I was given free tickets to Blackgang Chine, but the words are my own.
A friend and I are currently working on a history of Blackgang Chine theme park. It will see the light of day once we have stopped arguing over minor details.
Child one has also been helping out with our 180 year timeline and so she was particularly keen for another visit to Blackgang Chine at half term. With my recently acquired knowledge I was able to point at carbon fibre models which now live in the car park and say things like "you know, that model was originally in Smugglerland".
We had ignored my own advice (arrive at 10am, do the rides on the right hand side first) and turned up about 11.30am. The park was understandably busy as the sun was shining.
It was Cowboys v Dinosaurs week, which included special events throughout the day. The cowboys and the dinosaurs are my favourite things about Blackgang Chine, but under pressure I joined team Dino and showed my support with a sticker.
We headed for a dinosaur show which took place behind the old buildings which now house the Hall of Mirrors and the original whale skeleton. Last time we visited at Easter, there was a small dinosaur themed space hidden round the back but it has grown in size.
Several of the smaller dinosaurs now live in a nearby dinosaur walkway which is separate to Restricted Area 5. There were a couple of activities along the way before we reached the events space.
Please enlighten me in the comments if you know what it was previously used for or politely point out that it's been there for years. Google Earth suggests it may have been a car park which has been gobbled up to make it a bigger space.
We sat down for the lunchtime show which consisted of an enthusiastic cast introducing dinosaurs which roamed amongst the crowd. Child two sat firmly on my knee until I confirmed that the dinosaurs were staff members in costume.
Our visit to Blackgang Chine wasn't meant to be a whole day outing. We prefer to do a couple of short visits to pace ourselves. You get free returns for seven days with any ticket, so I always advise people to visit at the start of a holiday rather than the end (see our guide to money saving at Blackgang Chine).
As is usually the case, this got a little extended as we worked our way round Dodo Valley, Shipwrecked, Nurseryland, The Hall of Mirrors and the Underwater Kingdom.
Child one wanted to add the water slide to the list and child two wanted Cowboyland but we had other plans. We dragged them away with promises that we shall return again for further adventures, all in the name of historical research.
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