Top positive review
A must buy for theme park enthusiasts, especially if you have kids!
on 10 August 2011
This is the sort of book that people who love to be prepared and to know exactly where they're going in advance (like me!) will absolutely love. Firstly though, I should make it clear that although it says that it covers theme parks and attractions, there is a lot more of a focus on theme parks than anything else. There are some aquariums covered, and a small amount of museums, and at the end of every area chapter there is a list of farm experiences available in the region, but the majority of the book does cover theme parks and there is no coverage at all of country houses or National Trust properties, London landmarks or tourist attractions (aside from London Dungeons) and only a couple of castles. The book also states in the introduction that they will not cover any waterparks, which seems odd for various reasons, such as the fact that there are not very many in England so it would be easy to do, and the fact that they are so similar in appeal to theme parks, and particularly the fact that the front cover clearly shows a water flume!! However, once you've accepted that this is a book mostly about theme parks, you are in for a treat.
After some introductory chapters covering how to get the most out of your theme park experiences, and how best to deal with taking children to them, the book then divides into chapters by region - for example, North East England, North West England, Wales, etc, and goes through the main attractions in each area. Each attraction includes information on opening times, directions to get there, and what is on offer at the place. Some smaller theme parks have only a couple of pages allocated, but the larger ones, such as Alton Towers or Legoland, have huge write ups that delighted me as a lover of detail, and are beyond helpful for anyone trying to plan an efficient day or wondering what rides are suitable for children. For the bigger parks, each ride and show is listed and described, along with ratings such as how fun they are, and how scary they are for young ones (or big ones!). The book even offers maps and suggested routes through the park from ride to ride in order to decrease queuing times to an absolute minimum.
This book is brilliantly researched and is not only useful, but also entertaining and easy to read. I would highly recommend it, and if you are holidaying in the UK, especially with kids, then I would say it is the number 1 book you should buy.