I am publishing the posts that were drafted during the trip over the next few weeks between other yummy musings. The first one: Sandy Balls is here. Enjoy the series. If you don't want to miss a thing you can subscribe by email over on the right hand panel, or follow on Facebook or Twitter.
Day Two: Wet Bottoms - A review of Peppa Pig World at Paulton's ParkOur first full day on our summer holiday to Bournemouth, involved a trip to Paultons Park. Not actually for Paulton's park; oh no; unless we return another day we'll never know what Paulton's Park was actually like. We were going solely to visit a large corner of Paulton's Park that is now famously home to Peppa Pig.
Peppa Pig World was on the to-do list from the moment we saw the advert at the start of the Peppa Pig DVD. It opened in April 2011. I humbly suggest the owners of Paulton's Park have done pretty well out of it, but it is one of the best theme parks for value for money. For tips on how to get the best prices see tip numbers 7 and 8 below!
Peppa Pig World is, I hasten to add, brilliant. Every little detail is in theme, from the safety announcements that come over the tannoy spoken by the actual Peppa Pig narrator. (Or someone that does an incredibly good impression), to the trees, to the signs that use the correct 'Peppa' font and are puddle shaped (of course).
Peppa and George make regular appearances on the stage outside the toy shop (clever), which happens to also be next to Mr Potato-head's playground (double clever) so the children could play if you arrived at the stage area a little early.
Peppa, George, Suzy and other friends also regularly wander around the park, so keep your eyes peeled and your camera at the ready.
A few tips for a good day out:
1. Take all-in-one water proofs for the children (and yourself!) if you have them, or raincoats/ponchos and a couple of plastic bags if you don't. The bags are to sit on the seats of the rides if it's been raining and the seats are wet. Wandering around with a wet bottom isn't that comfy, as I can now contest.
2. Take suncream and re-apply. Whilst some of the queue areas are cleverly under shade, many aren't. See number 1. We got drenched waiting in line for Miss Rabbit's Helicopter Ride. Luckily the girls had their waterproofs on. I unfortunately didn't have a spare bag to sit on though. (see number 1)
3. Take a comb. There are plenty of opportunities to buy photos, in fact you can buy a batch of photo vouchers, but the photos won't be great if the weather has provided you with traditional English downpours. A quick comb of the hair works wonders!
4. Take swimsuits (cozzies) for the kids and a small towel to dry them off with. If the weather is kind you can while away some time whilst they play in the Muddle Puddles splash park. It's a lovely small area of fountains and squirters by Mr Potato-head's playground. And if the weather is awful, that towel will still come in handy.
5. Take a few drinks in your bag ton keep hydrated whilst waiting in queues. The queues were nothing like those that you'd find in places like Disneyland Paris, but can be half an hour, so drinks, and come to think of it, snacks, are welcome.
Planning your day:
6. Prepare yourself to need a whole day to comfortably do Peppa Pig World (ignoring the rest of Paulton's Park). You can go on all the rides, get your picture taken superimposed with the characters jumping in muddy puddles and leave at 4pm, avoiding rush hour traffic and leaving time to get the worn out darlings in bed a little early (woo hoo!)
Getting the best price / not spending a fortune once you're there:
7. The only way you can save ANY money of the price is to buy on-line, in advance, and save a little over 10%. But you can ONLY do this if you have a printer as you need to print your ticket and have it with you to be scanned at the gate. Digital versions of tickets are NOT accepted. Fine, if you get organised in advance. By that I mean at least a day before.
8. It's also cheaper to buy family tickets that individual tickets. Children are priced based on height. If your child is under 1 metre they are free. On entry they will have to walk under a bar that is precisely 1 metre high to prove this.
9. Give your children forewarning with regard to the possibility, or not, of buying something from the shop. We spent a LOT in the shop, mostly justified by buying a few bits for the Younger's forthcoming 4th birthday. She is old enough to understand about 'picking' a present early and having it for her birthday. You could easily Peppa-up your entire house. Everything from duvet covers and lunchboxes, to hair brushes and jigsaws. They even stock Mummy and Daddy size Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig T-Shirts. I was soooo tempted!
All in all, despite the downpour we had whilst we were there, it was a great day out.
Have fun! Oink!