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“Are you brave enough to venture past the glowing tree?” we were asked as we entered Wake the Tiger, the world’s first Amazement Park. Opening its doors to the public today (30 July), this immersive theme park, hidden in the St Phillips industrial estate takes you on an unforgettable sensory adventure. And we were lucky enough to get a little sneak preview…

With no idea what to expect, things got surreal the moment we walked through the doors. Greeted by the sparkling grin of a sales-woman who brightly pitched the benefits of capsule apartments that come complete with views that change at the touch of a button (volcano, wheat field or dripping water anyone?), a toilet cistern that doubles up as a tropical fish bowl and a bunk bed so close to the ceiling even the kids looked baffled by the idea of sleeping in it.

Of course, all of this was a façade behind which hid the main event. As we pushed through the double doors to explore what – we were told – was the site that these state-of-the-art apartments would be built on, things got even stranger. 

The glowing ancient tree was just the start. As we pushed deeper into the exhibition, we found ourselves inside a world of weird mechanical experiments, psychedelic forest chambers and illuminated ice tunnels. Every twist and turn had something new to discover, whether it was a hidden library with an eyeball that followed your every move, lightshades that eerily danced above your head, or riddles that needed to be solved to find out which of the four Guilds of Meridia you belong to. 

A brilliant experience for children, who can touch and explore and uncover and discover. For adults, it is surreal and wondrous and delightful. Twists and surprises can be found throughout, as you feel a real sense of embarking on an adventure into a secret, parallel world. 

I don’t want to give away too much, as it’s a place you need to discover for yourselves to understand what it is all about. Everyone will take something distinctive from their time inside and come away with their own unique experience that won’t be forgotten anytime soon. 

One word of warning, our nearly six-year-old was a little unsure when we first arrived. The atmosphere created by the artistic team behind Wake the Tiger is so realistic, with every inch of this interactive experience finished perfectly so as not to break the pretence at any time – young or sensitive children may find it a bit overwhelming, at least when they first enter. That said, once our two got into the adventure and started exploring the myriad worlds within this new world, they quickly forgot their nerves. 

Opening to the public today (30 July), tickets start at £16.50 (from £10 for 5 to 12-year-olds, under-5s are free) are on sale

(Header image: Andre Pattenden)