Mumbler Review: NEW Gulliver’s Valley Resort, South Yorkshire
The BRAND NEW Gulliver’s Valley Resort opened on Saturday 11th July 2020 and we were lucky enough to go along for the day this weekend to see what’s there.
A theme park aimed at children between the ages of 2 and 13 years old, there are more than 30 rides and attractions and more is coming soon, with additional ‘worlds’ and more accomodation planned…so it is set to get even bigger! I think this is going to be very popular for Doncaster families!
We had a brilliant day there, so here’s a round-up of what’s there and our top tips.
Our tips for families visiting Gulliver’s Valley
Before you set off…
Buy your tickets online…it is currently mandatory and allows contactless entry (you get the best price if you book 2+ days in advance). See prices here
Take a look at the additional safety measures in place that have been introduced. We had our temperatures checked on arrival. The obvious applies…if you’re showing signs of coronavirus, don’t go!
Remember to pack your face masks as everyone over the age of 3 has to wear one on all rides, play equipment and indoor areas. (My children were quite happy to wear them on rides and indoors on the bouncy castle and other indoor play areas. We didn’t need to wear them as we walked around outside).
Take your own hand sanitiser gel/wipes. I have some permanently in my bag and although there was hand sanitiser available at eating points , I found it useful to have our own entering and exiting the rides.
If you usually take a picnic, there is lots of space for this, although food and drinks are available there.
You won’t be issued with a map when you arrive, so if you want to plan your visit or print one of these off you can download a map of Gullivers Valley here . You’ll see the height restrictions for each ride on the map too.
You’re likely to get wet on some of the rides so you might want to have jackets or changes of clothes for little ones.
Everything was very accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs.
The rides and play areas
Click to enlarge map
As you park up, the first thing that you can see is the castle, which was brilliant. The kids were very excited to go in. Masks on, we walked through Lilliput Lane, waving to Cinderella and other characters.
We headed to see the dinosaurs first. I’ve a dinosaur mad 6 year old who loved the moving robotic dinosaurs, especially the massive T Rex! We couldn’t decide what to do first, but this area has two water rides…so prepare to get wet here! We enjoyed the the River Tours first and queued a little bit, but maybe only 10 minutes at most. This was fairly gentle and would be suitable for any age child when with an adult. The T-Rex Tower is great for those looking for a big splash! This area has some other popular fairground rides like the paragliders and the Pterosaur Turmoil.
It’s worth noting that there are little play areas in each ‘world’ that fit with each theme and are great to keep little one’s entertained if other’s in your party are on rides etc.
We moved on to Smuggler’s wharf and Blackbeard’s Barrels and the Ghostly Galleon. We didn’t have chance to go on the Crocodile Creek, but these looked lovely – little pedal boats for children, I’d say best for over 5’s on a little lake.
Next it was Western World for us and we spent A LOT of time in this bit. We had lunch (pizza and hot dogs here, plus there were toilets).
The kids really loved the western style street with bank, shop, jail etc. Lots of things for the imagination – little houses/shops etc were interlinked, so they were crawling and climbing back and forth, pretending to be in jail etc. They were able to go in this bit whilst we sat on the tables outside and finished our lunch.
We had quite a few goes on the Rocky Ridge Railway, this was a hit with my 6 year old who’s not really done roller coasters before. There was music and some entertainers in wild west gear in this ‘world’ most of the time that we were in it. (we visited this bit twice!). Children were dancing along.
From the Desperado Drop (we all chickened out of this one), to the Sioux City Express, which is a little train ride that would be suitable for all ages, there was something for everyone. Our favourite ride in this bit was Apache Falls. We got drenched, but loved it.
We made our way back through Toyland (there was a good picnic area with tables in this part of the park). We enjoyed the Rockin Tug and Frantic Fire Trucks, plus the Jumbo Jetters and Ferris Wheel. The laser tag type area was great too. My son got very in to this…a bit of a shoot out with laser guns, he enjoyed chasing daddy and hiding. The carousel is in this area too. Most rides in this area were suitable for under 120cm provided children under this height were with an adult.
All of the rides were socially distanced. You can see from some of the photos that households were sat at each end of rides and one family in the middle.
The build zone was outside and inside. Outside, there were large diggers for children to operate and move soft balls around, plus some little trikes that would be great for toddlers and pre-schoolers. These were on a little track, with lots of pebbles for digging and transporting around. My children were a bit old for this, however I know that as toddlers and pre-schoolers, we’d have spent ages doing this! Inside there were more diggers and soft play and a mini climbing wall.
There is a pathway around the mini farm, with chickens, goats, ponies and more animals to look at.
Dragon’s Lair, Monster Mansion, Yoo Hoo Playzone, Lilliput Theatre and Gully Town
Lots of Indoor activities including a HUGE bouncy castle and a caving experience (the kids put helmets on and disappeared inside a cave, then after climbing and going through some tunnels, popped out the other side).
There were large sectioned off climbing walls (which have to be pre-booked for a session), plus I noticed a little track for balance bikes, which was a bit too small for my children but toddlers and under 5’s would love it.
The YooHoo Playzone was closed on our visit, but I imagine that with the latest guidance about soft play it may be open soon. I spotted lots of seating around it for parents and the crazy golf course was inside near here.
We couldn’t go in this bit as we weren’t staying in the accomodation, but thought it was worth mentioning as we had a real nosey when we were on the Ferris Wheel as the kids were intrigued to see what was there. They spotted a little exclusive play area and really wanted to go inside the castle hotel. The accomodation at Gulliver’s Valley is all themed (Princess Suites & Unicorn Suites in the hotel and Lost World Lodges and Western Cabins). You can see all prices and availability here
Facilities: Toilets/Baby Change
There were plenty of toilet facilities indoors – near the entrance, YooHoo Playzone, Lilliput Theatre and Monster Mansion. Baby Change areas and Accessible toilets are near the entrance and in the Lilliput Theatre.
There were more toilets in ‘Lost World’ and ‘Western World’ (including baby change and accessible toilets).
Eating at Gullivers Valley
We hadn’t taken a picnic but were pleased to find Hot Dogs for my 6 year old as this is his favourite thing to eat right now. We also had Pizza. These were the options available in ‘Western World’ , although ‘Lilliput Theatre’ had burgers, pies, chicken nuggests and kids meals. We didn’t eat in this bit, but I had a peak and it was a very large area – indoors – with shows to watch whilst you’re eating.
The ‘Curiosity Cafe’ sold toasties, pizza and kids meals.
There are other food outlets, but these were mainly ice creams and doughnuts (yes we had to try!). No shortage of places to buy drinks.
If you’re planning a visit post lockdown, capacity is reduced therefore we didn’t find it too busy. There are obviously other people around, so it’s up to individuals to maintain social distancing, but we felt comfortable and safe.
It got a Mumbler thumbs up from us, we had a really fun day out and it’s great that it is so close by! It took us about 30 minutes to get there, which seemed like nothing. Gullivers Valley is situated just near Rother Valley, so it’s off Junction 31 of the M1.
Hope our review is helpful if you’re planning a visit!