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Theme Parks In Yorkshire: A Huffington Post Travel Guide

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Theme parks in Yorkshire offer the amazing thrills and spills you expect to find at a good theme park, as well as much more. With zoo exhibits, ecological programs, seasonal events and even a chance to experience the past in a Dickensian Festival, opportunities for fun and adventure seem endless in Yorkshire's theme parks. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on family-fun parks, here is our guide to all the key information visitors need to know about Scotland's theme parks.

Flamingo Land Theme Park And Zoo

Features

Flamingo Land Theme Park and Zoo offers more than most theme parks. The theme park portion shares its 400 acres with the Flamingo Land Zoo, offering visitors a seemingly endless combination of experiences -- from thrills and spills to a walk on the wild side.

Signature Ride

Kumali, the show-stopping, suspended, looping roller coaster named for the leader of Flamingo Land's very own lion pride, takes guests through four inversions, a 55-foot zero-G roll and an 87-foot loop -- all at speeds of up to 56 mph. Not for the faint of heart, this ride is a must-try for the bravest of adrenaline seekers.

More Attractions

Flamingo Land offers rides for visitors young and old, and from the most timid to the bravest thrill-seekers. From extreme rides like the vertical drop ride Cliff Hanger to family rides like the Navigator to kiddie rides like the Frog Hopper, all the members of your party can find a ride that feels tailor-made for them. And if the thrills get to be too much, or you just want a more relaxing day, the 120 species housed in the natural environments of the Flamingo Land Zoo offer a beautiful, and even educational, alternative.

Grub

Flamingo Land offers a nice variety of dining options, from cafes to restaurants, and even a waterfront cafe designed with small children in mind. Regional favorites such as fish and chips are plentiful, and diners can opt for sit-down or on-the-go options. There is also a dining plan available to resort guests. Call the park or go online for details.

Price

Adults and children 4 and older, 27 GBP; senior citizens and disabled guests (proof required), 18 GBP; ages 3 and under, free. Family and season tickets are also available. See the website for details.

Safety Record

While accidents are rare at Flamingo Land, they do happen. According to the United Kingdom's Daily Mail, a woman was stuck upside down on a roller coaster for 20 minutes in 2010. Although she now avoids roller coasters, she praised the park's staff for its quick action.

Address: Kirby Misperton, Malton, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom, YO17 6UX
Telephone: 0871 9118000
Hours of Operation The park is open from spring through fall. Gates open at 9:30 a.m. and rides and attractions are open from 10 a.m. to 4, 5 or 6 p.m., depending on time of year. To find out the time of closing on the day of your visit, call the park.

Lightwater Valley Theme Park

Check out this rider's perspective of the Ultimate roller coaster.

Features

In business more than 20 years, Lightwater Valley Theme Park continues to add to the fun with fresh rides and attractions, such as the new swashbuckling adventure area, Skeleton Cove, home of five new rides for the bravest of the park's buccaneers. Conveniently located 15 minutes from the A1 highway north of Ripon, Lightwater Valley is one of the UK's favorite family fun parks.

Signature Ride

The Ultimate is the longest roller coaster in Europe, and the pride of Lightwater Valley Theme Park. At 1.5 miles, it draws visitors from all over who want to experience its mind-boggling six minutes of jaw-dropping twists and turns. Recognized as the longest roller coaster in the world from 1991 to 2001, the Ultimate continues to thrill riders brave enough to take on its challenge.

More Attractions

With more than 40 rides set on 175 acres, Lightwater Valley is designed with the entire family in mind. From the dark and terrifying subterranean world of Raptor Attack to the graceful and relaxing Swan Lake Pedal Boats and the lively antics of the park mascots (the Valligators), the options seem to go on forever. The fun never ends -- until closing time, that is.

Grub

With 14 different places to eat and kiosks that offer food on-the-go, Lightwater Valley offers visitors a variety of dining options. From traditional park fare to more substantial meals and even health-conscious choices, the park has something to satisfy every palate.

Price

39 to 51 inches, 18.95 GBP; under 39 inches; free. Season passes range from 60 GBP for a single to 280 GBP for a family of six. Discounts are available for seniors, people with disabilities and for purchasing tickets online. Consult the park's website for full details.

Safety Record

Although accidents are rare, they do happen. According to the website Valley Mania, "Lightwater Valley claims to have an 'excellent safety record,' but the fatal accident involving a university student (in June 2010) was the second in its 22-year history and there have been a series of incidents and Health and Safety prosecutions over its 'white knuckle' rides."

Address: North Stainley, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 3HT
Telephone: 0871 720 0011
Hours of Operation Park gates open at 10 a.m., and rides and attractions open at 10:30 a.m.
The park typically closes at 4:30 p.m. but may close later, depending on time of year. Call the park for the closing time on the day of your visit.

Other Noteworthy Parks

Twinlakes Theme Park Scarborough Sea Life Creepy Crawlies Adventure Play Park Nature's World Peasholm Park

What's your favorite amusement park near Yorkshire?

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