The sale of land from Rotherham Council to Gullivers is due to be decided Thursday 26th May. A cabinet meeting will be held when commissioner Julie Kenny will be asked to agree the sale of 250 acres, a little less than planned before Christmas as at one end some contaminated land has been found, this will not be sold to Gullivers and kept by Rotherham Council.
Public consultations for Gulliver’s Valley Theme Park in Rotherham have begun today with the first and second of 7 meetings held today with others to follow in Aston, Beighton, Rotherham town centre and Kiveton Park.
The meetings today were lively, attended by many locals and 4 or 5 representatives of Gulliver’s.
Some of the questions being asked were:
What about traffic?
We have taken traffic into consideration and we are not a large theme park offering year round operations. We open at 10am and close at 5, meaning that morning traffic will avoid rush hour and evening traffic will be light due to differing times which people chose to leave the theme park.
What about noise?
Noise will be an issue which we acknowledge. The majority of our land will be open, quiet and peaceful in keeping with the local area. The lie of the land means that natural barriers are already in place which will block a lot of the noise.
We are not a large theme park and our other theme parks are found very close to residential areas where we have been for 40 years, and those areas have not been adversely affected.
What about traffic during construction?
Construction traffic will be kept to a minimum. Due to our target audience of under 12’s, we do not have the requirement for huge cranes and lots of heavy equipment. There will be some traffic obviously, but we will work to ensure the movement of anything is outside rush hour times.
There is already a large hardstanding area available to us which will speed up the process of plant movement.
When will you be open?
If planning permission is granted this year, which is very slim, then we are looking for an opening date for Gulliver’s Valley theme park in Spring 2016. This is extremely unlikely and we would say that a more realistic timescale is Spring 2017 with other areas of development to follow in the years following.
What transport links are there?
There is already a number of access routes into the site, and have been for some years. We will utilise these for car traffic.
Will Supertram be extended to the site?
We currently have no plans for Supertram to be extended to us, but we are not ruling it out.
I walk my dog on the site, how will I be affected?
The impact for dog walkers will be minimal with plenty of open spaces being left the way they are to create a place that everybody can enjoy. We will not be fencing the entire area, only areas we need to for security reasons, and this will be done sympathetically.
What will the Theme Park look like?
There will be no very large roller coasters, and we will echo the look and feel of our park at Matlock Bath.
Are you wanting investors?
No, we have been a very successful company for 40 years and if we don’t have the money in the bank, we don’t do it. We do not have debt, we don’t go for loans, we plan and build within our means. The money is there for Gulliver’s Valley, we are ready to go.
What we have seen today is that the Gulliver’s Valley Theme Park will be around 3 acres in size and rides included will be:
Joining Gulliver’s Valley will be Gulliver’s Glade Adventure Theme Park. This will be an outdoor area with activities such as archery, obstacle courses and climbing areas as well as a mud slide and toboggan run.
Elsewhere on the site will be Gulliver’s Jurassic Safari Park which looks to be a self driven area with multiple stopping/passing places throughout the circuit.
Next to the Safari Park is a Mountain Bike trail, a twisty trail just off a public walkway, which looks to be unfenced so could be a free attraction for the local area to come and enjoy.
South of the Gulliver’s Jurassic Safari Park is Gulliver’s Gears Theme Park. This smaller park looks to be mainly a driving/biking park, but does have a drop tower in the centre and two roller coasters, one tagged as a Motorbike Coaster. It has a small footprint, but our money would be a Zamperla model as Zamperla rides are quite common in Gulliver’s theme parks, and could fit the very compact area.
This park has around 800 car parking spaces, which could possibly be shared with a Gulliver’s Gears Accomodation area, which looks to have 90, what we assume to be chalets.
Two areas towards the far south of the development are a Farm Park, and also Dream Village Lodges, a place for terminally ill children to come and enjoy.
All of these areas are set around various hotels and camp sites and there are around 5 areas within the grounds which are earmarked for future developments.
Plans are due to be submitted to Rotherham Council in December, until then we won’t know for sure what Gulliver’s Valley will comprise of, however, by taking a good look at the other parks currently operating, we can take a good guess as to the type of park we should expect.
The three other Gulliver’s Theme Parks each comprise of a number of areas. They all have a main entrance area, an area where you will enter the park, which will more than likely have a stage area where the Gulliver characters will welcome you to the park each morning, and wave goodbye at the end of the day. The area may take the form of a mock street, or be more open with grassy areas, no matter which option they opt for, you will be sure to see little gift shops and other little outlets.
Away from the entrance area, the park can be expected to be split up into between 7 to 9 other areas, and we can make a good guess at what these lands will be.
Smuggler’s Wharf features in two out of the three other Gulliver’s Parks, so we can say we may possibly see this repeated in Rother Valley. The Pirate themed area will certainly feature a Pirate Ship ride, but other rides could include a barrel boat ride and crazy golf.
Another area possibly on its way is a Wild West themed area. Two out of the three Gulliver’s Theme Parks currently have an area called Western World.
Western World, if repeated, could see rides such as a Log Flume, a small train ride and play areas.
An area we will probably see at Gulliver’s Valley is Lilliput Land. Featuring in all three existing Gulliver’s Theme Parks, Lilliput Land is the first thing you would think when remembering the Gulliver’s stories.
Lilliput Land could see any number of rides, from small children’s rides, mild family rides, ghost trains, tea cup carousel rides, and more than likely, at least one show.
Dinosaurs are an odds on favourite to feature at Gulliver’s Valley, with a Dinosaur themed land at all three existing Gulliver’s Theme Parks.
Rides included in any Dinosaur theme area include a car ride through the ‘lost world’, a fossil dig attraction and play grounds.
One last absolute certainty for Gulliver’s Valley is Gully Town. This area named after the chief mascot will probably comprise of mock buildings in which children can go and play.
The whole park will be scattered with a number of mild family rides, solid children’s rides, probably a park train from manufacturer Severn Lamb, and multiple shows and side attractions. Gulliver’s Warrington hosts a very good wooden family roller coaster, given its popularity, we can only hope something of this scale features at Gulliver’s Valley, but even if not, we can be sure there will be a good family roller coaster in the ride lineup.
A year in the world of Gulliver’s Theme Parks consists of a number of events including fireworks, Christmas and Halloween, amongst other one off events and special occasions. Children’s birthday parties will probably be catered for and a NERF zone will probably appear when the park opens, which will probably cost an extra fee.
Educated guesses at entry prices for Gulliver’s Valley will be in the region of £20 each, entry prices at the moment for the existing parks are around £17 each.
Of course, this is all guess work by us here at Valley Mania as we get excited at the prospect of Gulliver’s coming to our local area, and we hope that they have lots more surprises up their sleeves for us here in South Yorkshire.
Gulliver's themselves seem very confident that the park will go ahead. On their main website gulliversfun.co.uk, they have Gulliver's Valley as Coming Soon on the home page. This links to a new website gulliversvalley.co.uk, registered on 3rd August this year.
It has just been announced that Gulliver's have bought the land and will be putting in planning applications in due course.
At this stage, Gulliver's Valley may not happen, however, we will follow all developments with a hope that we will welcome this fantastic park in the coming years.
These photos show the overgrown vast area on which Gulliver's Valley may one day live.