Flamingo Land – Review


By Dominic Picksley, October 2023

Kirby Misperton has been well known as the home of Flamingo Land for over 60 years now and what started out as the Yorkshire Zoological Gardens has since not only become a blossoming zoo, but also one of the top amusement theme parks in the country.

While the zoo, which once housed a killer whale in the late 60s/early 70s, still gets plenty of visitors marvelling at the 120 species of animals, including giraffes, rhinos, tigers and sea lions, most people tend to head to the theme park and the white-knuckle rides of which they possess some of the best in the country.

Chief among the rollercoasters is undoubtedly Sik, the 10-inversion coaster that was only opened at the start of the 2022 season and cost the owners around £18million.

It really is a magnificent specimen and as you walk underneath it, through the underpass, the clouds of mist expelled into the air around you even add a touch or two of mysticism to the ride.


“Pure exhilaration”

You are launched by cable up the 108ft incline and what follows is pure exhilaration – or terror – as you are flung around the Intamin tri-track, first through the vertical loop, followed by two cobra rolls and two corkscrews, before it feels like the ride is trying to throw you out of your seat as you barrel around four heartland rolls. And just when you think that’s it, one more heartland roll follows just before you come to a sudden halt.

All the Sik merchandising on offer at the park is also a great idea and after ‘surviving’ the ride, you can reward yourself with a nice little fridge magnet or stylish top.

The addition of Sik to the Flamingo Land’s arsenal takes the park up a notch or two, but even without this fabulous addition, there’s still plenty of rides to thrill and excite coaster and flat ride fans alike.

Kumali  – named after the leader of the zoo’s lion pride – looks a monster, towering over the park from its far corner location, and it’s heart-in-mouths time as you ascend the 118 foot to the top of the starting loop, before hurtling downwards at nearly 60mph, through four inversions, before then gliding back into the station, wondering what all the fuss was about.



And if it’s pure speed you want, then Velocity offers it in spades, with the motorbike launch coaster – the first of its kind in the UK –propelling you down the track at 60mph in less than three seconds.

The minor villain of the pack is Hero, one of the most uncomfortable coasters you could ever ride on, but one that has endless queues. Maybe the notoriety is what pulls the punters in.

You ride on/in what looks like a metal stretcher in which you are entombed – on your front – and you have to get on and off while it is still moving. Every twist and turn seems to jolt a joint or muscle and it’s a relief to get off, but at least it still adds to the whole experience.

For quite a small theme park, Flamingo Land packs a lot in and Mumbo Jumbo, which used to be the world’s steepest coaster, is another popular attraction and one where you get flipped upside down for a few seconds.

It’s not all coasters, though, and Cliff Hanger gives you a great view of the zoo and surrounding area from 180 foot up, before heading back down to earth at breakneck speed, before bobbing up and down a few times and is not one for the faint-hearted.


“A fun little attraction”

Flip Flop is a big swing ride that moves back and forward on a large pendulum, Splash Battle is a fun little attraction where you can fire water guns at the people watching… who can also fire them back and getting soaked is a given.

One of the most spectacular ends to an attraction has to be the Lost River Ride, where a gentle riverboat safari takes you around the zoo where you can see the animals in their enclosures, but ends with a plummet down the falls, creating a huge splash and tidal wave that has to be seen to be believed. Incredible stuff.

There are also plenty of rides for the younger ones, with introductory coasters like Dino Roll, Go Gator, Twistosaurus and Runaway Train, along with various flat rides and the customary pirate ship.

And once you’ve had your fill of thrills and spills, head back into the zoo and marvel at the wallowing hippos, see if you can catch a glimpse of the elusive red panda and laugh along at the playful Hamadryas baboons.

Standard admission ticket prices at Flamingo Land: Seven days in advance – £39, two days in advance – £45, On the day – £52.50. Children three and under – free


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