Monday, 8 April 2013

Park on the up and up

Below is my “Big Day Out” column from the Saturday, April 6, 2013, Swansea edition of the South Wales Evening Post.





















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Park on the up and up
A big day out! 
RICHARD THOMAS heads to Oakwood Theme Park. 
WHY? With over 30 rides and attractions including three roller coasters and four water rides, Oakwood Theme Park in Pembrokeshire attracts 400,000 visitors each year, making it one of the UK's top ten theme parks.
WHAT’S THE BUZZ? Located off the A40 motorway at Canaston Bridge, 8 miles east of the town of Haverfordwest, Oakwood park provides fun for all the family, from white knuckle rides to dazzling firework displays and other special events Oakwood has it all. Also other family attractions including Fully Farm and Scolton Museum can be found near Oakwood Theme Park, just six miles away.
ANY HISTORY? Oakwood Theme Park first opened in 1987 as Oakwood Leisure Park, a very small family park with BMXs, a wooden fort, a 3D-style cinema experience show, go-karts and a water chute ride. In 1996 Oakwood’s status as a small-scale regional attraction was completely transformed when the park opened Megafobia to the public. At that time Europe's largest wooden roller coaster ride. Since then the park has acquired a worldwide reputation for innovation and has since incorporated four more large thrill rides: Vertigo, Bounce, Hydro and the park’s newest roller coaster Speed opened in 2006.
WHAT TO TAKE? Standard tickets for visitors over 13 years old cost £21, while junior tickets for children 3-12 years old cost £15 each. Children two years old and younger visit the park for free and by booking on the website you can save £2 per person on these prices.
Food and drink are available in the park’s restaurants, the Southern-fried chicken at Dixie's Chicken Diner is good. There are also gift shops with t-shirts, mugs and other Oakwood Theme Park merchandise available to buy. You can also purchase photos of yourself on Megafobia and the other rides, but don’t forget to bring a camera with you to take your own snaps.
LOOK OUT FOR? Oakwood has a good variety of rides to suit all people and ages. Megafobia and Speed are the park's two most exciting roller coasters. In the Detailed Wood Roller Coaster Poll 2010 the 85-foot-tall Megafobia ranked number 30 in the world. Speed is an exhilarating ride, twisting and turning at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. Bounce is a vertical ride, shooting you up into the air at more than 40mph. Together with the Hydro water ride, these four attractions form Oakwood’s “Big Four”, the ultimate adrenaline rush for thrill seekers! For the more wary and younger children there are also more family orientated rides, including The Pirate Ship and Snake River Falls.
WHEN TO GO? Oakwood is open 10am to 5pm daily. For more information about opening times go to www.oakwoodthepark.co.uk.
Visit www.richardthomas.com.


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