10 September, 2013

Peppa Pig World - Day 1

So after an (unavoidably) getaway-free holiday break from work (just gone) -once Thomas was firmly back on his feet and eating and drinking properly- we actually did manage to book a mini break (to make up for it) - a buy-one-get-one-free couple of days at Paulton's Park (home of Peppa Pig World - to which Thomas had long been promised a trip)...in the intervening time his interest in actually watching Peppa Pig had (admittedly) greatly diminished, but the trip away was announced to the family as simply a "trip to stay in a hotel" (with which he was quite excited enough)...we were up early (to try and avoid the worst of the traffic) and at our scheduled stop for breakfast at Fleet services (quite unplanned) he spotted a *huge* poster covered in Peppa Pig World logos and pointed it out to Flyingpops and I...Flyingpops said "Yes, that poster is for Peppa Pig World which actually isn't too far from here" (terribly nonchalantly) to which Thomas thought for a second and then replied hopefully "I've never been to Peppa Pig World, Mummy...can we go there?"...the *huge* smile when Flyingpops said "Yes Thomas, why not?" was (as they say) - priceless... ;)
Actually getting into the park once we arrived wasn't as easy as it could have been, the confirmation email on Flyingpops 'phone didn't have the right details on it (apparently) so we had to wait around while she found some customer service person at another entrance to give her a scrap of paper with the secret codes required for entry-
Before long, however, we were walking through the main park, heading to the "other" entrance arch (it's very much a park-within-a-park and pretty much *everyone* was heading in the same direction)...
Thomas (once inside) was running from one amazing sight to the next and all was going just wonderfully until it came time to queue up for the first ride -
- Poppy really wasn't interested in standing in a queue (at all) and Thomas thought that we had waited quite long enough and it was our turn after about 3 minutes and was most displeased at the prospect of waiting for "all these rude people who won't let us go next" -
- anyway, he loved it when he got *on* the ride, but frankly there are two issues here that didn't have to exist-

  1. The problem of keeping kids (of a certain age) perfectly amused and content in (even very long) queues has already been solved -it is heaps of Duplo- see Legoland (which I have just realised I never wrote about on here) - in fact, there were times when we almost couldn't get Thomas to proceed *along* the queues at Legoland because he was too absorbed with what he was building - there is *nothing* to keep kids amused in these queues at all
  2. At opening time *everyone* rushes to the Peppa Pig World and most don't leave which means the queues in this popular part of the park are always much longer than they need to be - thankfully this is simple to solve too (assuming your kid isn't in a position with you to strop and refuse) - go on one of the almost identical (but non-Peppa Pig) equivalents in the main park - e.g. take the Viking Boat ride instead of Grandpa Pig's Boat ride -no joke-  the queue is 15 minutes quicker and ride is much better - but everyone insists on going to the Grandpa Pig ride (and waiting and waiting and waiting)...once we figured this out things went much better...spreading the Peppa Pig rides around the main park would have meant this would have been much less of an issue overall, but there you go...it's probably a bit late to change things now... ;)
Anyway, we met Peppa and George (who are incredibly hard working, putting in personal appearances all day long)-
- saw Mr Potato (who had quite a good outdoor play area)-
-saw a nice pancake breakfast being cooked and eaten in Peppa's house (kind-of)-
-and went on a Dinosaur ride (the first ride Thomas found he had to go on by himself, as he was too big to be accompanied by an adult (bit of a milestone)!  Shame the queue was so soul-destroyingly lengthy...
Next we queued up (yawn) for the boat ride (won't be doing that again!) then stopped for a spot of packed lunch before a long play in the excellent indoor soft play-
- complete with rocket (and exit slide)-
-and recycling centre...next up -
- the big balloon ride (which made Flyingpops feel a bit sick) -
- a studio-style photo shoot in the School building -
- a nice relaxing train ride (around the whole of the outside of Peppa Pig World)-
- a cheeky ice cream -
- and then Thomas and I took a (roughly five storey) bumpy ride in a rubber dingy down a massive water slide - it was *fast* - couldn't quite believe someone of Thomas' age was allowed to go on something like this...!  And then of course we found the next ride he was perfectly okay to go on...the park's main Log Flume(!) -
Yeah (a properly big adult log flume)...he loved it...we spent the rest of the day (pretty much) rejoining the queue for that so he could get even more soaked (laughing manically) - these queues, even when they were completely full - took about 10-15 minutes (compared to 45 minutes for the simplest attraction in Peppa Pig World - just crazy)-
- anyway, somehow we managed to tear Thomas away from the log flume and broke (very briefly) for him to go on a couple of nearby rides (that were actually designed for kids his age - the ramp on the seal ride was just laughable compared to what he had been doing five minutes earlier, but he enjoyed it as he was doing it on his own)...before long the park was shutting and it was time to head off to the hotel (Thomas still unaware that we had another full day of this to come tomorrow) - although (to be honest) I was absolutely exhausted after that lot! ;)

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