Monday 12th April marked the re-opening of outdoor attractions in England, bringing to an end a long wait to visit our favourite theme parks and entertainment venues. To celebrate the re-opening of outdoor attractions, and look forward to indoor venues opening in May, we have compiled the Katapult team’s top visitor attraction memories.
A prison hospital bar in Tokyo, Japan. This was back in 2006, a themed restaurant experience that I will never forget! Sat in a small prison cell to order you had to hit a metal stick against the jail bars, ordering a cocktail that arrived in a baby bottle and the waitress telling my husband to feed it to me. The themed food was surreal from drinks arriving in the form of IV drips to dishes that looked like organs. – Dawn
Best memories of being taken there when I was a child. The park was small, back then it was Sundown Pets garden. But seeing it grow and going back there with my kids (and I’m back there in April too). The magic of adventure and role play in the universal worlds of western, farmyards, castles, princesses, dragons and nursery rhymes are always fun. – Phil
EPCOT Theme Park
I was with my mum and dad and we thought it was brilliant to go to a British pub and fish & chip shop in America! I’d just never seen anything quite like it in my life on such a scale as the whole of Disney. – Kelly
Mary Rose Museum
I’ve never walked into a museum before this one and had the ‘wow’ moment that I had here. When you begin walking around the exhibits, you don’t expect to arrive at a huge room that houses the skeleton of a huge warship. Every detail has been considered, even the floor slopes as you walk alongside the ship, to make sure you don’t miss a thing. The way the ship is brought to life with augmented reality helps you to understand how the warship functioned in its time. I don’t really know what I expected, but any expectations I did have were surpassed! – Rhianna
The Adventurer’s Club
In the early 2000’s My family and I were lucky enough to stumble upon The Adventurer’s Club at Downtown Disney (now Disney Springs) whilst on a trip to Orlando. At the time, an immersive themed F&B/bar/show experience with live actors was a completely new concept to us. It had a perfect blend of beautifully themed rooms, incredibly talented improv actors, fun effects throughout and a wonderfully naughty sense of humour. It sadly no longer exists and has since become almost legendary online among Disney fans, so to be able to visit it a number of times over the years and experience it in person was an absolute joy. – Jonathan
Nemesis at Alton Towers
I was only young (1994 it first opened!) but I remember being fascinated at how much theming and creativity had gone into the project. The station looked like a giant alien, there was apocalyptic looking decoration everywhere, old mining equipment and old armoured vehicles, even a bus converted into something taken straight out of a zombie film. The main draw though was the RED water! To me that was the coolest thing they did was go to the effort of turning the water red and it really brought the whole thing to life! – Adam
Intrepid Aircraft Carrier Museum
On a trip to New York I visited the carrier which served in WW2, Vietnam, and was later used by NASA for recovery at sea. The first thing that hits you is the enormity of the ship, lined on its deck are iconic aircraft throughout history, including the Blackbird (very cool). Inside you can explore the winding passageways, you really get an idea of how the vessel might have functioned when operational. Alongside the carrier is the, once highly top secret, ‘Growler’ submarine, a missile command centre and the only one open to the public, this was great to look around. The connection to NASA is also clear, with artefacts of space exploration and the space shuttle ‘Enterprise’ a big feature. Their digital experience was quite lacking when I visited but it seems as though they’ve invested quite heavily into simulators and experiences more recently, I look forward to going back one day to see what’s new. – Martin
I have a huge soft spot for this long-defunct visitor attraction that was hidden in the hills of Glen Coe. Highland Mysteryworld, to me as a 7-year-old, was like stepping into a storybook of myths and legends. It was the first ‘properly’ themed attraction I had ever been to and it captured my heart. It used lighting, set theming, sound, scent and a mixture of live actors and puppetry to totally immerse guests in the fantastical folklore of the highlands of Scotland. I still vividly remember listening to the beautifully costumed Selkie tell its tales of the sea in her cave-like den, making wishes at the clootie well, and climbing through tiny passageways to find glowing crystals. I’m still chasing that high! Unfortunately, the attraction closed its doors in the early 2000s. Very little photo evidence of this gem remains online, and all that has physically survived today are some sculptures in an empty car park. While it may not necessarily hold up to today’s expectations, this place had me believing magic was real and I’ll always adore it. I still have the branded keyring on my keys to this very day! – Sarah-Anne
Goodwood Revival: Italian Job
Fantastically themed, the experience was like walking straight onto the live film set in the 1960s. Actors and props were positioned around as you walked through all the iconic scenes from the Michael Caine classic film. The cars were positioned on the ‘sets’ and it gave you a chance to get up close and personal with the stunning classic cars. Periodically the space would come to life with actors and directions shouting and screaming ‘ACTION’. With everyone in themed outfits who visited Goodwood Revival, you could barely tell who was an actor and who was a guest. Wonderfully immersive and fun, from an immersion perspective one of the best. – Andy G.
Peppa Pig World
They say you live your childhood through your own kids, and that is exactly what happened when I took my two-year-old daughter to Peppa Pig World at Paulton’s Park in 2020. The sun was shining, the park looked immaculate, we managed to get on pretty much every ride – and the ice cream was amazing too. My daughter was open-mouthed the whole time we were there, almost in a dream state that she was, in her own words, “At Peppa Pig’s house”. She still references the visit on a weekly basis. – Robbie
Ferrari Museum and Factory in Maranello – Big F1 and car fan and had the opportunity to visit the car and F1 factory and walk around the museum and see the world’s most exotic cars up close. The best moment was to stand beside the latest F1 car and see it up close in person, along with the classic F1 Championship winning cars and trophies. – Andy C.
I think my best memory of a visitor attraction has to be Knossos Palace in Crete, we had an excellent guide who was obviously passionate about his subject which made it so easy to imagine the people living there. It wasn’t too crowded so it was easy to wander around. – Fiona