|This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2013)|
|Slogan||"Way too much fun for one day!"|
|Location||Hampshire, SO51 6AL, England|
|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)|
|Total||Over 60 rides and attractions|
Paultons Family 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.
- 1 History
- 2 Rides and attractions
- 3 Food and drinks and play area
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Estate and house
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.
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-Karts were constructed, with the latter providing older children with an attraction.
In 1999, the park began expanding, with a new ride built every year since. In 1999, this was the Raging River Ride, 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 Paultons in the previous season of 2005, construction started at a cost of £2million on the custom made Cobra. The coaster is built on land unused before by the park and 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. 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, Crazy Golf and Panning for Gold attractions, were removed, and replaced by Gold Rush Falls, consisting of new and re-themed Crazy Golf and Panning for Gold attractions.
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.
Soon after the anniversary, the park undertook a major rebranding project in which the logo was changed, the previous slogan "It's a Hoot! Hoot!" was dropped and the owl mascot was seen less.
The park's expansion continued in 2009 with the addition of The Edge ride, located next to the Cobra on land not used until Cobra opening in March 2006, and of the Water Kingdom, replacing the Kids Kingdom play area. However, the park was 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 22 December 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 features three large rides and several more smaller rides and attractions all contained within a themed area. This is the world's first Peppa Pig theme park. The area also includes the largest Peppa Pig toy shop in the world selling Peppa Pig themed merchandise. This new development was heavily promoted through the Internet, television and radio adverts. The area opened on 6 April 2011 and visitor numbers to the park increased from 500,000 per year to 1 million after the year of opening.
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 the Village Life Museum and as part of a 1950 New Orleans-themed area called Show Street.
In 2014, the park demolishing its old entrance to make way for a new gateway building consisting of the Big Toy Shop and Wildwoods restaurant. New Admissions and Guest Information kiosks were also built as part of the development. The park also added a new ride, a Victorian Double Decker Carousel, as well as that the park constructed a new foot path along the main entrance.
In 2015, the park began a rebranding of various areas of the park. The area surrounding the Stinger and Wind in the Willows attractions was named Critter Creek and themed around the discovery of a number of whimsical animals and plants by Professor Stanley Blast. The Stinger was renamed Cat-O-Pillar to reflect its new half-cat-half-caterpillar theme, and Wind in the Willows was replaced by Beastie Burrow, a live insect and amphibian exhibit. A new miniature train ride called Professor Blast's Expedition express was also installed. A four-acre area encompassing the Rabbit Ride, Astroglide, Land of the Dinosaurs and Kiddies Play Village was also cleared in order to begin development of the Lost Kingdom, a dinosaur themed land due for completion in spring 2016.
Rides and attractions
|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.|
|2||The Flying Frog||Steel sit down||2003||Zierer||Junior coaster; height limit none / age limit 1 years old, small Tivoli model, train 2x9.|
|3||Cat-O-Pillar||Steel sit down||2000||Zierer||Junior coaster, 20 mph (32 km); height limit 90 cm, medium Tivoli model, train 2x6.|
|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 1,1m.|
Water rides and attractions
|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
|9||4D Cinema||2013||4D cinema experience showing Sherlock Holmes.|
|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. (closed)|
|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. (closed)|
|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. (closed)|
|30||Wind In The Willows||1996||Walkthrough house featuring animatronic models themed along the story of the Wind in the Willows. (closed)|
|31||Land of the Dinosaurs||1988||Walkway through the woods with full-scale models of dinosaurs including Tyrannosaurus and Stegosaurus. (closed)|
|32||Gold Rush Falls||12-hole themed adventure 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
|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. Height limit 85 cm.|
|36||Daddy Pig’s Car Ride||2011||A convoy/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
- 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
- African Aviary – home to African birds including white storks, turacos, Cape teal, white-faced whistling ducks and guineafowl.
- 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.
- 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.
- Anne and John's Garden – opened in 2008 as part of the entrance plaza, enhanced in 2015 with the addition of a glass fountain.
- 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
|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 Romany Experience||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
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.
- Visit England Gold Accolade 2014
- TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2014
- TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Award - No. 2 Theme Park in the UK and No.6 in Europe 2014
- TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Award - No. 1 Theme Park in the UK 2013
- TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2013
- Netmums Best UK Theme Park for Family Fun 2013
- Netmums Best UK Theme Park for Pre-Schoolers 2013
- Netmums Best UK Theme Park Kids Favourite Category 2013
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