During half term I visited Adventure Island in Southend-on-Sea with my daughter Anette and her 3 children, Daniel (13), and the twins (11) Lauren and Christian. First we had a lovely lunch in one of the fish and chips restaurants on the opposite side of the road. We feel you get better value there. When you get into Adventure Island the first thing is to get the arm bands.
My daughter had bought them on line, which saves £4 a head, so with 4 arm bands to buy, that is a good saving. You can also get annual passes, where you obviously save more the more often you come, and also save on food etc.
One of the many rides
There are lots of different rides from very gentle ones for small children, e.g. pink flying elephants, to several rollercoasters, ghost train, big wheel, Ramba Zamba etc to rides for real adrenalin junkies like my grandchildren, for instance the Rage. There are a few rides (Time Machine and Devils Claw) where you go round very fast upside down, but we have been told that you need a strong stomach for those, literally.
There is a strictly no alcohol policy, so it is fairly safe to let the children run around from one ride to the next, as long as you know where they are. As a granny, who does not go on rides, I usually get "parked" in a central place where the children know where to find me, so they can report back to me and tell me where they are going next. Experience has taught me to bring a cushion in a carrier bag to sit on, as the benches are very hard if you have to spend a whole day sitting on them.
In the evening we went into Feelgoods, which is a pizza restaurant connected to the park, and had lovely freshly baked pizzas. In our opinion that is the restaurant where you get best value for money in the park.
The service is friendly with some of the staff even doing karaoke and the pizzas are lovely
There are loads of burger places, fish and chips, ice cream stall, sweet stalls etc. most of them outdoors, but at the moment we feel there is a lack of one or more indoor coffee places to go during a shower. At the moment there is only a small one with about 4 tables, but I believe there are plans to build an indoor play area with cafes etc.
Opening hours vary depending on the weather. They open at 11am and when we went it was open till 10pm, so you can really get value for the money of the arm bands. Entrance into the park without the arm bands is free. You can buy individual tickets, but unless you only want one or two rides it really is not worth it
So to end this, I can warmly recommend Adventure Island in Southend-on-Sea. It is a great place for a day out with the family.