Malton, North Yorkshire
Tel: 0870 7528000
About Flamingo Land
Flamingo Land is a fun day out for all the family, located at Kirby Misperton, Malton, North Yorkshire, just off the A169 Pickering Road. The family attraction mixes the best of several worlds, including a zoo with over 1000 animals from numerous exotic and native species, a fun-seekers’ paradise theme park with plenty of white-knuckle rides, a huge children’s play zone, and a Holiday Village set in 375 acres of grounds and gardens. Guaranteed fun for a family day out or a longer stay, Flamingo Land really has it all.
Created in 1959 and open March through to October every year, Flamingo Land – the UK’s only combined Theme Park, Zoo and Holiday Village – has magnificent views over Ryedale and the Yorkshire Moors, but it’s best known as the largest amusement park in North England. The family attraction is in fact the most popular individually-owned amusement park in the country, pulling in around 1.5 million visitors per annum.
Flamingo Land was originally founded as Flamingo Park Zoological Gardens by Pentland Hick, who wanted to create a park with – the first in captivity in Britain. He undertook expeditions to the Indian Ocean and Greenland to capture bottlenose dolphins and sperm whales, and was commended for his treatment of them in purpose-built extensive enclosures. The family attraction soon added a colony of pink flamingos, which became the mascot of the park, and their descendants still reside in the zoo, comprising the largest group of flamingos in the UK.
Flamingo Land added a small fun fair in the 1960s and, by the 1970s, amusement rides became permanent at the renamed Yorkshire Zoo. Bought in 1978 by Robert Gibb, Flamingo Land then acquired its current epithet and its owner determined to make the family attraction a nationally-recognised family day out.
By 1991, Flamingo Land was adding famous rides like the Bullet and Thunder Mountain, though the focus was equally on the development of the zoo and its animal and plant collections, which provide both an educational and enjoyable family day out.
Flamingo Land houses various varities of exotic birds, a number of varieties of rare fish and marine life, endangered mammals, and all sorts of reptiles. Among the most popular animals at Flamingo Land are inquisitive camels, majestic zebras, powerful bison, sprightly red deer, awesome hippopotamus, slender giraffes, birds of paradise, strutting peacocks and exotic breeds like guanaco, okapi and the Mangabeys that featured in the 2006 TV series, ‘Theme Park’.
A fun family day out is further enlivened by the antics of show-offs like the meerkats and sea lions, who seem born performers, especially at feeding time! A ticket to Flamingo Land also gets visitors up close and personal with big cats like lions and tigers, as well as the powerful rhinoceros and a whole tribe of cheeky monkeys, who take pride in entertaining their human cousins at every opportunity. Indeed, among those entertainments enhancing a family day out to Flamingo Land are a Sealion show, bird show and African acrobats.
Flamingo Land’s African Animals section additionally houses the Lost Kingdom and African Planes, while the theme park’s water ride offers a safari-styled experience. Before its final 60-foot (20 metre) plunge, it meanders through grasslands populated by the big beasts of the savannah, as well as big birds such as the Ostrich, and passes by the ‘ Forgotten City Lion Reserve’ in the middle of the ride. Flamingo Land’s zoo is not just a grand family day out either, for it partakes in ongoing breeding programmes and its keepers give talks about conservation and husbandry.
Aside from Flamingo Land’s zoo, the family attraction boasts numerous other features that are open to ticket holders. The Plaza hosts Professor Bubbles’ dream machine Show and the main gift shops, game stalls and Wave Swinger ride, as well as some of Flamingo Land’s 13 food outlets, such as the Garden House and Jolly Sailor restaurants, an American diner, the Flamingo tearoom, and The Rollercoaster tribute café.
The Seaside Adventure zone of Flamingo Land is fashioned after a seaside resort with themed stores and a seafood restaurant. It boasts Britain’s second highest drop-tower, the Cliff Hanger lighthouse, which blasts ticket holders 200 feet (61 metres) into the air.
Flamingo Land’s Splish Splash, the first interactive water ride in the UK, incorporates the Splash Battle submarine cars with their mounted water cannons, and a water playground with squirting jets and water-dropping palm trees. An explosive element to a family day out is added with a volcano in the centre of the lake that erupts with water every 20 minutes and soaks everyone on The Lost River Ride, and anyone else within range for that matter! Just the ticket for a fun family day out.
There are also more than 20 fun rides for younger children, including The Junior Driving School, The Dragon Coaster, a Tea-Cup ride, the high flying Jets, The Runaway Mine Train, The Little Monsters Den that takes in the Mischief Wacky Races, the centrepiece "Helitoy" ride, and a train journey around Little Monster’s Mischief Mansion to confront resident Little Monsters – Little Mummy, Little Drac and Little Yeti.
Flamingo Park additionally operates Muddy Duck Farm with its many native farm animals, and the Muddy Duck Tractor Ride allows ticket holders to drive a tractor through the farmyard and take in themed surprises.
The family attraction has a contrasting urban-scape in the shape of Metropolis, providing yet another dimension to a family day out at Flamingo Land. Among its highlights is Velocity, the UK’s only motorbike coaster, which reaches 100 km/h in under three seconds and is the tallest and fastest ride of its kind in the world. Further thrills are to be had with the Navigator, the first ‘Mega’ "Disk ‘O’" type ride ever built; the Vekoma Suspended Looping Coaster, Kumali, with a cobra-roll over the lake and a kilometre of twists, loops and turns at over 60mph; the vintage 1983 Corkscrew roller coaster; the steel Wild Mouse roller coaster; and The Circulator. Other rides include the free-falling Frog Hopper and that traditional family attraction, the giddying Carousel.
Flamingo Land additionally offers visitors the chance to become a temporary Keeper and to experience their work behind the scenes and what it’s like to be in close contact with exotic animals. Alternatively, there are behind the scenes guided tours, and corporate and school parties are catered for as well (details at the website).
After a full family day out, Flamingo Land provides rest and relaxation on site with its spa/gym/lesiure centre, nine-hole golf course and 4000-capacity holiday village, with static caravans and log cabins, a swimming pool and café.
The Costa Beck stream is also a family day out in itself, with fly fishing rich in Trout, Dace, Grayling, Salmon, Kingfisher and Pike.
With disabled access and facilities throughout Flamingo Land, it really is a family attraction that everyone can enjoy for a fabulous family day out.