Experience Four Seasons in One Day with a Day Trip to Dublin's Tayto Park

Tayto Park - Mr. Tayto Hedge

A potato themed amusement park? In Ireland? This I've got to see. Tayto Park is about 45 minutes outside of Dublin and is great craic for a day trip with or without children in tow. I had the opportunity to visit on an offsite with the people I work with back in April. I actually felt a bit giddy with anticipation as our bus rolled through open farmland and then a giant wooden roller coaster appeared on the horizon. It was just so incongruous! Here's the story of how we experienced four seasons in one day and had a ton of fun along the way at Tayto Park; Ireland's (and perhaps the world's) only potato-based theme park.

Tayto Park's Epic Wooden Roller Coaster

Tayto Park - Wooden Roller Coaster

When we arrived, it felt a bit like summer. Granted, there was a chill in the air (that's summer in Dublin for you...) but just seeing the giant wooden roller coaster brought me back to the ones I rode as a kid. I don't like roller coaster anymore so contented myself to be the group photographer as other folks rushed to get on board.

How Do You Do, Mr. Tayto?

Tayto Park - Mr. Tayto Stuffed Toys
Every theme park needs a mascot and Tayto Park is no exception. Mr. Tayto is the most politely named mascot I've ever seen. Mr. Tayto's handlers bring him out and about in the park a couple times a day. We definitely made sure we were there to get a photo and a hug.
Tayto Park - Mr. Tayto Hedge

Birds of Prey Flight Demonstration 

Tayto Park - Owl in Flight

Feelings of summer continued with a birds of prey demonstration in the park. It was amazing to see the wingspan of this gorgeous owl as he whizzed over our heads. Amazing!

Tayto Park Zoo - Lions, Tigers, and Bears, Oh My

Tayto Park - Tiger

In reality, Tayto Park is a combination theme park and zoo. Our sense of summer continued as we walked past cages housing majestic animals like this beautiful tiger.

Zippity Do Da on the Tayto Park Zipline

Tayto Park - Top of the Zip Line

Summer soon turned to Autumn as we waited our turn for the Tayto Park zip line. It was quite a production. The staging area was at the far end of the course. The staff would suit up about 10 people at a time and then send us off to the starting tower where we climbed to the top and I was quickly forced to face my fear of heights. A cold wind blew as we waited our turn. I squealed the whole way down probably damaging the hearing of the two friends zipping alongside me, but I'm thrilled to say that I overcame my fear and stepped off the edge. Fun! 

Tayto Factory Tour

Tayto Park - Tayto Factory Tour

When the weather turns chilly like in Autumn, getting inside for a while is a good option. Tayto Park (no surprise) has a factory tour where you can see potato chips being made. The tour is self-guided and definitely made me hungry for some Tayto crisps!

Tayto Park Carvery

Tayto Park - Carvery Lunch

In contrast to American amusement parks where hot dogs and hamburgers feature prominently for lunch, Irish theme parks serve up a full carvery. I love a good carvery when the weather turns cold. There's nothing like filling up my belly with a Thanksgiving dinner's worth of turkey with all the trimmings.

From Sun to Storm

Tayto Park - Storm approaching

Before we knew it, winter was upon us. A foreboding looking cloud soon appeared over head. Then it actually started snowing! (perhaps I'm being melodramatic...It was more like hail, but it got so cold so suddenly that it felt like it could have been snow).
Tayto Park - Snow on my arm

Ice Valley

Tayto Park - Ice Valley

The unexpected snowstorm passed quickly. We kept the winter feeling alive with a tour through Tayto Park's Ice Valley. Fake snow greeted us as we entered. Old school animatronic Ice Age creatures that were long since extinct smiled at us as we walked past.
Tayto Park - Animatronic Elk

Blast from the Past

Tayto Park - T-Rex Dinosaur

We got a blast from the past when we passed this enormous T-Rex upon exiting Ice Valley.

Buffalo!

Tayto Park - Herd of Buffalo

When I see Buffaloes, I think of Buffalo, New York, my childhood home. When I think of Buffalo, I think of winter and lots and lots of snow thus extending the feeling of winter even further.

Tayto Cheese and Onion Chocolate 

Tayto Park - Cheese and Onion Chocolate Egg

Our day trip to Tayto Park ended with a bit of Spring spirit. I spotted these Tayto Cheese and Onion Easter Eggs in the gift shop and just had to give them a try. Cheese and Onion crisps are an Irish tradition. The thought of putting that flavor into chocolate though had me absolutely intrigued. The verdict? Delicious! The cheese and onion flavor was fairly mild and did not overwhelm the chocolate.

There you have it! As you can see, we really did experience four seasons in one day at Tayto Park!

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Sidewalk Safari: Experience Four Seasons in One Day with a Day Trip to Dublin's Tayto Park
Experience Four Seasons in One Day with a Day Trip to Dublin's Tayto Park
Experience Tayto Park, Ireland's (and perhaps the world's...) only potato-themed amusement park. Written by Dublin based travel blogger, Jennifer (aka Dr. J) from Sidewalk Safari.
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