You Know You're In A Love/Hate Relationship With Your Local Park When

If you're an enthusiast chances are you grew up around theme parks in your local area. You'll probably have blurry photos of you as a child riding some long forgotten relic of a ride with an outdated/terrifying looking mascot leering on in the background. I know part of my deep-rooted love of parks stems from spending time with my family at the parks around London, and as such I know those parks inside and out. And that creates a weird paradox - we're fiercely proud and defensive of our local parks but at the same time criticise even the tiniest thing that we think is OUTRAGEOUS!!!

Like an abusive relationship, one second we're gushing about how much we love the damn place, the next we're leaving a furious message on their Facebook wall about how the new colour of the benches is ALL WRONG and doesn't represent the park we love properly. Here's five signs you know you're in a love/hate relationship with your local park.

Nothing leaves you with a glowing smile more than hearing people talk about how much they just love your local park. You go on and on about it in any conversation you have, and if you happen to overhear people chatting about it in a non-enthusiast setting you feel those little butterflies in your stomach like yay they're talking about my park! Even better is when you see your park pop up randomly when you're watch Strictly or hear some celebs chatting about it in the Big Brother house. Others love your park and have memories in your park just like you do and that makes you feel oh so gooey inside!

Fans are the harshest critics, and when you know your local park as well as you do it almost feels like a personal insult if something changes that you just do not agree with. What do you mean those trees have been removed? Don't management realise that you once had a picnic under those trees as a child and it's one of your happiest memories! And don't get started on that new fence panelling that just does not fit the theme you remember the area once having in the nineties AT ALL. Urgh, bring back the good old days!

Oh sure, you can curse your local park to hell and bag for changing their french fry packaging, but woe betide he who dares to point out a flaw in your beloved park. YOU can criticise the park all you want, after all, they know you're only doing it because you care right? But you'll be damned if you're going to stand by and let some idiot who adds 'the' in front of every coaster name complain about the dire car parking situation. It's not unknown for you to jump onto the park's social media and defend the park you love like some kind of fan-in-shining-armour. Anything to defend your beloved park's honour!

What do you mean the animatronics don't move quite like they used to and the audio now resembles a demon trying to escape the darkest depths of hell? Those are its original designs, and the park will retheme it over your dead body. You like the fact that you basically die of asbestos poisoning every time you ride that crusty old boat ride and spot yet another moth-eaten patch of fur on that character's suit. That's how it's been since your childhood, and that's how you like it. No change. EVAR!

You Love It Anyway
One week you'll be joining in with the rest of them and setting up a Kickstarter to prevent the closure of Mr.Teeny's Trumble Bikes despite the fact that marketing have already announced the new VR overlay, the next you'll be shooting an Instagram story of your day collecting your annual pass. It's fun to criticise and point out flaws because that's what being a fan is all about. Nobody likes change at first but hey, you'll get used to it, and nobody can take those memories away. Heck, you may even learn to love Homes Under The Hammer: Live! Who knows? But what you know for certain is that despite all our criticism, we're still going to end up visiting and we're still going to love every minute.

Are you guilty of any of these? What made you realise you have a love/hate relationship with your local park? Let me know in the comments and let's have a chat!

Talk later xoxo,

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  1. Liked this! Unfortunatly, my local is a very small funfair/arcade. Wish it had some kind of history to it!

  2. Actually I have a love hate with my local park that gets more on the hate side every day. It is a park that is owned by a major theme park company, and it is the only one in the chain that never gets a new ride, while prices soar with no justafication.

    It is park with huge potential, that enthusiasts dont seem to care about either. Say it is fine just the way it is. But tell them that their park should remove all the rides it has added in the last 10 years to be equal level with what my park has not received, and they scream murder. Why is it ok for my park to get nothing, but not fair if yours is treated in the same manner?

    It's very sad. It's like having a child, and that child never ages, never changes, never does anything new, or wants to. Still 10 years old after 20 years, wearing the same clothes, only it wants tripple the allowance for doing nothing.

  3. I have to admit it's Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and I hate the fact I'm bringing that park up but it's true.

    I have been mad about the place since I was 4 when I was taken onto the Grand National by my dad. The Nash, for anyone who doesn't know was the parks signature ride back then, and to this day holds its own against the more modern rides. I grew up loving all 5 of the wooden coasters, as well as the novel steel coasters like the Steeplechase and Avalanche, and of course the charming dark rides like Alice In Wonderland, Magic Mountain, River Caves and the Gold Mine. The park was also home to a number of unique classic rides like Noahs Ark, the Whip and the Turtle Chase. The only indication that closing time was approaching was the parks 'bye bye song' played over the airwaves, until you heard that the park was yours, often open as late as 2am in peak season.

    Nowadays however, BPB is very different. Due to wristbands being introduced the park no longer have the urgency to move queues and often aren't as efficient as they could be to run rides at capacity. The park now closes at 5pm a lot more often and the only time it's lite up is on the handful of 10pm closes during the year.

    Whilst additions have gone in, a number of historical (or just bloody good fun) rides have been removed in the last 20 years. These include the Vikingar, Cableway, Superbowl, Trauma Towers, Wild Mouse, Black Hole, Log Flume, Astro Swirl, Monorail, Gold Mine, Space Invader, Swamp Buggies, the Whip and the Turtle Chase.

    I still love the park, but I secretly would love to visit the old BPB with my girlfriend and her son to let him see why I rave about the place so much. To him it's just another park, like Chessington World of Adventures, or Flamingo land and no where near as good as Alton Towers. I'd love to let him see the park as it was when it was the coaster capital of the world and feel the atmosphere of the park on busy nights like when it used to take over half a million pounds in one day.


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