What does your mind conjure up when you hear those words? Does your heart fill with dread and despair or with laughter and excitement? Well, what would you think/say if I told you I visited Peppa Pig World over the weekend? Yep! A whole place dedicated to the pink piggy “oink” family and her furry friends located at Paultons Park, New Forest, Hampshire. I must be crazy, right? Or am I just one of those super parents who are willing to go through hours of piggy snorting and muddy puddles for her bundle of joy? Or really, I’m just delusional? Probably all of the above and more! But if you have a Peppa Pig fan in your family, you’ll probably understand how irritating that theme tune can be, but also how grateful you are to them for giving you 5 minutes of peace. I was sceptical, but turns out it is possible for the *whole family to enjoy and leave having had lots of fun. Here’s what happened and how I think you can have fun too!
*when I say “whole” family, views may differ if you have much older kids thrown in the mix. My whole family/friends who went consisted of adults and 2 year olds! This review is based solely on Peppa Pig World and not the rest of Paultons Park.
Peppa Pig World is aimed at its target audience of pre-schoolers that span almost every culture and ethnicity. This is unsurprising as a quick Google search shows that the TV show is broadcasting in over 180 countries! So it would be very difficult to find a child who doesn’t know who Peppa Pig is, even if you haven’t allowed any/much TV time, it seems there is something about Peppa Pig that makes them want to know or love them. It’s a weird attraction, but if you have older kids, they may prefer the attractions in Paultons Family Theme Park more, which is included in the entrance tickets already – so there will definitely be something for everyone. Tip: Book tickets in advance! Discounts range from £4.50 per ticket (1-day pass) to £37.50 for a family of 5 (2-days pass). Kids under 1 metre enter free and do not require a ticket. We were only a 2 hours drive away from the park, so we only did a day trip, but if you lived further away or wanted to make the most out of your trip, you can actually book park tickets and a family friendly hotel nearby directly through Paultons Park website, but wait for it – all breaks include a 2nd day FREE pass! So you can return and explore the park all over again the next day… no pressure!
Usual weekend opening times are 10am to 5:30pm and weekdays are usually 10:30am to 5pm, please check Paultons website for official times and special announcements. Tip: Get there early before the queues start forming, warm summery weathers as usual will attract larger crowds, but if you can’t predict the British weather, then you can make the most of your day by purchasing Peppa’s Early Play Pass for a limited time and enjoy the park before it opens between 9-10am on selected dates and enjoy the rides in Peppa Pig World from 9.45am. Peppa Pig and George will personally come meet you as well. As my little boy wasn’t a HUGE Peppa Pig fan, we didn’t get the early passes, instead we arrived around 10:30am to make sure we were the first group in to minimise queuing time.
I believe what makes Peppa Pig World so successful is the familiarity it brings, as we approached the entrance, we immediately heard the gentle ringing of the Peppa Pig theme tune in the background along with familiar characters and colourful rides that brought smiles and giggles to my 2 year old and anyone in the Peppa Pig age group. Heck, just seeing their excited little faces made me smile back uncontrollably! The rides and attractions incorporated many characters in the TV show such as Miss Rabbit’s Helicopter Flight, Grandpa Pig’s Little Train, George’s Dinosaur Adventure, Peppa Pig’s Ballon Ride and they’ve even gone as far as including Muddy Puddles in Mr Potato’s Playground. Tip: Bring towels and swimsuit for the little one so that they can splash around in the water park, there isn’t an official place for them to change, so a good idea would be to use a big towel to cover them up whilst changing. We didn’t get to play around in the Muddy Puddles Splash Park as the waterworks were switched off on the day of our visit – probably for the best as it was quite a cool and grey day until about an hour or two before the park closed.
Most of the rides have height restrictions, and little ones need to be accompanied by an adult, so being able to join in the “fun” with #JasperBean and experiencing the moment through this eyes was actually quite enjoyable rather than just standing around waiting and taking photos of him. Tip: Measure little ones before visiting so you know whether they need a ticket and also see at a glance which rides they can go on and if you want to be extra efficient, you can even print out a map of the park and mark down the rides you want to go on. If you haven’t done any of this, don’t worry! When you enter the park, your little ones are measured and if you’re unsure, staff can provide them with a colour coded wrist band that informs ride operators which height range they fall into. There are also height charts and signs at each ride informing you of the safety rules and restrictions.
As per usual, you aren’t allowed to bring buggies or strollers into queues, so we decided to leave ours parked outside one of the rides and walked around the park without it. There are so many of them around that we felt quite comfortable that it would be safe even with our changing bag in there. Tip: Bring a backpack to hold your valuables, water, snacks and even small toys to fend away boredom when queuing. If you don’t have a buggy there are locker stations around the park if you want to leave your valuables whilst you hop on and off rides. Tip: If you have ALOT of things, you can get your hand stamped to re-enter the park at the exit of the Big Toy Store (at the park entrance, not the one inside Peppa Pig World) so that you can pick up any extras you need in the car.We went on the Saturday before the May Bank Holiday and we thought there would be loads of people, but actually queuing time for the rides was around 10-15 minutes on average – much quicker than what we thought it would be. There are also some activities that don’t require any queuing such as Mr Potato’s Playground and George’s Spaceship Indoor Playzone, so head over there to release some steam if the queues are getting quite heavy. Tip: Remember to bring an extra pair of socks if you intend to visit the indoor playzone, as little ones wearing sandals or shoes without socks won’t be allowed to play there barefoot. There are also little coin rides like the ones you find in shopping malls/supermarkets which are free to play and your little one can ride on them as many times as they like.
I would also recommend going on the Rio Grande Train rather than Grandpa Pig’s Little Train as this was easily 10x longer and took us around the back of Peppa Pig World, the lake and then back into the park going pass some of the rides.
There are restaurants/cafes and food kiosks dotted around the park, but we decided to bring our own pack lunch and snacks. This way, not only was I able to control what food #JasperBean consumed, but also avoided paying £6+ for a hotdog/burger and fries. There is a large marquee with picnic tables located just outside Peppa Pig World that provided us the perfect pit stop to recharge and unload. If you have time to wander around the whole of Paultons Park, you will find that there are picnic spots everywhere, so finding the perfect place to unwind, catch-up and eat isn’t an issue at all.
The same could be said of toilet facilities, they were clean and most had 2 in 1 family seats that were suitable for both adults and children. For mums that are still breastfeeding and want to do this in private away from the public eye, they also have breastfeeding rooms!Once we were all fed and tired out, we went on a short walk around the back which had a small animal enclosure housing flamingoes, pelicans and emus. The path also led to a quiet scenic walk away from the hustle and bustle of excited children along a lake to The Windmill which provided the peace and tranquility for #JasperBean to power nap and us to recharge our batteries. Watching ducks and geese’s roaming around the park freely was a delight and much welcomed distraction amongst all the man made mechanical activities. If your little one loves animals, then why not consider visiting Drusillas Park and Godstone Farm as well.
Overall, Peppa Pig World was a much better experience than I had anticipated. The park was well presented and clean, the staff were efficient and friendly and most importantly, we had no issues getting around the park from one ride to another – we left as a very satisfied (and tired) family. So if you can ignore all the “bad press” about Peppa Pig and her family and friends, I would recommend taking your little one to the park as it can be a very enjoyable (and tiring) day out – part of the fun is actually seeing your love ones excited and having fun. As with any TV programme, it is recommended to have adult supervision, not because there is violence or anything sexual involved – but as little ones at pre-school age have such wild imaginations, separating fantasy from reality can be quite hard for them, therefore it is only right for you to hold their little hands and guide them when needed. Remember, they are only young for so long and before you know it, they will be holding other peoples’ hands too. We will definitely be back again, even if it’s just to see the smile on #JasperBean’s face.
Whats your take on Peppa Pig? Have you been to the theme park and would you go again or recommend to a friend?
I hope you have enjoyed reading this and found it useful/helpful.
Until next time,
Love… MsMamaBean x