustle of the main area. There was a huge 2 storey carousel in the centre which was surrounded by toilets, gift shop, sweet shop and restaurant. We had packed a picnic as it helps to keep costs down and we left it in the car. When leaving the park your hand gets stamped so you can walk straight back through.
As you past the restaurant on your way in I figured I would mention the food first. I was pleasantly surprised with how reasonable the prices were. The all you can eat Pizza was around £4/5 for children and £9/10 for adults. If Pizza isn’t your thing then there are alternatives on offer too! As you walk down main street the great big castle (Lilliput Castle) in front houses the food court! Where you can buy sandwiches, jacket potatoes and hot meals such as fish and chips. Most of the meals were around £5/8 each.
If like us you want to bring a picnic, then there is plenty of seating dotted around the park. When it is busy though you find these are often occupied by families waiting for their loved ones to come off rides.
Gullivers Land isn’t like your average theme park. The rides and attractions are aimed for the younger members of the family. If you have a child aged between 2-13 they are the perfect age for their visit. My 3 boys are 4,6 and 8 years old. Jack and Oliver are both over 120cm tall and Arthur is over 90cm. The rides are all height restricted but it is worth noting that Arthur was able to go on pretty much every ride except for a handful. It made the whole day a great one knowing that we wouldn’t have to try and console him if he was too small for a ride he wanted to go on.
Like most people do when we arrived we headed straight to the back of the park. It wasn’t as busy and we were able to go on the rides without much, if any queuing. The first ride the boys went on was The Silver Mine. It was a ride we went on 5 years ago too. As a large family of 5 a lot of the seats and carts are made for 4 people. Due to this I stayed off the ride and Mark went on with the boys. Jack and Oliver were tall enough to ride without an adult, but as Arthur wanted to go on, Mark went too. The ride was exactly same as it was 5 years ago! Nothing had changed. You basically ride a mine cart around the silver mine shooting the bandits with guns.
We then headed off to the Crazy Barrels which is basically the teacups! You spin the centre plate and you get spun round and you feel sick! We all went on the ride and I was swiftly reminded why I didn’t like those type of rides. As we came off we noticed that the The Log Flume was empty! Jack chose not to go on the ride and Mark had a bad back. So off we went, me sat at the back, Arthur in front of me and Oliver right at the front!
Now those who know me, know I am fat! I am not about to sugar coat that, and I was worried that I would be asked to leave due to not being able to fit. However I was able to ride every single one I went on without a hitch! Relived was a major understatement! It meant that Mark wasn’t forced to ride when he didn’t want too and the boys were able to go on everything they wanted!
Jungle River Ride
Another ride the boys were really eager to go on was the Jungle River Ride. I volunteered Mark for this ride as it was a nice gentle ride around a stream. The boys loved pointing out all the animals hidden amongst the bushes. This ride gets SUPER busy and you can be queuing for a good 45 minutes if not longer! Once on the ride it lasts a matter of minutes, but you then spend ages queuing to get back to the beginning to leave. It is a one in, one off scenario so it is timely. I would advise to go on this first, or last!
Opposite the ride there is a small hut with camera and animals. The idea is you aim the camera at the target near the animals and they then make noise. However 2/3 of the cameras were not working and they didn’t appear to have worked for awhile either. It didn’t stop the boys trying and it helped to kill some time whilst we were queuing for the Jungle Ride.
As we were walking around the park the boys noticed a great big mouse! Gully was walking around doing a meet and greet. As Oliver decided to bring his bear Gully into the park and not leave in the car he was eager to run up and say hi. Gully was rather impressed to see his mini me and it made Oliver’s day to meet him.
As the day got on there was still plenty to see and do! We stopped for a bite to eat and walked back to the car. We decided to stop there and eat rather than carrying it all in and then one of us having to walk back to drop it off. It wasn’t until later I saw that there were lockers you can use. It cost £4 for 4 hours of £8 for all day. I am not sure if you got your money back or not and the lockers were not huge but it would have been handy for the lunch and the backpack I was carrying around filled with drinks. However you live and learn and we know next time that this is an option.
One of the major differences between our visits other than the great paint job! was that the train was no longer running! There used to be a train that ran pretty much the entire park. The station was the top of the entrance and it was such a lovely ride and a great chance to see most of the park! I am not sure why that is no longer running, although a quick flick through TripAdvisor and someone mentioned it was due to cracks in a wall?
The other differences is the JCB area. I don’t fully remember what it was before, I just know that the bright orange and black theme wasn’t there before. This part of the park seemed a bit strange to have compared to the rest of the park. The main park has a lovely theme of fairytales and stories and it all fits really well together. The JCB although a great addition, doesn’t fit with the overall feel. The boys didn’t mind and it is purely my observation!
A lot of the attractions here were closed and taped off. Upkeep of the rides seemed to be a running theme. There was one particular ride a small rollercoaster near Lilliput Castle. The queues were really long so it wasn’t a ride we managed to get onto. Having a look though a lot of the cars were out of use, out of a total of around 12 seats there were only 4 being used, hence the queues. Another ride wasn’t fully operational either.
One of the boys many highlights was meeting Murray! Throughout the summer months across all Gulliver parks characters from Hotel Transylvania 3 were visiting. On our visit it was Frank and Murray! We missed Franks visit as we were not told that it would be specific times, but we overheard a family ask and made sure to catch Murray’s visit! We love the films, so this was pretty awesome!
There is so much to see that doesn’t involve queuing for rides. There is The Enchanted Forest, Princess Play Area, Rocky Mountain Adventure Fort, Western Town and loads more to visit. The boys favourite was the Rocky Mountain Adventure Fort they loved climbing the steps and running around the top, looking at the people walking below! Another favourite was The Enchanted Forest inside housed a mini soft play structure!
We all had a great time and we loved coming back to see the changes in the 5 years since our last visit. Despite a few rides not fully functioning in the high season which then resulted in longer queues it didn’t spoil our day. If you pre book your tickets they are just under £18 for anyone over 90cm, under 90cm are free. For the amount to see and do we wouldn’t have an issue paying that for a return trip! Oliver and Arthur inner thrill seekers truly came out to play during our visit and we can’t wait to go back!
*We were given a family ticket in exchange for an honest and open review. All photos (except the park map which is taken from their website) are my own and all opinions are also my own.