Flamingo Land Resort
|Slogan||"Wild Animals, Wilder Rides"|
|Location||Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom|
|Opened||1959 (1959 as Theme Park)|
|Previous names||Yorkshire Zoo, Flamingo Park|
March–NovemberWinter opening will be this year (zoo and selected rides only)
|Area||375 acres (152 ha)|
- 1 History
- 2 Attractions
- 3 Animals
- 4 Holiday village
- 5 Theme Park
- 6 The Zoo
- 7 Shows
- 8 Past rides and attractions
- 9 Paying and queueing
- 10 Flamingo Land in the media
- 11 Controversy
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Flamingo Land Resort was established in 1959 when a cinema entrepreneur, Edwin Pentland Hick, sold his cinema chain and used the funds to purchase a bankrupt country club to use the land for a zoo. The site, which occupied nine acres, was initially called The Yorkshire Zoological Gardens. A colony of flamingos were among the first animals to be housed on site.
In 1963, the gardens became home to the UK's first captive bottlenose dolphins - one of whom was given the name Sooty after the children's TV puppet. During the 1960s a small funfair began to be held on the site. In 1965 the company was floated on the London Stock Exchange as Associated Pleasure Parks and, in 1968, the park was renamed to Flamingo Park Zoo.
The park was losing money by 1974 and underwent a major revamp when it was renamed Flamingo Land. More emphasis was placed on the "day out" experience - with fairground rides, a haunted castle, model railway and a jungle cruise raft ride on the lake. Despite a more professional marketing approach which saw regular guest appearances by celebrities and stars of the day (including the racehorse Red Rum), Flamingo Land continued to lose money.
The owners, Scotia Leisure Ltd., sold the site in 1978 to Robert Gibb - himself a former director at Scotia leisure. He put a team in place to develop the complex as a national, rather than local, tourist attraction, including investing in amusement rides. Many staff were made redundant with most re-engaged on seasonal contracts.
Some of the major attractions at Flamingo Land include:
- Hero - Suspended Flying Coaster new for 2013 in Metropolis area of the park.
- Pterodactyl – A Zamperla Vertical Swing installed in 2012 in the new Prime evil land – adapted to 'Dino-Stone Park' for the 2013 season.
- Mumbo Jumbo – Opened in Summer 2009, this rollercoaster featured the steepest drop in the world, at the time (Guinness Book of World Records).
- Flip Flop – Suspended over an artificial lake and features two large ship funnels on either side of the station.
- Kumali – Installed 2006, this is a Suspended Looping Coaster.
- Navigator – Installed 2005, it was the first 'Mega' "Disk 'O'" type of ride ever to be built.
- Velocity – was constructed in 2005, replacing the Thunder Mountain attraction. It was built by Vekoma, a manufacturer based in the Netherlands. The ride was the first booster bike ride in the United Kingdom, and is the tallest and fastest of its type in the world. It is estimated to have cost around UK£7 million. Velocity features a unique restraint design created specifically for Flamingo Land Resort. This leaves your upper body to move freely.
- Cliffhanger – Opened in 2002, this is the first and tallest S&S Combo Tower in the United Kingdom.
On the former site of Cleethorpes Zoo, construction for an amusement park was begun in the 1990s by RKF Entertainment. During this time RKF went into administration and Robert Gibb purchased the site as a second park to Flamingo Land. When his son Gordon Gibb became chief executive of the company, his sister Vicky Gibb and later other sister Melanie Wood took the responsibility for the Cleethorpes park.
In 2010 Melanie Wood attained her goal of taking ownership of the park, separate from the rest of the family company. Pleasure Island is now operated by Dewarsavile Enterprises Ltd, directed by Wood. This marked the end of the association between Pleasure Island and Flamingo Land.
The park still shows many signs of Flamingo Land's former ownership. In the past, rides cleared from Flamingo Land for new development were installed at Pleasure Island. Furthermore, the success of the Flamingo Land Lost Kingdom show, the Bongo Warriors, led to the introduction of a copy concept into Pleasure Island under the name Masai Warriors.
Flamingo Land once[when?] claimed to be the largest animal holder of its kind[clarification needed] in Europe, housing over 1,000 animals. Flamingo Land houses exotic animals, including camels, zebras, guanacos, hippopotamus, giraffes, meerkats, baboons, chimpanzees, lions, rhinoceros, tigers, sea lions, parrots, and peafowl. The park takes part in breeding programmes an example of which is the Mangabeys featured in the 2006 series of ITV1 show 'Theme Park'. In June 2010, Flamingoland started work on a new penguin enclosure, the first stages of which were completed in August 2010.
Flamingo Land is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), and has connections to other parks in the country:
- One of the older Flamingo Land elephants, Jangoli, went on to give birth to calves at Chester Zoo.
- The park's male lion, lioness and her cubs were originally located at Longleat Safari Park before moving to Flamingo Land to start a new pride.
- Chessington World of Adventures was also once the home of one of the park's sea lions, Clive.
The park's emphasis is on their collection of African animals, housed in the Lost Kingdom and African Plains. The Lost River Ride was designed to give a safari experience before its final drop, and meanders through Savannah-style grasslands with giraffe, ostrich, zebra, hippotamus and rhinoceros. The Forgotten City Lion Reserve is also located in the middle of the ride.
The park has a large holiday village with static caravans and log cabins, a leisure centre, a swimming pool, and a café.
Also in the holiday village is the CLUB, an entertainments venue which is exclusive for caravan owners and people staying on site overnight. It is a venue capable of holding over 1000 people and boasts a large stage and resident shows as well as light entertainment performed by visiting cabaret acts.
- River Side One
An area known as River Side One opened in 2014. This part of the resort is open to all visitors. The area has bars and it also features an outdoor stage.
Lower Metropolis contains food outlets such as the Metropolis Bar and Grill, gift shops, cash machines, pay-to-play game stalls, the Flying Clowns ride as well as the Mia and Mylo Show.
Upper Metropolis is themed as a busy city and contains such rides as Velocity and Navigator.
- Seaside Adventure
This area is themed on the ocean and a seaside resort with themed stores and restaurants. It contains Cliff Hanger, the highest drop tower and the only S&S Combo Tower in the UK.
This area was introduced for the summer of 2007 and features a water playground with squirting jets and water dropping palm trees. Splash Battle is a submarine themed ride where ride cars and off ride posts around the ride are equipped with water cannons. The thrill ride Flip Flop and the 4D cinema are also located in this area of the park.
This flight themed area features three rides: Sky Flyer (formerly part of Splosh!), Red Baron (formerly part of Muddy Duck Farm) and a family roller coaster called Zooom.
- Dino Stone Park
New for 2013, Dino Stone Park is a prehistoric dinosaur themed land which features five rides including the high altitude star flyer ride, 'Pterodactyl' and spinning family coaster called 'Twistosaurus'.
- Muddy Duck Farm
Formally known as the 'Little Monsters Den of Mischief', this area is mainly aimed at children, and includes the attractions Little Monster's Wacky Races and Mischief Mansion. This part of the park has been slowly phased out to make way for an area themed around farm animals, such as the Tractor Ride where children 'drive' the tractors around the farm animals' pens.
- Lost Kingdom Reserve
This area contains such rides as Lost River Ride, Kumali, and Voodoo. When it was built in 2009, Mumbo Jumbo had the steepest drop of any roller coaster in the world, at 112 degrees.
- African Plains
This is an all-animal area containing various animal paddocks and is located in a quiet, secluded area of the zoo. The monorail offers a bird's eye view of the animals, as does the elevated pathway that goes over a small lake to the Penguin Coast.
- Children's Planet
This children's area was opened in 2011 and combines both play areas and animal enclosures.
|1||Kumali||steel inverted||2006||Vekoma||Lost Kingdom||Reaches a speed of 55 mph (88 km) on a 2203 ft long track (672 m) and a height of 118 ft (36 m) with 4 inversions (loop, cobra roll, zero g-roll); height limit 1.37 m. Train 2x10, SLC shenlin model.|
|2||Velocity||steel sitdown||2005||Vekoma||Metropolis||A motorbike launched coaster that reaches a speed of 54 mph (87 km) on a 2109 ft long track (643 m) and a height of 57 ft (18 m); height limit 1.37 m.|
|3||Mumbo Jumbo||steel sit down||2009||S&S Worldwide||Lost Kingdom||The steepest roller coaster in the UK, reaches a speed of 20 mph (34 km) and a height of 98 ft (30 m); height limit 1.21 m. Train 2x6, El Loco model.|
|4||Hero||Flying||16 July 2013||Zamperla||Metropolis||Suspended above the busy streets of Metropolis, on the site of the old Wild Mouse. Identical layout to Soarin' Eagle to Luna Park in Coney Island.|
|5||Zooom||steel suspended||2011||Zamperla||Swooosh||An aeroplane-themed junior suspended coaster. Train 2x5, Air Force model.|
|6||Twistosaurus||steel sit down||2013||Zamperla||Dino Stone Park||Twisting around the old Jurassic jungle. Family spinning roller coaster.|
|7||Runaway Mine Train||steel sit down||2007||Zamperla||Metropolis||A junior mine-style coaster for children; height limit 1m. Train 2x6, 80STD Gravity Coaster.|
|8||Dino Roller||steel sit down||1988||Cavazza Diego||Dino Stone Park||Train 2x10, super Nessi junior coaster was originally named as Dragon Coaster has been rethemed in 2013 as Dino Roller as part of Dino Stone Park.|
|9||Go Gator||steel sit down||1982||Wisdom Rides||Muddy Ducky Farm||A very small coaster intended for younger children. Train 2x7, go gator model.|
|#||Name||Opened||Manufacturer||Themed Land||Additional Information|
|9||Cliff Hanger||2002||S&S Worldwide||Seaside Adventure||The UK's only S&S combo drop tower ride. The ride is themed like a lighthouse, and is the tallest drop tower in the UK at 180 ft (60 m); height limit 1.3m. The ride was installed by Ride Entertainment Group.|
|10||Navigator||2005||Zamperla||Metropolis||The first 'Mega' "Disk 'O'" type of ride ever to be built; height limit 1.21 m.|
|11||Flip Flop||2008||Fabbri||Splosh!||A gyro swing over a man made lake with water effects; height limit 1.3 m|
|12||Pterodactyl||July 2012||Zamperla||Dino Stone Park||A 151 ft (46m) tall vertical spinning swing tower; height limit 1.21 m|
|14||Splash Battle||2007||Preston&Barbiari||Splosh!||The first interactive water ride in the UK. Ride cars themed as submarines travel along a track where targets must be hit to prevent the riders from being soaked; height limit 90 cm.|
|15||Lost River Ride||2004||Bear Rides||Lost Kingdom||A 335 m spillwater ride that gently meanders through animal enclosures such as rhinos, hippos, giraffes and lions before taking an 18 m high plunge into a pool of water; height limit none / 1.2 m without adult supervision.|
Other rides and attractions
|16||Voodoo||2003||Lost Kingdom||A swinging Pirate ship ride; height limit 1.07 m.|
|18||Little Monsters Den of Mischef||2001||Muddy Duck Farm||A haunted house suitable for families, it features horror characters including Frankenstein's monster, ghost, yeti, Dracula, and mummy as kids.|
|19||Cycle Monorail||Metropolis||A monorail where visitors can cycle on the track; height limit 1.37 m|
|21||Balloon Race||RIVER SIDE 1||A balloon themed gondola.|
|22||Rotataur||Dino Stone Park||A wheel themed ferris wheel, originally named as Wagon Wheel.|
|23||Tractor Ride||2006||Muddy Duck Farm||Tractor ride; height limit 1.07 m.|
|24||Professor Bubbles Seaside Adventure||1990s||Seaside Adventure||On track ride.|
|27||Vortex||Metropolis||Rocking tug boat ride; height limit 90 cm.|
|28||Frog Hopper||Seaside Adventure||Junior drop tower; height limit 90 cm.|
|29||Helitoys||2001||Muddy Duck Farm||Helicopter ride for kids; height limit 90 cm.|
|30||Fun Slides||Muddy Duck Farm||Slides for kids.|
|31||Swoosh Air||Swoosh||Airplanes; height limit 90 cm.|
|32||Pedaloes||2013||Lost Kingdom||Pedal boats; height limit 1.21 m.|
|33||Wacky Races||Muddy Duck Farm||On track Ford T-models; height limit 1.07 m.|
|34||Jungle Carousel||Muddy Duck Farm||Carousel.|
|35||Flying Clowns||Plaza||Suspended roundabout.|
|36||Spotted Cow Ride||The Zoo||Junior carousel.|
|37||Crazy Combat||Splosh!||Laser battle pay to use|
|38||Frank's Exploratorium||2008||Muddy Duck Farm||Magic House to explore; height limit none / 1.07 m alone.|
|39||Cable cars||Lost Kingdom||Takes guests on a chair lift for an elevated view of the park each gondola is a different African animal ; height limit none / 1.4 m alone.|
|40||People Mover||Seaside Adventure||Travels from Seaside Adventure to Muddy Duck Farm; height limit none / 1.3 m alone.|
|41||Daktari Express||Lost Kingdom||Train ride that takes visitors around the zoo; height limit none / 1.3 m alone.|
|42||Zoo Monorail||The Zoo||Gives a bird's eye view of the animals; height limit none / 1.3 m alone|
|43||HMS Bounty||Splosh!||Indoor play area.|
|45||Playground||2011||Children's Planet||Play area.|
|46||Reptile Encounter||2011||Children's Planet||Reptiles.|
|47||Rock Slide||Seaside Adventure||Toboggan slides.|
|48||Sand Play||2011||Children's Planet||Sand play area.|
|49||Splish Splosh||2007||Splosh!||Water play area.|
|50||Spotted Cow Ride||The Zoo||Roundabout.|
|51||The Swan||The Zoo||Roundabout.|
|52||Otter Water Play||2011||Children's Planet||Water play area.|
|53||Cyclosaurus||2013||Dino Stone Park||Small cycling roundabout|
There are more 120 different species of animals in the park, including hippos, camels, meerkats, reptiles, exotic birds, giraffes, lions, chimpanzees, tigers, sea lions, baboons, zebras, rare fish, penguins, otters, and many others.
- Bird Show – exotic birds at the Zoo.
- Mia and Mylo Shows – children's show at Metropolis.
- Sea Lion Show – sea lion show at the Zoo.
Past rides and attractions
|1||Magnum Force||2000||2005||A Triple Loop Coaster built by Anton Schwarzkopf that originally toured German funfairs as Dreier Looping & Sunway Lagoon, Malaysia. Now located at La Feria Chapultepec Magico, Mexico City under the name Montaña Infinitum.|
|2||The Bullet||1991||2005||A shuttle loop style coaster designed by Schwarzkopf. Originally known as Wiener Looping and previously operated in Austria, Florida, and on the German travelling funfair circuit before arriving at Flamingo Land. The ride was sold in 2012 to Selva Magica in Mexico, and opened in December 2013.|
|3||Corkscrew||1983||2011||A Vekoma corkscrew roller coaster that was one of the first rides to arrive at Flamingo Land, originally from the Spanish City funfair. The ride was dismantled in January 2012 and was relocated to Luna Park Cap d'Agde in France.|
|4||Thunder Mountain||1991||2004||Enclosed within a rock themed structure to create a dark roller coaster. The track system was a Pinfari Z40.|
|13||Sky Flyer||1994||2015||A Vekoma double inverted swinging ship style ride, formerly located in the Swoosh area; height limit 1.21 m.|
|5||Flying Trapeze||1998||2001||The four man bob coaster was built by Zierer was previously operated in Trentham, Alton Towers, Pleasure Island before arriving in Flamingo Land and it is now in Loudoun Castle as SBNO since 2010.|
|6||Crazy Loop||1986||1995||A coaster was built by Pinfari was relocated to former sister park Pleasure Island. It has been operating as Shockwave in Brean Leisure Park since 2003.|
|7||Wild Mouse||1997||2012||A Maurer Söhne Wilde Maus Classic roller coaster. Removed in 2012 to make way for the new flying coaster, Hero, and now operates in Pleasurewood Hills under the name of Marble Madness.|
|8||Top Gun||1996||2004||Unique attraction where riders sat inside two-seater plane themed cars that spun around the centre tower while moving toward the top. The riders could choose to turn their cars up-side down during the ride. It was built by Intamin and based on the film of the same name.|
|9||Klondike Creek||1999||2003||Triple drop log flume with a mine theme, believed to have been extended with sections of the removed Drayton Manor log flume. It was removed when the Lost River was built.|
|10||Waikiki Wave/Tidal Wave||1994||2008||Vekoma Waikiki Wave ride, removed to make way for Mumbo Jumbo.|
|11||Terroriser/Circulator||1995||2007||A frisbee ride moved to Pleasure Island in 2007.|
|12||Enterprise||1990s||A spinning wheel ride.|
|13||Junior Driving School||1999||2012||A ride in which kids couls drive electric buses.|
|14||Circus World||1990||2000||A circus show which featured acrobats and animals.|
|16||Log Flume||1998||An original water ride.|
|17||Dive Booster||A spinning thrill ride|
|18||Waltzer||1980's||2006||A spinning thril ride|
|19||Zig Zag||1994||2006||A HUSS Troika.|
|20||Formula Car||A go karts ride.|
|21||Cine 180||A cinema.|
|22||Flying Carpet||1991||A thrill ride.|
|24||High Flying Jets|
|29||Dead Man's Drop||A near-vertical steep slide that was located in the current Exploratorium.|
|30||Rock A-fire Explosion||Animatronic robot band entertainment show.|
|31||Gravitron||1994||Spinning stand up ride.|
|32||Tri Star||1995||A thrill ride.|
Paying and queueing
Flamingoland is a pay-on-entry park. Wristbands have to be worn by Holiday Resort guests in order to enter the Holiday Village. Children over the age of four pay the same as adults.
There is a "Q-Buster" system which, at a cost of £2 per person per ride, allows visitors to enter a virtual queue on certain rides. A time slot is provided, thus allowing guests to explore other areas and attractions at the park while they wait.
Flamingo Land in the media
- Theme Park on ITV
Theme Park is an ITV docusoap shown in the Yorkshire and Tyne Tees Regions, following the behind the scenes activities of Flamingo Land. The first series was broadcast in 2001 and a prominent part of the show was the building of the new area The Little Monsters Den of Mischief. The series in 2004 followed the development of the new water ride, The Lost River, which replaced the previous log flume, Klondike Creek. 2006 saw the third series of the popular ITV1 show, and followed the construction of the park's new coaster, Kumali.
- Zoo Vet
The park's animal collection has also been a main feature of Zoo Vet at Large, which follows vet Matt Brash, both at his North Yorkshire surgeries and in his role at head vet at Flamingo Land. There have been multiple series which aired on ITV1 and are often repeated on the digital channel Sky Real Lives.
In an episode of ChuckleVision called "Romany Days", The Chuckle Brothers visit Flamingo Land in search of a pair of underpants which they believe to be of great value. The coaster they predominantly ride during the episode appears to be the Crazy Loop.
- ITV Weather Sponsorship
Flamingo Land took up the sponsorship of ITV Yorkshire weather in June 2007 and ITV Tyne Tees weather in July 2007. The campaign ran until the end of the season. This sponsorship was renewed with both ITV regions in March 2008 at the start of the new season.
- Talk Flamingo
Talk Flamingo was a long-running, discussion-based website about the park with news, construction, history, pictures, reviews and multimedia. The site closed at the end of the park's 2009 season.
- Udzungwa Forest Project (UFP)
Flamingo Land's wildlife management initiative operates in the villages closest to the Magombera forest with the aim to maintain tropical rainforest in Eastern Tanzania. The purpose of the project is to provide villagers with a long-term fuel alternative through education and research, therefore reducing firewood collection within the forest, and thus the pressures placed upon the local environment.
In 2012, park owner Gordon Gibb appeared in court charged with the assault of a ticket seller outside the entrance of the park.
In 2014, a family lost their legal battle with Flamingo Land and nearly lost their home due to legal costs. A dispute arose after the park refused to allow the family to sit outside a restaurant to eat. Three of the four family members have disabilities and they wished to eat outside because their daughter, Melissa, has downs syndrome and autism and thus struggles with crowded situations. Flamingo Land insisted they ate inside on health and safety grounds.
- "History of Flamingo land". Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- "Wikipedia". Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- "Flamingo Land Theme Park & Zoo". rcdb.com. Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- "Reopening secures theme park jobs". BBC News. 26 April 2010.
- "BIAZA Zoos and Aquariums". biaza.org.uk. BIAZA. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
- "EAZA Member Zoos & Aquariums". eaza.net. EAZA. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
- "Projects". Ride Entertainment Group. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- "Flamingo Land boss charged with assaulting ticket seller". Retrieved 4 May 2015.
- "Kilmarnock family involved in legal row with Flamingo Land almost lost home after being forced to pay rival's legal fees". STV News. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
- Flamingo Land Park & Resort – main website for the Park and Resort.