There are a number of hidden secrets that are fun to discover when you visit Flamingo Land Resort in North Yorkshire. Please feel free to comment at the bottom of this post with any secrets of your own.
1 – Wooden Roller Coaster
Plans were submitted by Flamingo Land in 2008 to build a large wooden roller coaster. The ride was to be located on the site where Splosh and Dinostone Park stand today.
The wooden roller coaster designed by Vekoma was never built and the planning application was withdrawn.
2 – Cine 180
The dome construction that is now the Parrot Sphere located adjacent to the bird show arena used to be the Cinema 180 and has been at the park for over 40 years.
Starting life in the early 1980s as ‘Cine 180’ it then changed its name to ‘The Dome of Thrills’ in the 1990s. In 2001. it was transformed into ‘Spectrum Sound and Light Experience’ and ended its life as ‘The Monster Music Show’ a couple of years later.
In 2008 a new 4D Cinema was installed in the hub and the arrival of this new attraction brought the curtain down on the park’s old Cinema 180. A popular feature back in its day, the projection and sound equipment used inside the ‘Cine 180’ had become too primitive for most audiences. However, good use of the building’s dome-shaped frame has been achieved by cladding it with netting and converting it into an aviary. Gordon Gibb was quoted at the time, stating “Hopefully this will give inspiration to other operators, as there are old Cinema 180s sitting in parks all over the country doing nothing!”
3 – Petrol Station
As you drive into the park just after the old ticket kiosks look to your right and you will see what used to be the Flamingo Land petrol station.
Historically this not only served as a facility for the public to fill up their cars before the journey home but it was also used to fill the open-top bus and the boat used for the ‘Jungle Cruise’ which was located in the lake behind the ‘Voodoo’ swinging ship ride.
4 – Animal Carvings
Located throughout the park are some wonderful carvings of the animals that you will encounter at Flamingo Land. As you wander around, see how many of the animal carvings you can find.
5 – Free-Roaming Peacocks
When you visit Flamingo Land keep an eye out for the free-ranging peacocks. They are very friendly which is why the park allows them to wander freely as they have done for many years.
If you visit during spring then you may be lucky enough to see the males displaying their beautiful feathers. The purpose of the tail feathers is for the male to fan them out to help him attract a female. The more impressive the feathers look, the higher the probability of him finding a mate.
You tend to find the peacocks at the top end of the park near the Mansion House and Children’s Planet, ensure that you have your camera at the ready.
The peacocks at Flamingo Land Resort are Indian, the national bird of India. They are very vocal animals, particularly during the breeding season when you can hear their various calls to each other.
When visiting Flamingo Land you may see some pure white peahens, which are naturally occurring albino mutations. In the wild, these bright birds would be extremely vulnerable to predators so are seen much less often.
6 – The Sealion Pool
Between 1968 and 1971 Flamingo Land was the first park in Europe to house a Killer Whale. It was also the first and last park in the UK to house Dolphins.
The pool that is currently occupied by the sealions was originally constructed in 1968 for Cuddles the Killer Whale.
Flamingo Land Dolphin show originally opened in 1963 in a figure of 8 pool in the old reptile house, the first two inhabitants were bottle-nosed dolphins mother and daughter Flipper and Cookie who had flown over from Florida.
The dolphins were relocated to the current sea lion pool when Cuddles the Killer Whale was transferred to Dudley Zoo in 1971 and the pool was renamed Ocean World.
The pool was temporarily closed between 1979 and 1984. When the pool reopened, three new dolphins named Lotty, Betty and Sharky arrived and they entertained the crowds until 1993 when new regulations were brought in ruling that the dolphin pool wasn’t deep enough. The pool is now used for the Sealion show.
Underneath the sealion pool is an aquarium that offers underwater viewing windows and a large window hidden around the back corner where you can view the pump room.
We work closely with the team at ‘The Bird and Sealion Show’ putting on regular live performances to entertain members of the public via our Facebook Page. This all started during the COVID 19 lockdowns in 2019 to raise funds to support the animals, help keep the animals routine and also entertain the general public.
7 – The Obelisk and Kirby Misperton Hall
The Obelisk which is located near the Black Rhino enclosure was erected in 1812 to commemorate the gift of the Kirby Misperton estate to the Blomberg family by the Crown.
Charles Blomberg was a physician to George ll, and his descendant Fred Blomberg was reputed to be the illegitimate son of George lll. The estate passed to Capt. James Anlaby Legard in 1845 and was then acquired by Robert Tindall in 1865 and James Robert Twentyman in 1903.
After Twentyman’s death, it was purchased by Mr Ainsworth in 1938, then after being used by the Army during the war a Mr Tyler took over until it was sold on to a Major Stone in the 1950s. He turned Kirby Misperton Hall into a Country Club which went bust, so along came Edwin Pentland Hick founder of Flamingo Park. He sold his theatre network and used the funds to purchase the bankrupt country club and open the zoo in 1961.
Scotia Leisure took over the park until Robert Gibb a director of Scotia Leisure purchased the park in 1978 and after his untimely death in 1995 his son Gordon Gibb took over the running of Flamingo land Resort to this day.
Kirby Misperton Hall which is now the Mansion House tea room has served numerous purposes over the years.
8 – Classic Flamingo Land Signs
There used to be a large sign stretching across the entrance road welcoming people to Flamingo Land. The sign was relocated when the new entrance kiosks were created that are in the use today. The original sign can still be seen behind the new 10 Inversion roller coaster at the theme park’s campsite security checkpoint.
Another original sign hidden within the park itself is the one that guests used to walk through to access Flamingo Park. This can now be found hidden behind Peter Rabbits house in the Peter Rabbit Playground.
9 – Rides and Attractions
Kumali is a sensational showpiece suspended looping coaster. With its African theming and dedicated music composed by Electric Street Police, it is a little known fact that Kumali is named after the leader of Flamingo Land Resort’s very own lion pride.
Click Here to learn more about this fantastic roller coaster ride.
When Cliffhanger was first built it was designed to look like a lighthouse and to help with the effect it was clad with alternating white and red panels from top to bottom. Due to complaints from nearby residents the panels for the top sections of the ride were removed which is why only the bottom half of the ride still has cladding.
With the top sections of cladding removed, the park was also able to remove steel cables that had been used to pin the ride to the ground. The role of the steel cables was to reduce the risk of the tall tower swaying during strong winds but the wind can now pass safely through the ride structure.
A special cage can be attached to the ride to allow the maintenance team to inspect the tower. This can then be raised to the top of the tower where a ladder can be used to open a hidden door leading to the roof of the tower.
The £4m ‘Mumbo Jumbo‘ Thrill Ride which opened in 2009 held the World Record until 2011 for being the Steepest Roller Coaster in the World. The park owners said the name “Mumbo Jumbo” is a tongue-in-cheek description of how other parks boast about their new roller coasters.
Mumbo Jumbo is not the only ride at Flamingo Land to hold a World Record. In 2017, 105-year-old Jack Reynolds became the oldest person in the world to ride a roller coaster when he took a spin on the Twistosaurus. He was presented with his Guinness World Record certificate after his first roller coaster ride in 80 years.
10 – Free Entry to Flamingo Land
In the 1980’s it was common practice for families to save money by getting their children into events and attractions for free. As a child, I remember going to watch the football with my dad and squeezing into the turnstile with him to avoid needing to pay for my match ticket. This appeared to be common practice and from what I can gather wasn’t only limited to football.
Before the main entrance was built at Flamingo Land in 2008 you would stop your car at the kiosks on the road leading into the park and pay your admission fee. Apparently, according to a number of people that I have spoken to, cars would stop in the village outside the park and one or two children would hop in the boot. As the family then drove up to the admission kiosk, the operator would count the number of passengers in the car with anyone who was not visible getting into the park for free.
Whether this is true I don’t know but it’s certainly an interesting story. Share your opinions in the comments below.
Nowadays, you can no longer get free entry to Flamingo Land Resort but there are often savings to be made on your park tickets. Click Here to view our Flamingoland Offers Page and like our Facebook Page to be notified of any new Flamingo Land Discount Tickets and Promotions.
Top 10 Listings
If you enjoyed reading our Top 10 UK Zoos and Wildlife Parks listing, you may also be interested in the following pages.
Comment and Share
I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please feel free to comment and share and most importantly have a great day out.