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“Car Park Rip Off spoils a good attraction”

Blue Planet Aquarium
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Britain's Best Aquarium! Come and see Europe's largest collections of sharks through our amazing 71 metre underwater tunnel. You can even swim with them! (Pre-booking necessary - call for details. With over 100 exhibits and 1000's of animals from around the world, there's something for the whole family at Blue Planet Aquarium.
Useful Information: Baby buggy parking
Bedford, England, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Car Park Rip Off spoils a good attraction”
Reviewed 23 August 2014 via mobile

I have given this a "good" rating - but only for the exhibit. I obtained a discount voucher on line, but prices had gone up so what I saved was just about swallowed by the now infamous but never advertised car park fee, which I need not have paid as the barrier was stuck in the raised position, and/or if I had known that I could walk it from the M&S (free) car park.

The exhibits are fabulous. Loved the tunnel walk (don't use the airport style footsacaltor) the sharks and rays are amazing. My grand-daughter loved it.

Negatives?
Signage for toilets is virtually non existent.
An advised route with arrows would make sure that visitors get to see everything.
And yes DROP THE CAR PARK FEE. It leaves you feeling ripped off, and you want your visitor to go away with better memories than that.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank Richard P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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cheshire
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Such a shame”
Reviewed 23 August 2014 via mobile

We have been regular visitors of the blue planet aquarium for 6 years now and feel that it's really going down hill.
This occasion I went with my mum and 3 children (age 7, 5 & 20 months)
I was shocked to find that they've started charging for parking £2.50!! & on top of that we paid over £50 entrance fee. We spent almost 2 hours walking round. The tunnel is fantastic and the kids went through it several times. Don't bother eating here, the food is deep fried greasy and not very appetising.
It all seems a bit run down, tired and in need of a good spruce up.
Blue planet take note, drop your price and get rid of the rip off parking fees!! I won't be returning until this has been done as it's not good value for money.

Helpful?
1 Thank Maria J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
92 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Great experience”
Reviewed 23 August 2014 via mobile

First of all I'd like to say we experienced no charges for the car park. We had to get a ticket from the machine on the way in, with intention of paying it on the way out. But as you leave the carpark there is no barriers to do so.

The overall view of the aquarium is great, especially for little ones. Plenty to do when you first enter the aquarium. We were offered a park guide when we entered which was £2.50 or something like that. We saw all that there was to see in the aquarium that day, the talks and very clean and interesting. Plenty of different fish species to see as well. My favorite was the tunnel with the sharks and sting rays, unfortunately the movable walkway through this was broken, but you could still walk through without it. The shark feeding show in the amphitheatre is interesting and a great show to watch. Our speaker Donovan was very informative and got the crowd involved! Unfortunately we missed the otters as we didn't know they were separate outside and it wasn't greatly signposted for this. The cafe was very over priced!! I'd definitely give this a miss, especially when you have Cheshire Oaks only round the corner. £7.00 for a burger or chips!!!! The gift shop again was pricey and in my opinion filled with lots if tat! But it's something the children would enjoy.

Overall great day for children, although you are round it in about 2 and half hours. But you do have the opportunity to double back and walk round again should you wish. Cheaper if you book tickets on advance on the internet. Great day out for both adults and children. Would recommend!!!

Helpful?
Thank Stephanieelle007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Had to pay car park fee on top of disappointment with visit !”
Reviewed 22 August 2014 via mobile

Despite having a voucher from the Internet, it still cost almost £30 for one adult and two small children. Add to that the fact that they have stopped the sensory pool part which the kids used to love and then added a fee for the car park, it left me feeling really disappointed . There are so many other attractions around for families I thought they would try much harder. We recently got a groupon for Doncaster zoo for £22 for family of four and had a whole days entertainment and free parking!
Think they need to look again at what they charge and certainly the car park, it's not Disney in the states!!

Helpful?
4 Thank Braddersa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lymington
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Lovely attraction”
Reviewed 22 August 2014 via mobile

We visited the aquarium and was surprised to be charged for parking. The visit to the centre was really good and well laid out. The staff were very helpful and knowledgeable. We really enjoyed the day out, the food in the cafe was really nice and very reasonably priced.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Alan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
blueplanetaquarium, Marketing manager at Blue Planet Aquarium, responded to this review, 28 August 2014
Thank you so much for your positive review.
I am delighted that you found the experience both entertaining and interesting, I have passed your comments on regarding the car parking charge, to the Park Driector.
Phil Jones
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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