My wife and I visited Pleasure Island on a trip to Cleethorpes at the end of May 2014. The park is less than 2 miles from the town centre, right next to Thorpe Park Holiday Park, and there is plenty of free parking onsite.
We went on a Saturday but the park was still fairly quiet, with almost no queues for any of the rides. Ticket prices for adults are £19.50, but it’s a bit cheaper if you book online, and we found various web sites with £5 off vouchers. Also, when leaving the park, we were given vouchers for £12 entry to use any time during the season.
There’s a good selection of rides for all ages, an amusement arcade, fairground games, various places to buy food, a boating lake, a very nicely presented picnic area, and a new “Furry Friends Farm” where at certain times of day you can meet some of the cute residents.
There are also a number of free shows held frequently throughout the day including a Bird Show (all season), Sea Lion Show (all season), “Professor Tinkaboo’s Magic Factory” (26 Jul to 1 Sep), and a Masai Warrior Show (5 Jul to 7 Sep).
The 20 minute bird show was quite impressive, and if you buy a £1.50 poster after the show one of their parrots will perch on your arm for a photo.
After the entertaining Sea Lion Show we paid an extra £20 for a “Sea Lion Encounter”. During the encounter you get to meet 22 year old Bonnie the sea lion and learn some of the hand gestures the keepers use in the show to let Bonnie know what they’d like her to do.
You can instruct Bonnie to do different things like clap, sing (sort of!), wave, look shy, etc. as well as throw hoops for her to catch and a ball for her to balance on her nose. Although you reward Bonnie throughout the encounter by feeding her fish, she clearly enjoys her “job” and likes the attention.
The keepers are great and make sure you get the most out of the encounter. Although it only lasted about 15-20 minutes, we thought it was well worth the price and was one of the highlights of our day.
The food available in the park is mostly standard fast-food (burgers, hot dogs, pizza, baked potatoes, sandwiches, wraps, salads, ice cream, etc.), but it’s reasonably priced. There’s also the family-friendly McCormacks Restaurant and Bar at the park entrance.
Overall the park seemed well looked-after, and was very clean and litter free.
One thing that particularly impressed us was the park staff. From those manning Customer Services and the entrance gates to those on the rides and in the shops, everyone seemed really cheerful, helpful and friendly.
Although not quite in the same league as the likes of Alton Towers, Pleasure Island was a lot more impressive than we had expected and we really enjoyed our day there. We will definitely go back again.
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