Theres no better feeling than a sunny day off so I was only delighted to hear that my crazy fam bam were off to Tayto Park for the day and asked me along for the ride.
I’ve been dying to go try out their new roller coaster, the only decent one Ireland’s got; The Cú Chulainn Coaster. European first inverted wooden roller coaster. I was not let down!
Tayto Park is a must for families with kids of all ages, this summer. The only thing is, it’s quite steep in terms of prices. €14 in, and then you have to get either tokens that are €1 per token, or an unlimited wrist band for €15 that allows you unlimited access to the rides for the day. We opted for the wrist bands as we’re all adrenaline junkies and knew we’d want to get on everything at least twice!
The park has three major thrill rides; The Cú Chulainn Coaster, The Rotater( NOT for the faint hearted) and Air Race.
There’s also a sky walk, zip line and rock climbing wall. Along with a sort of zoo section, complete with pony rides and a petting farm, and an area with rides for the kids.
The park as a whole is pretty big, I would recommend getting there early and on a sunny day as some of the rides close if it’s raining. As an added bonus you can do the Tayto Factory Tour too, which has a very entertaining vortex tunnel at the end that we enjoyed waaaaay too much!
We started off riding the coaster a few times and got the big thrill rides out of the way. As we got there early there were no lines, which is such a bonus as waiting in line is pretty much compulsory in every other theme park I’ve been to. I was really impressed with the roller coaster, it had a good few drops and my eyes were left streaming with tears after tearing around the track. We were all bricking it going on the Rotater, the thing scared the bejesus out of us. I personally didn’t get any thrill out of rotating upside down for two minutes, just terror! We all babied out and rode the Air Race next, which we initially thought was for little kids only to find this went upside down too but much closer to earth!
Next it was to the Sky Walk. Now, I didn’t really think this one through. We got in line and put on our harnesses and chose the top course, level 3. Did I forget to mention- I’m terrified of heights?! So much so that I used to freak out going up the ladder in college to adjust stage lights! So for some bizarre reason the realisation of what I was doing only dawned on my as I headed up the narrow, windy, railing-less steps to the 3rd level. By the time I reached the top my heart was beating like crazy and I was the most scared I’ve ever been in my entire life. Standing up on the structure as it rocked a little, I thought, I don’t think I’ve ever felt such pure fear. Thankfully the guy who worked there was kind of like my life coach through the course, and I don’t think that’s in the job description, but I think he took major pity on me and guided me along the way. There was no other way down! My younger cousins did really well, I think you get much more fearful as you get older. I’m glad I did it but probably never want to again!
After that my nerves were pretty much shot, so we took a stroll to see the animals. Seeing the goats at the petting farm really soothed me as I am the Goat Queen, they flock to me! One day I will own a Pygmy goat! I think Tayto Park is like a better version of the zoo. Yes there’s no elephants or my beloved giraffes, but there’s plenty to see and do, including a reindeer that I spotted while shaking in terror on the Sky Walk, or did I hallucinate him?
Next we cheered on my auntie’s partner as he took on the Extreme Climbing Wall. While doing this, I was psyching myself up to take on the Zip Line Extreme. After getting helmeted and harnessed up once more we were sent on our walk of shame to tower 2 at the other end of the course. My poor 14 year old cousin almost died of embarrassment as we made our way down in our safety get up! As we climbed staircase after staircase my nerves started to kick in again. I really didn’t think I would be able to step off. I thought I may end up having a Kim K moment when they went Zip Lining in Thailand, crying for someone to let me go back down, but as you do it in pairs, I couldn’t let my partner down. In the end I took a deep breath and just did it. The feeling is surreal, it’s over in a flash. If the line wasn’t so long I would do it again as I don’t think you really appreciate it while you’re doing it. It was almost an out of body experience, soaring through the air, with a crash back to reality at the end.
To finish our day, we took the Factory Tour, this gives you an insight into what goes into making your bag of crisps, great for the educational outing lovers. The best bit is the Vortex Tunnel. Paulie and I had the pleasure of going through one of these for the first time in Ripleys, Believe it or not, in London and we found it so hilarious, we did it over and over again. The best way I can describe it is; a gangway you walk across in the dark that’s inside a lit up rotating tunnel, the gangway doesn’t move but you feel as though you are being pulled to the side as you try to walk through. Hilarious.
As you leave the park you could be forgiven for thinking you are leaving a Disney Park as the gift shop’s interior is similar to something from a wilderness lodge in Animal Kingdom, stocked to the rafters with merchandise, literally.
All in all I had a GREAT day, the only thing is the surrounding fields must’ve just been fertilised with manure, because every few minutes there would be an overwhelmingly bad smell of poo! Lol, may not sound like much but my poor nostrils couldn’t hack it and I complained about the smell all day long. That being said, Tayto Park is a Must for a fantastic day out!