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Perfect place for Peppa Pig play!
Paultons Family Theme Park (Hampshire)
Member Name: sparkymarky1973
Paultons Family Theme Park (Hampshire)
Advantages: Lots to see and do catering to all ages and thrill levels!
Disadvantages: None- a throughly good day out!
Paultons Park is somewhere I had never really heard of before but which came to my attention recently because it includes, in and amongst its grounds, the child-friendly Peppa Pig World themed around the popular Television character and all of her friends. My daughter loves Peppa Pig so when we were discussing which Theme Park to visit, the question quickly became a no-brainer. Having visited Thomas World at Drayton Manor last year, it only made sense to this year go here....
Competitively priced, admission includes entry to both Peppa Pig World and Paultons Park as well though it is important to note that your child will only get in free if they are under 1M tall and that a lot of the rides require that they are at least that height if they want to go on them. The park itself is pretty vast so I would recommend getting there as soon as it opens to make the most of your day!
One thing I liked, which we didn't realise at first but which deserves a mention very early on, is that all of the ride-alongs in the park like the ones you see outside supermarkets are FREE! In fact, other than food, the only things we saw that you had to pay extra for once inside were the Go-Karts, an attraction where you could propell water bombs at each other and a few things like a shooting gallery and a water cannon gallery etc which charged you £1. To me, this all semed very reasonable!
Peppa Pig World impressed me far more than Thomas World! There are only a few animals to see~ including meercats and birds mostly ~ but a wide selection of rides and attractions based around Peppa Pig more than make up this. These include Miss Rabbit's Balloon Ride which lifts you up in a mock hot air balloon, a similarly inspired Cloud Castle Ride which goes up qite high and offers a good view over the park and Daddy Pig's Car Ride which involves travelling around a set track. There is also a water ride where you travel around a small pond in a boat and George's Dinosaur Ride which has you bounce along a bumpy track around dinosaur-themed sights that includes volcanoes that actually spurt out smoke as you go past! It's all very child-friendly and all lots of fun!
There is a house where you can pose next to figurines of Peppa and her family whilst they toss pancakes and talk about the various attractions you can visit and Miss Gazelle's School House where you can get your photo taken next to Peppa and her school frends at a cost of £7.95 per photo which does seem a bit steep but it is nice to have a momento to take home! I should also point out that on certain rides, George's Dinosaur and Daddy Pig's Car, you also get your photo taken which can be purchased at extra cost!
If you are lucky, Peppa and George may turn up and walk amongst the crowd though we only saw them outside Miss Gazelle's School House where they waved and posed but then it was a rainy day when we visited!
There is also the usual indoor soft play area and the usual array of cafes and merchandise shops.
Once you leave here and enter Paultons Park proper, there is even more to see and do. There are a wide variety of rides, with only a few doubled up so that they are both child and adult appropiate. Examples of these include a Pirate Ship and a Jumping Jack Ride and these are suitably marked on your guide map so that you know which are designed for adults and which are more family friendly! New for 2012 is the Magma Ride but I am afraid I wasn't quite brave enough to go on this so cannot really comment on just how good this ride is though it looked to be pretty daring to me!
The Raging Rapids Log Flume is lots of fun but DO be prepared to get wet! This involves the usual scenario of you riding around a set of rapids and speeding down a pair of twin slopes in order to get a good soaking. The first slope isn't too bad but it wasn't till after the ride that I realied the second slope is much steeper and much more scary going down! As my daughter told me later, "Ididn't like the second one Daddy...that scared me!" I should add though that overall she described this paticular ride as "Fantastic!!!"
Emilie is only 4 but loved going on the more family-friendly Pirate ship that swings back and forth before spinning round at speed! She is also the one that encouraged me to go the Dragon Ride ~ a series of carriages daragon-themed that travel around a circular track at great speed before coming to a halt, only to then do the same backwards! It is fair to say that this left me more than a little giddy!
Other rides in the park include two roller-coasters, a sky-lift ride that involves swings that travel around at great speed at a worringly high height and the more traditional tea-cups. Of these, I only rode on the latter (being a bit of a scaredy-cat wuss) but it is fair to say that me, my wife and my daughter had lots of fun and we got to go on everything we wanted too! The queues too werre fairly reasonable with no more than a 20 min max wait on each ~ no doubt because it was a fairly miserable day when we visited though it was fair to say the Park WAS fairly busy even for this early in the season.
There are other kiddie rides and more adult rides available at the park that I have no doubt neglected to mention and for a more comphrensive list, you should visit the Park's website but I can honestly say that I found this realy good value for money and a throughly good day out! For full admission prices, you should also check out the website though I believe we paid around £60 for all 3 of us!
The Park is situated not far from Southampton and on the edge of The New Forest. It is a great place to visit, great value for money and offers joint accomodation and entry packages for visitors though we found it cheaper to book these seperately!
Overall, I cannot reccomend this attraction highly enough! I cannot compare it to the likes of Alton Towers or Thorpe Park because I have never visited either of these but it seemed to me to be a better-than-average class of Theme Park and if you have younger kids into Peppa Pig they will LOVE it!
Summary: Definitely worth a visit!
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