Tuesday, August 08, 2017

The Ultimate List of Oakwood Tips! ( Oakwood? Oakwouldn't!)

Welcome back to our Epic England Road Trip, this is the final instalment as we’re now over the border back in Wales. When I was planning this adventure I thought a trip to Oakwood Theme Park would be a great way end our trip but boy was I wrong. 

There were some good points but unfortunately not enough to outweigh the bad. If you’re one of the many families who follow our footsteps all is not lost as I’d recommend you go to one of the many castles, gardens, beaches or take a day trip to Folly Farm, the Secret Owl Garden or Manor Wildlife Park instead.

Closest Port to Oakwood

Cardiff is the closest airport at 90 miles away from Oakwood then you would have to hire a car or get a taxi. The best way to get to Oakwood would be the ferry from Rosslare to Fishguard with Stena Line (25 miles) or to Pembroke with Irish Ferries (13 miles). 

Stena Line has day trips by ferry, coach & park passes for €59pp departing Rosslare at 8am returning at 4am the following morning. Irish Ferries has family short breaks starting at €537 for car ferry, 2 nights stay & park passes.

Where to stay on a budget for Oakwood

As we were on our road trip we stayed in Travelodge Carmarthen SA33 4JN paying £166/€185.87 for 2 nights room only for 2 adults & 2 kids. The hotel is located 25 minutes drive from Oakwood with a Co-Op beside it for hot breakfast & they also do lunch deals so you can bring a picnic to the park. There’s also a Premier Inn just 17 minutes drive from Oakwood.

Gate Prices at Oakwood

Standard tickets cost £27/€30.23 for anyone over 13 years of age, junior tickets for kids aged 3 -12 years old are £18/€20.15. Under 3’s are free. They’ve a discounted family ticket for 2 adults & 2 children priced at £86/€96.29.

Online with Oakwood

The further in advance you book the better deal you can get, if you book between 2 – 4 days in advance online you can avail of a 25% discount on gate prices but the best deal is if you book at least 5 days in advance and choose the date you want to visit you can save 40% on gate prices which is what we did. 

We bought 2 standard tickets priced at £20.25/€22.67 each and 4 junior tickets priced at £13.50/€15.12 each; our 2 year old was admitted free of charge. Including the online booking fee of £1.50/€1.68 we paid a total of £109.50/€122.61.

Stone Travel Top Tips for Oakwood

· Don’t go until they majorly invest in a deep clean and update of the park, we visited on the second day of the season so we expected the park to be clean which it was from a rubbish point of view but the rides need a good scrub.

· A̶v̶o̶i̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶e̶n̶o̶r̶m̶o̶u̶s̶ ̶q̶u̶e̶u̶e̶s̶ ̶b̶y̶ ̶p̶r̶e̶-̶b̶o̶o̶k̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶o̶n̶l̶i̶n̶e̶. There’s actually no way to avoid the queue. When we arrived the queue for pre-purchased tickets was double the length of the pay at the gate queue.

· There is a large free car park, park near the exit rather than the entrance to the park for a quick getaway.

· Unlike other theme parks you can’t hire a locker at Oakwood but they do have a left luggage facility at the Whistlestop shop costing £1.50/€1.68 PER ITEM!

· You can bring your dog to the park and hire a kennel at the entrance for them for a refundable deposit of £5/€5.60, they advise you to bring water and a blanket for your dog.

· Check the weather forecast, when it’s raining they close a lot of rides but once the rain clears they try to re-open rides.

· There is only 1 ATM in the park located at the Whistlestop shop.

· There is no forewarning of ride closures on their website, even on social media they advised that all rides were operational on the day we visited however when we got to the gate they had a sign up to advise rides were closed as these rides had yet to pass their safety inspection for the season. Circus Land Train, Clown Coaster, Drenched and Pirate ship were mentioned on the poster however when we got in we soon found out that Treetops and Bounce were also closed.

· Of the four adrenaline rides only two were operational during our visit, our girls aged 10 absolutely loved both Speed & Megaphobia.

· There is a 5th adrenaline ride Vertigo but you must pay an extra £36/€40.31 for up to 3 people.

· Bring a picnic including drinks, we went to the Co-Op near our hotel in Carmarthen and stocked up on their meal deals consisting of a sandwich, snack & a drink for just £3/€3.38 each. I supplemented this with snacks and extra drinks.

· There are some picnic areas around the park if you want to have lunch or sit down for a break.

· If you prefer to purchase food on site there are five food & drink outlets around the park, The Oak Tree Restaurant, Bar & Grill, Little Darlings Cafe & Pit Stop & Wendy House. Not all of these were open during our visit.

· Fast passes are priced at £10/€11.20 for 5 rides or £20/€22.39 for unlimited rides.

· There is free Wifi in the park but you have to go to The Oaktree Restaurant to get the code from the blackboard there, no other place in the park has the code. I found I had no mobile phone signal at all during our visit. When we visited the code was 5cyp5w8.

· Neverland is a lovely section of the park for younger children.

· Make sure to check the mini trampolines before letting your children onto them. We were first there in the morning and there was what I thought to be just leaves on the trampolines but they were also covered in small slugs. My son & daughter had to throw out their socks. I asked the lady that was supervising the area when they were last cleaned she shrugged and walked away.

Stone Travel Verdict?

There really is no excuse for the dirt of the rides, the rubbish in the lake and the whole of Circusland. The train ride around the park was great but the train needs to be refurbished especially the engine carriage and trees behind Neverland need to be trimmed, you need to be careful as the branches whip into the carriages of the train. 

It’s a pity really as it could be a great theme park with if they completely renovated Circusland and gave the rest of the park a lick of paint and a good clean. The highlights for us were the toboggan run, Speed, Megaphobia and the Tardis in Neverland.

Have you been to Oakwood? Have you any top tips of your own you’d like to share?

*** Disclaimer: 
There is nothing to disclose!***

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