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September Trip Report
Posted By Chris on Sunday 7th September 2008 @ 12:07 AM | Filed Under: Trip Reports

September Trip Report

Just back from being on park for a week. Here's a roundup of the latest news developments.

Beast downtime
Despite only reopening last Friday, Beast was closed again between Wednesday and Saturday lunch time. After numerous testing and the maintenance team seen doing something to the ring
at the centre of the arm, the ride reopened again around Saturday lunch time.

Plazza Cleared
The Plazza has been refurbished since the 99p shop was closed and removed from the area at the end of last season. The area now houses a cafe, a shop selling fruit and vegetables and a seating area. Several other unused outlets and what looks like a small play area also reside in the area, but as of yet it remains to be seen what becomes of them.

Castaways Bar
Woody's Wine Bar has been renamed to Castaways. This is presumably related to the change in management at Fantasy Island since the bar used to be named after previous owner John Woodward. New signs have been erected to reflect the name change.

In related news, the sign above this used to promote Millennium Roller Coaster as Europe's largest, looping roller coaster. This sign has now been painted over, as can be seen along with the new Castaways bar signs in the following images.

Go Kart Price Increase
The go-karts at Fantasy Island operate separately from the token scheme in place around the rest of the park. The fare had been £5, but has since risen to £6. Although unconfirmed, this price increase could be related to the recent increase in fuel costs since the go-karts are petrol powered.

SIMEX Paintjob
Albeit a retired ride, speculation continues as to whether the attraction is still installed beneath the pyramid floor. Perhaps the latest nail in the coffin is that the sign has finally been given a lick of blue paint; covering over the text that used to read 'SIMEX: The Ultimate Movie Ride Experience'.

Caravans back at Fantasy Island
At the end of last season, the caravans were removed from the Blue Anchor owned caravan park adjacent to Fantasy Island. It's assumed that these were relocated to the old overflow car park; which has now become a new caravan park. Presumably, this means that Conduit Leisure now owns the land where the caravan park used to be, but also means that the maximum number of car parking spaces has been reduced considerably. Further backing up this theory is that the footpath that connected Sea Lane to the overflow car park was closed permanently from November last year.

Car Park Drainage
The land at the far end of the Fantasy Island car park has been subject to ongoing construction work since winter. Originally work went ahead without permission, which halted work. Plans were then submitted and approved, revealing that the work being carried out was for new drainage to be installed. Whilst the work is still being carried out, a vast amount of the work has been completed as can be seen in this photo.

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June Trip Report
Posted By Chris on Friday 20th June 2008 @ 8:43 PM | Filed Under: Trip Reports

June Trip Report

Barry and myself headed out to Ingoldmells between the 7th and 14th June for probably one of the quietest times of the year. Having said that, most rides around Fantasy Island opened throughout the week, with a close time of around 5pm each day; slightly later on Saturday nights at 8pm. Jubilee Odyssey only opened for around an hour on Sunday afternoon, after being tested since only about 4pm. On such a beautiful day, it was surprising that they left it so late in the day, despite this there was almost a queue forming with the number of people waiting to ride. Millennium opened throughout the week; only closing on Thursday and Friday due to poorer weather conditions. Absolutely Insane wasn't open throughout the week and despite having its car attached doesn't appear to have been open at all since the season began in March.

One of the biggest differences compared to last year was the lack of park maps. Whilst they weren't necessary to navigate the park, the maps did offer a sense of place.The old maps featured information regarding Blue Anchor caravans, and it's possible that Blue Anchor owned the copyright to the maps and the old logo. Therefore, it's understandable why the maps have been withdrawn. However, the only promotional material for the park now is leaflets available from the Skegness Information Centre and in the Skegness Directory.

Despite previous reports regarding Millennium and Amazing Confusion paint jobs, it looks more like Millennium has simply been shedding its old paint job and Amazing Confusion remains the same shade of sun-bleached pink.

Nevertheless, the park have been recycling old ride cars that were formerly used on Fantasy Flume. Three of these have been painted and set at the main carpark entrance as planters. The plants look pretty small, and the soil looks more like dirt than compost, but they have to be applauded forconsidering the cosmetic appearance of the park.

As noted on the forums toward the end of last season, the old Fantasy Island logo and disco ball have been removed from the inside of the pyramid. This used to hang at the apex inside the pyramid. It's implied that the new owners are attempting to remove any sign of the old owners presence; and replacing this with the new park logo.

Finally,we noticed that the path that joined the Fantasy Island overflow carpark to Sea Lane has been closed since November last year. It's noted that this is a permanent closure, however it's unclear whether this is only whilst work is carried out to the adjacent caravan park development. Incidentally, this appears to be a Blue Anchor development and it could be possible that the walkway is the property of Blue Anchor. Either way, it makes a much longer trip from the overflow carpark to Fantasy Island. The route is also poorly sign posted; whilst there's signs to get to the car park, there's very few on how to walk back to Fantasy Island.

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Winter Off Season Report
Posted By Chris on Wednesday 30th January 2008 @ 11:26 PM | Filed Under: Trip Reports

Winter Off Season Report

Barry and myself visited the park last Thursday to find the park pretty much as it was in summer; minus the people and of course the rides were still mostly dismantled. But at least everything was still there; including Absolutely Insane.

Other good news is that park maintenance staff were clearly evident throughout the day. A selection of which were bemused by our presence as we captured photos of the park. They were mainly seen working on the log flume and applying some of Stig's super grease to a few of the children's rides (i.e. - Pony Express) next to Volcanic Impact. It appears that the erection of the structure of the dodgems has already begun too.

The seats on Amazing Confusion seats were uncovered.

The gondolas for Beast have been taken off as usual, but the ride structure itself wasn't packed down as it had been in previous years.

Unlike last year, the cart for Absolutely Insane has been removed.

It looks like the arms for Techno Jump are still getting some TLC back at their home in Italy.

We also noticed this sign for Wrecker's Cove leaning against a storage container in the car park beside Jubilee Odyssey. A random place to leave it. Perhaps they're getting a new one to reflect a fewer number of tokens required or wrist bands?

Whilst speculation is rife about what's been occurring inside the pyramid this off season. Sadly we didn't get a chance to check any of these developments out. However, it's only a little over 2 months now 'til the park opens for the 2008 season.

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Spring Bank Week Report
Posted By Barry on Sunday 3rd June 2007 @ 9:01 PM | Filed Under: Trip Reports

Spring Bank Week Report

I made my way down to Fantasy Island for the spring bank week, although it wasnít too eventful Iíve compiled all the news from the week into this article:

Rain, Rain, Rain and More Rain!

Whoever made the journey down to the park last bank holiday weekend will know exactly what Iím talking about. From Saturday night through to bank holiday Monday it rained consistently causing the entire park to close on Sunday excluding the indoor rides. High winds forced even Millennium to close on bank holiday Monday.

Downtime Gets Absolutely Insane

The 240ft S&S Sky Sling has still not opened for 2007. Re-cabling was underway last Friday but since then no work has been done. Two of three cables have been replaced and several of the restraints have been removed. At this rate it appears that the reopening of this at one time tallest ride in the UK is still a long way off.

BIG Weekend Tickets On Sale

Tickets for ďFantasy Islands BIG WeekendĒ are now on sale at the Odyssey booth. The event will feature acts such as Status Quo and is set to take place on the weekend beginning Friday 31st August 2007. The event has been recently confirmed to be held in the main car park near the Odyssey coaster.

The event is also being very heavily advertised, with leaflets and posters situated at all token booths. Posters can also be seen on Planet Fun amusements as well as other locations around the park.

Ride Operation

All the rides were operating for the Friday and Saturday of the bank holiday weekend (excluding Absolutely Insane), however, very few rides were open on Sunday and Monday due to bad weather. Odyssey was down on Tuesday and Wednesday but reopened on Thursday for the rest of the week. Excluding Sunday and Monday Millennium was open all week as so were all other rides excluding the Sky Sling.

Things I Noticed

A few other notes about the spring bank week; firstly excluding bank holiday Saturday the park wasnít very busy. We can blame the rain for Sunday and Monday but some very pleasant sunshine was around this weekend yet still only a poor turnout. On Saturday the 2nd June the operatives on Odyssey were only allowing riders on the front half of the train, and even then it was a challenge for them to fill these seats.

Itís important to note that they close the Odyssey and surrounding rides at 6pm on a regular basis these days. One other thing I noticed is that the surge of maintenance that was taking place in March and April has hit a dead-end. No work seems to be taking place at Fantasy Island at all at the moment.

Opening Weekend Roundup
Posted By Barry on Sunday 18th March 2007 @ 11:42 PM | Filed Under: Trip Reports

Opening Weekend Roundup

I can safely say it hasnít been the best weekend at Fantasy Island with under half of the rides operating! As expected both coaster; Millennium and Odyssey were closed, but what was unexpected was the fact that neither of these coasters had their trains on track. Both trains were still packed down in the warehouse. Both Amazing Confusion and Absolutely Insane that neighbour Odyssey were also closed to the public.

Most shockingly all the rides excluding the Magical Seaquarium water ride were closed within the pyramid! Meaning both the majority of children's rides and thrill rides were down. On the main fairground the Wild Mouse and Volcanic Impact were also experiencing downtime along with a few childrenís rides. Techno Jump - which was in pieces just over a week ago was surprisingly open to the public, Beast also managed to open which has been a rush and a task for the ride engineers due to the weather conditions in the last few weeks.

It isnít expected that full normality will resume until Easter, however, we would expect that Millennium and several other rides will start opening next weekend.

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