Since our six year old daughter was tiny, visiting Peppa Pig World has been up there on the list of things we wanted to do. Despite cursing the hours we dozed in bed or on the sofa whilst our early riser would happily watch episode after episode on those bleak pre-6am mornings, there is no denying Peppa Pig has been a big part of our parenting lives.
When her sister came along and blew the entire sleep agenda out of the window, that Peppa Pig Music was the background of our existence, as we took it in turns to take her downstairs, not waking the rest of the house, load up on coffee and face the start of the day.
Our Peppa Pig World plans have been scuppered over the years by the fact that the girls birthdays laid just outside of theme park season – late October and early March. I guess we always had it aside for a ‘special birthday trip’ that never came to fruition. This weekend though, our Peppa Pig World dreams were realised, as we joined a host of parents from the media for the press day at Paultons Park, celebrating the grand opening of two brand new rides for little Peppa Pig lovers.
I had come to be under a few misconceptions about Peppa Pig World; firstly that you need to stay over. We drove down from Kent in a solid two hour run (with the obligatory wee stop), and had no issues spending the day there and making the journey home at park closing (5.30). Secondly, that the Peppa Pig Music will drive you insane – well perhaps we are conditioned to zoning it out, but there is so much going on at Peppa Pig World, I can honestly say I barely noticed the music at all. Well, perhaps there was one moment we laughed about the memories it brought back!
One handy thing to note is that children under a metre enter the park for free, and pre-booked tickets online start from £29.95 (on the day £34.95) plus there are family saver options, so get organised before your trip to save a few pennies.
Peppa Pig World is just one area of the much bigger Paultons Park theme park. It opened in April 2011 and along with the two brand new rides ‘Grampy Rabbit’s sailing club’ and ‘The queens flying coach ride’ there are now nine rides all suitable for Peppa Pig Fan sized people, and their accompanying grown up too. It is exactly how you would imagine – bright, colourful and filled with that unmissable Peppa Pig style everywhere you turn – from the trees, to the ducks, the flowers and of course, the characters.
The girls had the time of their lives going on the brand new rides – the lazy river style Grampy Rabbit’s Sailing Club took us on a water tour around the new area as the carriages from The Queen’s Flying Coach ride passed us overhead. The views on the Queens carriages were amazing – you could really appreciate the size of Peppa Pig Worlds and beyond. The queues were fast moving and even beyond the press day area, the main park was surprisingly quiet for a Saturday. We raced our way around the rest of Peppa Pig lands rides, visited Peppa in her house, and even got to meet a few of our favourites too.
We all had some starstruck moments – Tig’s was brave enough to get stuck in hugging all the stars of the show, her little sister took a bit longer to warm up! She was just as happy to spot one of her nursery friends amongst the crowds. Dad Muddling Through played it cool when Amy Childs strolled past (I totally missed that celeb spot!), but I did see a familiar face in Franca (A Moment With Franca) in the queue – it’s always lovely to bump into other bloggers in the flesh.
After an hour or two riding on Peppas big balloon ride, Grandpa Pigs little train, as well as the new rides, we decided to venture off to the wider Paultons Park to see what else was on offer.
The 140 acres of theme park has over 70 rides and attractions, plenty of wildlife to see and also some incredible gardens and green spaces to have a bit of chill time.
We found that despite the Mouse being on the small side, there were loads of rides she could go on, unlike some other theme parks we have visited where the rides are designed for older children. We rode our first rollercoaster as a family, and the Cat-o-pillar ride was certainly Tig’s favourite! (The mouse wasn’t as keen!).
Tigs is currently learning about Dinosaurs at school this term, so the Lost Kingdom Dinosaur zone of the park was perfect. We all loved the Dinosaur Tour, and got to pet the ‘Alive’ T Rex when we came out too.
We grabbed our dinner at the Wild Forest Restaurant mid afternoon, and found the hot food on offer to be both reasonable and good quality. I opted for one of their eat out eat well options, and it was a refreshing change to see some options aside burger and chips…which Dad Muddling Through obviously checked out and gave the thumbs up. We had packed up a lunch for earlier in the day, and there are loads of places to picnic at Paultons. You know you’re a Mum when you can’t head out on a day trip without a bag full of tin foil wrapped sandwiches!
Once we’d eaten we had a second wind of energy and made our way round some more corners of the park and gardens. The rides had all quietened down significantly and we managed to walk straight on to several without queuing at all. Tigs was happy to get another go on that roller coaster.
Peppa Pig World is aimed at children 1-6, and I’m glad we made it just in time. I guess Tigs will be soon over all that ‘baby stuff’ but for now, she is still in that magical age of believing in all the magic. We’ll definitely be visiting Paultons Park again, it’s rides for older kids will certainly be something the girls will love as they get older, and perhaps they’ll still love a cheeky hug with Peppa Pig, regardless of their age.
I know I did.
Disclosure: We were gifted entrance to Peppa Pig World as part of the Press Day for the opening of Grampy Rabbits Sailing Club and The Queens Flying Coach ride which open to the general public on Weds 16 May 2018. All opinions are our own.