IT’S all hands on deck in the final week of preparations before the opening of the Pirate River log flume at Barry Island Pleasure Park.
The two-chute log flume, which cost over £1m to build, is undergoing final safety checks before opening to the public next Saturday (19 March) ahead of an expected bumper Easter holiday crowd a week later.
Pirate River won’t be the only new ride to open at the park this year. The Danter family, which owns the park, hope the showcase flume will be joined by a ferris wheel by Easter and a new roller coaster by the end of the year.
The Island’s own Barry Eye will be a big wheel that will give riders a glorious view over Whitmore Bay and the surrounding South Wales heritage coast.
Until then Pirate River will be the star attraction with eight logs that can carry up to four people at the same time. The ride uses 100,000 litres of water and promises to add a splash of excitement to the historic funfair. It will cost four tokens per go and tokens are priced from £5 for seven up to 30 for £20.
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Locals are eagerly anticipating the arrival of the new flume. Huw Jonathan, 24, said: “I can’t wait. I used to come to the funfair as a child and the log flume was always my favourite ride. I’ll definitely be checking out the Pirate River this Easter.”
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Running the park is a family affair. Henry Danter, 72, took over Barry Island Pleasure Park in March 2015. His nephew, James Danter manages the funfair with his wife Claire.
Claire Danter, who comes from a travelling fairground family, said: “I’m really glad we took the opportunity to take on the Pleasure Park. It is a challenge but it’s worth it. And we’re very lucky to have this plot right by the beach.”
“Our aim is to create a good quality, traditional funfair.”
The classic 1970s waltzer ride has been revamped and the family are now cleaning up the rest of the site ready for the summer season.
The family are hoping to start a Friday night scheme that offers students two-for-one deals on tokens and a late night illuminated experience.
Claire Danter said: “This is a really exciting time for us. Within two years, we hope the park will be fully refurbished with some great new rides”