BLACKPOOL Pleasure Beach has come under fire for banning visitors from taking their own food and drink into the park.
People must leave snacks at the attraction’s gates and use picnic areas outside the grounds if they do not wish to buy food on site.
Pleasure Beach bosses say this is because there is not enough space inside due to the high concentration of rides in the park.
One visitor, David Hornby, of Paddington in London, told The Gazette: “On a trip to the Pleasure Beach with three young children, I brought sandwiches for their lunch, to try to keep the cost of the day within reasonable limits.
“But when my bag was searched at the entrance, I was told our sandwiches were not allowed.”
He added: “In these recession hit times, when entrance wrist bands cost up to £32 each, are hard-working families on tight budgets really going to be deprived of the right to carry in a low cost lunch for kids?”
Hoteliers today branded the policy as “mean”.
Janice Hall, of The Concorde Hotel on Hornby Road, Blackpool, said: “If I had paid £32 for an adult wristband to get in, then if I was taking a family I would be taking sandwiches because I would feel I had paid enough really. I think it’s going a bit overboard.”
David Bentley, of The Holmleigh Hotel on Withnell Road, South Shore, said: “It’s hard for families at the moment with the credit crunch and so on, so it seems a bit mean.”
A spokesman for the Pleasure Beach said the ride intensive nature of the site meant visitors were directed to picnic tables outside the park.
He added: “In line with many other theme and amusement parks, guests own food and drink cannot be brought into Pleasure Beach.
“Allowances are made for guests with special dietary requirements and dedicated picnic areas are also provided for school parties booked in advance.
“Storage facilities are provided for those who bring outside food to the park.
“Guests who wish to consume food brought to the park are redirected to suitable picnic areas adjacent to Pleasure Beach.”
He added that all the park’s own food outlets offered healthy eating options.
However, other leading theme parks and attractions said they did allow visitors to bring their own food and drink into their premises.
Alton Towers, Camelot and Blackpool Zoo all confirmed they allowed picnics to be brought in.