We had just been reading “Dinosaur’s Love Underpants” as an online voucher offer popped up for “Dinosaur Discover Park” for just £4 per person, we could rome a child friendly prehistoric adventure land.
Convincing Mrs M that this was a good idea was always gong to be the hard part… or at least thats what i thought!
Not being able to find an attraction when you are stood 100 yards away from it, does suggest something is a miss. Perhaps all the people wondering around Tong Garden Centre were also trying to find the dinosaurs?
Clearly when we attended, all was not well between the Garden Centre and the attraction organisers as there was almost no signage at all and a reluctance for staff to guide us in the right direction. This was further confirmed as we were handing in our vouchers (which were the same price as normal price) when a man who emerged from the bushes explained how they were planning to move and had no electricity or payment from the Garden Centre.
I am still unsure if it was my expectation that was completely wrong or the advertising of the Dinosaur Discovery Park which was the main problem with the next phase of the day, or if in fact it was just my late realisation that Children find giant robotic angry looking animals, terrifying!
M was far from convinced by the two or three moving dinosaurs, which were jerking around under the gentle hum of their outdoor generators. Mrs M was less convinced by the ‘sand pit’ which just looked hazardous and i was just bewildered by the whole experience.
From what i can gather, at one point it was a great attraction, sadly now it all looked very 100BC …and not in a good way.
Dinosaurs attached to bikes, a few clever robotic toys for Children who’s parents understood that age appropriate was around 7 years old and a pretty looking lake were the highlights, but i am not sure they were a chargeable experience.
As we left and explored the random parts of Tong Garden Centre, which itself was a bit of a mystery – including brand new outdoor play area, cooked breakfast for around £1.25 and random old cars in a warren of rooms and spaces, we were told that a man dressed up as a dinosaur would soon start wondering the woodlands, which confirmed it was time to leave, before permanently scaring our poor child any further!
I think my frustration with the attraction, was because it really could have been something special and magical. The mini woodland and lake, would have made a perfect fairytale adventure, Gruffalo experience, or magical wonderland. It has all the ingredients to be something special.
It looks like it has now all ended for the Dinosaur Discovery. Which as a free experience, perhaps with an added miniature railway or one of the many other attractions used by Garden Centres, could have been a great value destination. Sadly, for me, it was just an odd day of disappointment without any ROAR! Read More
Baffling is just the start
Possibly one of the biggest adventure fails i have ever experienced. Whilst i admit that dinosaurs are of course terrifying to a toddler, but so the is the dysfunctional relationship between Tong Garden Centre and the Dinosaur Discovery people.