Like a kid at a sweet shop window, I had been waiting excitedly for Siam Park to fling open its very grand entrance, so I joined some very exhalted company for the official launch night on Monday September 17.
Suitably spruced up, I joined a bustling throng of movers and shakers from business and politics across Tenerife, outside the imposing twin towers as we waited for Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand to arrive.Â I could see I wasn’t alone in my child like eagerness to get inside, and once the Princess cut the floral ribbon, we were off like a very polite andÂ reserved wave.
Director Christoph Kiessling lookedÂ a little tense and nervous, well I suppose you could liken him to an expectant father, the park is very much his baby. Â As we moved round the 14 rides and attractions of the Water Kingdom, I’m sure I could detect his nerves turn to pride, and who could blame him, it’s a visual triumph and makes full use of all 185,000 square metres of space. Everything is on a grand scale, but it was the little touches that impressed me almost as much, the way the framework of the rides is hidden by natural plants and flowers, the attentiveness of the lifeguards at the splash pools and the ornate eastern carvings on all the buildings.
I had to fight the urge to slip off my stilettos, grab an inflatable ring and zoom down one of the slides, giggling like a teenager – I may well sneak back and do that another time. Luckily some keen young locals showed us the quickest way up, and down on the bigger, more challenging rides, just watching made my blood pump. The crowd slowly headed round to the imported beach, another assault on the senses, the wave pool stretching out ahead and the flaming torches burning as we took our seats to hear the speeches from Christoph and the gathered dignitaries.
The kid in me kept thinking of all the fun I could have on the rides, but at the same time, the business side of my brain was weighing up all the gallons of good publicity the park will generate for Tenerife. definitely a winner.