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FEC Profile www.parkworld-online.com


“We will always continue to invest in Hobbledown and


add exciting new elements, although this would not require expanding any boundaries. We do have plans to create a new site in Hounslow, based on the Hobbledown concept. Watch this space! “We are lucky in the sense that Hobbledown is unique and sells itself. Because of the continual investment and new elements, there is always something new for previous guests to see and do and for that reason we get a lot of repeat business.”


Since opening, Farley says the park has seen consistent


and we find that many of our Annual Passholders continue to renew each year, despite the kids getting older, because we are always adding new elements of play such as zorbs and zip lines for them to enjoy.” The mixed experience at Hobbledown is designed to offer


something for everyone. “There are lots of features to Hobbledown and people tend to enjoy different things. These can be the characters visits, shows, animal talks, or play equipment. There’s no denying that the High Ropes and Zorbs are very popular though. The team adds to the line-up every year, whether it’s by


introducing new animals, new characters or different shows. Additions so far have included climbing towers, an animal walk through, new satellite food and beverage offerings, zorbs and zip lines. “We are also focusing on our big event days. Our Wildflowers festival of sound and colour is now an annual event and is always a sell-out.” Next on the list of additions is new play equipment, and


the firm is also enhancing its customer buying experience as well. “We have just received planning permission to add a new completely bespoke play structure suitable for all ages and with a capacity of 180 kids. Other less exciting but equally important plans for 2018 include building more toilets at the far end of our 50 acre site, launching a new loyalty scheme, and creating a new website.” The most exciting development, however, is for a second Hobbledown, which is already being planned for Hounslow, although the firm is tight-lipped on the details at this stage.


growth, but the battle between investment and cost control is ongoing. “We have seen continued growth at Hobbledown with only a slight downturn in 2016 due to unfavourable weather conditions. We are aware of the challenges to retain the levels of secondary spend and party volumes. We combat these challenges by continuing to modernise our menu, and refreshing our retail and party offering. What has impacted is the control of costs, from wages and general cost of goods to new business rates.” The extra challenge within that is to avoid passing those costs on to the customer. Farley is particularly keen that the park maintains its single entrance fee policy. “We dislike venues that add on several different charges once you are inside. At Hobbledown, guests pay one admission fee, and then once inside they do not get hit with further fees. It’s all included. That way parents know what they are paying and can budget for their day out. We also do not like attractions that are mechanised. We prefer physical and stimulating play for children.” Hobbledown has a full calendar of events every year,


ranging from Dragon Appreciation Day and National Fairy Day (which are included in the general admission fee) to the three-day Merrydown Festival of Mucky May-hem and Wildflowers festival of sound and colour. “The latter two have become annual events at Hobbledown due to their popularity, and these type of events are helping to put us on the map.” With a second Hobbledown now on the way, it’s likely to take up even more of the map quite soon.


Outdoor ropes course


Wildflowers , Hobbledown’s mini festival of sound and colour


JUNE 2018


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