I visited the ghetto glamour of Fantasy Island eight years after my last visit, because two things have improved, firstly the introduction of a pay-one-price wristband system, which makes it much more affordable than the previous pay per ride token system and secondly there's more reliable information on the ride availability on both the official and unofficial websites.
Fantasy Island has to be the only park you want to visit in the busiest times purely to guarantee the rides will be actually open. I find it astonishing that in the summer school holiday highest of peak season that Odyssey was not open Monday to Fridays.
Oousing from every sweaty pore and dirty orifice the tackiest, cheapest market stalls have really taken over the theme park section, from try your luck con-artist games to marshmallow penises you can dip in a chocolate fountain, the atmosphere feels seedy and unsavoury
What once was a fabulous themed food court is now a greasy spoon takeaway come mobility scooter showroom and not one but two tattoo parlours can be found in the tropical themed facades it seems a great waste of the themeing
Looming high above the sleaze of market stalls below are the super giant vekoma monster coasters Millennium Coaster and Jubilee Odyssey. Millennium is great fun, the giant overhead loops are fantastic smooth but nothing stand-out amazing for a seasoned coaster geek, I expect the general public were in awe
Our first ride on Odyssey was on the front row, that first drop is frightenly steep while it stuttered through the outlandishly oversized inversions at an almost alarmingly sluggish pace it was a pleasant ride. However subsequent rides in other rows of the train were nothing short of brutal, coaster geeks that over-exaggerate the ear bashings of a normal SLC need a good slap in the jaw from Odyssey, it's a sheer thug of a coaster
Back inside the pyramid we tried the two themed rides, Magical Seaquarium is a kind of bubbleworks and Secrets of Fantasy Island a monorail with fully themed dark ride section was almost impressive. The main of the pyramid seems to be some kind of communal cabaret club for the many caravan parks which surround Fantasy Island, sat on a mix match of furniture holiday makers observe childrens entertainers with all the vim and vigour of a British Rail station announcer
Fantasty Island is a noteable seaside park for having the audacity to invest in such outlandish attractions and amazing levels of themeing yet unfortunately the park has just gone to rack and ruin really, the space seems to be miss-used most of it is taken up by the low capacity wet/dry slide and arcades, in an age where traditional theme parks are pushing to weatherproof themselves to become all year round resorts, the one park in the UK that was ahead of the trend has disappointingly fallen into the gutter wallowing in former boyband member appearances and cheap towel auctions off the back of a truck