Alexandra Palace was recently host to The Monster UK, the world’s biggest adults only bouncy castle experience before it continues its UK tour. At nearly 300 metres long you can let your inner child loose on this nostalgic inflatable obstacle course.
A review by Tanya Howard
From the events team who previously hosted The Beast in London and Birmingham, The Monster was said to be “bigger, better and more bonkers than ever before”. The Monster consists of 42 brand new obstacles including an 18m “Mega Slide”, a “Tunnel of Love” and “The Bouncy Cage of Doom!”.
Upon arrival at Alexandra Palace (later than expected as we managed to get lost on the way) we were asked to sign a waiver and make our way to the queue for our time slot. I was quite surprised by the sheer length of the line and would definitely advise getting a drink or a snack beforehand as you will be waiting a while. The sessions run in 30-minute blocks and tickets must be purchased in advance but from the start of the queue to reaching the end of the assault course a good hour and a half had passed.
Saying this they advise you to arrive 30 minutes in advance of your time slot, this gives you time to queue up, hand in your stuff at the locker room and exchange your ticket for a wristband before joining the course queue. Whilst we were stood around for quite a while we were not left tearing our hair out because they had a live DJ playing some absolute tunes, and you were able to go and learn a dance routine for each song with one of the event staff who was on stage with the DJ.
As we got closer to the front not only were we pumped from the songs playing but there was also a team of staff waiting to get you in the mood with a pre-start workout, que dancing like an Egyptian, rolling around on the floor and just letting loose your inner crazy. It’s advisable to wear light and stretchy clothes, active wear would be perfect, but you can still give it a go in your jeans and shirt, but it might not be the most comfortable experience. Shoes must be left in the locker room and it’s best to complete the course bare foot rather than socks as they can make it more difficult to gain traction on certain obstacles.
Now standing front row we were ready to truly tackle The Monster, and in my head I was suddenly a well-trained fitness pro who runs 10Ks for fun whilst weightlifting a city bus, and I was the first one to run onto the course and scale the first wall… Then a few minutes in I remembered I’m an unfit 30 year old 5’2 woman, I was suddenly gasping for breath and thinking dear god you are so unfit and how on earth are you going to pull your own body weight up to scale this next obstacle. If you did get stuck there were assistants to help you, although I think they were more amused at the people struggling than actually being of any assistance, and thankfully I didn’t actually need any help.
Despite a few issues with walls and a bit of friction burn on the slides (clearly the leggings I went with were not made for inflatable obstacle courses) we made it to the end and got our photo taken showing we tamed The Monster. We collected our belongings from the locker room, feeling rather proud of ourselves, but I can’t tell you how long the course actually took us because we both left our phones in the locker as it was very likely we’d end up bouncing off of an obstacle and landing face first on our phone rendering them useless so decided to go with the better safe than sorry approach.
Whilst you might assume that that was the end of the fun and that it was time for us to make our way home but that was not the case here. Along with the assault course and the live DJ they were very prepared for the hunger that built up during our wait with a range of street food vendors and cocktails bars, alongside three giant ball pits inside flamingos and unicorns. I grabbed a pulled pork burger from Bodean’s BBQ Smoke House and Ameera had a Halloumi Burger from Backstreet Diner Burgers. Sadly, it was a few days before pay day so we had to skip the cocktails on this occasion, but we saw a lot of people walking around with fishbowls that looks really good. There was also a stand where you could get glitter and face paint done but we didn’t find this until we were pretty much ready to go home and felt there wasn’t any point getting ourselves done for the train journey home but next time I’ll be all over that glitter stand.