A Birthday treat, for my now 6 year old, last weekend was a visit to Paultons Park Family Theme Park home of Peppa Pig World. We have visited the theme park before and my son always prefers somewhere familiar.
I was given complimentary day tickets for my family in exchange for this review, however all words and opinions are my own.
Both my kids are autistic and my eldest is non-verbal so needs preparation when we go for a day out. Thankfully there are tons of videos of Peppa Pig World on YouTube so this was a good place to start. Both kids watch Peppa Pig so all the characters are very familiar to them. A trip to Paultons Park is something they were excited about.
I use lots of visual aids with my son and after a quick google image search I had a visual printed out and laminated for our schedule in less than ten minutes. I put this on his weekly schedule a week in advance. Then highlighted it each day so he could see we were leading up to it. He clearly remembered the Theme Park from our previous visit based on the enormous grin that erupted each time it was pointed out.
Concessions at Paultons Park
Paultons Park ticket concessions are:
- Children under 1 metre are admitted free of charge.
- Wheelchair/Mobility Scooter Dependent Guests are admitted free of charge.
There are no carer tickets. However guests who may have difficulties queuing are eligible for the Queue Assist Pass.
First Aid Centre & Queue Assist Pass
Having a registered disability does not entitle you to the Queue Assist Pass. It is there for guests who would struggle with queues. My kids both have an autism diagnosis and have difficulties queuing. As my kids have a limited understanding of what a queue is and limited capacity to follow instructions or engage in social interaction then they are eligible for the pass.
When you enter Paultons Park to the right there are some toilets, if you pass these you get to the end of Show Street where you will find the First Aid Centre. It is staffed with trained nurses who will provide the Queue Assist Pass to those that are eligible. I have to say the staff we dealt with were really lovely and very friendly. I took all my usual evidence:
- our membership cards to our local council disability scheme
- letters to prove our DLA award
- the boys’ diagnosis letters from the Pediatrician.
The only documents the nurse looked at were the diagnosis letters. Although she may have also based her decision on the fact that she had no response whatsoever from her attempts to greet my kids. If you don’t have your diagnosis letter a letter from your GP stating your child’s difficulties in queuing is likely to be enough. They can save your child’s details so you don’t have to show the paperwork on your next visit. However we are in the habit of taking it everywhere in case we need it.
Whilst you are at the First Aid Centre it is worth picking up one of the lost child contact stickers. Then pop it on their back (where little hands cannot reach). This way your phone number is on them if they get lost.
Using the Queue Assist Pass
The child who is given the Queue Assist Pass is also given a wristband and the pass can only be used with that child. As we had two kids who were eligble for the pass we were given two passes. This was really helpful as there are some bigger rides my eldest would go on without my youngest so there were times we split up.
You are also given an accessibility guide with the pass. The guide lists all the relevant information and for each ride has height and age restrictions, advisory points on accessibility and where to access the ride. In most cases to access the ride with the Queue Assist Pass you need to go to the exit and let staff see you have the pass.
There must always be an adult with the child and on most rides we could go on as a family of four using the pass. It is worth noting that you may still have a small wait using the Queue Assist Pass. In most cases they would allow one group from the exit to go on each turn of the ride. It was never a long wait but worth knowing you won’t always go straight on.
I have to say having the Queue Assist Pass makes the world of difference. The kids don’t get worked up. Also the time we save not being in the queues allows us to take breaks and time away from the crowds whilst still getting the most out of our day.
Peppa Pig World
The main attraction for anyone with small children visiting Paultons Park is without a doubt Peppa Pig World. It is really impressive and very well done. In comparison to other theme parks we have visited this is without a doubt the most toddler / young family friendly. There is a good selection of rides and two fantastic new ones since our previous visit. The Queen’s Flying Coach Ride and Grampy Rabbit’s Sailing club which were two highlights for us.
We were lucky to visit on a warm and sunny day in September and managed to make use of the splash park which the kids were thrilled about. Also in Peppa Pig World is an indoor soft play area and an outdoor playground. My kids are always full of energy so having places they can run around between rides is brilliant.
Throughout the day there is meet and greet sessions with the characters from Peppa Pig. They wander around and greet people and they also go to a small stage area near the soft play and shop. If you hang back from the initial rush we found there was time to go over and get a hug after the crowd died down. George even took my boy’s hat which he thought was hilarious! There is a good photo opportunity in Madame Gazelle’s school house and a display in Peppa’s house (although my eldest didn’t like this one – a bit too robot like for him).
It would be easy to spend the whole day in Peppa Pig World but the Theme Park has so much more to offer. The Lost Kingdom has a number of lifelike anamatronic dinosaurs which the kids thought were amazing. My 3 year old was in awe of the T-Rex whilst my eldest was a bit scared and kept his distance. There is a lovely dinosaur themed playpark and we really enjoyed the Dino Tour Co. ride. Older children can find larger rides and attractions in the Lost Kingdom.
A Quiet Spot
The theme park was busy with lots of people. While the kids coped well with this it is worth exploring the gardens for a bit of quiet time away from the crowd. There are some lovely gardens including bird avaries in the middle of Paultons Park. There is also a Discovery Trail which is a lovely walk through a wooded area with a few things to spot along the way.
Food & Facilities
There are plenty of food outlets, we decided to eat in the large seating area just outside Peppa Pig World. There we found kids lunch boxes from the Station Kiosk for the boys. We had fish and chips from the Railroad diner next door. The kids lunch boxes included a plain cheese or ham sandwich, a water, crisps, fruit puree and a chocolate bar for £4.75. The fish and chips were good and were £10 with a drink included. If you are bringing your own food there are several picnic tables around the site.
There are lockers available next to the entrance and you can hire strollers. You are also able to hire headphones from the First Aid Centre. Wheelchairs are also available.
There was a good number of toilet facilities and we never had to queue for a toilet. A nice touch was the children’s seats on the toilets for little ones, another reason it is such a family friendly attraction. There are also disabled toilets around the park as well as baby changing facilities.
There is a well equipped changing places facility near the entrance of the theme park. It includes an automatic height adjusting changing table and mobile hoist. You need the code to access it which is available from the First Aid Centre. When we got our Queue Assist Pass they stamped the code for the changing places facility on the pass.
You need to know if your kids are over a meter, if not they are free. As you enter there are staff there to measure the little ones. If over a metre they can get a wristband and shouldn’t need to be measured again. We did this with our 3 year old.
We were lucky with the weather, on a good day don’t forget your suncream and swimsuits for the kids so they can use the splash park. You will also need socks for the soft play.
Another point to note is as you exit you have to walk through an enormous shop.
We had a lovely day and will definitely be back again sometime. I would have a look at the park map online and have a rough plan what you want to cover. It is a big place and you won’t get to do everything in one day.