Wales’ largest theme park Oakwood has kickstarted ambitious investment and expansion plans with two new rides for this year.
The Pembrokeshire attraction is set to unveil a new family ride ‘Dizzy Disk’ for Easter, as well as bring back popular thrill ride Bounce, after a £400,000 refurbishment.
The new rides follow a number of multi-million-pound investments in the park over recent years.
Joining Oakwood’s eclectic collection of 27 rides and experiences, Dizzy Disk will see riders face outwards as they glide back and forth while simultaneously spinning in circles. Aimed at families, it will offer fun for all of the family. A firm visitor favourite, Bounce originally closed in 2016 but will reopen its doors this summer following a full restoration, becoming Oakwood’s fifth large thrill ride.
As well as new rides, 2019 will see the launch of the Oakwood season passes, in addition to the park’s already popular annual tickets. Costing fractionally more than a regular day pass, the new ticket will allow holders entry into the park for the entire season, running from 15th April to 3rd November.
The changes come on the back of more than £8.5M worth of investment into the park by parent company Aspro since it acquired Oakwood in 2008.
In the last five years alone, the international business has spent millions of pounds upgrading the park including £4.5m developing new Peter Pan themed children’s area ‘Neverland’ in 2013, complete with seven rides and play areas including a kid’s coaster and water slide, as well as £1.5m in 2018 to create ‘Spooky Street’– a major new family zone featuring new rides, attractions and catering facilities.
The million-pound development welcomed three new spooky attractions to compliment the existing Spooky 3D ride: a grasshopper-themed children’s rollercoaster ‘Creepy Crawler,’ a trampoline activity ‘The Cauldrons’, and a live action scare-maze ‘The Witch Hunt’ – the first attraction of its kind in Wales. It also brought its very own family-friendly pizzeria, ‘The Haunt’, adding to the park’s existing collection of popular cafes and restaurants.
In addition to new areas, more than £600,000 has been spent maintaining and upgrading existing rides, with a further £650,000 having been invested in new catering and retail facilities, as well IT infrastructure upgrades to enable online purchases, which now account for 50% of Oakwood’s sales.
Employing over 300 people a year, including 20 full time year-round employees, in addition to hundreds of seasonal staff, Oakwood is a one of the largest employers in Pembrokeshire and plans to create further jobs through future investments.
Park Director, Phil Verbinnen at Oakwood Theme Park said: “We are excited to welcome our new ride ‘Dizzy Disk’ and reinstate Bounce to Oakwood, adding to our repertoire of fun, family friendly attractions at the park.
“We have invested significantly into the park in recent years, creating exciting new thrills for the family market, along with new catering and retail facilities which will add to the visitor experience.
“This new destination marks the start of our ambitious plans for further investment in the coming years, designed in response to visitor feedback.”