i suppose this is a little bit of a review (though i wouldn’t want to formally say that it is) but mostly it is just a list of weird things about it that made me feel, if not disappointed, then at least confused about europe’s biggest water park. europe’s biggest water park that is pretty much in africa.
siam park is in tenerife. it is an oriental themed water park. why is it oriental? no one knows. why were there sea lions there? i’m not sure. why did i expect normality? because i have obviously been raised a fool.
here are some things you should know about siam park. it does have fun rides, many akin to the ones in florida. whether or not you want to wait 40 minutes to go on a ride that lasts 40 seconds is another matter. i’ll admit now that i am not very patient but it seemed a bit excessive for something we paid like £40 for. you could buy the fast passes, but that means shelling out 15 euros per person so you can look like a dick pushing past all the people who have been standing for the best part of an hour only to have to wait even longer because you were flush. perhaps it was so overcrowded because it is literally the only thing on tenerife that is advertised and boy is it advertised. every single bin has siam park on it. literally every single one. i can guarantee you could stand anywhere in las americas and see at least seven siam park signs.
how busy it was is actually surprising seeing as the free half hourly bus drove past the bus stop where we were waiting twice, with plenty of free seats, before we relented and paid for a taxi. it occurs to me now that this is siam park’s way of easing you into the day ahead, a day full of unfulfilling waiting around followed by paying through the nose for things as there is no alternative. if i had to sum siam park up in a sentence i would describe it as “a psychological experiment to see how much money can be extracted from unwilling people before they start going insane”. the whole place was basically one big queue with a cash register at the end of it. after paying for our taxi we got in a queue for people with prebooked and paid tickets. there were no signs as to which queue was right so you waited only to be told that you were in the twin ticket queue, no no no, the one you want it over there. and then you get there and somehow you were ill advised, the real queue is on the other side. oh the fun of being a stroppy bastard to spanish families who like to push past you and are taken in any queue, no matter what ticket they have. once you finally get in you enter the queue to get your picture taken on a big fake plastic oriental thing. i say thing because i don’t even know what it was. a queue to pose for a photo you never wanted taken that you do not intend to buy. finally you get in and you are tempted with seeing water and then, BAM, the queue to buy a locker key. then the queue to get to the lockers. finally you are set free and it is time to queue for rides. it’s already past lunch time.
psychologically siam park is very smooth, instead of letting you get a reward for all this waiting they put a ride right infront of you which looks amazing but is in actuality the equivalent of being herded by sheepdogs (see picture and then add like 100 more of those floaters). a man made river with tiny ineffectual rapids conveys multitudes of inflatable doughnuts into log jams where you get to enjoy the feeling of other people’s feet on your extremities. this fun goes on for half an hour and serves merely as a way to distract you from the already lengthy queues at the decent rides. not only that, but at some point all these other people join from another channel. you are confused. then there are two routes to chose from and you naturally go for the quieter one to reveal the end of your pointless floating. a short walk shows you that you missed the busy channel which took you to the point of the ride as the doughnuts are put on a conveyer belt up hill where you get to sit your soggy arse on a moving panel for ten minutes while you enjoy the view of hundreds of other unfortunate people wondering just what the point of existence is. when you do return and endure this again and get in the right channel and up the belt you are rewarded with another 15 minutes of floating and then thirty seconds of a tame ride downhill which is equivalent to sitting in the gutter of a road on a plastic bag in a rain shower.
so you finally do manage to escape and get yourself to the real rides and though yes, they are fun, you only go on three because it’s basically taken up all your stamina standing on the spot for so long. and you need to reapply sun cream. again. so back to the locker. after all this excitement you need to replenish supplies so for lunch you scoff the bag of fruit pastilles you smuggled in wrapped in your towel as packed lunches are strictly forbidden in siam park; it’s a culture thing. covered in sugar and sticky factor 50 you can now head to the ‘beach’ which is an immense man made bay with sand and then a giant pool which is wide and gradually narrows as it gets deeper. the wave machine is good, generating 5 metre high waves which throw everyone in the pool upside down and causes all orifices to be filled with chlorine and other people’s bodily fluids. of course though, the waves wont be on for another fifty minutes so you have to bob about too close to other people for a long time. after the thrashing of a lifetime you decide to chill out and play with the pool toy you brought with you in the shallower bit of the giant pool. you start throwing it and then a whistle blows, no toys in the pool. oh ok. fine, we will float for a while. whistle. no sunglasses in the pool. considering the thing is made of white cement and tenerife is in line with the sahara desert it means to be in the pool is to burn your retinas out. oh but sunglasses are dangerous, in the waves, they could come off and hurt someone. yes, and it is a piece of moulded plastic that will be inflicting pain in this pool, not the fifteen stone hairy man 2 metres up in the air who is about to be thrown on top of you. and the best thing of all, you can’t see a fucking thing so there is no way to avoid him.
when we give up and relinquish all hopes of having a good time we amble off to the exit. but there appears not to be an exit. in fact, the exit is a tiny obscured open gate in a row of other tiny obscured closed gates. and what is obscuring it? why yes, that delightful photo of you on a rock from earlier which you may now buy. once you get through the photo gauntlet you see the road, you see dry land, and freedom! then you see the queue to the bus home, which may or may not appear within the next two hours.