Gulliver's Kingdom (England)
Gulliver's Kingdom (also known as Gulliver's Matlock Bath) is an amusement park aimed at children aged 3 to 13 in the Derbyshire town of Matlock Bath, England. Founded in 1978 by Ray Phillips, it is still owned by the Phillips family and now has sister theme parks; Gulliver's World in Warrington and Gulliver's Land in Milton Keynes, which opened in 1989 and 1999 respectively. The park was originally created by Ray Phillips as a model village for his young children to enjoy, and it is close to the site of the Victorian Switchback rollercoaster ride (after which the theme park's main rollercoaster was named).
The park is noted for its location - being built on a steep hillside. While this means that a day out can become a "work-out", it provides a unique experience, with many rides being nestled in amongst the trees. The view across to Starkholmes and the Heights of Abraham is also spectacular.
As of 2006, the Theme Park has the following major attractions: Log Flume, Elephant Ride, Flight of Fantasy, Dodgems, Chairlift, Jumping Star, Gulliver's Magical Journeys, The Crazy Barrels, The Rio Grande Railroad, The Veteran Cars, Gulliver's Travels Ride, Billy-Bob's Bi-Planes, Log Coaster, Switchback Rollercoaster, Monorail, Ladybirds, Jubilee Carousel, Ferris Wheel, Double-Decker Carousel, Lazy River Ride, Pirate Ship and Fire Brigade.
Gulliver's Kingdom features two entrances due to the car-parking being so spread out. There are three onsite shops, one at each entrance and a special soft-toy shop on Fantasy Terrace. Places to eat in Gulliver's Kingdom include Gulliver's Travels Restaurant, The Happy Haddock, Bourbon Restaurant, Percy Pig's Pizza Parlour and Canyon Grill.
The main park opens seasonally, from Easter and throughout summer, then on weekends in September and October - up to Halloween. The park is also open for Christmas, from late November and on selected dates throughout December. Several different Christmas packages are available, incorporating meals, shows and entertainment.
The park is home to the Gully Gang. The Gully Gang consists of Gully Mouse, Gilly Mouse, Percy Pig, Leonard Lion and Ellie Elephant. These characters can be seen everyday and are available to meet children and pose for pictures to add a touch of magic to their day out.
Other attractions on site are the Hard Luck Bears Jamboree, The Magical Dancing Water Show and Gulliver's Big Puppet show.
From 2009, the Lost Kingdom dinosaur area returned to Gulliver's. Full of puzzles and attractions, as well as huge dinosaur models for children to identify, it is a popular attraction and a firm favourite with children.
In 2009, Gulliver's announced a partnership with Nick Jr. This has seen popular characters Dora the Explorer and Diego from Go, Diego, Go appearing at all Gulliver's theme parks. The characters set challenges for children and appear daily on-site for photo opportunities.
In early 2010, it was announced that the partnership would continue throughout 2010.