Diggerland Kent, every little boys dream and possibly their dad’s, a place where you can drive real diggers!
We were invited to visit Diggerland Kent and as it is a place that has been on our bucket list for some time we gladly accepted the invitation.
We decided that as Little E was under two, and she likes to keep us on our toes, we would let her visit nanny for the day whilst we took Ethan to explore Diggerland Kent. There are height restrictions in place which meant she would have only have been able to have joined us on three of the rides that we went on. I think if she had been three she would have got more out of the visit so we will have to return with her in the future.
I did have a few reservations about visiting Diggerland as it doesn’t have a queue pass system in place for people with autism. I had a quick chat with them online and expressed my concerns and they reassured me that their queues are normally a maximum of fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes are a very long time in Ethan’s world. Waiting that long can cause him huge distress but we felt it was a time frame we could hopefully work and hopefully improve his waiting skills. With this in mind, as like other attractions, we planned our visit for a Sunday morning as soon as it opened. Hoping that this would be a quiet time for our family.
We started our Diggerland day being welcomed by Duggy and Dotty. Ethan was so excited to see them and happily posed for a photo.
Our first ride of the day was SPINDIZZY, you literary sit in a super-sized digger bucket whilst you get spun round and around. Needless to say Ethan loved it!
We then moved on to the DUMPER TRUCKS. To be able to ride the dumper trucks on your own you have to be over 140 cm in height. Being that Ethan wouldn’t be able to drive them without support Darren was very pleased that they could go on them together.
They made their way around the course and Ethan clearly enjoyed it.
Next up was the DIG-A-ROUND, Diggerlands take on a Carousel. It was my turn to take Ethan for a spin.
Onto the JCB ROBOTS, you only have to be over 110 cms in height to drive the robots on your own but Darren was also to give Ethan the support he needed and drive him around the course.
We then moved onto the MINI TRACTORS that had four seats so we could all go on that ride together. Being the thrill seeker that he is Ethan was very excited when he saw the GROUNDSHUTTLE so that just had to be next. He loved how bumpy this ride was.
Darren wanted to ride the SKYSHUTTLE which we decided to go back to as the queue was a bit too long for Ethan to deal with when we first saw it.
This takes you 50 feet up into the air and the views from up here were amazing.
It was soon time to stop for lunch which we had brought ourselves. Ethan had lots of fun playing on the slide whilst we had a little break.
Ethan had spotted the train so we decided to make this our last ride of the day before letting Ethan loose in the soft play area.
There were so many other rides at Diggerland that we didn’t go on because they weren’t appropriate for Ethan’s needs. There were diggers that let you play a game of skittles, hook a duck or dig for treasure. There are also Crazy Cars and Mini Landrovers that children can drive themselves. I would have loved to have a go at Joyrider but by then Ethan had had enough and the rain crowds started to roll in.
We had a lovely time at Diggerland and we made a video of our time there.
So what did we think of our day at Diggerland Kent?
You can easily spend a full day at Diggerland by going on many rides more than once. If we lived closer I would look into buying an annual pass for us as I think it would be somewhere great to go when your children need to get out of the house. I don’t think anyone could get bored with having the chance to drive diggers around.
My fears of Ethan not being OK with the queuing at Diggerland never materialized. For each attraction there was a very small wait. I could see extra diggers that would be used in the height of the summer to reduce the queuing times. Ethan could also see what he was waiting to queue for. It is something so simple but just being able to talk about and see what we are going on really helps. I think going as soon as Diggerland opened did help our cause. I have also talked to friends and they have said they have never experienced a long waiting time. I feel Diggerland are right that they do not need a queuing pass for people with autism.
It is great that you can take your children on the diggers. This is always a concern with us for Ethan as he needs lots of support in situations like this. I’m not sure how comfortable it will be when he is bigger but we might be in a different place then with his understanding and abilities.
I feel we were right to leave Little E with nanny as at the moment I don’t think she is a ride person. She would have loved the soft play area. I really believe that in another year she will be ready for a day out like this.
We took our own food with us but there were places to eat on-site and from what I saw the food did look very nice.
Thank you very much Diggerland Kent for our very enjoyable day out. Ethan loved it and has asked about Diggerland a few times since our return.