Katie Nicholl and her children, Matilda and George, explore a rather spooky Peppa Pig World just in time for Halloween
Going to Peppa Pig World is something I’ve promised my six year old daughter Matilda for years. She has always been a fan of the TV show, as have I, but in all honesty the two hour trip to Hampshire from north London has put me off, especially with my noisy one year old son George in tow.
When I saw that Paultons Park, home to Peppa Pig World, were staging a Halloween extravaganza (on until 5 November) complete with a Little Monsters Ball and a freaky Halloween fancy dress competition I decided it was time to go and I’m so glad we did.
The family theme park, near Romsey in Hampshire, proved a trick or treater’s delight complete with pumpkins, meet-and-greet guests (including a wonderful giant pumpkin!) and plenty of spooky surprises.
The entrance to the park is decked out with autumnal hay stacks, pumpkins (there’s a whole field of them!) pumpkin men (like snowmen just made out of pumpkins) spooky scarecrows and real witches (the staff really get into the Halloween spirit and are all dressed up making for great photo opportunities!)
We made our way straight to the main stage in time for some ghost stories told by a rather friendly skeleton. Matilda was dressed as a witch while many of the other children were also dressed in fancy dress. It was a riot of colour, fake blood and gory gashes. There were ghosts, a few pirates and lots of scary looking witches. Go all out if you want to enter the competition as we saw some seriously good outfits!
We had downloaded the Paultons Park app which was great for planning our day and monitoring queue times. We’d been told to head to the bigger rides first before the queues get too long which was a great tip. Lunchtime, when families are eating, is also a quieter time. Just make sure you measure your child before you go; if they are under one metre they won’t be allowed on the bigger rides so prepare them to avoid any tantrums on the day!
Matilda was desperate to go on a rollercoaster and being one metre tall, we made our way to Critter Creek, home to the Cat-O-Pillar roller coaster which was fast, thrilling and seriously good fun. It seemed the right time to go to Peppa Pig World (best to head there early to beat the queues) where she was in her element. She was thrilled to be able to walk around Peppa’s house and get a bird’s eye view of the park on Peppa’s Big Balloon ride. We went in half term so I was expecting long queues but we didn’t have to wait longer than ten minutes for most rides – the longest queue was the one to meet Peppa and George so we skipped that and made our way to Mr Potato’s playground, which our own little George thoroughly enjoyed.
I was pleased to see that there is plenty for toddlers to do and the colours and music piped throughout Peppa Pig World really are a sensory delight. There’s a great sand pit so pack a bucket and spade. After being slightly scared by the rollercoaster I couldn’t convince Matilda to ride the Wave Runner – a vertical water slide that looked like great fun – but she was happy to go on Grandpa Pig’s boat trip which was a sweet river ride which George also enjoyed. We loved the Queen’s Flying Coach Ride, which was a great way to see the park from up high and then it was time for lunch. There are 14 restaurants dotted around the park but I would pack a packed lunch next time as the food is pretty basic and not particularly healthy. A flask of coffee is also a pre requisite as the machine coffee they serve isn’t very palatable. ‘Yukky’ remarked one unimpressed dad in front of me in the queue and I had to agree.
We didn’t make it to the 4D cinema but there was just time to pop into the new Little Africa installation next to Peppa Pig World. Billed as a ‘little corner of Africa’ there are meerkats, African birds in a picturesque aviary and beautiful white Fennec Foxes.
When I glanced at the map I realised there was lots of the park we still hadn’t seen but sadly it was time to go. For older children there are some great rides in the Lost Kingdom such as the Velociraptor, the Cobra and the Flight of the Pterosaur, but they will have to be for another trip.
Overall it was a great day out and I loved the mix of Victorian style fairground rides, thrilling roller coasters and of course, the Peppa Pig World. The pumpkins witches and ghouls made it even more fun. We will definitely be coming back.