Anyone who knows us will know that we have a little man who is dinosaur mad. So, when I saw the dinosaur trail at Gulliver’s World advertised on social media, I immediately knew this was something that he would love.
So, earlier this month we wrapped up warm and headed out exploring into the dinosaur trail at Gulliver’s World, Warrington.
WHAT WAS INCLUDED
- Overnight stay at Gulliver’s World hotel (4pm check in)
- A set menu dinner (chicken nuggets and chips for the kids and pizza for adults)
- The dinosaur trail
- Marshmallow toasting
- A family movie
- Milk and cookies
- Breakfast for both adults and children
- Tickets for Splash Zone the following morning.
WHAT WAS GOOD
First up the room. The room was nothing short of a scene straight from a child’s imagination. We booked a themed family room and picked the pirate option, hoping that it would be something both children would enjoy. We weren’t wrong and they absolutely loved exploring every little detail.
The kids loved their bunk beds and the Bear especially loved her top bunk.
The dinosaur trail
I was really impressed with the dinosaur trail. It took around 45 minutes and included a short walk to the main park. As you make your way through to the welcome hut, you get little glimpses of dinosaurs along the way. Once seated, each child is issued with an adventure jacket and a torch to take with them on their walk. This was such a sweet touch and really got the kids in the mood. We then went on a twilight dinosaur hunt, armed with our torches to find them in the dark,
The Little Man would have probably liked for it to slow down a little so he had more time looking at the dinosaurs but for the Bear it was probably at the limit of what she would have enjoyed. With this in mind, I think the duration of the walk was just about right. Interesting, but not too long. A good walk, but not too far for little legs.
The one bad thing I will say is that the walk included a mandatory visit to the shop. It’s not just this walk – as every event seems to do it – but it’s incredibly frustrating. It only results in upset children whose parents won’t or can’t buy them anything.
Thankfully though the walk did include a little excavation work. Children dug to find fossils to take away with them which was a really nice touch.
The little details
They say the devil is in the detail and I have to say the Gulliver’s World team had so many of these little touches covered. Things like the fact each child had their own jacket and torch as well as their own fossil to take home from the dinosaur trail. These small things went a long way to making this an immersive experience that children can touch and get involved in rather than just watch from a distance.
Also little things like marshmallow toasting when we got back to the hotel as well as some milk and cookies waiting for them were all little moments which went along way to making it such a special weekend for a future palaeontologist !
This was a great way to finish off a great weekend. If you’ve never been before then Splash Zone is basically a massive open wet room filled with water stations to play in and explore. Think all the fun bits at Center Parcs (including the slides) without any of the open water.
The kids had a blast and all 6 of the little ones in our group loved running around like mad, exploring the area while squealing with delight. You get a two-hour play slot and that feels about right as after 90 minutes our two had peaked and were starting to get hungry for lunch.
WHAT WASN’T SO GOOD
This was probably the biggest disappointment as there seemed to be a mix up when we checked in and booked our slot on the trail. Despite taking our name and giving us all the times on our itinerary, they didn’t actually put our names down on the list.
That’s not really the issue as mistakes happen, but it all felt a little passive aggressive with no apology. They didn’t seem believe we were checked in at all and I was sent to get my itinerary. Luckily they had written our times on it when we checked in and they confirmed we could join the tour. I get they were in a bit of a flap because of the mistake, but it felt like we were an inconvenience.
All’s well that ends well though. The team thankfully made room for us and off we headed on our dino adventure. It did mean that there were too many people on the trail itself though. I lost count of how many times the ranger said “we don’t have enough” and someone was sent off to get more jackets / torches / dino bones etc.
The tour itself was great and I’m obviously incredibly grateful that the mistake was corrected. I just think it could have been handled a little better. We’re all human though and mistakes happen. To be fair the kids absolutely loved it and were completely oblivious to the trouble we seemed to have caused!
This was also a bit of a disappointment as there just wasn’t enough room to be able to join in with the movie. We were on the last trail of the night which meant that by the time we got back, the room for the movie was rammed full with not a single seat left.
It’s a shame tough as my two would have loved it. With a little organising maybe with children sat at the front on the floor and parents around the edge, more people would have been able to join in. As it was, there was only space for 30 people which include adults who took up most of the seats.
We didn’t let it spoil the night though. Instead we had a great time digging out the dinosaurs that we found on the trail!
My two loved this and had such a great time. Yes, there were one or two things which could have been better but it was a great weekend. A weekend that really captured my children’s imagination.
It was filled with adventure and the kids absolutely loved it. The trail was interesting enough to delight him, but not too long that she got bored.
The cost was £150 for all four of us and the fact that included not only the tour but also the hotel room, the food and tickets to Splash Zone, I think it was incredible value for money.
The room was fantastic and honestly, my kids have been asking to go back ever since we got home. There is no doubt that we will be back again for another stay in the future.