Last weekend we ventured even further up North to spend some time with our good friends Chris and Sarah in Glasgow. As any good theme park bloggers would, we decided to make the most of it by venturing to Scotland’s theme park; M&D’s.
I won’t lie and say this was a bucket list park for us. Although we didn’t know much about it, Chris had suggested I lower my expectations when mentioning the potential merch on offer. So we kind of knew what we were letting ourselves in for.
What we ended up with was actually a great little park that’s well worth a visit. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t full of frills, but we had a fantastic day and did discover quite a lot worth venturing to Scotland for.
So, like with every trip we take, here are the highs and lows of our visit to M&Ds, Scotland’s theme park.
Good value for money
It doesn’t have the thrills of somewhere like Alton Towers or Thorpe Park, but M&Ds is fantastic if you’re looking for a good value day out.
We paid on the day and got an ‘Ultimate Experience’ family ticket. This can be used for any combination of adults and children, including four adults and costs £77.85 for the day.
Our ticket got us all entry to the theme park, Amazonia – an indoor tropical rainforest – and adventure golf. Quite the collection of attractions for just £19.46 per person.
Once the day had ended, we really couldn’t grumble at the price we paid and all felt it was more than worth it.
Fantastic variety of attractions
Are these the best rides in the UK? No, not by a long shot, but there really is something for everyone here.
When it comes to roller coasters, Tornado (a Pinfari coaster) is the biggest thrill. Sadly for us, it shuts in the rain so our attempt to ride it was thwarted by the Scottish weather.
Other than that, the other coasters are of the tamer variety but are no less fun for it. The Mine Train in particular flings you out of your seat way more than it should do during the first drop. Top tip… don’t go in the very front car if you’re over 8 years old. The Mad Mouse was also a lot of fun and one I’d more than suggest riding.
When it comes to flat rides there’s plenty to keep you occupied, and to suit all ages. Our highlight was the Zamperla Disk’O (aptly named Disk’O) which are always great fun but there’s also The Giant Condor, White Water and so much more.
And if you’ve exhausted all the rides, the entertainment’s great too. There’s a massive (and pretty epic) arcade, a reasonably priced bowling alley, loads of food options, Amazonia and adventure golf.
A small pocket of fantastic theming
There isn’t much by way of theming at M&D’s except for the indoor entertainment complex. The home of most of the eateries and arcades, the section directly to the right as you enter is really well themed.
So well themed in fact that I couldn’t stop telling Carl how much I liked it.
Giving me all the Hollywood Studios vibes, the area had some quirky old school New York style theming with a beautiful carousel in the middle surrounded by greenery.
It’s difficult to explain just how great it looked – and my pictures came out rubbish – but I couldn’t help thinking if they applied the same thought to the rest of the park it could be one of the better themed in the UK.
Oh, you can eat your dinner in a waltzer cart as well, which is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a theme park restaurant for a while.
Low crowd levels
Despite Chris continually telling us that M&D’s would be super quiet, we approached with caution as the car park and entrance area were heaving.
Having chosen one of the hottest weekends of the year (despite the Scottish rain) we were really worried the ride queues would be out of control.
Well, we needn’t have got our knickers in a twist, as I think the longest wait was around 15 minutes. Unlike some of the better-known parks in the UK, the crowds at M&D’s were refreshingly short. And as our nephew told us at Alton Towers, it doesn’t matter how good the ride is if the wait is over two hours long.
Fantastic food options
I must start this with a caveat that we didn’t eat anything but bang average churros at M&D’s so I can’t comment on the food quality. But I can say that the options were fantastic.
In the actual park you won’t find anything more than burger, hot dog and churro vans but the indoor entertainment complex was full of good options including pizza slices, loaded fries, a full-service restaurant, a pub, gourmet burgers and a Wimpy.
This was one of the bigger surprises for us as we were pretty much just expecting burger vans. I’d argue that it has better food options than both Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Alton Towers so if you have an adventurous palette, this could well be the park for you!
Although the variety of attractions at M&D’s was fantastic, the quality wasn’t great.
Apart from Disk’O I don’t think we rode anything that didn’t give us potential whiplash. Every single ride was rough, and I mean rough. Now some people (Carl) quite like a rough ride but for the rest of us it was a fairly painful experience.
Special shout out here goes to Fliegender Teppich or the ‘lying carpet’ if you take the translation literally. I don’t think I’ve ever been on a ride that hurts as much, and I’ve experienced Hero at Flamingo Land.
A Zierer flying carpet, I would honestly never ride it again and we all spent the rest of the day suffering from motion sickness and potential stomach bruises. Oh, and my handbag made a bid for escape losing my driving licence and favourite MAC lipstick in the process.
These rides can be fun, but at M&D’s there’s nothing smooth to counteract them and give you a break.
I mentioned in the highs that the crowd levels were fab, and it’s a good job as the operations at M&D’s were painfully slow at times.
Ride loading seemed to take ages and with most of the rides being flat – and all the coasters only being able to handle one train – it did take a while for you to get on anything, even if you were near the front of the queue.
I know this happens with old rides, but the employee manning the Mad Mouse having to push the cart up the lift hill did raise a few eyebrows.
Don’t let this put you off as the crowds are small enough to handle it, it’s just something that I’d improve if I could.
Despite the fantastic theming of the indoor entertainment complex, the outdoor areas leave little to be desired. The highlight was probably the pile of WD40 next to the loading area of the Mad Mouse and the wooden frame as you enter Disk’O which looks like it was started to hold a sign, but they couldn’t be bothered to finish it.
I’m not sure of the financial position of the park but I do think that some simple tidying would help make it look much more attractive to visitors. I’m not talking about adding Wickerman style theming, but a little upkeep would make a big difference.