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Any tips for visiting Olympic Park please

(148 Posts)
lorisparkle Sat 28-Jul-12 19:29:25

We are off to visit the park on Tuesday with a 6 year old and 4 year old. I am feeling rather anxious about the whole thing and hoping that there will be some fab MNetters who have already been and can give us some handy tips! We are travelling by car then by tube. Would a buggy be a help or a hindrance, buy or take food, places to visit, etc etc


GlassOfPort Sun 29-Jul-12 21:59:08

Has anybody been to Earls Court? We are going to see the Volleyball with our 2 year old DS and are a bit worried we will have to queue for ever to leave the buggy in the storage area and then queue for another lifetime to get it back.

LeeCoakley Sun 29-Jul-12 22:22:54

Re the liquids in the bottles business - I didn't realise our bottles had so much in them but the military peeps at security said as long as we had a sip from each bottle it was fine. They just had to see us drinking from them. Is this because they could be explosives or something?

The movement around the DLR was brilliant. All the staff should be congratulated. And at the venues ditto to the volunteers and military. So friendly and helpful. Keep it up!

fruitcorner Sun 29-Jul-12 22:38:16

We were at park today, there were loads if young kids there and buggies, we also saw children with scooters! The park is big some venues are 30 mins walk from entrance , we ended up carrying DD (5) quite a bit. I would take lots of snacks, I find we slways need loads to help kids get through long and tiring days. Food in park was uninspiring I thought and quite slow service. Toilets great and water fountains near loos. We took overland from west London rather than tube and busy but more pleasant.

notcitrus Sun 29-Jul-12 22:39:54

Has anyone found the water fountains at ExCel yet?

Also how long does it take to get to the Olympic Stadium from Stratford station, via security etc?

Meglet Sun 29-Jul-12 22:44:39

Will keep an eye on this as we're off to Earls Court volleyball and Excel table tennis this week. No buggies though as we have enough adults to deal with the small people.

LeeCoakley Sun 29-Jul-12 22:46:42

In the table tennis area at Excel the water fountain (note: only the one) was in a far corner in the milling-around-with-nothing-much-to-do area. We only noticed it because there was a long snaking queue and we thought it was for something interesting! 20 minutes to get to the front! Excel - please note, this was the only negative in an otherwise excellent day.

staranise Sun 29-Jul-12 23:09:18

Does anyone know if scooters are allowed in? I have park tickets for next week for myself and the 3DCs (youngest is 3) - I'm concerned about all the walking and DC3 getting very tired.

ReelAroundTheOrbit Sun 29-Jul-12 23:49:08

I took my ds's (4 and 5) to the basketball today at the OP. It was fantastic.

We came into Stratford on the tube and without exception everyone was v v helpful and friendly. Offered to take photos, gave the ds's high 5's etc.

Personally I wouldn't take a buggy, but as others have said you know your children and how much walking they can manage. I would factor in lots of extra time so you're not rushing around. I did take some snacks but we ate in McDonalds but the snacks were handy for the way home. Def take the empty water bottles, we took normal ones then tipped them out just before security.

Tube in and out was not busy (but obv a Sunday so naturally quieter). Security was a breeze, never stopped moving which was great. We did the megastore but the queue wasn't very long, the shelves were v v empty though. I let the ds's choose one thing each as a memento and that was all ok. (worth knowing that they ONLY accept visa).

All in all a wonderful experience, so glad I took them. I'd originally been dead against and had a last minute change of heart. My other visits are sans children which will be a breeze in comparison grin

ReelAroundTheOrbit Sun 29-Jul-12 23:51:52

notcitrus For us today from Stratford station to next to the Olympic stadium (not inside) was around 20 minutes.

lorisparkle Mon 30-Jul-12 13:27:23

We are going again to the paraolympics with DS3 as well and are staying in North London on the circle line. Our plan was to park at one of the tube stations near where we are going to stay (Loughton I think) so this is a trial run without a toddler! I had not even considered scooters as I thought they would be a nightmare to look after and DS1 and DS2 could easily disappear off on them.

Really great tips so far - thanks

LeeCoakley Mon 30-Jul-12 13:31:30

Loughton is the central line I think.

Parking at tube stations will be difficult during the week as you are competing with commuters. We went from Epping on Saturday and there was only about a dozen spaces free out of over 500. As we passed Theydon Bois station it was advertising Olympic parking so I don't know it they, and other stations, have commandeered nearby fields. Good luck!

theowlwhowasafraidofthedark Mon 30-Jul-12 13:43:15

Hi there. Has anyone taken a buggy for the swimming. I have a really heavy 8mo so would really prefer to take one. So excited!

EduStudent Mon 30-Jul-12 13:57:04

Ooh, ooh, I can do Earl's Court! We were 2 adults though, so no buggy experience.

We sailed straight through to the station which is opposite Greggs, very clearly signposted from there, lots of bunting and nice volunteers.

Security was seamless but thorough, tip any liquid away whilst you're on the road though.

Once you're in, there's plenty of space to stroll around, millions of toilets. All the food places/toilets/shops at the back were practically empty, so keep walking. There was a great atmosphere, it was a real show!

Leaving was very busy, we walked to Knightsbridge rather than jumping on the tube, but it looked well managed.

Also, don't panic if you get there and your seats don't exist. They cocked up the ticketing but have upgraded all those affected (including us!).

GlassOfPort Mon 30-Jul-12 17:07:35

Thank you EduStudent and everybody else who posted encouraging news about Earls Court.

I am not sure we will be able to walk to Knightsbridge with a toddler in tow, but I am now hopeful we will benefit from the ticket cock-up! wink

notcitrus Mon 30-Jul-12 17:23:48

Thanks Reel. The boys are used to walking a couple miles so we should be OK, though I may stick the sling onto MrNC to carry the baby home.

And thanks for the water info LeeCoakley - I get a dry mouth from meds so get through loads of water. I plan to take a zillion fruit tubes just in case! Is there cold water in the basins of the loos, do you know?

dinasaw Mon 30-Jul-12 23:13:30

I'm going with Mum, Dad and my sister tomorrow for the hockey evening session. We have been trying to find out if there is something like a land train for people who find walking a problem. I've looked on the 2012 website and there appears to be something like that but I can't find out any details about how it works. Mum is visually impaired and is finding walking long distances quite hard. I've seen on the website that you can borrow wheelchairs so I have subtley said to Mum to take photo id so if all else fails we will borrow one.

Does anyone know?

Meglet Mon 30-Jul-12 23:20:48

thank you edustudent! Especially about the tickets.

We're not doing the Olympic Park until the Paralympics and I assume it will be a little quieter by then.

Idontknowhowtohelpher Mon 30-Jul-12 23:30:45

dinasaw I found this on the website - Accessible shuttle services: will be provided at many venues to transport spectators from the nearest recommended accessible station to the venue itself. These services are available for disabled spectators and do not need to be pre-booked.

The station they show as having the shuttle option for the Olympic Stadium is Stratford - is that any use?

ReelAroundTheOrbit Tue 31-Jul-12 09:30:53

There were loads of mini carts (like the ones you get in airports) transporting people around. I am certain you'd be able to use one. Tbh when I was there with the ds's I reckon I could've asked for a ride if they were really struggling. I didn't need to but every single person I encountered was so helpful I think they genuinely want to help.

dinasaw Tue 31-Jul-12 10:08:08

Thank you! I feel more relieved now knowing there is a shuttle service and mini carts. It's just the size of the place I know Mum will have difficulty with (and Dad too although he won't admit it.) At least from the sound of it my sister and I can shove them on a golf cart at the venue at the end of the night and meet them back at the station.
We are heading off soon, so I will post how it all works and my tips for the place tomorrow.

EduStudent Tue 31-Jul-12 11:51:11

GlassofPort It was brilliant, we should have been up in the back of beyond and ended up third row back courtside grin Obviously slightly concerning to start with, especially as the volunteers letting you into the seats hadn't been told, but we definitely weren't the only ones and they had our new tickets waiting for us at the Ticket Resolution Office.

Also, at least in Earl's Court, it isn't a problem to get up and move about during the event. I went out to grab a drink and have a bit of a walk when I was getting a bit sleepy. I would recommend trying to get there the suggested 2 hours beforehand though, but there was lots going on on the screens and a bloke running round basically being a presenter so it didn't seem like a long time waiting.

elportodelgato Tue 31-Jul-12 12:57:19

We are going with our DDs (aged 4 & 18mo) to the Basketball tomorrow morning. It's only about 1.5 miles from our house so we were going to walk it with the Phil & Teds double buggy. Does anyone know what the situation is with buggies? will we be OK with such a large buggy getting in and out of the park and the venue? Alternative is to take a smaller foldable buggy and also a sling for DD2 to go on my back, just not sure... any advice?

ReelAroundTheOrbit Tue 31-Jul-12 13:54:05

There are buggy parks around the OP, including one right at the basketball arena. I can't see that it would cause any problems getting through security etc. And I would take the p+t. I know I'm getting repetitive but everyone is friendly and helpful!!

Hersetta Tue 31-Jul-12 13:57:50

Your phil and teds will be fine - there is a buggy park in the basketball arena grounds. Just to let you know though that the basketball arena is well over a mile from the entrance at stratford station. it took DD (4) and I almost 40 mins each way to walk it so factor a further walk into your arrival time. My DH who is a journalist and there every day says he does it in 25 mins.

Hersetta Tue 31-Jul-12 13:59:00

Don't know where you live but the eton manor gate is only a 10 min walk from the basketball arena.

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