Unnecessary food policy in Siam Park makes some visitors feel very unwelcome

I really do dislike making negative posts on this blog. Ideally, everything I post would contribute to Tenerife’s wellbeing, and promote the island as the wonderful place it is … or could be. Evidently this isn’t always possible, Arona’s beaches being a case in point, but sometimes it’s necessary to draw attention to things that are simply unnecessarily negative. Siam Park is the case in point on this occasion: a wonderful tourist draw, a superb venue, and recently named as one of the top ten amusement parks in Trip Adviser. And of the same brand as Loro Parque, about which regular readers will know I have nothing bad to say at all. So why make Siam Park an unpleasant experience for some visitors?

The following review is by someone who visited Siam Park in the last few days. Some people know visitors aren’t allowed to take food, others don’t yet know – and they will not find themselves welcome if they take food by mistake. The park’s website does in fact say that taking one’s own food is “totally prohibited”, but it is information in a none-too-bold text at the bottom of the page on restaurants, which is hardly going to be the port of first call for someone checking the site to see what they can expect … when they intend to take a picnic! Come on, Siam Park, this is a totally unnecessary policy. You can, and should, do better than this.

I’m something of a fussy eater so eating out anywhere unvetted is a big no-no.  I have been to Siam Park twice before and both times I took a cool bag and ate my sandwiches on the beach bit with the wave machine, which was very pleasant.  However, when we went on Friday, we were stopped at the inner turnstyle after we had paid, shown a sign saying “No Picnics” also inside the area after the ticket windows, and asked to open our bags so they could check there was no food inside!  Of course my sister was carrying the cool bag with all our sandwiches in so she showed it and we were made to hand it over for custody and given a numbered ticket to reclaim it later.  We were told we could go back for it whenever we wanted but we would have to eat outside and then would be allowed in again afterwards.  Relieved that it wasn’t going to be confiscated, we handed our food over and kept the ticket safe.
When we got hungry, we had to get our hands stamped, ring a bell by one of the doors under the entrance arches and tell somebody our number, then wait until the girl appeared to hand over our lunch.  Not so bad so far, we were reminded we had to eat it outside, so out we went, perched on a ledge in the wall just outside the gate and started eating.  Until we were moved along by somebody telling us we couldn’t eat there and waving us away.  So we moved round and found a little bit of shade to stand in away from the entrance at the corner of the building.  Yet again we were moved on and directed into a narrow space between the side of the building and a filthy truck, beside two bins.  Reluctant to actually go into that space to eat we hovered outside it away from the bins, but the same employee came back again, insisting and ushering us right into the corner.  I protested that I didn’t want to eat my lunch by the bins and just stood there open-mouthed in disbelief while the bastard insisted and continued shaking his head and herding us right into the three foot space between a bin of garden waste and fag ends and the wheel of the truck.
Especially considering that my two sisters paid 33€ each and I €19,50 as a resident, I think that was pretty disgusting.  Take heed Siam Park, if the idea is to force visitors to buy expensive burgers and bocadillos it won’t work, I will simply think twice before going again or about taking anybody else.  Fine, prohibit food inside the park and allow visitors to collect it, eat outside and return, but provide us somewhere shady to eat, even if it’s just that, a shade over an outside area, preferably with a bench or two.  A proper picnic area would be a nice touch that would make me want to come again, but I will not be forced to eat in the corner with the bins like a third class malingerer



  1. It is pretty standard for amusement parks to ban food from outside. I have to disagree with those that say that the food is overpriced and found the burger I ate about a month ago, one of the best on the island.

    We were also checked and were allowed to bring in food and certain items when we told them that we had a person on a diet.

    Having said that, they have no right to usher people into a dirty corner outside their park.

  2. Author

    There is nothing in the review that suggests “smuggling” food in. In fact it was openly carried in and shown on request … it was seen precisely because it was being carried openly in a cool bag! The person in question is a strict vegetarian with food allergies, so will now not visit the park. Not petty at all, and if business survival depends on restrictive practices and overpricing, which is how some certainly see food in Siam Park, they will perhaps learn the hard way that it doesn’t work.

  3. Yes, I am a resident and paid for a twin ticket for 4 adults and 2 childred. Only 2 of the adults were residents. We made sandwiches and a picnic for the family and were refused entry with our food. They had a wonderful day but I refuse to take or recommend the park to any more of my visitors coming to Tenerife as we were made to feel very unwelcome. We also had to eat outside with no facilities. Parents come on holiday with there children to relax and have fun, not to be harassed. Extreemly annoying.

  4. We got stopped with a cool bag as well so I just told them my daughter had a food allergy, they stuck a big sticker on the bag and let us in with it. We still purchase food in the park but take lots of drinks and a few snacks with us, because with a whole day in the heat we can get through an awful lot of drinks. The food in the park has always been very good but I do object to being told I cant take in my own food. What if you wanted to eat healthily or had certain intolerances you cant eat what the park has to offer.

  5. Are you allowed to take drinks in surely

  6. It will stop families wanting to go there. Children need plenty of liquids and can be fussy eaters sometimes. What is the harm in taking a picnic. Ok they have rules but to make you eat it near rubbish bins is a health hazard.

  7. Author

    No, nigel, apparently no drinks allowed either. According to their website page HERE, *It Is Totally Prohibited To Bring Food And Drink Into The Park*

  8. Same thing happened to me when I went in April with my friend and we were told to hand food over (it was only 2 baguettes!) and collect it later! This was my 4th visit over the past few years and had previously been allowed to take in food. I still spent money on food/drinks inside the park so I don’t see what harm it does taking in your own food too. I think your comments Sam are very unfair, childish and unnecessary! They weren’t “smuggling” in food at all! Grow up.

    It wouldn’t stop me going to Siam Park again as it’s a great day out but some of the staff there are quite surly and unnecessarily rude at times. Perhaps they shouldn’t be working with the general public!

  9. Unless the rules have changed recently you are allowed bring in water and fruit, so liquid for kids is allowed. However I too think that the park should relax this rule and have a designated picnic area. They could make it small enough so that people would be discouraged from spending too much time there and others encouraged to buy food from the restaurants. They allow people to picnic in Loro Parque, and in Aqualand, so why not here? If it’s properly controlled and limited it shouldn’t ruin the business for the restaurants and might encourage more residents, who are often on a tighter budget than those on holidays from countries with higher salaries, to use the park as well.

  10. Have to agree with sam on this one, if the business in question supply’s food & drink then you shouldn’t take your own, lets face it most people wouldn’t take there own food to a restaurant or there own drinks to a bar, note i said most..

  11. Not sure anyone can force you to eat by the bins in a public street but not nice to be treated that way
    These rules have been in place since the park opened but clients should still be treated with respect

  12. They need to improve the quality of the food for them to justify their ruling. I had the greasiest, soggiest piece of pizza ever. Don’t think you can compare it to going to a restaurant/bar and taking your own food as that is that is the sole purpose of going into one…..with Siam Park it isn’t. It’s a waterpark at the end of the day. The food/drink part is purely a service offered. Need to get rid of the 2 guys who try to insist you have your photo took too just as you get through the entrance. I had a mouthful of abuse off one of them just because we POLITELY declined the offer. Just rude and no need for it.

  13. Thank you for the above report. As a 9 times visitor to Tenerife, I now know not to travel from Puerto (using public transport or hire – car each contributing to the island economy) to a place where it is dictated I may not take outside food. Whenever we have visited Loro Parque or the ‘Aguilas’ park down south we have bought our food on site but I don’t like being told that on a ten hour visit I may ‘only’ buy their food. Who wants to carry round all the food and drink for 10 hours brought in outside, it would become a drag but its being dictated/forbidden that I don’t like.

  14. I understand the need that the park wants to maximise its revenue, but this policy does not take account of religious, medical or dietary needs. Last time I went there the food on sale was neither Kosher, Halal, gluten free, nut free etc etc. I have a suggestion, why not charge a small fee if you bring your own food and non alcoholic drink, this would pay for the costs of the picnic area and if the food outlets are concessions – they get a percentage of the levy to offset potential lost revenue. Just a thought.

  15. Author

    I couldn’t agree more, john, and food is not produced in such a way, I understand, that a genuinely strict vegetarian would be able to accept, i.e. with no cross contamination. So, I would argue that Siam Park needs to demonstrate that it does actually want the custom of vegetarians, vegans, Jews, Muslims, or those with any range of particular dietary needs.
    As you say, they could make a charge for this to avoid being out of pocket – and they could share that out, if they wanted to, between the franchises who run the food outlets … I believe they are, in fact, concessions, and not Siam Park itself running them directly, so to me that undermines the argument used several times above that they’re just trying to maximise income by selling food as well, and that those who take their own are doing Siam Park itself out of money.
    As I understand it, they’ve had the money for selling the franchises, and continue to charge ground rent, but don’t get money from the sale of food. Naturally those businesses want to maximise their income, but this isn’t primarily a concern of Siam Park as a water park business.

  16. Hi Janet, I read this post and created a summary on our blog with a link back to your article with a corresponding Facebook post, and thought you might be interested in the comments posted on Facebook about this http://www.facebook.com/etenerifeholidays

  17. Author

    Thanks Peter, will be interesting to see any other comments too.

  18. Hi, went to Siam park recently and was very disappointed , have been several times before, this time I was disappointed as the wave was no where near the size it has been in the past infact half the height… Why…one of the attractions of Siam park is the wave on the beach normally such great fun other people that had been before also noticed it, also just to mention about the food situation I experienced the most terrible row with the poor staff and 2 families that were trying to buy some ice creams for their children, it was a very hot day the que was horrendous at the little kiosk must of stood there in the heat for a good half an hour if not longer, people were getting very cross as there was no way enough staff to cope with the amount of people (2) my point to this is if you are not letting people bring in food and drink other than water….then get the staff, you can not have it both ways, I found the food situation very distressing also if they don’t rectify the wave situation after all they advertise it as the biggest wave in Europe then I don’t think I will bother going again or recommending Siam park to friends.

  19. Yes Kim I agree the wave was not anything like as big as it was on previous visits! It was a bit pathetic really and as you say it is one of the main attractions there. Increasing the price each year yet lowering the standards is hardly a way of keeping regulars revisiting or enticing new visitors. I wouldn’t bother going back. Been there, done that and it’s one of those places where after the first visit each one after is less impressive. I’m afraid it could be a ghost town unless they make an effort.

  20. MONEY STOLEN – We came back August 2013. 2nd visit to Tenerife. We used the lockers for money and valuables as a group. Within 3 hrs returning we found €250 missing. Reported this to management who wouldn’t come out to talk to us, they sent a part time worker telling us there is no proof our money got stolen and it is not easily traceable on security camera. Louisa the PR then came out and said same thing. She was useless too. Park Relations not Public Relations Basically suggesting we stole our own money. They then called the police and a big security guy on us after we told a group what had just happened to us. The company policy is a wall of silence. HQ police in Madrid said this complaint of money stolen is common. Do not go there!

  21. Visited the park in April with wife daughter and two of daughters friends . Fell foul of the strict food and drink policy , had our bag of pop and food confiscated on entrance , I did put up a struggle to my daughters great embarrassment , but my protest was to no avail . It’s very high handed of them , you have paid in before they snatch your food. At that point you are at the point of no return, they clearly need your food spend desperately these days.

    The wave is definitely half size to previous years, not much fun, but years ago Spanish lads used to torpedo on the wave towards other users in the shallows. Maybe the reduction in wave height is due to a previous torpedo accident , I thought that likely after seeing the Spanish lads antics a few years ago.

  22. I’m not sure if something has changed recently, but I visited Siam Park with my family last week. We took our own food and we were eating at our sunbeds around the beach area. One of the staff saw us and told us we were only allowed to eat at the tables around where they sell burgers, etc., so we just took our food over there and continued eating our own food without any further complaints.

    The waves are definitely smaller than in previous years though; this was our sixth visit to Siam Park over the past four years.

  23. Why would you take your own food into the park as its so cheap to buy your own .I can not believe there are so many tight people around .

  24. Paul, did you even read the comments above yours? You must live in a lovely world if throwing more money at it is the solution to everything and all problems are caused by being “tight”.

    Unfortunately not all dietary requirements are catered for in every establishment, however much you are prepared to pay. I have, in the past, paid €40 for a plate of salad (bog-standard, without dressing), just for the privilege of eating *something* with my companions who enjoyed a five course feast for the same money. I’d have paid twice that for something I could have actually enjoyed but the option wasn’t there. The only other options were to walk out or sit through the meal without eating anything. Big venues like Siam Park need to learn to *cater* – ideally not with €40 salads – or allow people to bring their own.

  25. Lloro Park allows you to take in food and have areas for picknicking – they are the same company , so I don’t understand this policy ?
    I have just come back from Florida and Disneyworld allow food and drink in at all their venues, although they do search your bags for “security” purposes – buying on site is expensive but their is no shortage of customers – finding a table and chair at their eating places is almost impossible !

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