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An attraction billed as the UK's "No. 1 indoor tropical aqua park" is anything but, according to some visitors.
People visiting Waterworld, in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs, have in recent weeks reported issues including overcrowding, long queues, "dirty" conditions and facilities "in desperate need of renovation".
It comes less than a year after visitors reported "weird green water" in the pools and "disgusting" changing rooms.
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Moreover, just a few weeks ago in June, the site was evacuated due to an outbreak of illness, drawing further scrutiny.
On that occasion, emergency services saw 46 people claiming to be suffering symptoms of nausea, breathing difficulties and eye irritation.
Bosses said it was a "huge over-reaction" and tests proved the water was safe, adding that "at no time was there any need for the emergency services to be called".
The park reopened two days later, but poor reviews citing "filthy" conditions and "horrendous queues" continued.
It has more than 660 "terrible" reviews on Tripadvisor, dating back to 2007, with another 423 "poor" reviews.
It does however also boast 1,289 "excellent" reviews, although, at time of writing, none of these are dated after the evacuation in June.
On July 20, one dissatisfied visitor wrote on the site: "It’s very very dated and needs a hygiene upgrade. Could not believe how dirty the toilets and changing room floor was.
"Staff walking around in trainers in all areas including outside (meant to wear overshoes??). One member of staff texting whilst walking around the pool. Could be such a nice place."
On Trustpilot, another added: "Spoilt by dirty facilities and security staff. Told us checking for food. Searched under 16s outside the venue without adult permission. The toilets were filthy and not seen a clean in weeks. Poorly run. Not worth the money."
A day earlier, someone else wrote on Trustpilot: "Queues were horrendous, it was a red hot day over 25 degrees and young children were made to wait in this heat.
"Once in the pool it was that busy we couldn’t get on any rides as the queues were far too long, please read the terms and conditions as they charge £7.50 for a locker witch you only get £5 back, disgusting I’d never go again."
On July 2, one Tripadvisor review said: "Overpriced and scammy. Insane pricing: £21 for one ticket; £2.50 for 1 locker; £3.50 for parking. Only 3h validity. The park is really small and not suited for adults.
"Lastly, to return the locker key they make you queue at the shop, hoping that the annoyance will make you buy something."
Another review on June 24 said: "Wasn't aware that you had to pay for parking. Issued a £60 fine. I explained that to Waterworld and they just shrugged it off as not their problem.
"On top of that I spent £140 on tickets and food etc. Kids were most excited about the rapids. When we arrived they were turned off and no explanation was given as to why. So all in all its costed me £200 for 4 hours of an "incomplete" experience.
"The place was also filthy."
A few days earlier, on June 18, someone wrote: "The place has gone down hill dirty changing rooms with chewing gum stuck to seats cold pool water tiles falling off what a terrible place desperate for a renovation."
Ranked 90 out of 107 of things to do in Stoke-on-Trent, the park's overall rating on Tripadvisor is three out of five.
But while some reviewers have slammed it as "overpriced and scammy" and "disgusting and unsanitary" the park was rated "excellent" by almost 1,300 visitors and "very good" by a further 812.
"Overall really enjoyed it, kids loved it," said one.
"Managed to get on loads of slides which the kids loved. Didn’t have any issues which is on this site at all."
And another wrote: None of us experienced any issues during or after except we were soo tired from all the fun."
Daily Star has twice contacted the park regarding the latest reviews but we have not received a response.
In response to the "green water" complaints in August 2021, owner Mo Chaudry called on sites such as Tripadvisor to "weed out non-genuine reviews and trolls".
He said: “To suggest that our venue is overcrowded, unsafe or unhygienic is quite simply inaccurate and irresponsible. The facts tell a far different story.
“Our pool water is stringently and regularly subjected to microbiological tests, where zero health and safety risks have been revealed.
“As for customers commenting on the green tinge – we sell ourselves as a tropical environment, and believe green is good! Much of our water comes directly from a highly eco-friendly borehole on our own site."
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