A family has hit out at Flamingo Land after their family day out was spoiled by long queues, overflowing litter bins and limited social distancing.
Mum Lindsay Roberts visited the North Yorkshire theme park on Bank Holiday Monday with her mum, dad, brothers, and their eight children.
She said the party of 13 arrived promptly at 10am to enjoy a family day out – one of the first major outings for Lindsay’s parents who both have terminal cancer – and purchased their tickets which set them back almost £320.
However, the excursion was far from what they’d hoped.
The mum-of-two complained over the lack of coronavirus measures in place throughout the resort, limited social distancing, people not wearing masks indoors, ride closures and lengthy queues, Teeside Live reported.
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“Even with no Covid it would have been hideous, but with Covid it was just scary,” the 44-year-old said.
Lindsay told of “two areas of complaint” during her Bank Holiday Monday trip.
The mum said there was a “lack of Covid safety” measures in place throughout the “busy” resort as well as a number of attractions that were closed or broken down.
“It was just horrendous,” she said.
The self-employed baker told how in the indoor areas, including the arcades, toilets and bar, “nobody was wearing masks”.
She said employees were all wearing face coverings but there were few staff available to enforce the rules.
The family, who live in Hartlepool, paid £319 for 13 people including her elderly parents, who are in their 70s, two brothers and eight children.
She told how it was “big thing” for her parents to come out for the day and simply wanted to “take their grandchildren for a treat”.
Speaking about the rides, Lindsay explained that one of her children only experienced half a ride – as it broke down while they were on it – and her other child only went on four rides throughout the whole day.
The ‘showstopper’ ride Kumali – the park’s “sensational showpiece looping suspended coaster” – was closed.
One of the main reasons the family decided to attend Flamingo Land was for the resort’s water ride.
However, the Lost River Ride was also closed during their trip.
Lindsay’s youngest son queued for around one-hour to go on the dinosaur rollercoaster but as he got halfway around the ride, it broke down.
According to the Flamingo Land website, there are still a number of rides temporarily closed including the Lost River Ride, Flip Flop, Navigator and Kumali.
The mum also told of the lengthy wait time for attractions.
She said: “We queued for Mumbo Jumbo for two hours for a 30 second ride.
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“There was no room for social distancing or no covid signs up. There was a hand sanitiser at the entrance but nothing else.
“I didn’t see any staff until you were getting on the rides.”
During the trip, the zoo was open and the family attended the bird and seal shows.
Lindsay told how in the Sea Lion show covid-19 measures were “really properly done” with “spaces between seats” and alternative seats taped off.
However, in the bird show there was “no rules at all”.
Lindsay said: “It was the same woman coordinating it but it was completely different. At the bird show, my mum was in a mobility scooter and the woman asked if she could open the gate.
“So my mum said ‘yes of course’ not realising what she meant. The next thing people were stood right round her. There was just no consistency at all.”
The day-trip was one of Lindsay’s parents first “main” trips out since the covid-19 lockdown.
“They’ve had a couple of meals out but nothing big such as a day out like that,” she said.
The family had taken their own picnic as at lunchtime the food outlets were “rammed”.
However, Lindsay said she had went to buy a cup of tea around 2.30pm from Cooplands but when she attended they were closing.
A picture also shows a rubbish bin overfilled with litter as well as empty bottles and wrappers piled on the floor. The mum also told of the “disgusting” scenes in the ladies toilet as there was no nappy bins in the cubicle.
She said people had left fully nappies and sanitary towels on the back of the toilet. “I was due to go back in the summer again but I will never go back to that place,” Lindsay added.
Flamingo Land were contacted for comment.