When I first heard the idea of mixing pre-school children with a theme park my reaction was simple: “NOOOO, this will never work. STOP!!! Please STOP!”
But a visit to Peppa Pig World completely and utterly changed my view, as it turns out not only can it be done – it can be achieved in such a way as the whole family (including Mummy and Daddy Pig) leave having had a lot of fun.
You see, Peppa Pig World is just exactly what you would expect if you took time out from sitting next to your toddler watching the same 5-minute-long episodes of the show over and over again and were able to step inside the magical world that our fabulous porcine friends inhabit.
Walking into PP World is a very gentle and inviting experience. You are greeted by the dulcet tones of the Peppa theme tune drifting on the wind and the occasional interjection of snorts and proclamations from various characters from various corners of the park. Along with the many Peppa-themed rides that are immediately in view – my two-year-old (and all the others I saw entering) were immediately enchanted by a place that felt so familiar.
The rides are, as you might expect, rather gentle as they are aimed at small children. If white knuckle experiences are what you want, you’ll need the rest Paultons Family Theme Park (which is excellent and included in your ticket price) – no, PP World is all about Peppa’s target audience… the pre-schoolers. Some of my favourite rides include Windy Castles (where you sit in a cloud and gently float up above the park), Grandpa Pig’s Boat Trip and Peppa’s Balloon Ride. Although there’s very little not to like about some of the other main attractions that include Daddy Pig’s Car Ride and Miss Rabbit’s Helicopter Flight. All are cleverly themed to instantly connect with the kids – and although some of the queues can build up quite quickly around the more popular attractions – there’s plenty of other Peppa-themed fun to keep the little ones occupied while you wait.
Away from the big ticket attractions there’s plenty of space for little ones to run off their excitement – not least in Mr Potato’s Playground which incorporates “Muddy Puddles” (how could there not be!) which is a nicely themed splash and play experience with water jets for a hot day. There’s also a large indoor soft play area with sections for all ages called George’s Spaceship Play Zone.
With plenty of room for picnicking and several decent (by the standards of theme parks) places to get some food (I love the name of Daddy Pig’s Big Tummy Café) it’s definitely a place you can make a full day of fun. And if you like Peppa Pig (which you probably do if you’re at this park) the large PP gift shop has just about every piece of merchandise you can imagine. Enter at your own risk, as it is hard to get the youngsters out without armfuls of Pink toys.
But, perhaps one of the highlights of the day for both myself and my two year old was when Peppa and George (and latterly Mummy and Daddy Pig) began walking the park, meeting and greeting their fans and offering photo opportunities. My daughter simply couldn’t believe that she was finally meeting her heroes and joined the mob of toddlers trying to hug and kiss the giant pigs. It’s like pre-school Beatlemania before your eyes, although with excellent crowd control from some very friendly park officials who are sympathetic to the plight of the toddlers to have their moment with Peppa.
All in all, Peppa Pig World is a delight for young and old alike. I have rarely seen my daughter as excited as she was the day we visited – nor sleep as well as she did that night.
If you have a Peppa fan amongst your clan, this excellent day out will have you all jumping in muddy puddles with excitement…