Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Why We Love Paultons Park

We visited Paultons Park when Freddy was a toddler and he had a lovely time exploring Peppa Pig World.  Now he is a big boy (a whole four years old), I was keen to let him experience everything that Paultons Park had to offer.  I was very pleased to receive some complimentary tickets to visit again.

The traffic getting into the park was quite horrific and I was concerned that the park would be absolutely heaving.  However, once we made it through the gates the crowds quickly dispersed as the park is spacious with lots of open areas.  We made the decision to leave Peppa Pig World until later in the day as we know that 75 minute queues for the seven themed rides are commonplace at peak times.  It is a very popular attraction!  Instead we explored the other areas of the park to see what was on offer.  Within minutes Freddy was riding on the mini rollercoaster 'The Stinger' which had a 0.9m height restriction.  This ride was quickly followed by Kontiki, Jumping Bean, Pirate Ship, Viking Boats and Teacups, each with no more than a 10-15 minute wait.  Then came the thrilling Wave Runner and River Ride which appealed to both the little ones and the older kids.  So many rides were open to Freddy, I was very impressed that he got to do so much.  With a child over 0.9m, it really does make sense to enjoy the other rides on offer and leave Peppa Pig World until it quietens down.

theme park

Walking around the park allowed us to look at the themed gardens, the Wind in the Willows display, the aviaries and animal enclosures and the Land of Dinosaurs which were all very enjoyable to an inquisitive 4 year old.  Freddy's  favourite part of the park was  the Water Kingdom.  We had packed his swimsuit, suncream and a towel so he could enjoy the water play park with its jets, fountains and tipping buckets.  We were able to watch him as he safely played in the fully enclosed area.  It was a perfect way to cool off and let off steam.  There is also a Muddy Puddles area in Peppa Pig World for the younger children to enjoy the water.  I think these wet play zones are absolutely brilliant for the kids.

Once he was dried off, we headed to Peppa Pig World.  The queues had gone down to 30 minutes so Freddy chose his two favourite rides to go on.  He picked Peppa's Big Balloon Ride and George's Dinosaur Adventure.  While he was queuing he missed meeting Peppa, George, Suzy Sheep and Zoe Zebra, which was a shame.  However he loved his rides and enjoyed being in the beautifully themed land.  Afterwards he had a quick play in George's Spaceship Playzone, a big soft play area with a huge slide to whizz down.  The whole area is a delightful place filled with colour and music and is magical to any little Peppa fans.

Paultons Park

The new 4D cinema is a nice addition to the attractions. We liked the 20's styling of the waiting area.  The film playing is The Curse of Skull Rock, an Aardmann-esque style animation featuring pirates, skeletons and treasure.  With water jets, moving chairs, blasts of air and bubbles, you are fully immersed in the story.  Some little ones were not too impressed and were crying, so maybe it's not suitable for the faint hearted little ones.

What I really like about Paultons Park is the fact that there are so many little play areas and activities for younger children dotted around the park, so even when the older kids are on a big ride, it is easy to entertain younger kids in the same vicinity. These are in addition to the dedicated Peppa Pig World.  The restaurants and kiosks were good.  The prices were OK and there were vegetarian options for both adults and kids.  That always pleases me!  There are plenty of benches to relax on, and lots of undercover seating.  It's really well thought out and caters to the needs of families really well.  Everything was looking clean, neat, tidy and well kept and there are a lot of improvements planned for the future.  

Paultons Park

We were there all day and didn't get to do everything. The park closed at 5.30pm, it would have been nice to see the opening times extended a bit more in the summer holidays.  We would have loved another couple of hours to do the rest of the rides.

We were definitely and genuinely impressed.  Paultons Park is without a doubt our favourite theme park in the south for families.  It beats Thorpe Park and Chessington hands down . We visited both this summer and apart from the Sealife Centre at Chessington, we were very underwhelmed and disappointed. Thorpe Park may have some extreme rides for teens, but it is really lacking in activities for little ones, and Chessington was looking old and tired and felt overcrowded.  Its height restrictions were also much higher meaning that Freddy couldn't even go on the new Zufari ride.  I'm all for safety but I found them excessive in comparison to other theme parks.

I would recommend Paultons Park to families with children that are very young as they will love the Peppa Pig World, and also for families like ours with a mixed age range, as there is something for everyone to enjoy.  Freddy had an awesome day and his big sisters loved it too!

If you want to visit, why not make a short break of it and take advantage of the offer to get a 2nd day in the park for free!  Breaks start at £42 pppn and include breakfast and 2 days for the price of 1!  You can find out more here: Official Peppa Pig World Short Breaks.


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