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Park Profile

Rides and

attractions •Crash Landings (themed soft play area/café, open all year)

•Robin Hood's Merry Adventures (horse and cart ride)

•Santa's Sleigh Ride (dark ride) •Tractor Ride (farm-themed ride) •Boozy Barrels (themed water ride)

•Rocky Mountain Railroad (wild west train ride) •Shotgun City (western town)

•Monkey Mischief (animated jungle scenes)

•Storybook Village (fairytale houses/scenes)

•Yellow Brick Wood (Wizard of Oz- themed forest)

•Lollipoppet Castle (walk-through candy world)

•Sunnydown Farm (animated animal figures)

•Market Square (central plaza/shops)

•Pirate Adventure/Smugglers Cove/Fort Apache/Rodeo Corral/Captain Sandy's/Noah's Ark (themed play areas)

•Singalong Show

Robin Hood’s Merry Adventures by Garmendale (GEL), with theming by Farmer Studios

Derbyshire, GEL also supplied the ride system for Rocky Mountain Railroad, Robin Hood's Merry Adventure Ride and the Sundown Tractor Ride, the latter themed by KD, which also themed and installed the Crash Landings café and indoor play area, Monkey Mischief and various other animatronics and theming throughout the park.

“It feels sometimes like I spend half my life here,” says KD project manager Paul Rowden.

“Make yourself a drink, you know where the kettle is,” replies Mrs Rhodes, suggesting he actually does.

The relationship becomes even cosier when you learn that Mrs Rhodes' son-in-law Colin now works for KD at their Huddersfield headquarters. On A Night Before Christmas, the company designed and fabricated the rides’s 11 scenes, including all moving figures.

Shotgun City, the park’s western town, was coated in a thick blanket of real snow (not theming!) during the winter season

Park owner Mrs Rhodes A scene from Santa’s Sleigh Ride

“My idea,” explains Mrs Rhodes, “was that they should be like pantomime scenes; all the characters are supposed to be getting ready for Christmas, hanging out their stockings and having parties. I just didn't want it to be the same as everyone else with gnomes and reindeer.” Was she tempted to make it interactive? “I think you miss a lot of the scenery when you do, however it's something we might look at in future, with cameras instead of guns because I don't want

children shooting things. They can still hit the target, but in a different way.” Sat inside GEL’s four-seater Magtrak ride vehicles, riders travel along almost 65-metres of track, following a magnetic path. The attraction features two sections where the car spins on the spot and, unusually for a dark ride, passengers embark and disembark from opposite ends of the building (the full loop is actually 98- metres). This is because A Night Before Christmas is essentially a feeder for the park's four Santa Clauses (sorry kids!), who can be found in separate rooms at the end of the ride. Before children get to meet their Santa, an assistant sends details of each child's age and gender via a touchscreen display to the elves' workshop so a suitable gift is ready waiting for them. A Night Before Christmas is an effective crowd control tool that helps alleviate the queues that used to form for Santa Claus. Visitors are encouraged to pre-book slots on the ride via Sundown Adventureland's website to ensure minimum waiting time when they arrive at the park.

Snowed Under “It's no fun queuing outside for two hours at this time of the year,” says Mrs Mrs Rhodes. “The online bookings have been brilliant and apart from the first weekend it's worked really well. We tell families if they

A themed interior in Crash Landings by KD Decoratives


A themed house in the Storybook Village doubles as the entrance to the Tractor Ride by GEL/KD Decoratives

The side facade to A Night Before Christmas, themed to blend in with Monkey Mischief


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