Paultons Park

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Paultons Family Theme Park
Paultons Park Logo 2018 sm.jpg
Slogan"Way too much fun for one day!"
LocationHampshire, SO51 6AL, England
Coordinates50°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
OwnerRichard Mancey
Opened17 May 1983
Previous namesPaulton's Park, Paulton's Park and Bird Garden
Operating seasonFebruary half term, Mid-March to October and weekends in November and December
Area140 acres (0.57 km2)
Attractions
TotalOver 70 rides and attractions
Roller coasters5
Water rides6
WebsitePaultons Park

Paultons Family Theme Park | Home of Peppa Pig World is an amusement park located in the village of Ower, near Romsey, in Hampshire, England, with over 70 rides and attractions. The Peppa Pig World theme park area is based on the children's television series character. The Lost Kingdom theme park area includes 27 animatronic dinosaurs. 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 1269 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 3,000 acres (1,200 hectares), was modelled 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 fifteen schoolgirls 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 fire on 5 November 1963.

In 1979, John and Anne Mancey (parents of the current director, 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 (57 hectares), 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 park's 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 tableaux 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.

1999–2009[edit]

In 1999, the park began expanding, with a new ride built most years 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.

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! 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 began 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 a new footpath was constructed 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.

On 17 May 2016 the park opened Lost Kingdom – a dinosaur theme park land suitable for younger and older children aged 6–12. The land cost £9 million to build and is home to 8 new rides and attractions including: Flight of Pterosaur, a Vekoma family suspended coaster, Velocirpator, a Vekoma family boomerang coaster, Temple Heights Zamperla magic carpet, Dino Chase, a Zierer Tivoli junior coaster, Boulder Dash, a Zamperla demolition derby ride, Meteallbau Emmeln, track ride, Alive – a dinosaur meet and greet character experience and the Little Explorers play ground.

A new discovery trail also opened on 17 May 2016 to encourage native species from the New Forest to reside. This includes interactive boards along the route and over 40 bird and bat boxes.

In January 2017 Paultons announced on the Peppa Pig World website that a new project had started to make Peppa Pig World "Bigger and Better". The statement on the website simply stated "New Attractions Under Construction". This was later revealed to be a new water ride, new monorail-ride and an expansion to the pedestrian areas. Park signage states that the attractions are to open in spring 2018.

At the start of the 2018 winter season a new animal area named "Little Africa" opened next to Peppa Pig world. This features a walk-through aviary, nocturnal house and several new animal enclosures. At the same time the Jumping Bean and Jumping Jack rides were retired and removed.

It was announced that Tornado Springs, a western-themed area, would be installed for 2020. It has been confirmed a new coaster will be in the area. The ride is a Mack Rides spinning coaster, which is located next to the Wave Runner water ride, which will receive an overhaul.

Rides and attractions[edit]

The 140 acres of the park has been split into four themed worlds, Lost Kingdom, Peppa Pig World, Critter Creek and the main park.

Main park[edit]

Roller coasters[edit]

Name type Opened Manufacturer Description
The Cobra Bobsled 2006 Gerstlauer Bobsled Coaster (car 2+2), reaches 29 mph (46 km) on a 1476 ft long track (450m) and a height of 54 ft (17m); To ride you must be 1.1m & 4 years old accompanied and 1.2m 8 years old to ride alone. Bobsled model 450/4. Max G force is 3. The ride was installed by Ride Entertainment Group, who handles all of Gerstlauer's operations in the Western Hemisphere.[1][2]

Flat rides[edit]

Name Opened Manufacturer Description
Edge 2009 Zamperla A Mega Disk'O Coaster.
Magma 2012 SBF Visa 25m Twisting Drop Tower, volcanic theme, height limit 1,1m.
Dragon 2001 Zierer Roundabout ride; height limit 90 cm.
The Pirate Ship 2001 Metallbau Emmeln Swinging pirate ship ride reaching up to 45 degrees each way. 90cm minimum height to ride.
Kontiki Ride 2005 Zierer Similar to the Pirate Ship, however it runs on a track & rotates. 90cm minimum height to ride.
The Sky Swinger 2008 Zierer Zierer 'Wave Swinger' ride consisting of 8 pairs of double seats and 24 single seats on chains swinging out whilst the ride spins and lifts you high into the air. You must be 1m tall & 4 years tall to ride, children under 1.2m or 7 years old must sit in a double seat with an adult.
Viking Boats 2001 Zierer Small rotating boat ride themed on the Viking longboats.
Tea Cup Ride 1997 Modern Products Spinning tea cup ride decorated with fruit.

Water rides[edit]

Name Opened Manufacturer Description
Wave Runner 2003 Metallbau Emmeln Water slide, three drops; height limit 90 cm.
Raging River Ride 1999 Reverchon 225 m log flume, two steep drops, the higher of which is 11m tall; height limit 95 cm.
Water Kingdom 2009 Paultons Park Water splash play park with water jets, large tipping buckets, fountains and super soakers.
Seal Falls 2002 Zamperla Younger version of the Raging River Ride, small drop and a mini igloo tunnel.

Other rides and attractions[edit]

Name Opened Description
4D Cinema 2013 4D cinema experience showing Deepo - A Fish Story. (Note that a different film is shown during Christmas at Paultons)
Go-Karts 1998 Petrol karts in a circuit.
Trekking Tractors 2007 Tractor ride which travels gently around a farm-themed track.
Digger Ride 2002 Track ride themed around a building site.
Bouncer & Trampolines Bouncy castle type attraction which is undercover. Trampolines are adjacent to this attraction.
Rio Grande Train 1987 A 15 in (381 mm) narrow gauge railway, takes passengers round the Wave Runner, Trekking Tractors and animal paddocks, for a (7 minute)) journey. This attraction is closed for the 2019 season.
Summer Beach Party 2017 A fun filled family show with the parks 3 new characters: Shelly, Bruce & Manta! This show will start on 26 may.

Lost Kingdom[edit]

Roller coasters[edit]

Name Type Opened Manufacturer Description
Flight of the Pterosaur Family

Invert Coaster

2016 Vekoma Family Suspended Coaster; height limit 1.0M / age limit 4 years old, part of new land for 2016 – Lost Kingdom, train 2x10.
Velociraptor Junior

Boomerang

2016 Vekoma A custom version of Vekoma's Family Boomerang model, built as part of the new for 2016 Lost Kingdom; height limit 1m / age limit 4 years old.
Dino Chase Junior Coaster 2003 - Remodeled for 2016 Zierer Junior coaster; height limit none / age limit 1 years old, small Tivoli model, train 2x9. Formerly known as The Flying Frog.

Rides[edit]

Name Type Opened Manufacturer Description
The Dinosaur Tour Co. Tracked Ride 2016 Metallbau Emmeln Drive through the Lost Kingdom on a Jurassic 4x4 expedition.
Boulder Dash Demolition Derby 2016 Zamperla Swirl and dodge between giant dinosaur eggs and boulders.
Temple Heights Magic Carpet ride 2005-Remodeled

for 2016

Zamperla See far and wide over Lost Kingdom as you summit the temple.

Other attractions[edit]

Name Type Opened Manufacturer Description
Little Explorers Playground 2016 A dinosaur-themed outdoor adventure play park area for young children, featuring climbing frames, slides and dinosaur footprints also, uncover rare fossils in the sand pit!
Prehistoric Dinosaurs Animatronics 2016 Step inside Lost Kingdom, a Jurassic world where Dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes greet your every turn. Look out for the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Argentinosaurus, Triceratops and many more!
ALIVE! Dinosaur Encounter Show/Meet & Greet 2016 Paultons Park Get up close and personal with Lost Kingdom's Jurassic inhabitants!
Discovery Trail Walk Through 2016 Paultons Park Take a stroll through our wooded trail as it weaves through trees and marshes. Our new Discovery Trail has been built to encourage all manner of species native to the New Forest to set up home. With interactive boards along the route and over 40 bird and bat boxes; what will you discover along the tranquil path?

Peppa Pig World[edit]

Rides[edit]

Name Opened Description
Windy Castle 2011 Spins visitors in cloud carriages up and down a central castle upright structure.
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 ‘Grandpa Pig's’ garden. Height limit 85 cm.
Daddy Pig's Car Ride 2011 A convoy/car ride that manoeuvres around a road track.
Grandpa Pig's Little Train 2011 Train ride that is attached to track.
Grandpa Pig's Boat Trip 2011 Small boat carriages on water move in a circle roundabout motion.
Peppa's Big Balloon Ride 2011 Spins visitors up and around a central structure in balloon-themed carriages.
Miss Rabbits Helicopter Flight 2011 Ride similar to a ‘big wheel’ ride where visitors sit in helicopter carriages.
The Queen's Flying Coach Ride 2018 Elevated monorail based around the Queen's castle
Grampy Rabbit's Sailing Club 2018 A water tour ride in small boats, around Peppa Pig World and Pirate Island[3]

Other attractions[edit]

Name Opened Description
Meet Peppa Pig and Friends 2011 Come and meet Peppa Pig and George in Peppa Pig World! The cartoons most popular characters appear every day that the Park is open for photograph opportunities with their loving fans on the veranda in front of the school house.
George's Spaceship Playzone 2011 This is one Peppa Pig World attraction not to be missed. George's Spaceship Playzone is tonnes of fun for the little ones whatever the weather. George's Spaceship Playzone features: Climbing structures, slides & tubes, Peppa's Recycling Centre, George's SpaceShip Rocket Slide & The Picnic Junior Play Area.
Muddy Puddles 2011 It wouldn't be Peppa Pig World if everyone couldn't jump up and down in Muddy Puddles, splish, splash and splosh your way through this mini water playground, beware you may get wet!
Mr Potato's Playground 2011 Climb and swing, slide and jump in Mr Potato's fully themed outdoor play area in Peppa Pig World.

Critter Creek[edit]

Roller coasters[edit]

Name Type Opened Manufacturer Description
The Cat-O-Pillar Coaster Junior Coaster 2000 - remodeled for 2015 Zierer Junior coaster, 20 mph (32 km); height limit 90 cm, medium Tivoli model, train 2x6. Formerly known as Stinger.

Rides[edit]

Name Type Opened Manufacturer Description
Prof. Blast's Expedition Express Train ride 2015 Zamperla Hop aboard the Expedition Express - a mini train trek ride through Professor Blast's world of critters and strange experiments.

Other attractions[edit]

Name Type Opened Manufacturer Description
Beastie Burrow Reptile house 2015 Paultons Park A real life bug emporium with fascinating and unusual insects, fish and lizards. Meet Eric our friendly Chameleon and see if you can spot the bright orange and white clown fish.
The Curious Critters Models 2015 Paultons Park See if you can spot Professor Blast’s mixed up animal friends – the Curious Critters, located throughout Critter Creek including, The Fly-ger, The Horned-Swamp-Donkey, The Wood-Mouse and more.

Animals[edit]

  • Little Africa- home to African birds including turacos, Cape teal, white-faced whistling ducks and guineafowl.
  • Meerkat Manor- an enclosure including indoor and outdoor areas for meerkats.
  • 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.
  • Hornbills- a large hornbill collection including silver-cheeked, black-casqued wattled, trumpeter, Von der Deckens and red-billed hornbills.
  • Tropical Birds- including laughing thrush, Spreo and starlings.
  • Flamingos and Pelicans in enclosures.
  • Tortoises- including an Aldabra tortoises that arrived at the park in 1995.

Gardens[edit]

  • 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 7 history of Paultons digital screens.
  • 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).

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 22 December 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.

Awards[edit]

  • Visit England Gold Accolade 2015
  • TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Award – No. 1 Theme Park in the UK and No.11 in Europe 2017[4]
  • TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Award – No. 1 Theme Park in the UK and No.6 in Europe 2016[4]
  • TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Award – No. 2 Theme Park in the UK and No.6 in Europe 2015
  • TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Award – No. 1 Theme Park in the UK 2014
  • TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2015
  • 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

Future of the park[edit]

In September 2018, Paultons Park began releasing details about a new area coming to the theme park in May 2020, called Tornado Springs[5]. Many of the details are unknown however construction has started and the area will be located east of the car park on the former site of Gold Rush Falls and an empty field, with fences around the site including concept art for the rides coming with the area. To help advertise the new area, various Twitter accounts have been set up to hint to what we could expect to see in the area, with these accounts linking to the Tornado Springs website (https://www.visittornadosprings.com) which has a link to Paultons Park at the bottom of the site, labelled "Privacy", taking you to https://paultonspark.co.uk/terms-and-conditions.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gerstlauer busy in 2011". Park World Magazine. 29 December 2010. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Projects". Ride Entertainment Group. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Peppa Pig World Set to Get Even Bigger and Better! | Paultons Family Theme Park". paultonspark.co.uk. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  4. ^ a b https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/TravelersChoice-Attractions-cAmusementParks-g186216
  5. ^ https://www.visittornadosprings.com/

External links[edit]