Last weekend we stayed in the Safari Hotel from Friday overnight til Saturday. We spent a day in the park which was the first day of the season and well as the launch day of the Gruffalo Ride.
This was our second adventure to this park having (enjoyed?) a weekend of glamping in August.
2 Single Mums don’t currently have a car. We travelled by Uber taxi for both journeys which was approximately £50 per journey. This sounds a lot but when you factor in that we do one journey each and pay no seperate coach or rail costs where would pay for the children also; and have quadruple the hassle of a long journey after school or after a tiring day of little legs wandering a theme park well worth it!
This year we have Merlin passes also so park entrance was ‘free’ and the Merlin holiday in January gives a discount for a quad room perfectly suitable for four people with two single beds and one double. We paid £69.63 precisely for an unthemed room which was clean and presentable. This included toiletries and breakfast. The highlight of our stay was definitely the hotel entertainment which literally could not have been better. We made sure to compliment theses energetic and enthusiatic staff on the tablet feedback form in the hotel itself and also the feedback requested after via email.
Entertainment began at 6pm meeting the Gruffalo which was lovely for our boys as this was the first part of our stay here. It lasted until 9pm which you would think would have exhausted the boys but the excitement of sharing a room seemed to keep them forever!
The entertainment included a family quiz, children’s games and disco dancing which grown ups could get involved with as long as they were as cool as we are. Agadoo, Saturday Night we are very cool but have no collective general knowledge involving Lazy Town.
The breakfast was everything a hotel buffet breakfast can be and set us up for a day of fun. It was helpful to have our passes scanned at a special gate for hotel guests rather than queuing for entrance on the other side of the park. We were a little disappointed to find that the hotels now charge for using the swimming pool and using the pool towels but after an action packed day we didn’t feel we could fit any more activity into the day anyway. The pool opens at 12pm and it would be good if it was open before breakfast so there’s something to do before park entrance.
Another tip for Merlin pass holders is the annual digipass. This cost £40 fora year or it is possible to get a daily pass for £30. This allows you to get all your photos from Chessington, Thorpe Park, Alton Towers and Legoland for a one-off price as digital copies and paying for each photo between £10-£20 really mounts up and affects food and the dreaded sounvenir shop budget.
Only downside with this was the amount of time we spent searching for the right shop as it was unmarked and it being the first day of the season the staff seemed unsure of where everything was located but it’s only once a year it needs purchasing anyway.
Ryan and Leo are not interested (or not old enough really) for the rides though they are over 1 metre in height. Their favourite things are driving the trucks and getting a driving license, meeting their familiar friend the Gruffalo,
Sea Life Centre, Zufari, the softplay beneath Dragon Capers and the overhead playground near the hotel. 2 Single Mums enjoyed celeb spotting around the park as there was a launch event on for the new Gruffalo ride.
For lunch we ate at the Zufari Bar and Grill. Two cokes, salad, chips and kids portion of macaroni cheese cost £7 with Merlin discount and including a free pop badge (the pop badge is all important).
We have two more park stays booked this year. Here’s hoping they will be as wonderful as this one!