If you have kids, then you have most likely seen at least one episode of Peppa Pig, probably about 94 times. I know it is certainly our ‘go to’ programme on a Sunday morning in bed to entertain our little one, whilst we enjoy a nice cuppa and chocolate digestive under the duvet, wistfully remembering days gone by when we actually had lie-ins.
Peppa Pig is one of the few children’s programmes that I don’t really mind watching, so when we decided to take Audrey to Peppa Pig World at Paultons Park, I actually got quite excited. It was to be our first night away with her, and her first time at any kind of theme park! Feels like she’s growing up far too quickly…
We booked an overnight stay in a near-by hotel, and got 2 day passes as part of the Short Break deal. Children under 1 meter get free entry to the park too. I thoroughly recommend the Holiday Inn in Eastleigh, which is just a 10 minute drive or so from the park.
Day one, we arrived at Peppa Pig World at about 1pm (on a Thursday) and walked right in without queuing. You have to walk through Paultons Park to get to there, most of which we initially ignored in our excitement to get to Peppa! As soon as you walk under the Peppa Pig World banner you start to hear the theme tune being played, and the voice of the Narrator from the TV programme. Grandpa Pig greets you, with music playing, so those of you that are nearly 2 must stop to have a little dance with him. Naturally.
I have to say I was a little overwhelmed when first walking in as I didn’t know what to look at first! But then I remembered we were there for Audrey, so we just followed her lead. The whole atmosphere is great, and is of course totally geared to the little ones, with so much for them to see and do, and plenty for them to recognise from their favourite TV programme.
There are 7 rides to go on, 1 of which Audrey was too short for. She wasn’t upset by this as she didn’t fancy George’s Dinosaur Ride anyway. She also didn’t fancy Miss Rabbit’s Helicopter ride, much to Mummy’s disappointment. Everything else she loved, particularly Grandpa Pig’s Little Train, and Daddy Pig’s Car Ride. That first day we barely had to queue for anything. There is something to be said for going mid-week.
Now Audrey still isn’t too keen on meeting the larger characters face to face, although she is getting better and is now able to stand being within about 4 foot of them! No cuddles with Peppa and George for Audrey, yet. Just a casual wave from afar.
She did absolutely love the slides in Mr Potato’s Outdoor Adventure Playground though, and although the thought crossed my mind that we could have just taken her to the park… It was a novelty seeing her nonchalantly go down the slide, with real life Peppa and George meeting and greeting people just a few meters away. Definitely better than your average park.
And of course, a trip to Peppa Pig World wouldn’t be complete without stopping in at Peppa’s house to see Peppa and Family! Watch and listen as you see this real-life episode taking place, and be sure to look up to the ceiling to check out the pancakes Daddy Pig has made…
After a fun filled afternoon, I almost worried that we didn’t have much left to do to fill our next day there, and we made our way to the Holiday Inn. As I mentioned before I thought it was fab. Nothing fancy, and totally catered towards toddlers and kids, so it just meant things were easy. It’s just a shame we didn’t have to time to use the pool and spa facilities. We were more ‘Suzy Sheep’ and less ‘Sauna and Steam’ I’m afraid.
We took our own travel cot (although they can supply them at a charge), and the room was large enough for us to be able to put it up in a way that we could still have the TV on and watch the England match (albeit in the dark and on mute!). Dinner for Audrey was part of the package, and included a special children’s buffet, with plenty on offer. Not to mention the huge banana split for dessert, which obviously had to be shared with Mummy and Daddy. She also got a complimentary ‘milkies’ before bed time, which they happily put in her beaker for her. Breakfast the next morning was also included for all of us. Cue lots of families with excited toddlers dressed in their favourite Peppa Pig attire (ours included) scoffing down pancakes, croissants, bacon, the lot!
Day two seemed a lot busier. We had sauntered to Peppa Pig World that morning, stopping first at the Land of the Dinosaurs, and the Wind in the Willows walk through in Paultons Park. Then when we finally made it to Peppa at about 11am (on a Friday), there were queues a plenty for the rides! I was so glad we did most of them the day before! We did end up queuing for about half an hour for Daddy Pig’s Car Ride so that we could get the obligatory photo for the fridge magnet, which we failed to do the day before.
It meant we could also spend plenty of time at the Duck Pond; another of Audrey’s favourites from the day before. It’s just a little duck pond, with a few real ducks, and 3 special ducks from the world of Peppa, who would occasionally quack the Peppa theme tune. What’s not to love?
Because it was a lovely sunny day and the rides were busy, we decided to pop in to George’s Spaceship Play Zone whilst it was a bit quieter. This was great fun for Audrey, and the ball room, complete with exploding foam ball canons, was particularly enjoyed by Daddy too. In fact there were a few Daddies in there who looked like they were having lots of fun.
Now you can’t go to Peppa Pig World and not jump in some Muddy Puddles. This water play area was a real hit with Audrey, so I’m so glad we took her swimming cossie and a towel. It was a great way to cool off in between going on rides and playing in the play ground.
Of course we had to visit the Toy Shop before leaving, and somehow managed to leave with only a couple of purchases. The Peppa Pig World Souvenir Book has been a big winner, and we have read stories from it every nap time, and every bed time since coming home. It’s a winner with Audrey. I, on the other hand, am now over it.
So after another fantastic day with our little girl, filled with ice cream and happy memories, we made our way home with a very sleepy, but very happy Audrey.
5 Tips when Visiting Peppa Pig World…
- Go Mid-Week! If you have pre-school children, take the opportunity to go mid-week as it makes all the difference with the queues for the rides. Even on the Friday it was much busier with queues about 30 minutes long, so I would recommend a Wednesday or Thursday.
- Go for 2 days. If you are travelling a fair distance like we did, it was nice being able to stay the night close by and not worry about leaving super early in the morning and cramming everything in to one day. I thought the Short Break deal they offer is quite reasonable. Next time I would be tempted to stay even longer and actually see more of the New Forest.
- Take a swimming costume for the kids. If it’s nice weather and they want to splash about in the Muddy Puddles water park, not to mention the even larger water play are in the main park, it’s handy to be able to change them in to a swimming costume quickly, and towel them down afterwards before going on to the next thing. Much nicer than walking around in soggy clothes for the rest of the day.
- Take a pic-nic. We managed to do a picnic lunch for our first day there, and it meant not having to queue for food. There are plenty of picnic areas around, some of which are under cover just in case. We sat on the grass and fed the ducks.
- If you have to buy one thing from the toy shop, make it the Peppa Pig World Souvenir Book. Filled with different activity and colouring pages, about 4 or 5 short stories, and a nice map of the park, for Audrey it has been a great way of remembering her time at Peppa Pig World. And at only £5, I would say it’s a bargain!