Flamingo Land: General Discussion

D4n

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Taron
Merlin offloading Chessington and buying Mingo instead would be a great outcome for all involved.

Won't happen though.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Merlin offloading Chessington and buying Mingo instead would be a great outcome for all involved.

Won't happen though.
I’d like to see Merlin’s take on a more “thrilling” zoo park like Flamingo Land, and it would also give them a park right up North instead of clustering most of their properties in and around London like they do currently. A park right up North is something that Merlin currently lacks, in fact I’d dare to say that Merlin as a whole have a substantially lower presence up North compared to down South, Blackpool aside.
 

Skyscraper

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
Yikes...

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Source: https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/new.../flamingo-land-families-vow-never-5494138.amp
 

Ils

TS Member
We visited back in Aug 19 and would have to say although we had an okay day the park is utter utter carnage.

The operations are the worst I have come across. They way they utilise the fast pass system is pathetic, but we had to use it otherwise, we also would have missed out on riding some of their better rides and they know it.

The operations on the water ride were laughable as one boat went around every 5 mins. Velocity was closed for the day we were told and just as I had purchased some food, the ride started up. By 3pm it was down again.

I generally believe with new management and business strategy this park has some serious potential. Khumali is a very good SLC. Velocity was good fun as was Mumbo Jumbo.

When we came out at the end of the day, there was a sense of relief, that we ticked it off the list and don't ever have to go back.
 

Vik

TS Member
Not been to Flamingo land for a few years. had planned to go back this year for the new coaster, though having been on Altair at Cinecitta world and already experienced 'Collosus' with decent lap bars, it was never a big must do.

the whole place reeks of bad management. Not sure if that's solely down to the owners, or the middle management that will run the day to day operations not actually managing.

On my last visit a few years ago, ride ops were openly smoking in ride op cabins, operations were generally appalling, little motivation from the ride teams, and to top it all, at the end of the day, and we were the last guests on Cliff Hanger, the staff were leaving the ride before the ride cycle had finished and were gone by the time we got to the ride exit. All this is plain and simply poor management; Not motivating and training people to do a better job, not affording enough discipline to indiscretions etc.

I'm not really in any rush to get back at the moment.
 
As many people have already alluded to, Flamingo Land has never been a well run park. But this year is just a whole new level of shambolic.

Staycations are going to be massive this summer. Days out in the U.K. have already proven to be massive this year, just look at the huge queue times that the major parks have been getting. 2021 would have been the perfect opportunity for Flamingo Land to show themselves off to the U.K. as a great day out. Instead they’ve gone the other way.

They can’t use the excuse of the pandemic anymore. Look at the pictures, read the reports, the place is clearly rammed. And unlike Merlin who have other areas of the business still struggling which they need to support (ie midways suffering due to lack of international tourism), Flamingo Land just has the park and the holiday village. Both are open, both are busy, they need to wake up and sort out what they’re offering to guests because right now it’s clearly beyond poor.

Oh, and ride ops smoking in cabins has been an issue at this park for as long as I can remember. I’ve witnessed it too many times to keep count of, and I don’t even visit regularly.
 

Skyscraper

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
Oh, and ride ops smoking in cabins has been an issue at this park for as long as I can remember. I’ve witnessed it too many times to keep count of, and I don’t even visit regularly.
Should report that to the HSE, because that is a major safety risk. They should look into the lack of social distancing as well.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
Should report that to the HSE, because that is a major safety risk. They should look into the lack of social distancing as well.

The smoking is possibly illegal (due to the workplace smoking ban) and a could cause problems but its not a major safety risk. There is unlikely to be anything particularly combustible in a ride ops cabin. If it was a technician smoking next to a oil covered lift hill motor that would be a major safety risk as the oil could be flammable.

Its a lot more a guest service and reputation risk as it makes it look like the staff and management don't care about the guests and are only thinking about themselves.
 

Harv

TS Member
I don't think I've ever seen such a spectacular own goal in the context of theme parks.

The whole country is itching for a good day out, and with LWV on its last legs, FL has almost no direct competition in the north of England. FL was gifted a golden opportunity to salvage the profit they missed out on last year and win over an unprecedented number of new visitors.

They have failed miserably to seize this opportunity, and the atrocious word-of-mouth circulating on social media and in the local press could have a severe impact on the park's reputation and stability. I've heard from 4 families in the area that have visited FL this year and vowed never to go back.

Never going to happen but this would be a sweet time for an experienced owner to swoop in with a buyout offer.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Who owns Flamingo Land currently? Isn’t it part of a small chain like Aspro or something, or did I imagine that?

As for potential people who could buy it, I think Looping Group would be a good shout based on how they’re seemingly treating Drayton so far, and I honestly wouldn’t be averse to Merlin buying it; they don’t have any parks up North, and I think their financial weight could open up some real opportunity for Flamingo Land!

In fairness, though, the current owners seem perfectly fine. They’re just struggling a bit from the lockdowns, so I’m sure things will get a bit better once we’re out of lockdown and they can get the 10-looper open.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
In fairness, though, the current owners seem perfectly fine. They’re just struggling a bit from the lockdowns, so I’m sure things will get a bit better once we’re out of lockdown and they can get the 10-looper open.

Although from whats been said on here it is service that is the issue, not cashflow.
 

AT86

TS Member
I would sincerely hope that the competition authority would not allow Merlin to purchase any more theme parks in the UK. They have too strong a hold on the market already.

It’s all irrelevant anyway, since Flamingo Land isn’t even for sale.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Could it be a possibility that Flamingo Land literally doesn’t have the money to enact the COVID procedures?

As much as it might sound like a silly thing to say, I’d imagine that enacting the safeguards does cost a fair bit of money; they require a fair amount of additional staff (e.g. crowd stewards, temperature checkers), they require money to be spent on the manual labour of actually preparing the park for social distancing (e.g. signs, painting distancing markers on the floor), and in a fair number of cases, distancing rules has resulted in a complete redesign of parts of parks, such as entrance plazas.

This may not sound like much, but I’d imagine it’s all quite expensive for a struggling business like Flamingo Land.
 
Who owns Flamingo Land currently? Isn’t it part of a small chain like Aspro or something, or did I imagine that?

As for potential people who could buy it, I think Looping Group would be a good shout based on how they’re seemingly treating Drayton so far, and I honestly wouldn’t be averse to Merlin buying it; they don’t have any parks up North, and I think their financial weight could open up some real opportunity for Flamingo Land!

In fairness, though, the current owners seem perfectly fine. They’re just struggling a bit from the lockdowns, so I’m sure things will get a bit better once we’re out of lockdown and they can get the 10-looper open.

It is family owned.

It has been owned by the same family ever since opening. They also used to own Pleasure Island in Cleethorpes, which they sold off before it’s closure.
 
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