Flamingo Land review
In a nutshell
Fantastic zoo-themed park-resort for kids of all ages – younger children will love the award-winning zoo and junior rides, while older children and adults can revel in the hair-raising thrill rides designed to get the pulse racing!
What we tested
- Fun for kids
5.0A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
- Fun for parents
5.0A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
- Worth the money
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
- Family friendliness
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
- Lots of rides, suitable for all ages, theme park and zoo in one, disability friendly
- Pricey, long queues on main attractions, maintenance closures
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COVID-19 safety update
Some facilities and attractions may be closed or restricted this year, due to COVID-19 – and there may be extra safety rules, pre-booking requirements or one-way systems in place. Please check Flamingo Land Resort's website before travelling or booking.
Laura visited the park with her husband, 3-year-old-son and 6-week-old baby, along with her mother and father-in-law. They visited on a hot Sunday in mid-July.
Fellow reviewer and parenting journalist Carolyn also travelled to the park with her husband Chris and 5-year-old twins on a rainy-turned-sunny day, also in July. Coincidentally, this also turned out to be the launch day for the parks latest white-knuckle rollercoaster - Sik. There was excitement in the air as thrill seekers gathered to be amongst the first to ride this long-awaited ride that had seen a 2-year delay due to the pandemic.
What’s Flamingo Land like since Covid-19?
- Sanitisation stations will be available in all areas of the resort should guests wish to sanitise their hands during their visit – guests are encouraged to wash their hands with soap and water or use sanitiser frequently throughout the day
- Staff will continue to regularly sanitise high touch points throughout the site
- Flamingo Land will continue to provide, wherever possible, extra ventilation in indoor spaces
- In many high traffic areas social distancing floor markers will remain as guidance for guests, however the use of these will be a personal choice
- There will no longer be any restrictions on the number of guests who can gather inside or outside, including at the daytime shows and evening entertainment venues
- Flamingo Land is continuing to display the NHS Test and Trace QR code posters should any of its guests choose to check-in at any of the venues
- Guests using the catering outlets will now be able to order all food & drink from the bar and there will no longer be a requirement to consume alcoholic drinks at a table only
- In certain catering outlets, Flamingo Land will continue to offer Online Ordering facilities for guests to use and place orders and have food & drink delivered to their tables
- The wearing of face coverings in indoor areas will no longer be a mandatory requirement, however guests are welcome to continue using them
- Team members may continue to wear face coverings, particularly in indoor areas and areas in which there is regular face to face contact although we didn’t notice any staff wearing them.
- Flamingo Land will continue to use screens in some areas and advisory signs and stickers will remain in place
What age is Flamingo Land suitable for?
Best for: Children aged 2+ years – take a look at the best theme parks in the UK to find something to do with older children.
Still good fun for: Children aged 1-2 years
How much does it cost?
- Adults and children 4+ £29-49pp prices vary depending on the season and if booked in advanced online . There are low, mid, peak and peak + ticket options. On the highest peak days, booking online will save you £9.50pp
- Under 4s free
- Concession (senior citizen) - £20-£39pp
- Disabled guest plus carer - £29-49pp
- Annual pass £165pp
Are there discounts or cheap tickets available for Flamingo Land?
You can currently get 30% off if you’re a Kids Pass member. It’s also worth checking on sites such as Picniq and for offers before you book. If you’re thinking of making a mini break out of your visit, look out for accommodation + ticket offers on website such as Holiday Extras.
You can’t currently use Tesco Clubcard vouchers towards the cost of a ticket.
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Any extra charges once I’m there?
- The gift shop is right by the entrance, so be ready to distract your children if you don’t want to rack up a souvenir splurge
- There are plenty of amusement games and fairground type stalls that could set you back a fair amount if your child is into them.
- You can pay extra for special animal experiences, such as the Penguin Encounter (£25 per person) where you can throw fish into the water at feeding time
- There’s also the chance to cut down on queueing time with a VIP ride pass (see below)
- Souvenir photographs will also set you back around £7 each (prices vary depending on the ride).
How long will we spend at Flamingo Land?
We arrived at the park at 10am and left at 6pm. We crammed as much as we could into our day but left feeling there was still so much to explore - there’s so much on offer for my son’s age group to enjoy that he didn’t get to experience half of it. Fellow reviewer Carolyn agreed that her 5 year-old twins had to miss out on some of the attractions as there was a phenomenal amount of things to choose from.
Flamingo Land is somewhere to be enjoyed over 2 days, if not more. It’s a shame that they don’t offer a discounted 2nd-day pass like some other theme parks such as Alton towers, as Carolyn’s family left thirsty for more. I would definitely consider Flamingo Land’s Holiday Village for a longer stay.
What does Flamingo Land offer for families?
Flamingo Land Resort is a theme park, zoo and holiday park in one, with lots to offer families with young children, from its range of junior rides and the Peter Rabbit playground, to 140 species in the zoo. There is something for the whole family to enjoy. Days out with the kids can often leave parents feeling like it is a day out just for the kids. However, Flamingo Land gives parents the chance to let their hair down and enjoy the rush of adrenaline, whilst knowing that their children are also having the best time. The family rides such as and Dino Roller and Lost River Ride were great fun to go on together.
What shouldn’t be missed?
Highlights for us were:
- Seeing the park from above on the Cycle Monorail (with my husband and mother-in-law peddling fast up front),
- My son enjoyed aiming his water cannon and getting soaked on the Splash Battle ride. Carolyn’s son Joseph also loved soaking the riders with the water canons, although they gave the ride a miss because it is a sure-fire way to get absolutely soaked!
- He also screamed himself hoarse on the junior coasters
- We loved watching a sea lion perform tricks
- Catching The Pirates of Zanzibar show at the end of the day was also a highlight
- Flamingo 1, a 380m figure-of-8 race track – my son had great fun as a passenger with my husband taking the driving seat
- If your child’s a fan of dinosaurs there’s Dino-Stone Park with fun dino-themed rides and life-sized replicas
- Animal lovers can take a tractor ride around Muddy Duck Farm and meet Shetland ponies, pygmy goats, miniature donkey sows and piglets
- Children’s planet provides a welcomed break for parents who want to let their kids run free for a bit
What to you need to know before you go to Flamingo Land:
- Look at the park map to get an overview before your visit so you can plan and make the most of your time there
- Measure your child at home or have them officially measured at the front of the park to avoid them being turned away on rides after queuing. Flamingo land provides a helpful chart displaying the height restrictions for each ride.
- Be prepared to get wet (whether this be from the weather or the water rides). Bring a change of clothes for the kids. For younger children consider bringing an all-in-one weather suit. Carolyn found these came in particularly handy on the Lost River ride.
Did Flamingo Land cater well for different aged children?
It really is suitable for the whole family. I was impressed by the number of rides my 3-year-old could go on. There’s a minimum 1.07m height restriction on many rides but kids below this are able to ride accompanied by an adult so can try out more adventurous rides than the usual cups and saucers roundabout. There are a few rides that children over 0.9m can ride alone. This enables younger children to feel a bit more independent and mum and dad can enjoy taking some photos. My son had a whale of a time on some of the junior coasters Flamingo Land has to offer and felt like a little daredevil.
If you have younger kids, there are plenty of slow-moving roundabouts, a pirate ship themed soft play area, an interactive water play area and of course the zoo. Children’s planet is a great area for letting the kids have a good run around on their own. There are lots of slides and tunnels, and a sand pit for the younger ones to have a play whilst surrounding themselves with animals. The animal shows are fantastic if you want to have a little rest from walking around, whilst simultaneously feeling like you’re not missing out.
What about teenagers and grown-ups?
There’s just as much on offer for teenagers and adults, and we made the wise decision to bring the grandparents along so we could take it in turns to go on rides. Carolyn and her husband Chris, negotiated taking turns in riding the big rides whilst the other entertained the kids. For some rides, the kids wanted to watch and laugh at their screaming parent, and on other occasions they were happy to go on a ride on their own or watch one of the daily shows.
- My husband and I braved Mumbo Jumbo’s 112° vertical drop and felt like pilots free falling in an aircraft that had been shot down on the park’s Hero ride
- We really wanted to experience the thrill of accelerating from 0-60mph in 2.8 seconds and taking hairpin turns on the Velocity ride but this was closed for maintenance when we arrived at the park and by the time it reopened later in the day our stomachs weren’t able for any more excitement.
- My favourite ride of the day was the Lost River Ride. My father-in-law, husband and I set off on this gentle riverboat safari where we enjoyed seeing the lions, zebra and giraffes. However, just as we were beginning to feel relaxed, we found ourselves teetering on the edge of a sixty-foot drop. We got saturated as we hit the plunge pool below, but as temperatures that day were hitting close to 30 degrees we weren’t complaining. I’d never been on a log flume before and absolutely loved it. Carolyn and her family visited on a cooler day but were able to dry off in the convenient driers located at the end of the ride. £3 gives you what feels like an eternity and a family of 4 can all squeeze in together.
- Carolyn and Chris braved Sik and weren’t disappointed! This new for 2022 ride is similar to Colossus at Thorpe Park but with lap bars instead of over the shoulder restraints. This 10-inversion rollercoaster is 875m long and reaches a dizzying 33m high. The name is a collaboration with Scarborough fashion brand Sik Silk and nothing to do with the pronunciation meaning!
What’s the Peter Rabbit Adventure like?
The Peter Rabbit Adventure includes a playground, and a Peter Rabbit costume character makes live appearances – there’s no extra cost for this. However, if you want to take your child along to Peter Rabbit and Lily Bobtail Story Time that will cost you an extra £5 per child (1 adult per paying child goes free).
Is it worth going on the Dakar Express?
Yes. We travelled on the Dakar Express (a 19th century steam locomotive replica) later in the day. But I wished we’d done it earlier as it takes you right around the park so you can get your bearings more easily than you can by following the map. Seeing everything that’s on offer helps you to decide which areas you want to visit and which rides you want to go on. The People Mover is also worth using to get quickly from Seaside Adventure to Muddy duck Farm and kids can really enjoy seeing the park from above.
Are there any educational elements?
Yes, apart from all the fun rides on offer, there’s also a chance for your child to learn. Flamingo Land is focused on conservation and educating visitors about the threats to wild populations of flamingo species due to habitat loss, mining, egg collection, water extraction and pollution.
There’s also Children’s Planet, which is a play area designed using natural and recycled materials to allow kids to mimic the climbing, tunnelling and balancing skills of meerkat, coati and mongoose
The meerkat enclosure also includes a viewing doom so children can get face-to-face with these creatures. Regular talks and animal handling sessions are delivered by Flamingo Land’s Zoo Education Team.
How busy does Flamingo Land get?
We visited on a hot Sunday in mid-July and were pleasantly surprised to find the park wasn’t too busy. There were very small queues or no queues at all on the rides my 3-year-old son wanted to go on.
It was the adult rides that had queues and I’ve read reviews online where people have complained that on extremely busy days, they had to queue for 2.5 hours to go on some of the main attractions.
Carolyn went on launch day of the newest thrill-seeking ride Sik, expecting huge queues and busy crowds, but this wasn’t the case. The day started off rainy and cold which may have put people off going to the park that day. As it turned out, the afternoon was completely dry, and the sun even made an appearance. It is worth strategically planning your trip around the weather as you can still buy online tickets on the day to save money whilst also knowing what the weather will be like. Oddly, the longest queues that Carolyn’s family encountered, were for some of the tamer rides such as Flamingo-1 and Mischief Mansion. Both are rides that only 2 can go on at a time and are very appealing to kids.
We went to a restaurant for pizza and the service was slow. This didn’t bother us as we still had plenty of time to enjoy the day. But on a very busy day, I imagine the service would be even slower and if you were also queuing a long time for rides the day would pass you by too quickly.
What is the VIP ride pass and is it worth it?
VIP ride passes are available for the Q buster outlet in the main plaza, but will set you back a whopping £50pp, so it does make the overall cost of your tickets for Flamingo Land even pricier. But queues can get ridiculously long so you might find it worth getting if you want to make sure you get on as many rides as possible. There are two types of VIP passes now available; one for the 5 most popular thrill rides, or a junior VIP ride pass for the 6 most popular kids and family rides.
VIP Ride Pass - This generalised Q jump pass will let you queue jump each of the 5 big rides (Mumbo Jumbo Velocity Kumali Hero and Cliff Hanger ). New ride Sik isn’t yet on it, but this is something that may change in the future. The pass allows one person VIP access to each ride in any order ONCE and are non-transferable. If for some reason one of the rides isn’t running, you can exchange it for another ride of your choice.
On very busy days, these could be a welcomed addition to your ticket, as it could save you hours of queuing. On quiet days like we visited, they would be a total waste of money. Make sure you gage the crowds before purchasing.
Alternatively, you can plan your day strategically to beat the crowds – arrive at the park as soon as it opens at 9.30am. The rides won’t open until 10am but arriving early will allow you to get a head start in the queue. Head to one of the rides at the back of the park as other visitors are most likely to begin with first big ride they see. You could also queue for the big rides during the lunchtime when other people will be busy queuing for food.
Sik has a separate line for single riders, which is great for maximising every seat for every ride so queues can move that little bit faster. Carolyn noticed that the other queue was moving significantly faster as most people were in pairs or groups of even numbers. The single rider queue was only small but moved at a very slow pace. She even noticed one rider who used the other queue had been on it twice in the time she was waiting. Hopefully this is something that Flamingo Land will address with time, and possibly even open the gates to allow all single riders on one ride to get that line moving too.
What to bring to Flamingo Land:
- You’ll cover a lot of ground so bring a buggy for tired little legs
- We visited on a hot day and even though we brought juice and water with us, we ended up buying more, so maybe pack a cooler bag filled with drinks or a flask of tea or coffee
- A towel and a change of clothes to keep little kids comfortable, as a lot of the attractions involve getting wet
- Weather protection is a must for little ones as you’ll be spending lots of time outside.
- If you’re bringing anything valuable, wear something with zip pockets or a bum bag, otherwise you will have to risk leaving them in the cages next to the rides (especially on the thrill rides).
Animal encounters – are they worth it?
My son was too young to take part any of the animal encounters, as participants must be a minimum of 8 years old. But in time, I would love to take him back to enjoy one of the encounters Flamingo Land has on offer. These include the opportunity to feed lemurs, meerkats, giraffes or a sea lion. Or there’s the opportunity to go behind the scenes in the penguin enclosure to learn more about these creatures and throw some fish for them to catch. Experiences start from £20 per person up to £200 if you want to be a zoo keeper – perhaps a wonderful birthday treat.
What are the food and drink facilities like at Flamingo Land?
From Italian to fish and chips, pub grub and Chinese, Flamingo Land has something to suit all taste buds and budgets. We visited an Italian restaurant in the park and bought vegetarian pizza to share, which cost around £8. There is a new food outlet for 2022 called Go Greek offering tasty Greek food. Prices are very reasonable for all the food outlets.
What about drinks and snacks?
There are plenty of kiosks to purchase sweet treats, teas and coffees and there are vending machines scattered around so you don’t have to queue for a soft drink.
We brought bottles of water and snacks for my toddler but as it was a hot day we still ended up buying soft drinks and ice lollies. Carolyn’s family bought some slush puppies at £2.55 each, a can of coke for £1.90, 2 ice creams for £3.60 and some donuts for £4.
Avoid the Starbucks by the entrance if you don’t want your children begging to visit the gift shop next door – pick up your hot drinks from one of the stands inside the park instead
Can you take a picnic to Flamingo Land?
Yes, there is plenty of seating throughout the park if you want to save some money (and time queuing) and bring a picnic. Carolyn wanted to maximise her time at the park and brought a picnic. The kids enjoyed eating their sandwiches on the Daktar express whilst soaking in the sights of the park!
What are the toilets like?
We didn’t experience any queuing at all in the toilets and I had no problem finding a baby change whenever I needed one. But there was a shortage of toilet paper in the loos so bring some in your bag just in case. Be prepared for a short walk to the nearest toilet in some locations. If you have little ones with you, it is wise to ask if they need the loo every time you pass one - you don’t want to be caught short!
How well does Flamingo Land cater for disabled visitors?
- There are designated parking spaces at the entrance to the park reserved for disabled badge holders
- A free direct access pass is on offer for guests who due to disability are unable to use the park’s normal queue lines
- All food outlets and bars are fully accessible to wheelchair users
- For more information see Flamingo Land’s accessibility guide
Opening dates and times:
Flamingo Land is open from April through to October. You can enter from 9.30am every day but the rides don’t open until 10am. Closing times are seasonal and are either 5pm, 6pm or 7pm. These are advertised at the admissions area on arrival. The zoo is usually open through the winter when the rides close for the season and prices are amended to reflect this.
Best time to visit:
Flamingo Land is busy all day on weekends, and school holidays, and quietest on Mondays
How to get to Flamingo Land
Flamingo Land is situated in Kirby Misperton, a small village between Malton and Pickering in North Yorkshire
- If you’re driving, it’s off the A169 Malton to Pickering road
- The postcode for your SatNav is YO17 6UX
- The nearest train station is Malton
- You can catch the Yorkshire Coastliner from York railway station, which drops off at Flamingo Land
Do you have to pay for parking?
No – the car parks are all free, and within a 5-minute walk from the main entrance
Worth a long car journey to Flamingo Land?
Flamingo Land was definitely worth our journey up from London. I would recommend booking a night or 2 nearby or booking a stay at Flamingo Land’s resort to make a proper holiday of it.
Is it worth an overnight stay?
Yes. Even on a quiet day, 10am to 6pm is not long enough to experience everything. We found ourselves rushing around the zoo and passing by many rides we would have liked to have gone on but didn’t have the time to. Originally, we had planned to travel back to London after our day out. But thankfully we’d reconsidered and stayed with friends in York. I don’t know what we were thinking when we imagined we might be able to drive all the way back after such a long day out.
We’ll definitely be making a repeat visit but next time I think we’ll consider a longer stay at Flamingo Land’s Holiday Village.
Which hotels or holiday accommodation are near Flamingo Land?
Family friendly accommodation options nearby include:
- You can stay in the Holiday Resort which has a range of accommodation from camping through to luxury lodges and cottages.
- The Black Swan Inn is just 3 miles from the park and has a choice of triple rooms, plus a restaurant and free Wi-Fi
- For a home-away-from-home feel, look for deals on VRBO, Holiday Cottages and Sykes Cottages
- Find family-friendly hotel deals near Flamingo Land on Booking.com
Nearby attractions for a longer day out:
There’s easily enough to do for a second day at Flamingo Land. Or you could head to Lightwater Valley theme park, just over an hour’s drive away. Closer to Flamingo Land is Piglets Adventure Farm or the Beck Isle Museum.
My 3-year-old son, my husband, my mother and father-in-law and I all agreed that Flamingo Land was a terrific day out. I can see how on busier days queueing might ruin the experience for some people but we didn’t experience queues and unfortunately it is to be expected when visiting any theme park. Flamingo Land has plenty to offer all ages and we loved that there was so much more on offer than just rides.
It isn’t the cheapest of days out but if you plan well and try to avoid the peak times, then you can get a lot for your money.
Visit Flamingo Land’s website
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