I never wanted to go to Gardaland but my son kept insisting and off we went. I loved the place – they had to drag me away. Now we visit all the time and on this page I share some of the "secrets" of the park.
My son William exploring the "farmyard"
This is Italy’s biggest theme park and one of the biggest and best in Europe. It is where the young and young at heart from all over Italy come to play!
It will take you at least two days to see everything but in July and August, with the long queues, you might even need another day.
Try to avoid these months if possible. The queues are long and the heat and humidity can be oppressive.
If you do visit during these months make sure you get to the park well before opening time and try to visit during the week rather than weekends.
In July and August gates normally open at 9am or 9.30am, although it does vary a little. Best is to check on the the official Gardaland site before you go. Plan on getting there an hour before official opening time.
Gardaland has its own hotel, the Gardaland Resort Hotel, which allows a "total immersion" theme park holiday.
It is wonderful and all that but like the hotels at Disneyland the rates are fairly high and perhaps not worth the price? I'm not sure to tell you the truth...it's up to you!
If you would like a just as good, and cheaper alternative, then my suggestion would be the Parc Hotel (click here for more) , a family style resort hotel that is very near to Gardaland.
The Parc Hotel offers swimming pools, a nearby golf course, tennis and endless activities for the children.
I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the rides yet I must say I LOVED most of them...but hated a few.
The ones I liked most were the more tranquil ones like the ride through the pirates cave (Corsari) and the one through ancient Egypt (Valle dei Rei), my best ride though is Time Voyagers which absolutely amazed me.
For thrill seekers there are plenty of heart stopping rides. I quite enjoyed the water ones like Jungle Rapids and Colorado Boat and I enjoyed the kiddies roller coaster Ortobruco (generally only thrilling for those under eight).
If you are of sound body and mind and a lot braver than me then try the Blu Tornado. I was arm-twisted into trying it and I have never been quite the same since. If you enjoy the sensation of your body being torn apart and if severe whiplash is your thing then you will love it.
Oblivion - The Black Hole is another one I'll never try again.
William, my son, makes the 120cm cut-off required for many of the rides but being under the age of ten his best rides are in the younger children’s Fantasy Kingdom.
He particularly loves the AltoPiano aeroplane and the tractor (see photo of him shouting at the cows at top of page). Don’t tell anyone but I liked them too – very peaceful and relaxing – and a lot better than the Blu Tornado.
The live shows, which change regularly, are in the main excellent though the dolphin show was not as good as I had hoped. I heard that most of the seals and dolphins have been transferred to the nearby Aqua Park but I don’t know how true this is.
The big tree was amazing, the little rabbits room was our favorite, it is one of the many rooms in this Magic Faraway Tree.
This year there is also a new Kung Fu Panda section that's wonderful for the younger kids. There are rides, interactive shows and lots more. The video below has more