Being from Ireland it felt only right that I went to visit our one and only theme park ‘Tayto Park’ in Ashbourne county Meath (30 minutes outside of Dublin). Although ‘Theme Park’ isn’t exactly the best description for this attraction because although there are roller coasters and other rides, one half of the park is dedicated to animals of various kinds. Tigers, Foxes, Birds, Monkeys… It’s a very impressive collection for somewhere not well known for it’s animals.
The ticket for Tayto Park €15 for an adult (€14 online, €12 for a student) and each ride costs a certain amount of tokens, with one token equally one euro. If you are a thrill seeker I would recommend purchasing the €15 all-in wrist band that allows access to all rides. Ireland being Ireland it is so small that there is no ‘priority queue’ so what you see is what you get.
There aren’t an overwhelming amount of rides to choose from but they are all very good! We started on the ‘Endeavor’ which twirls you in a circle and goes higher the longer the ride goes on. There is also ‘The Rotator’ which is a spinning pendulum. Although I have been on a ride like this before, I sat it out this time around due to the queue. Other smaller rides like The Airplane and Power Surge are great, you get twist and turned upside down but they are not as scary as the others in my mind. Then there is ‘Cu Chuliann’ the largest wooden roller coaster in Europe, and it doesn’t disappoint! The first drop is insane, but after that that stomach-dropping feeling doesn’t really happen again. Other fun activities in the park are their 5D cinema, zip lining, rock climbing and a sky walk obstacle course. Although I did the zip lining and rock climbing, my fear of heights definitely got the better of me on the obstacle course – I only got up one flight of stairs and then turned around and went back down again! The €15 all access band is definitely worth it if you like what you just read, but for anyone who doesn’t enjoy being turned upside down I think tokens is probably the best option for you.
The zoo area is a really nice touch. There are falconry shows held where they fly different Eagles and Owls out for you. The selection of animals they have are a lot more exotic than I expected as well. They have a lot of large cats like an Amur Tiger, Amur leopard, Seval, Mountain Lions to name but a few. There are also a huge range of birds and smaller animals such as meerkats. There is even a small petting area with pygmy goats and sheep which are a bit too boisterous for young children (in my opinion), but so so cute!
Overall my boyfriend and I spent six hours in the park going between rides, animals and grabbing food. There was actually a great selection for food and well priced for a theme park – we ate in the Outback where two meals came to €14 which filled us for the day. The queues can be quite long and took up a large amount of our time but everything we did was definitely worth it. It is a really cheap, fun and different day out! (Be warned: I think we might have been the only couple over 15 without kids in the entire park….)
Also, for those readers who are not Irish – ‘Tayto’ is an iconic crisps brand in Ireland – so you even get a free packet of crisps when you leave the park! 🙂