Please note, tickets for Gulliver’s Valley were gifted, however this was our 9th Gulliver’s Theme Park visit, and we genuinely have an incredible visit every time. Links to previous visits and reviews at the end of this post.
You know those days where your cheeks ache from smiling so much? Our day at the brand new Gulliver’s Valley theme park at Rotherham was just that – we could not stop smiling.
Anyone who follows us will know how much we love Gulliver’s Theme Parks and so to be invited to review the brand new resort in South Yorkshire was just an honour.
I hadn’t told Lily where we were going (minus a near spoiler from the Satnav announcing the destination!), so she nearly burst with excitement when we pulled up in the car park. Gulliver’s has always been a happy place for her, so we could not wait to check out the brand-new theme park.
What to expect when you arrive
What we love about Gulliver’s Theme Parks is that they all hold the same Gulliver’s charm, with extremely friendly staff, fantastic family-friendly rides, and a fun day out for all ages, but they also have their own personalities, meaning every visit to every park still holds its own unique package of fun.
Arriving at Gulliver’s Valley was no exception – it was so easy to get to, just off the M1, so there was no stress on arrival at all, where you were greeted by a friendly carpark attendant who showed you where to go, and then the team at reception were so welcoming when you arrived.
You have your temperature checked followed by a ticket check, and then you are instantly “wowed” by the brand new entrance, where you feel like you’re inside a castle.
Gilly was waving from the balcony as we walked in, the gift shop and toilets are all spread out around the huge entrance area, and you follow “Lilliput Lane” out through to the main rides area, passing by the Monster Mansion Haunted House along the way.
Covid Safety Measures – what to expect
Gulliver’s have put in Gully’s Safe Steps, to help keep everyone safe when you visit. This includes the temperature check on arrival, pre-booking with staggered timeslots, face masks for everyone over the age of 3 (find out more here, including about exemptions), as well as visible cleaning stations around the park.
We visited Gulliver’s Land, Milton Keynes, on their opening weekend and we were provided sanitiser on/off the rides, however we had our own for Gulliver’s Valley that we used.
There were also sanitiser stations around the park as well as some hand-washing sinks.
You will also notice stickers/paint marks on the floor by rides for queuing, which some people clearly decided not to stick to (but they were fine when we kindly pointed them out!), but most of the rides further from the entrance were so quiet, there wasn’t much queuing needed anyway.
Where there were longer queues, you could easily find rides that were quieter, then come back later!
The park has put in so many fantastic and clear steps, and it is also up to visitors to make sure they stick to these. Where I saw people not following the clear signs, we just went to other parts of the park, and we really did feel like we had a safe day out together, even with all the changes in place.
The rides at Gulliver’s are designed for children age 2 – 13, which makes it a perfect day out for families with mixed ages.
There are restrictions on some rides, for example where an adult is needed to ride too or the maximum height on the paddle boats, however the great thing is that there are always rides for children of all ages to enjoy.
There were also plenty of families with children who were over the age of 13, who were also clearly enjoying themselves together.
At Gulliver’s Valley, you find some of their usual fantastic rides that you find across the Gulliver’s theme parks, such as a carousel, gentle river boat ride, big swings, child-friendly rollercoaster and more, while also adding their own sparkle to them, depending on the theme of the area.
You can find dinosaurs through the Lost World area, teepees through the Western World, and plenty of digger fun through the Build Zone (indoors and out!).
Toy Land is a new area for this resort, with a ferris wheel, tug boat and more, and Lily loved checking out the indoor climbing wall in the Build Zone, and the huge T-Rex Tower slides in the Lost World area.
I also didn’t think I’d get her off the paddle boats in the Smuggler’s Wharf area, which she was able to paddle herself (height restrictions apply here) – massive thanks to the guy who ran the ride for teaching her how to paddle properly – she absolutely loved it.
The rides were all once again fantastic, and although the rides near Toyland seemed quite busy early on, we always found quieter rides where we rarely needed to queue, then visited the other rides later on when they were quieter.
All rides were also spaced out to help ensure families did not sit with other families and as I mentioned before, face masks are essential for over 3s.
For an August weekend in mid-summer, it was so much quieter than we could have imagined – we would never dream of being able to walk on rides without queuing, so it was fantastic, and all the staff were always so friendly, in true Gulliver’s style.
More rides will also be coming in the future – so watch this space!
There are play areas in each zone of the park, which are very child-friendly. There are clear signs to limit numbers on each, and most have a sink nearby to wash hands before/after. Again, this relies on visitors to do their bit too, so I just made sure Lily was sanitised before and after she used anything, and we washed her hands wherever we saw a sink.
Meet & Greet
Meet and greets are still going ahead, just without the contact! You can still meet Gully and his friends throughout the day for photos on the main stage, as well as see them waving to you from the balconies.
There are also princesses blowing bubbles, with announcements to families to stick to social distancing if they’re playing with the bubbles – I recommend playing at the start/end of the sessions rather than in the middle, as there can be a lot of children around once they get fully started, but then people tend to move on.
Food & Drink
There are cafes throughout the park for takeaways, whether you’re looking for icecream, snacks, drinks or hot food, including slushy stand, ice cream stand, hot dog stand, a sweet shop, cafes in the Western World and Lilliput Lane, and pizza restaurant. There is an indoor restaurant area in Lilliput Theatre where you need to pre-book, where you can get hot and cold meals to sit in or take out, including jacket potatoes, sandwiches, hot dogs and more.
There are also plenty of picnic benches around the park (including some undercover) to eat on, including a covered area in the Lost World area where you can also hunt for dinosaur fossils.
Toilets are available in every area of the park, including accessible toilets and baby changing. There is an accessible changing area with an adjustable height bed in Lilliput Lane as well as accessible toilets in Lilliput Lane, the Western World and Lost World.
The gift shop is available right by the entrance, in a good position to not need to go through it with the family to exit if you don’t want to 🙂 it has a whole range of toys, snacks and Gulliver’s merchandise, including pocket money toys.
We love how the gift shop at Gulliver’s theme parks is always more affordable than other theme parks we visit. They also encourage contactless payment.
We’ve loved staying on the Stay & Play packages at Gulliver’s Matlock Bath and Milton Keynes, and the brand new accommodation at Gulliver’s Valley looks just as fantastic.
We’ve always found the packages to be so much cheaper than themed accommodation at other theme parks, and Lily has always had a great time, with everything she needs.
We can’t wait to check out the accommodation at Gulliver’s Valley Voyager’s Village on another visit, however if you want to find out more about what to expect with Covid changes, check out our review of the accommodation at Gulliver’s Land to find out what we experienced – spoiler alert: it was still as fantastic! 🙂
We had a fantastic visit to Gulliver’s Valley and Lily could not have been more excited the whole day. The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful as always, and even where some visitors didn’t follow Gully’s Safe Steps, we always found areas where we did feel safe.
Lily already wants to go back and we’d even recommend a visit in the middle of the summer holidays, as the controlled numbers at the park meant we could enjoy most of the rides without even queuing!
Gulliver’s Theme Parks will always be a happy place for Lily, and I always get just as excited when we visit too. There really is something for all ages, from the rides and little farm area, through to meeting characters, fun play areas indoors and out, interactive areas, and more.
We always have a fantastic time, no matter how often we visit, and the brand-new Gulliver’s Valley park is just as incredible as the others, with its own sparkling personality while still holding on to everything we love about Gulliver’s Theme Parks.
Thank you so much to Gully and the team for having us along – see you again soon!
Please note, I’ve chosen photos as best as I can without other people in them, to avoid sharing others without their permission. If you do want me to remove any photos, please let me know and I am more than happy to do so!
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