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Park Profile

Adventure Inside Year-round fun in Southend-on-Sea!

Listen to your peers

The Miller family at Adventure Island are used to doing business next to Southend Pier, but in creating Adventure Inside they sought a little advice from one of their industry peers. Duncan Phillips of DP Associates owns and operates three (soon four) 360 Play branded entertainment centres in the UK and has many years’ experience before that with the family business, Gulliver’s theme parks.

“Our contribution to Adventure Inside detailed the possible internal layout with ideas for the ride and attraction mix within it, and the masterplan allowed on-site architects, local contractors and the in-house team to deliver detailed construction and specification drawings,” explains Duncan. “Our experience in park

operation and attraction design also enabled us to help them understand how Adventure Inside could work both as part of the complete park and as a year-round facility.”


Adventure Island, the UK’s no.1 free admission fun park, has launched an indoor version of itself – Adventure Inside. Managing director Marc Miller tells Park World why the £5 million ($7.7m/€7m) facility is the perfect hang out for families rain or shine, and how it will help Adventure Island make more efficient use of its resources over the winter


or years we opened Adventure Island daily from Easter though until October and every weekend throughout the year. There were massive costs in doing

this; we have the best part of 150 staff, and if it was really cold then we might struggle to break even. Now that we have Adventure Inside, we can keep that open throughout the winter but with much less in operational costs and we won’t have to worry about the weather. Easter marks the official start of our season and was the

perfect time to launch Adventure Inside. The building features a wealth of exciting new rides, games, food outlets and entertainment over two floors. We’ve got a Drop ‘n’ Twist Tower called Pirate Plunge, the Smiles Per Galleon pirate ship and Bounce Spin jumping cars ride. Then upstairs we’ve got the Play Stack soft play area, with a separate Play Pod for toddlers, and a traditional carousel. We’ve wanted a carousel for years at Adventure Island but never really had the right spot, this building was just perfect for it and it’s been so popular; everybody loves it. We had to measure the pirate ship very carefully. Duncan Philipps [of consultant DP Associates] chose the angle. I’m quite boring and would probably just have squared it off but he’s got it so that as you come down the stairs the ship swings out at you.

Choosing the suppliers All the rides were supplied by SBF/Visa. We haven’t used them before, but after doing a beauty parade of different manufacturers they gave us a fantastic offer. We’ve been open a few weeks now and the rides are all working well. The soft play was by Soft Brick, and again we are very happy. It’s a whole new world for us, but we are already talking to them about extending it. We’ve got some room to expand, we can fill up some air! We wanted the building to have very much a modern look. We’ve got an Italian LED lighting system in there, which makes it feel a lot warmer inside. You can change it to any colour at any time of day. Adventure Island is situated either side of Southend Pier.

Adventure Inside connects to what used to be a standalone pizza and pasta restaurant on the other side called Feelgoods. Now we’ve got this 35,000 sq ft complex in the middle of the park that you have to pass through to get from one side to the other.

MAY 2015

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