Paultons Park

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Paultons Theme Park
Paultons2010.jpg
Slogan "Way too much fun for one day!"
Location Hampshire, SO51 6AL, England
Coordinates 50°56′56″N 1°33′08″W / 50.94887°N 1.552355°W / 50.94887; -1.552355Coordinates: 50°56′56″N 1°33′08″W / 50.94887°N 1.552355°W / 50.94887; -1.552355
Owner Richard Mancey
Opened 17 May 1983
Previous names Paulton's Park, Paulton's Park and Bird Garden
Operating season February half term, Mid-March to October and weekends in November and December
Area 140 acres (0.57 km2)
Rides
Total Over 60 rides and attractions
Roller coasters 3
Water rides 2
Website Paultons Park

Paultons Theme Park | Home of Peppa Pig World is located in the village of Ower, near Romsey, in Hampshire, England. The theme park has 60 rides and attractions. The Peppa Pig World theme park area is based on the children’s television series character. The park name is derived from the former Paultons Estate, on which the park is situated. The park covers 140 acres of land and features a collection of around 80 species of birds and animals, in addition to the rides. Most of the theme park rides are designed for children which is why the Park considers itself a family theme park.

History[edit]

Estate and house[edit]

The park is located on land on the Paulton's Estate. In 1323 the land was in the possession of the Abbot of Glastonbury, who sold it to John de Palton. The estate has since been named after him. The land then passed down to John Touchet, who in 1497 led a rebellion against King Henry VII; Touchet was defeated, beheaded and his lands confiscated by the crown. The lands left royal ownership in 1547, when the newly crowned King Edward VI gave the estate to John Paulet. This continued until 1780 when Hans Sloane inherited the estate from Hans Stanley, who changed his name to Hans Sloane Stanley as a sign of gratitude. The estate, now covering 3000 acres, was modeled and designed by Capability Brown in the 18th century.

By the 1940s, the Paultons Estate was owned by Major Roger Cyril Hans Sloane Stanley and Lady Cairns. Through the Second World War, the estate played host to 15 school girls and their teacher, Phyllis Wilkins, from Northern Parade School, Hilsea, Portsmouth. In 1944 the manor house was opened as a luxury hotel, where guests could stay for 10 guineas a week, however in 1954 the hotel closed. The house became derelict and burned down in a great fire on 5 November 1963.

In 1979, Sara and Richard Mancey bought the derelict 500-acres Paultons Estate, restored the gardens and lake to their former glory and opened a fun park. Four years later, in 1983, Paultons Park opened as a country park and bird garden.

1983–1999[edit]

The theme park opened as Paultons Park and Bird Gardens on 17 May 1983. The park covered 140 acres, with four staff members and attractions featuring only an adventure playground, the Village Life Museum located in a converted barn, and the numerous birds and animals.

Three years after the launch, the attractions were expanded with the Railway Station, Station Tea Rooms and Rio Grande railway being constructed, alongside the Magic Forest, Kids Kingdom and Captain Blood’s Cavern. 1988 saw the Land of the Dinosaurs, the Rabbit Ride and the Trampolines being completed, with the Astroglide and Crazy Snooker added the following year. The Bumper boats attraction was added in 1990 alongside a Pets Corner area, with a maze with large clock at the centre added for 1991 and the Flying Saucer ride installed in 1992.

In 1993, the Runaway Train roller coaster was installed, becoming the parks first major ride. It was accompanied by a mirror maze and the Sky Diver the following year and allowed visitors to break the 400,000 mark in 1995. In 1996, the Tiny Tots playground was constructed along with a walkthrough tableux entitled The Wonderful World of Wind in the Willows, following the story of the same name. The year also saw the introduction of Santa's Wonderland, an event in every festive season to this day.

In 1997, the Tea Cup Ride became another popular addition to the park, and the following year the Percy's Playhouse play area and the Go Carts were constructed, with the latter providing older children with an attraction.

1999–2009[edit]

In 1999, the park began expanding, with a new ride built every year since. In 1999, this was the Raging River Rapids, the largest ride at the time and costing £500,000. For the new millennium, the Runaway Train ride was dismantled and replaced with the Stinger roller coaster. The Runaway train was relocated to Dunes Leisure Park in Lincolnshire.

2001 saw three new rides added to the park: The Pirate Ship, Viking Boats and the Dragon Ride, which replaced the Crazy Karts ride located on the same area. In recent years, the rides had become more focused on attracting older audiences, and so to compensate two rides were built for 2002 solely for children under seven: The Digger Ride and Seal Falls. Two rides were constructed in 2003 – the Wave Runner entertained thrill seekers, while The Flying Frog catered for children by being the younger version of the Stinger.

2004 saw two drop rides installed; Jumping Jack for younger audiences and the taller Jumping Bean for older visitors. The Bumper Boats ride was removed and replaced with a penguin enclosure on the same site, as well as an upgrade in the animal areas. The Kontiki ride was built in 2005, with the Magic Carpet built on the site of the Wirly Copters ride the same year.

In 2006, the park was expanded when Paulton's purchased more land to house a new, bigger roller coaster: the Cobra. This later became a difficulty for the park due to the lands status and legal rights, however action only began in 2009. The previous year, Paultons had shifted its ride investment towards the older visitor market, and to compensate opened the Trekking Tractors ride in 2007, in which children could see growing in progress with farming machinery around. The crazy snooker was replaced with a Panning for Gold attraction, and the original Crazy Golf course was refurbished with a new theme.

2008 saw the 25th anniversary of the park. As a result, a traditional style ride was installed: The Sky Swinger, and the entrance plaza was remodelled. As the new ride would be built on the site of the clock maze, the clock was transported to the entrance plaza to become the centrepiece of a new side garden. However the most striking part of the new plaza is a Kugel ball added to celebrate the anniversary. It is the largest in the UK, at 1.5 metres diameter and weighing 6.5 tonnes.

2009–present[edit]

Soon after the anniversary, the park undertook a major rebranding project in which the logo was changed, the previous slogan "It's a Hoot!" was dropped and the owl mascot was seen less.

The parks expansion continued in 2009 with the addition of The Edge ride, located next to the Cobra on the newly purchased land, and of the Water Kingdom, replacing the Kids Kingdom play area. However, the park were told they may have to move the Cobra and Edge after an application to grant them retrospective planning permission was narrowly turned down by the National Park planning committee by seven votes to five. The area where these rides were situated is designated 'Country Park' and not 'Amusement Park' in planning terms, whereas all other areas of the Park are now recognised as an Amusement Park and therefore have permitted development rights. After a separate application for the Cobra was made it was announced on December 22, 2009 that the ride had now been granted retrospective permission and could remain in its current location.

Another planning application was lodged with the New Forest National Park Planning Authority to retain the Edge ride. This application received public support and Paultons were granted permission by the New Forest NPA to retain the Edge ride in its current location on 16 March 2010.

No new rides were opened in 2010, instead all efforts were put into 2011's new opening: Peppa Pig World. This featured three large rides and several more smaller rides and attractions all contained within a themed area. This new development was heavily promoted through television and radio adverts.

In 2012 the park opened a new drop and twist 25m tower ride called Magma. A volcano theme surrounds the ride and there is an animatronic dinosaur inside the mountain where the queue line is. Smoke and rumbling sound effects occur when the ride moves up out of the volcano.

In 2013 the park opened a 4D cinema showing "Curse Of Skull Rock" which replaced Village Life Museum and also has a 1950 New Orleans-themed area where the 4D cinema is. The park will be demolishing its old entrance to make way for a new entrance which will include shops and a restaurant.

Rides and attractions[edit]

Roller Coasters[edit]

# Name type Opened Manufacturer Description
1 The Cobra Steel sit down 2006 Gerstlauer Bobsled Coaster (car 2+2), reaches 31 mph (50 km) on a 1476 ft long track (450m) and a height of 54 ft (17m); height limit 1,1m. Bobsled model 450/4. The ride was installed by Ride Entertainment Group, who handles all of Gerstlauer's operations in the Western Hemisphere.[1][2]
2 The Flying Frog Steel sit down 2003 Zierer Junior coaster; height limit none / 1,1m alone, small Tivoli model, train 2x9).
3 The Stinger Steel sit down 2000 Zierer Junior coaster, 20 mph (32 km); height limit 90 cm, medium Tivoli model, train 2x6.

Thrill rides[edit]

# Name Opened Manufacturer Description
4 Edge 2009 Zamperla Mega Disk'O Coaster; height limit 1,2m.
5 Magma 2012 SBF Visa 25m Twisting Drop Tower, volcanic theme, height limit 1,2m.

Water rides and attractions[edit]

# Name Opened Manufacturer Description
6 Wave Runner 2003 Paultons Park Water slide, three drops; height limit 90 cm.
7 Raging River Ride 1999 Reverchon 225 m log flume, two steep drops, the higher of which is 11m tall; height limit 95 cm.
8 Water Kingdom 2009 Paultons Park Water splash play park with water jets, large tipping buckets, fountains and super soakers.

Other rides and attractions[edit]

# Name Opened Description
9 4D Cinema 22 March 2013 4D cinema experience showing Robin Hood.
10 Dragon 2001 Zierer roundabout ride; height limit 90 cm.
11 The Jumping Bean 2004 Junior drop tower ride
12 The Pirate Ship 2001 Swinging ship that swings to 60 degrees on either side.
13 Kontiki Ride 2005 Swinging ship that rotates 360 degrees, replicating a seastorm. Minimum height: 900mm (accompanied by a responsible adult). Children over 7 years can ride without an adult.
14 The Sky Swinger 2008 Chair O'plane.
15 Astroglide 1989 Basic mat slide with six lanes.
16 Go-Karts 1998 Pedal karts in the circuit.
17 Trekking Tractors 2007 Tractor ride which travels gently around a farm-themed track.
18 Magic Carpet 2005 Zamperla Magic Carpet ride.
19 Flying Saucer 1992 Slow tilting and spinning ride(closed).
20 Viking Boats 2001 Small rotating boat ride themed on the Viking Longboats.
21 Jumping Jack 2004 Smaller version of the Jumping Bean vertical drop ride.
22 Digger Ride 2002 Track ride themed around a building site.
23 Rabbit Ride 1988 Children’s garden track ride with rabbit-themed cars.
24 Ladybird Ride Ride in spotted ladybird roundabout (closed).
25 Seal Falls 2002 Younger version of the Raging River Ride, small drop and a mini igloo tunnel.
26 Percy's Bouncer Bouncy castle type attraction which is undercover. Trampolines are adjacent to this attraction.
27 Tea Cup Ride 1997 Spinning tea cup ride decorated with fruit.
28 Rio Grande Train 1987 Narrow 15 in (381 mm) railway, takes passengers round the Wave Runner, Trekking Tractors and animal paddocks, for a (7 minute)) journey.
29 Magic Forest 1986 Interactive nursery-rhyme forest with animatronic models depicting scenes from nursery rhymes such as Humpty Dumpty and Sing a Song of Sixpence.
30 Wind In The Willows 1996 Walkthrough house featuring animatronic models themed along the story of the Wind in the Willows.
31 Land of the Dinosaurs 1988 Walkway through the woods with full-scale models of dinosaurs including Tyrannosaurus and Stegosaurus.
32 Gold Rush Falls 12-hole crazy golf course.
33 The Scotty the Clown Live Family Entertainment Show Show features acrobatics, juggling, magic and singing with Scotty the clown, who has worked at Paultons for over 15 years and was once a contestant on the television show Gladiators.

Peppa Pig World in Paultons Park[edit]

# Name Opened Description
34 Windy Castle 2011 Spins visitors in cloud carriages up and down a central castle upright structure.
35 George’s Dinosaur Adventure 2011 Green dinosaurs ride, rocks back and forth whilst manoeuvring around a track, goes through themed areas including volcanoes and the character ‘Daddy Pig's’ garden.
36 Daddy Pig’s Car Ride 2011 Car ride that manoeuvres around a road track.
37 Grandpa Pig’s Little Train 2011 Train ride that is attached to track.
38 Grandpa Pig’s Boat Trip 2011 Small boat carriages on water move in a circle roundabout motion.
39 Peppa’s Big Balloon Ride 2011 Spins visitors up and around a central structure in balloon-themed carriages.
40 Miss Rabbits Helicopter Flight 2011 Ride similar to a ‘big wheel’ ride where visitors sit in helicopter carriages.

Food and drinks and play area[edit]

  • George’s Spaceship Playzone
  • Mr Potato’s Playground
  • Muddy Puddles
  • Peppa’s House
  • Paddling Ducks
  • The Campervan
  • The School House
  • Peppa’s Magic Photo Studio
  • Peppa’s Toy Shop
  • Miss Rabbit’s Ice Cream Parlour
  • Daddy Pig’s Big Tummy Café

Animals and gardens[edit]

  • African Aviary – home to African birds including White Storks, Touracos, Cape Teal, White-faced Whistling Ducks and Guinea Fowl.
  • Meerkat Manor – an enclosure including indoor and outdoor areas for Meerkats.
  • Red-necked Wallabies in a large grassed paddock.
  • Penguin Pool – Humboldt Penguins in a pool with underwater viewing areas, housed in the former bumper boat pool. There are feeding sessions with keepers daily.
  • Birds of Prey including the Great Grey Owl, a pair of American Turkey Vultures and Snowy Owls.
  • Hornbills & Toucans- a large Hornbill collection including Rhinoceros, Silver-cheeked, Black-casqued Wattled, Trumpeter, Von der Deckens and Red-billed Hornbills.
  • Tropical Birds including Laughing Thrush, Spreo Starlings and Tawny Frogmouths.
  • Flamingos, Pelicans and Cranes in enclosures.
  • Emus and Rheas in grassed paddocks.
  • Tortoises including an Aldabra Tortoises that arrived at the park in 1995.
  • The Main Garden located on the site of Paultons House, which no longer remains.
  • Lake & Weir – horseshoe-shaped lake fed by a tributary of the River Test.
  • Tropical Plants including a Wollemi Pine which was thought to be extinct until discovered in Australia in 1994.
  • Rockery – parts of the old cellars of the original Paultons house that have been retained.
  • Spring Garden with snowdrops and drifts of yellow daffodils in the spring.
  • Rhododendrons and Azaleas blooming in late spring.
  • Trekking Tractor Garden – a farm garden created in the middle of a ride with a vegetable plot.
  • Japanese Garden created in 1989,each entrance has a “torii”, a traditional wooden gateway. Planted with maple, bamboo and box hedge, a small stream runs down to the lily pond through two aviaries of tropical birds.
  • Donoughmore Cross monument situated on the far side of the lake marks the site of what was once a pets' cemetery.
  • Jungle Falls – African-themed Jungle Falls Garden, with a topiary elephant, giraffe and crocodile.
  • Snakes and Ladders Garden with a large Cobra made from 5000 Sedums.
  • John's Garden – opened in 2008 as part of the entrance plaza.
  • The Floating Globe – a Kugel ball which is also part of the entrance plaza developed for the 2008 season, it is the largest of its type in the UK, weighing over 6 tonnes and 1.5 metres in diameter.
  • Water Wheel – a genuine Victorian Brestshot Waterwheel which drives a sawmill and was part of the original Paultons Estate (the land on which the park is now situated).

Past rides and attractions[edit]

# Name Opened Closed Description
1 Bumper Boats 1990 2003 Petrol-powered bumper boats, The Bumper Boat pond was remodelled into what is now the Penguin enclosure.
2 Crazy Karts 2000 Pedal karts in a large pen which is replaced by the Dragon Ride.
3 Crazy Snooker 1989 2007 Replaced by Crazy Golf.
4 Honda Cars Miniature racetrack which is replaced by Pirate Ship.
5 Junior Pirate Ship Replaced by Whirly Copters.
6 The Runaway Train 1992 1999 Junior coaster takes the circuit twice, or on quiet days, three times.
7 The Skydiver 1994 Ride with rising and falling carriages, replaced by the Ladybird Ride .
8 Whirly Copters 2004 Junior ferris wheel with helicopter-shaped cars with smiley faces (replaced by the Magic Carpet).
9 The Clock Maze 1991 2007 Maze replaced by Sky Swinger.
10 Kids Kingdom 1986 2008 Replaced by Water Kingdom.
11 The Village Life Museum 1983 2009 Museum feature scenes and information on village life in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Replaced by the 4D cinema.

Planning permission issues[edit]

In 2009, Paultons Park were told they may have to move two of their biggest rides (The Cobra and Edge) after an application to grant them retrospective planning permission was turned down by the National Park planning committee by seven votes to five. The area where these rides were situated is designated 'Country Park' and not 'Amusement Park' in planning terms, whereas all other areas of the Park are now recognised as an Amusement Park and therefore have permitted development rights.

After a separate application (for the Cobra only) was made it was announced on December 22, 2009 that The Cobra (The Park's biggest ride) had now been granted retrospective permission and could remain in its current location.

Another planning application was lodged with the New Forest National Park Planning Authority to retain the Edge ride. The application received public support and Paultons were granted permission by the New Forest NPA to retain the Edge ride in its current location on 16 March 2010.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gerstlauer busy in 2011". Park World Magazine. 29 December 2010. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Projects". Ride Entertainment Group. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 

External links[edit]