My top tips for visiting Energylandia

My top tips for visiting Energylandia

Energylandia is a theme park near Zator in Poland and is the next major park on all theme park enthusiasts hitlist. This includes the exciting Aqualantis area coming to the park featuring Abyssus. With Zadra opening last year (2019), it’s no surprise that everyone wants a piece of this RMC. It’s amazing and you should definitely ride it! Energylandia is a fairly easy park to deal with from my experience. So I’d thought I’d compile my top tips for visiting Energylandia. I hope that this will help any of you who has an upcoming trip planned.

So without further ado, here are my top tips for visiting Energylandia.

My top tips for visiting Energylandiaracing rollercoaster on red trackwooden rollercoaster with pumpkin at energylandiaMy top tips for visiting energylandia

Top tip #1: Locker System

There is a very clever locker system that is in place at Energylandia. Not only is it inexpensive but it’s super easy to deal with. If I remember correctly, they cost around 5 PLN which is the equivalent of around £2, making it super affordable. You receive a wristband which has a barcode you scan, and the computer system assigns a locker number for you. These lockers are placed within the queue lines of certain coasters including Zadra, Hyperion, Formula etc.

It’s a simple concept. You get a locker, place your belongings inside and then collect your items once you have ridden the rides. Easy to follow which means taking bags with you on park won’t cause too much faff. I’m an anti-faff kinda person so this was ideal! And for anyone wondering, you can change the language to English. No need to worry about working out the Polish translation when claiming your locker number.

Pro tip: Beware that you will need to ensure you collect all items after you’ve ridden the rides as you won’t be able to collect them again once the locker doors are shut. And no, there is no guarantee you will get the same locker number again once you’ve scanned the wristband.

Top tip #2: English Language Barrier

Trust me when I say this, every staff member we came across on our trip spoke great English. Yes, some members of staff might have broken English but you can still make small conversation with them. At all the shops, food outlets, even the Entertainment staff spoke fantastic English. Of course, learning the basic Polish will get you far but don’t fear if you haven’t managed to cram in a late night Polish lesson via Duolingo. You’ll be fine and the staff are extremely helpful too.

Top tip #3: Plan your route

Energylandia is a very big park. You don’t really appreciate the size of it until you are actually there. You’ll soon realise that whilst Hyperion is right next door to the entrance to the park, Zadra is a good 10 minute walk to the back of the park. It’s definitely worth understanding the layout of the park and working out a route of attack in order to tick of the creds. Pro tip: Almost all kiddie creds are located in the central area of the park and worth ticking of in one go!

Top tip #4: Food prices

You will find that Poland is incredibly cheap. This is perfect for anyone on a budget as you won’t need to scrimp and save too much. If you’re worried about the cost of food in Energylandia, don’t fret. For 2 people, we bought 2 meals plus drinks for the equivalent of around £10 – bargain I say! The portion sizes are generous and great value for money in my opinion. Pro tip: Don’t worry about getting any cash out in Poland as most places in Energylandia took card – and contactless worked a treat over there!

Top tip #5: Use the park map

Following on from point 3, make sure you grab a park map. I know some people love to collect maps and there’s nothing wrong with that, but Energylandia can be a little bit of maze unless you’ve travelled to the park before. The park map is the best way to figure out the pathways you need to find the ride entrances. One particular case was with the Viking Roller Coaster entrance – we found the station but had trouble trying to find the entrance to the queue. Pro tip: Before you start making your way to a particular cred that is in your sightline, study the park map for your route to the queue line entrances. Some are pretty concealed and not where you expect them to be!

Top tip #6: Plan order of coasters

Last but certainly not least, you will need to PLAN the order of which creds you’ll get first. Why do I say this? Well, it is commonplace in Energylandia for ride staff to wait until they have filled an entire train of people. If you’re planning to visit on a quiet day like we did, you will soon learn that you may be waiting around a while. Of course, they don’t wait until every seat is filled as you would end up with some very grumpy guests. But be prepared for a slight wait before you get on the ride.

Pro tip: Whilst the temptation to get on Zadra, or the brand new Abyssus for 2020, is extremely high. Just a reminder that these are located at the back of the park. Trust me when I say you’ll be waiting a long time until more people actually reach the area to get on the rides with you. Be wary of what I said above about how it’s a good 10 min walk from entrance to Zadra… Start near the front of the park and work your way around since they don’t like sending half empty trains!

I hope my top tips for visiting Energylandia has given you some insight into how the park works. The park can be overwhelming but it is simple to navigate. Hopefully this post will help you to have a stress free experience on your travels. Of course, if you have already visited Energylandia before, and there’s some tips I have missed, feel free to write them down in the comments below.

Already visited Energylandia, what is your favourite ride/coaster here?

Planning your first visit, what is your most anticipated ride/coaster?

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS

Packing for my New Year holiday

Packing for my New Year holiday

I’m heading off to Gardaland and Europa Park this Thursday to see in 2020 – my first time abroad during this period. It’s certainly going to be a new experience for me having always stayed in the UK and avoided booking travel during the Christmas holidays. There’s a lot of things I am looking forward to experiencing including Europa Park’s Winter Season event and my first ever visit to Gardaland. So what exactly am I packing for my New Year holiday?

I am travelling with RyanAir using hand luggage only. Sounds like an impossible task right? Not really if you plan well when it comes to your clothes and toiletries. Not gonna lie, I’ve travelled using hand luggage for various trips to Europe in order to save costs on luggage, and sometimes travelling light can save you a lot of hassle. Whilst some people might wonder how I do it – whether through the fact I am a woman, or some people might call me crazy in general and can’t fathom the thought of travelling hand luggage only. I’m here to tell and prove to you it can be done.

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So what exactly am I planning to take?

Before I even start getting the suitcase open and chucking clothes into it, I actually plan out my outfits for each day of my trip. This not only helps me to avoid overpacking but it actually helps when I am out travelling. Ever feel stuck trying to figure out what outfit you want to wear each day? You won’t have that issue any more! I will write down my list using the Notes app on my iPad. With this trip in particular, there’s going to be lots of theme park days so obvious choices will be t-shirts, leggings, shorts/skirts etc.

Mix and matching outfits is the key part to packing light with hand luggage. I also have a few evening meals planned so nicer outfits are required, whether that is a nice top paired with leggings or a nice dress with tights. Ensuring outfits are easy to fold and don’t take up too much space, like thin cotton t-shirts or dresses, will really help to ensure you can take the basics with you without weighing down your case.

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Top Tips:

#1: If you can make some outfits split into multiple uses like transitioning from daytime to evening, this can really help with space.

#2: Packing cubes. If you haven’t used these before, buy some from Amazon – they are not even that expensive, but please give them a go. They have changed the way I pack my suitcase for any future trips. They really help to utilise the space in your case better – ideal for hand luggage trips.

#3: Having a designated travel outfit can really help avoid overpacking. Wearing bulky items when travelling will save you lots of space in your case – this includes hoodies & coats.

#4: Toiletries & make-up? Try to take the bare minimum and avoid anything that is liquid based. That 100ml limit and one liquids bag can be a pain in the arse but you can make it work – stick with eyeliner pencils, lipsticks, powders etc.

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My packing list as follows…

Clothing

  • T-Shirts x5
  • Jeans/Jeggings x1
  • Shorts/Skirt x2
  • Leggings x1
  • Dresses x5 (Including NYE dress!)

Layers & Necessities

  • Underwear x9
  • Bra x1
  • Thermals x1 (Top & Bottoms)
  • Tights x2
  • Socks x4 (Thick socks mostly cause who wants cold feet when walking around a theme park?)
  • Scarf, Hat, Gloves
  • Leather Jacket (Evening purpose)
  • Superdry Jacket

It’s pretty basic but it’s amazing how I can fit 9 days worth of outfits in my carry-on suitcase without going over the 10kg from RyanAir. It’s not magic, it’s practical and sensible packing!

Have you travelled abroad only using hand luggage?

How do you pack? Do you create a list?

Do you shove everything in and hope for the best? What works for you?

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year, see you all in 2020!

That’s all for now!

Lottie xoxo

How to prepare for a theme park trip abroad

How to prepare for a theme park trip abroad

how to prepare for a theme park trip abroad

As you can imagine, I love going abroad. Travelling + theme parks = a very happy Lottie! So much so I am off to Poland tomorrow! But does anyone ever wonder how to prepare for a theme park trip abroad? From the dreaded packing routine: How many outfits do you need? Is the suitcase going to be big enough? to the major essentials of planning (boarding passes, park tickets etc). You know you need to get your brain into gear so you don’t forget anything!

Trust me, I haven’t forgotten anything in the past but I do end up using all my energy getting prepared for my holiday. More so than when I’m actually on the road, travelling to that next theme park destination. Yes, preparing for a holiday is common sense but sometimes a little helping hand can help you be on your way. Read on for my top tips on how to prepare for a theme park trip abroad.

Park tickets

Now that we live in a world where technology is at the palm of our hand, gone are the days where you need to print everything. I love that you can now show off the PDF park tickets on your phone. Or if you’ve been to Hansa Park recently and own an iPhone, your ticket sits nicely in your Wallet app! It makes life so much easier as you’ll have your phone on you at all times.

Pro tip: To avoid those mishaps with WiFi or lack of internet, open up the PDF/e-mail ticket on your phone and take a screenshot. That way you can still show off your ticket at the entrance without worrying about no internet! Of course, certain theme parks around the world will send you park tickets in the post. Make sure you have these to hand when you are packing for your trip.

Park Opening Times/Info

Okay, you should do this in the trip planning stages. However sometimes a week or so before you fly out, it’s best to double-check park opening hours & extra information. We all know park hours are subject to change and even days can change. Although this is very rare! The last thing you want to happen is to arrive at your destination and find that you have less time at the park than you first anticipated. If you’re lucky, you might find hours have been extended!

Car Hire/Hotel Booking Confirmations

In a similar vein to park tickets, you can keep all your booking confirmations on your smartphone. Just remember to take screenshots of booking confirmation numbers, arrival dates, payment confirmation details etc. Your internet can be temperamental so don’t get caught out. Of course, printing off the confirmation details won’t hurt. I know that for hotels, especially if you have booked through Hotels.com, Booking.com or AccorHotels, you can view all your bookings on their apps – incredibly handy to have!

Sat Nav

Whether you choose to use your smartphone or an actual Sat Nav unit, make sure you update the maps. Don’t get caught short when you suddenly find a road or motorway no longer exists! My preferred app to use is Waze as it provides you with the most up to date maps, it’s super easy to set up and it’s FREE! Other options include Google Maps or Apple Maps (depending on your smartphone of choice). Don’t forget to pack chargers and any other accessories such as phone holders and USB car chargers. Whilst most new cars have USB facilities, you can’t guarantee you’ll get them in your hire car. Be prepared for any eventualities!

Public Transport Info (if travelling via Public Transport)

If you are travelling via public transport, make sure you’ve done plenty of research including bus/train timetables, stations near the attractions, any shuttle buses that need pre-booking etc. My preferred choice is to get a hire car where I can but if I need to travel anywhere by public transport, research is key. Make sure you know where you’re going. The last thing you want is to appear lost in a foreign country as this will make you a prime target for scammers etc. Stay safe at all times.

Essential Toiletries including First Aid Kit

Sounds like common sense right? But I’m sure there’s a handful of people who may have forgotten something for their trip. What do I class as essential toiletries? Anything from Shampoo, Conditioner, Shower Gel, Deodorant, Toothpaste, Toothbrush etc. Anything that is a basic need for your everyday routine. Also, add a First Aid Kit whilst you are at it. I might go overboard in this respect by packing a lot of first aid bits but ‘You never know what may strike at any given moment!‘ I’ll pack plasters, tissues, paracetamol, ibuprofen, vitamins, contraceptive pill (if applicable!), Strepsils, Bonjela, Anthisan etc. Ladies, if you know your time of the month is due during your holiday, make sure to pack your pads & tampons too.

Travel Money and Passport

What? I left the most basic and important thing till last?! Passport is mandatory, obviously! Pro tip: Put your passport in your suitcase when you start your packing and you won’t have to worry about it being left behind. Okay, I have left getting travel money to the last minute before – NEVER AGAIN! Obviously, the earlier you can buy your travel money, the better rates you will get. ALWAYS AVOID GETTING MONEY AT THE AIRPORT!

There’s plenty of comparison sites online where you can compare the different rates. However, just recently I’ve been introduced to Monzo (back in June!) and I bloody love it. Easy to transfer money from my own bank account and no need to worry about conversion rates. The standard credit card exchange rate fee applies. Plus you don’t need to inform them every time you travel. My favourite part is the spending notifications you get. Very easy to keep track of how much you have spent and converts it straight back into pounds from your destination currency. So fab!

I hope this has given you some handy tips on how to prepare for a theme park trip abroad. If you have any tips of your own, please leave them in the comments below. Sharing is caring.

That’s all for now!Lottie xoxo

5 reasons to visit Paultons Park

5 reasons to visit Paultons Park
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With all the upcoming news about the new area Tornado Springs, coming to Paultons Park in 2020, I had to write up a blog post with my 5 reasons to visit Paultons Park. I can’t wait to experience the new area at my local park. Paultons Park is based in Ower, near Southampton, and is quite possibly, one of my favourite theme parks to visit. Might be biased since I’ve pretty much grown up with the park. There’s so much to do at Paultons. You’d be a fool to not give this fantastic theme park a visit. Given all the talks about the new 2020 area development, who isn’t talking about Paultons Park?! I thought I’d help out anyone who is planning a visit next year with my top 5 reasons to visit Paultons Park.

5 reasons to visit Paultons Park

#1: LOST KINGDOM

Well, the most recent development at the park, Lost Kingdom, is certainly reason enough to warrant a visit. The theming within this area just shows how much Paultons love to immerse their visitors. Let’s not forget the fantastic ride line-up within this area. Including the 2 Vekoma rollercoasters, Flight of the Pterosaur and Velociraptor. They are such fantastic rides for both thrillseekers and families with young children. Not only that, you’ve got a small range of flat rides within the area to keep your kids amused. It really is one of those parts of the park you cannot miss.

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#2: GARDENS

Within the heart of Paultons Park is the beautiful gardens. The perfect place to enjoy those quiet moments where you need take a breather from all the action. Whilst it’s a tranquil area, there is also the opportunity to meet some amazing birds including owls, flamingos and more. It might not be on par with the gardens at Alton Towers but you just can’t beat the fact that this park houses a lot of beauty within. Definitely worth exploring when you next visit Paultons Park.

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#3: PEPPA PIG WORLD

The investment that really put Paultons Park on the map – quite literally. If you have young children, you’re going to be spending a very good chunk of your day within this area. To be honest, there’s plenty of rides and attractions in this area. There’s even a chance to meet Peppa and her family too! Whilst it might get incredibly busy and is not aimed at the thrillseekers, it can really break up the day. Even if you just want to enjoy the theming and maybe be act like a big kid on all the rides. I’m not judging you here!

5 reasons to visit Paultons ParkSource

#4: NEW DEVELOPMENTS

Paultons Park has really turned into the park to watch. I remember the days where the park was pretty plain but had quirky features including THE best park mascot, Percy the Owl. ‘It’s a Hoot Hoot!’ will always stay with me. However, I’ve loved seeing how Paultons has evolved. Theming has become such a huge part of their development strategy and I’m loving the care and attention to detail. Tornado Springs is really going to bring the crowds in, especially with the signs of a new coaster and flat rides! I’m going to spend a good chunk of my time this year following the upcoming construction updates.

5 reasons to visit Paultons Park

#5: GENERAL PARK CLEANLINESS & MAINTENANCE

Now, whenever I’ve visited Paultons, even back in the 90s, I’ve never seen any of the rides (that I’m aware of) break down. I’ve never seen the whole park being in such a state i.e. overflowing rubbish bins etc. The gardens and surrounding park areas are always well kept and look fresh & tidy. The rides are always well maintained. I find the park always ensures they have a full ride line-up whenever they are open. Or at the very least, ensure ride reliability is as good as it can be. I can assure you, you won’t have a bad day out at Paultons Park. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but it’s a park where I’ve never had a bad visit!

And there you have it, my 5 reasons to visit Paultons Park. If you’re thinking about making a trip to the park but unsure. Just do it. You won’t regret it at all, trust me! If you aren’t thinking about a trip here, why ever not? Wait for 2020 by all means but if you’re sat there thinking; ‘It’s a kids park’, ‘It doesn’t have any thrilling rides!’. All I can say is, you can have way more fun here than at a bigger, more thrilling theme park. Just saying!

That’s all for now!

Lottie xoxo

My Most Anticipated Theme Parks for 2019

My Most Anticipated Theme Parks for 2019

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Well, you know it’s that last stretch of closed season when you start seeing an influx of theme park trips coming together within the community. Not gonna lie, I bloody love trawling through rcdb, coast2coaster trying to work out which parks are on my hit list to visit. Now that I have spent a good 2 years staying within the UK, it’s time for me to spread my wings and go travelling again!

Continue reading “My Most Anticipated Theme Parks for 2019”

Tulley’s Shocktober Fest 2018 | 5 Not to Miss Mazes

Tulley’s Shocktober Fest 2018 | 5 Not to Miss Mazes

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I was kindly invited by Tulley’s Shocktober Fest to their press event last Friday, boy was I excited to be returning. I visited for the first time last year and it did not disappoint! I couldn’t wait to get back and revisit all my favourite mazes, including Chop Shop and The Colony. What a way to start off my Halloween season, especially as I visited Thorpe Park for their press event last Thursday, I couldn’t wait to explore more scare mazes!

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THE CELLAR IMPRISONED

Okay. I went into this maze expecting it to be lacklustre like it was last year. Boy was I proven wrong! This mazes has seriously upped the ante when it comes to scares. At one point I thought I was walking through some material/netting and it ended up being an actor’s hair on my face… yes, she was quite literally right above me. There have been some changes to the layout of the maze which were very much welcome but some of the strobe style sections of the mazes really got me good – the actors knew just how to work the room and get me good! Possibly my second favourite maze of the night!

Located near the main entrance to Tulleys, it can be easy to be missed. Simply look to your left as you walk in to the park and you will see it in the marquee. Don’t miss this off your list of mazes to go into, you will regret it!

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THE CHOP SHOP

Probably the classic at Tulley’s. Everyone who mentions Tulley’s will refer to Chop Shop and how you cannot miss this, and believe me, I know why. I didn’t have a great run through when I went on Friday – actors didn’t seem to make use of the space to give us some scares and it seemed a bit bland – but based on last year’s experience, I know how good this maze is. If you have a significant fear of chainsaws, this may not be the maze for you. I didn’t like them last year and now I can’t get enough of them in mazes, no fear whatsoever – even when there’s like 4/5 actors in one maze with them. 😉

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THE COLONY

Ever wondered what it’s like when you go through a maze that last for over 10 minutes? Go through The Colony and you will find out. Honestly, this was by far the best maze I went through last Friday. It is pretty much a must do maze – do not miss out on this maze. The actors have plenty of space to scare you, and they really do make use of the space. Plus, they can target you multiple times in such a short space – there’s a ‘chicken-coop’ style section where you could get scared a good 4/5 times. The theming in this maze is insane… except for one very blank and bright shipping container… not overly impressed with that. I’d like to hope that will be themed and be dark as it really spoilt the immersion of the maze. Otherwise, it was still one of the best mazes at Tulley’s.

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HORRORWOOD HAUNTED HAYRIDE

Horrorwood, get it? Hollywood but more creepy and horrifying… Think of this attraction as a Hollywood movie set tour gone wrong where you are transported with the help of a tractor and trailer. Not only is this the perfect way to enjoy a sit down attraction to give your feet some rest, you can get really up, close and personal with the inhabitants. Last year was the first time I tried a scare attraction of this kind and I wasn’t disappointed. This year? Even better. One of the highlights had to be the bloke in a jeep that decided he was going to chase us down the track whilst belting out his horn at us! That made me jump plus it was so unexpected, that is what made me love it. Word of caution, if you aren’t a particular fan of Chop Shop, you might find the finale one step too far – although I would say fight your fear and do it just once. 😉

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TWISTED CLOWNS 3D

Clowns. Check. 3D Glasses. Check. Disorientating walls and figures. Check. I do not have a clown phobia nor do I find clowns scary, so this maze isn’t really scary in my eyes. It is so much fun though. The intricate detail with the UV and 3D style paint – sometimes it’s hard to figure out what is a wall, a manniquin or an actual clown. It’s disorientating and pretty damn hilarious. You might be thinking, why is this a top 5 maze if it isn’t scary? Purely for the experience in itself, it is incredibly unique. Come on, there’s a clown on a bungee swing that literally leaps out at you and a trommel with 3D paint so you never quite know which way is up… or down. It’s fun!

It can be easy to miss, simply head down from the main entrance towards Colony and Chop Shop, and to your left is a victorian style house with a balcony and clock. Just underneath and tucked into a corner is the entrance to the maze. 

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DODGEMS

I wanted to make a special mention for the Dodgems. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from these and as we were kindly gifted our VIP wristbands, the rides were included. Boy, were we in absolute awe of this ride. The smoke effects literally caught us all off guard and made this a bloody hilarious experience. I don’t think I have cried laughing so much on a dodgems. There were 6 of us in our group and we had no limits to how much we were going to bump into eachother, it was lethal at times! The bruises on my legs show how much fun we had. Honestly one of the highlights of the night!

You can do all the 8 mazes in one night however, if you are heading towards peak time i.e. October Half Term, the fastrack option will be perfect for you! Besides, I may have had a hard time choosing just 5 mazes (and 1 ride!) that you must do, just do them all! Each maze is unique in its own way and you’d be a fool to miss out on any of them plus don’t forget to experience the Circus of Horrors whilst you’re at it – located right next to The Coven of 13 maze.  Thanks Tulley’s for a truly fantastic night!

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS

My Most Anticipated Halloween Attractions 2018

My Most Anticipated Halloween Attractions 2018

Halloween, in the death of the night, hear me scream
I’m coming, I’m coming
Halloween, is the fear that I fight, in my dream
Keep running, keep running …

Halloween season has really grown on me over the last couple of years, and it truly is the most wonderful time of year. I mean, I’ve already written a post on the top 8 reasons to love Halloween season, check it out here. After exploring some new scare events last year, it has really got me inspired to try out even more this year!

So here’s what I’m getting up to this spooky season 2018…

THORPE PARK FRIGHT NIGHTS

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This one is pretty much a given. Every year, I always visit Fright Nights because it’s pretty much a chance for me to have a bloody good time with my friends. Plus the maze line-up is looking so strong this year – especially with the new mazes that were announced a few weeks ago. Okay, I will bloody miss The Big Top but oh my god, there are so many good choices of mazes for this year. I honestly cannot wait to make many trips to Fright Nights this year.

ALTON TOWERS SCAREFEST

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Another staple in my calendar every year is Scarefest. Ever since my first trip in 2012, I have bloody loved the whole event. The atmosphere around the park is insane, and with is being so big, it can be pretty creepy at night. And with a new addition of Project 42 in the Nemesis Sub Terra building, oh my god, I cannot wait to see what this is all about. Us geeks definitely like to speculate about what will be included in this maze, and I sure as hell can’t wait to get stuck in – and maybe never get out? Plus Scarefest is also the chance to ride Wicker Man in the dark – yes please!

CHESSINGTON HOWL’O’WEEN

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Again, another staple that is always in my calendar. Despite this being more family orientated so the scares are not what I would consider scary but they are so fun, and damn, Chessington do some pretty good theming. Creepy Caves Unearthed last year was fantastic so I can’t wait to give it a go again this year! I think having visited the Halloween event at Chessington for a few years, I still have a lot of good memories at the event including The Mystery of Hocus Pocus Hall and Vampire: Haunting in the Hollows, which is why I still make a visit each year.

TULLEY’S SHOCKTOBER FEST

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Oh yes. I visited Tulley’s for the first time last year and honestly, I was questioning why I have never been here before! It is so bloody GOOD! The mazes are epic and each have their own theme. The actors are so in character the whole night that it builds up the anticipation and atmosphere. The general mood is spooky and I don’t think I found anything I didn’t like. So yes, I will be back this year and very much looking forward to seeing Circus of Horrors.

XTREME SCREAM PARK

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Now… I have to say this, I did not enjoy this place when I visited last year. It wasn’t a good visit and the mazes felt very lacklustre and when you hear everyone else saying they had the best time on their trips, I had to come back this year and give it another go. And I want to be scared… so give it all you got Xtreme Scream Park! 😉

DR. FRIGHT’S HALLOWEEN NIGHTS

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I’m not gonna lie, I don’t really know much about this place. Based at White Nurseries, near Gloucester, and described as having a variety of walk through horror attractions of a varying theme. In each attraction you will follow a dark and winding trail that will (hopefully) lead you to the exit. They have received many awards including UK’s Best Halloween Screampark and Best Original Concept and Design at the annual Scar Awards. I cannot wait to give this a try this Halloween Season.

BURTON SCREAMFEST

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I have driven past this place so many times when driving up to visit Alton Towers Scarefest and have never made time to visit! That’s going to change this year as I am very much looking forward to trying out all the scare attractions here. All the reviews and awards this place gets makes me want experience the greatness of Burton Screamfest for myself. Especially the scare maze in a corn field – sounds like an interesting experience awaits…

FEAR AT AVON VALLEY

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This is yet another scare attraction that I have heard some great reviews of from within the theme park community. Based near Bristol, I haven’t really thought about venturing towards that part of the UK, however for this year, I will definitely give it a go. Once again, I don’t really know much about this place but isn’t that kinda the fun of it? The anticipation of not really knowing what to expect – she says, nervous about what awaits her at Fear at Avon Valley. 😉

THE HOWL

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With a name like The Howl, I wonder what you could associate with it… Werewolves perhaps? I am intrigued as to how a park where all of the attractions are linked with the same story thread can be executed so smoothly. Again, it’s another place where I have some fantastic reviews so I am really looking forward to giving this a go in 2018. And to be honest, with the place being created by the same people who did Tulley’s, I am sure this is going to be a real hit.

Okay, I think this list has become way too long but as you can see, I want to try out more new scream parks. I can’t wait to see what all attractions have in store for me and I’m sure I will have a lot of tales to tell you on my blog so watch this space for reviews this Autumn!

That’s all for now.

LOTTIE TRAVELS

Pros and Cons of a Solo Theme Park Trip

Pros and Cons of a Solo Theme Park Trip

Here’s the scenario, you’ve got a day off (yippee!) and you’re thinking, ‘What do I want to do today?’. That little voice in your head is telling you to go to a theme park. Great idea! Let’s see who is available to join you. Disappointment ensues when they all say they’re busy. ‘Dammit!’ What to do ey?

You could chill out at home, spending you day off wishing you were at a theme park…

Or you could make a day of it and make it a solo trip?

In a situation like this, it can be incredibly daunting to travel to a theme park by yourself, especially if it is your first time giving it a go. Here are the pros and cons of visiting a theme park as a solo traveller!

PRO: You can plan the day how you like it

That’s right. You have the freedom and flexibility to enjoy the day, however you want. You don’t need to worry about frequent toilet breaks (if you have those sorts of friends!) or worrying about wanting to re-ride a ride without your friends. If you want to go ahead and spend all day whoring your favourite coaster, you do that. Love photography? A solo theme park trip can give you the chance to walk around the park at your own pace and take as many photos as you feel like you are ‘dragging your mates’ around the park with you. You want to try out a brand-new food outlet, go right ahead. Sometimes it can be like a breath of fresh air to enjoy a theme park by yourself.

CON: First time moments can’t be shared – unless over social media

If you are visiting a theme park for the first time, those first-time moments can’t be shared in real time. Grabbing that first-time cred? You can’t truly share that moment with  no-one around. Yes, in this day and age, we have the power of technology and social media, but it’s not really the same, is it? Nothing beats getting a cred with your friend (or other half) and seeing your reaction – especially when it bloody good cred too.

PRO: Single Rider Queues are the best!

Whenever you are travelling solo, you have the power to use single rider queues and make the most of your day. You don’t need to worry about stupidly busy queues as you can simply bypass this and walk straight on (not always guaranteed!). Of course, if the theme park you visit doesn’t enforce single riders or even have them, you will have to join the queues. Just keep yourself busy with your phone or why not be funky and bring a book?

CON: You don’t have a photo buddy

Now, you might be thinking, a photo buddy? I am on about that faithful friend or ‘Instagram husband’ who takes your photo. You’ve found a fantastic spot for a photo opportunity, but wait, there is no dedicated photographer in sight and you’re on your own. Your only option, to take a selfie. And it’s never quite the same is it? Selfies only work for certain opportunities, not all of them. And before you say it, a selfie stick is not really a good alternative – unless you want to risk your phone being stolen… No thanks!!

PRO: Appreciating the parks in their entirety

As a geek, I know that I want to see an entire park, especially if it is a new park! Now, I don’t mean, ticking off the creds and having a small walk into each area. I want to explore the beauty of a theme park – unless the place is truly awful, in which case it would be a quick cred grab. Sometimes, if you have friends with you, this is not always easy to experience. They may not share the same values as you and will be focused on riding the coasters/rides. As a solo traveller, you could find areas that you never knew about before. Take as many photos as you want.

CON: It can be lonely…

This point is a given. You cannot truly avoid the loneliness of travelling solo, no matter how hard you try. Not to get too science-y or technical, but as humans, we are sociable creatures. We thrive on interaction with other people and chatting with strangers is not quite the same as chatting with your mates. Of course, that doesn’t mean to say that you are cut off, you do have your mobile phone on you. However, think about those parks that are secluded – phone signal won’t be great which can make communicating difficult to achieve. And if you are in a foreign country, there is the difficulty of the language barrier. Always a good excuse to learn a new language though? It’s not all doom and gloom, make the most of chatting to the ride hosts/ops or if you’re feeling brave, chatting to people in queue lines if you find a friendly face. You never know whether they are a solo traveller too!

This is a small list off the top of my head, do you have any other pros and cons when embarking on a solo trip? Let me know in the comments!

That’s all for now.

LOTTIE TRAVELS

6 things you must do at Chessington

6 things you must do at Chessington

I have been visiting Chessington a lot lately. Despite it being something to do at the weekends, I just have that certain bond with the park. Having almost grown up with the place, with my first visit back in 1998, I still enjoy making a trip here. Having a zoo and theme park in one place, there is plenty of stuff to do for both adults and children alike.

If you are ever in the area or a Merlin Annual Passholder, it is worth a trip! I believe there are 5 things that you must do when visiting the park. Read on to find out more!

 

#1: Visit the Zoo

Not only have you got the theme park, you have a very sizeable zoo to explore. From Trail of the Kings to Wanyama Village to the SeaLife Centre and more! I love visiting the Zoo, even if the park is rammed, it is a perfect way to get away from the hustle and bustle and watch the animals. There’s so many you can see including Lions, Tigers, Gorillas, Giraffes, Sealions, Zebras, Meerkats and more. Don’t ever miss out on the Zoo on your visit. It is worth having a nice stroll around.

 

#2: Ride the Vampire

This is a classic at the park and one of my favourite rides here. It may not be the same as it was with the old trains, but it is still fun. The purple trains are fab – don’t diss them – and I love having the feeling of your legs dangling on a suspended coaster. There is also that turn around coming out of the tunnel, still packs a punch! Yes, it may get pretty long queues throughout the day but out of all the rides at the park, this is a MUST.

 

#3: Grab yourself a Nitrogenie

If you are an ice cream fanatic, then you will LOVE Nitrogenie. Simply for the fact that not only it is so deliciously good, it is made with Liquid Nitrogen. The fact you can watch your ice cream being made through the window is fascinating. There’s plenty of flavours to choose from and with the latest addition of making milkshakes, this is like a go-to place for ice cream/milkshakes. Treat yourself everybody!

 

#4: Visit Tiger Rock and Land of the Tigers

Now that the new area has been opened to the public for a couple of months, you’d be daft not to head towards this beautifully, colourful place. Not only that, they have got 4 gorgeous Amur Tigers in the area. The tiger rock feature above the final drop of the log flume is so fab – it’s literally a picturesque hotspot. And the music of the area is so calming that you could just spend the whole day wandering around there – okay, maybe not the whole day!

 

#5: Walk through Lorikeet Lagoon

Now, I’m fully aware that this attraction is open on peak days but this is something you need to tick off your list if you visit Chessington. And it is highly recommended to buy some of the nectar too – you will soon learn how popular you become with the Lorikeets! Plus, some of your money goes towards the Chessington Conservation Fund so it’s for a good cause. I love the interaction with the Lorikeets – not just for the fact that they are bloody gorgeous to look at – it’s a fab experience for both adults and children. Great photo opportunities too so if you want to make some great memories, give this attraction a visit!

 

#6: Try out Not Dogs!

I may be slightly biased and say that this place is so delicious that as I’m writing this, I really want one right now. Seriously, you’d be mad not to try out the Not Dogs – it isn’t just a place specifically for vegetarians and vegans. Read my review here and you might be able to understand why I bloody love the place. Trust me, just do it and grab yourself a quick bite to eat here. You won’t regret it.

Of course, this is only my opinion. There may be things I haven’t even included on here but I honestly feel like these are truly the must do things when visiting Chessington. If I haven’t included anything that needs to be mentioned, leave me a comment below.

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS

8 ways to survive a hot day at a theme park

8 ways to survive a hot day at a theme park

There is nothing better than being able to enjoy a theme park when it is warm and sunny. The perfect opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, the coasters become so much better once warmed up and a great way to spend a day to escape reality. Of course, there are times during the Summer where the warm weather can suddenly turn incredibly hot, which in turn can make the day unenjoyable – especially on a busy day!

I am more of an Autumn baby so sometimes, an incredibly hot day at a theme park can be just as bad as a torrential downpour day. I want to feel comfortable and do prefer wearing jeans, boots, a hoodie etc. to a theme park than just a vest top and shorts. Plus, it is the best time of the year… hello spooky season! That’s why I have compiled a small list of tips and tricks so that you can enjoy a theme park trip, without being caught out by the heatwave style weather.

Bottle of Water

KEEP HYDRATED

There is nothing worse than being at a theme park and being dehydrated. Make sure you have regular drinks throughout the day. You will be doing a lot of exercise in one day which means you will be needing to keep yourself refreshed much more than normal. Water is great however if that does not take your fancy, any soft drink will do – try to avoid fizzy drinks if you can.

Sun Cream on the Beach

SUN CREAM IS YOUR BEST FRIEND

Following on from my first tip, this is also a must! No one likes getting sun burn so be prepared and take some sun cream with you! I know from experience that wind burn can get you just as bad as a typical sunny day without any breeze at all. I always get red shoulders and arms, and every time wish I had sun cream with me. And the best part? You can get always purchase a small, travel size version without worrying about it taking up too much space in your bag or making it too heavy to carry around all day.

EXTRA TIP: Another handy way to avoid sun burn is to bring a hoodie/cardigan if you have a vest top or wear a t-shirt. Sometimes, I like to take a shawl/scarf type material with me just to have over my shoulders. It is easy and compact to fold up in your bag and doesn’t take up too much space! Lads, this might be quite a girly tip so just top up that sun cream! Unless the lobster look is what you are going for…

Summer Clothes

WEAR APPROPRIATE CLOTHES

If you know the weather is going to be in the late 20s to early 30 degrees, t-shirts/vests and shorts are a must! I have made the mistake in the past of wearing jeans – only because I thought the weather wasn’t going to be quite as nice as it ended being – and it was truly unbearable to walk around a theme park and still enjoy myself. I was sweating like a pig and could not wait to change out of them.

Bag on the back of a person

OR… BRING A SPARE PAIR OF CLOTHES

Following on from my previous tip, bring a spare pair of clothes, whether it is a t-shirt or shorts. The weather can change and if it does get very hot during the day, at least you can change and be able to carry on the day. There is nothing worse than having to cut the day short because you were unprepared!

Body Sprays

FRESHEN UP REGULARLY

No one wants to smell your B.O. It is not pleasant at all so if you can, bring a deodorant/body spray with you and freshen up at regular intervals during the day. Even though it is healthy to sweat, it just makes it more pleasant for other guests that you are smelling okay, especially when it comes to queues.

Tidal Wave at Thorpe ParkSource

WATER RIDES!

Basically, make the most of your day by going on the water rides. Yes, the queues may be long because everyone will have the same idea, but it will be worth it. If the queue line has shade, make the most of that too.

Wallace and Gromit Thrill-o-Matic Ride at Blackpool

DARK RIDES!

Basically, if there are any indoor attractions – doesn’t have to explicitly be dark rides – make the most of the shade to keep yourself cool. If there are any shows that are housed inside a building, watch them. It is the perfect opportunity to explore new areas of the parks, make the most of it when you can.

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USE PARK MAPS/LEAFLETS AS A FAN

If you are not fortunate enough to own a small mini fan, you can always use a theme park map or leaflet as a fan. It’s a good, cheap way to keep yourself cool whilst queueing for rides in the sunshine. Plus, it’s also a good arm workout – check out those biceps!

This is just a handful of tips that I can think of. If there are more that you feel need to be mentioned, let me know in the comments below.

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS