Paultons Park – 21/08/13

pp2I’ve got some shocks in store for you in this post. Firstly, I went to the countryside. I know! But don’t reel from that too much because here comes the next one….there are actual photos of me on this post. You can see my face and everything. I was a bit camera-light due to various tedious amounts of tech-fail and so Nathan was photographer for the day. You may see why I normally use my beautiful husband and kids to illustrate the blog rather than myself.

The third shocker is this – turns out you can hear “The Wheels on the Bus” too many times. It plays on loop all day at Peppa Pig World and it comes to something when the Peppa Pig theme tune seems like a welcome relief. Edgy, I know.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Because let’s start at the motorway junction near Paultons Park. Because that’s where we stopped. Not for engine-blowing-up reasons – oh no, that had been done a couple of days previously when we said a hasty and unexpected goodbye to our faithful car Astrid. We were stopped because our bright idea of going to Paultons in the school holidays had co-incided with everyone else’s bright idea of doing the same thing. The stretch between motorway and car park was tedious to say the least. The kids’ snacks were in the boot, partly down to bad planning and partly because I’m a little terrified of letting them eat in flash NewCar just in case they trash it. So, with Roo whinging how hungry he was and Eva whinging cause she could, we rolled slowly into Paultons’ car park.

IMG-20130821-00192Luckily, once we got into Paultons things were swift. No queueing at the gates and the crowds weren’t too dense to move through. Obviously, we headed straight to Peppa Pig World, as Reuben didn’t understand that our visit could have any purpose other than shaking hands with anthropomorphic porcine creatures. On the way, we passed old Paultons’ favourites that Nathan and I remembered from childhood, like the Wind in the Willows experience and the gold-panning. Being almost as old as we were, they were naturally looking a  bit tired next to the shiny newness of Peppa’s domain. But the upside was they had no queues.

IMG-20130821-00163Unlike Peppa Pig World. Every ride had around a 30 minute queue for it, which wouldn’t be too bad by Alton Towers’ standards, but have you ever tried queuing with a grouchy toddler and an over-excited preschooler? If you’re reading this blog then yes, you quite possibly have. How much fun is it on a scale of 1-30?

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So, we decided to be sparing with the rides. One in the morning, one around lunch and one right at the end of the day. You can’t take pushchairs into the queue, so we had to sling Eva and quickly decide what we would take with us for the wait. I decided on a back carry for Eva and a box of raisins for the wait, which end up with me having to kinda toss them to her over my shoulder. She was not uber-happy. For the ride itself, I switched her to my front and she was allowed to stay slung (the rides aren’t recommended for under 1s but she didn’t get questioned, even though she looks younger than she is). If you don’t have a sling and you need to queue with a 1-year-old and a 4-year-old for half an hour without a buggy, I’m not sure what you do. If you’re reading this cause you’re planning a visit, I would recommend going to a sling library and borrowing one for the trip. Three ride queues is 90 minutes worth of toddler-wrangling without a buggy. Fancy holding a couple of stone of wriggly baby for the length of a football game? No? Get a sling.

I had a new one. That’s entirely co-incidental.

pp1.1This is us on the hot air balloon ride, which is not a hot air balloon. It’s mainly just a ride. I’m not too keen on heights, so felt a bit dizzy but maybe that’s because I was so darn hungry after all that queuing. Nathan and Reuben were keen to see the penguins getting their lunch. I was keen to get my own lunch, so we split up and I went to something that called itself a diner but was really just a McDonalds rip-off.

I didn’t care. I was too hungry. And besides, the kids loved their fake McNuggets. Judge away (you probably already do).

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After lunch, I couldn’t face another queue, so we went for a play. Eva was finally unleashed from her sling/buggy/carseat constraints and ran about madly. But mainly she loved this tunnel thing:

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You’ve gotta love that cheeky wink. You might notice that from this point on they’re in their wetsuits. There was a splash area called “Muddy Puddles” in the play area and, for once, I was prepared. I knew where my towel was. Which was just as well:

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They could have stayed there all day, but we had things to be getting on with. We did meet Peppa and George while we were there though:

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Then we just about felt lively enough to queue for Daddy Pig’s car ride, this time bribing Reuben to be quiet with an apple. I was driving, but thankfully didn’t actually have to steer or anything. But neither did I stop for this zebra, waiting patiently at a zebra crossing:

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With such excitement, I decided it was time to check out the quieter side of Paultons (and for that you can read – the older and lamer part). So, we saw some tropical birds and found the bit of Paultons that still looks like it did when we went there in the 80s:

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And if you visited in the 80s too, you might remember crawling through the tunnels and waving through these grates:

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And the dinosaur walk hasn’t changed much since the 80s either. It’s a bit small compared to the one at Dino Adventure but Reuben liked it:

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Eva, meanwhile, wasn’t passing comment:

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And while she slept, we ate ice cream then Reuben and I went for a play in another water play area. Snooze-y-lose-y EK!

She woke up just in time for one more ride – the boats this time:

pp8…more seasickness ensued. Time to get changed and go home. Sadly, the toilets weren’t Peppa Pig-themed, unlike the rest of the “World” (just check out those boats  – how to you make a boat look like it’s a cartoon? Brilliant) There were queues for the toilets too, but they had changing facilities and double-sized toilet seats for ease of preschooler peeing. The gift shop had some good grandparent-presents in (though Reuben would have bought them all cuddly Peppas given the chance) but nothing savoury in it at all. If you want crisps, bring your own…

VERDICT: I hate to agree with a marketing slogan, but there really is too much fun for one day. We didn’t touch the sandpits, rollercoasters or even Wind in the Willows. Not to mention the rest of the Peppa Pig rides! Horribly busy in the holidays, but what else would you expect?

More details here (official website)

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4 Responses to Paultons Park – 21/08/13

  1. Looks like there’s so much to do with young kids so worth a visit despite the queues
    #familydays

  2. It looks like the kids enjoyed it, despite the queueing – I wonder what it’s like during term time. You look lovely in the photos btw! Thank you for linking up with #familydays on mumsdotravel.com

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