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Paultons Park

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9 hours ago, Benin said:

Shame it's not a clone of a good Mack Spinner, but still fantastic from the park...

 

I think I'm in the minority in that I like Sierra Sidewinder. ?

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Well it seems like Paultons are firmly heading towards being the best U.K. park with this. The area and setting look incredible!

 

The new spinning coasters look ace, even if it is a clone. I think it’s safe to say Cobra is no longer the park’s signature coaster.

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Went to Paultons yesterday; went with my mum and 4 year old brother. A quick review:

 

I'll start off with the negatives, because I do think that shaped a fair bit of frustration which underpinned the day and took away enjoyment from it..

 

-Their height measuring was all over the place. My brother has been 1.1m since about April/May, probably about 113/4cm now; so well over in context. Got him quickly measured at the start of the day (he was over 1.1m) in hope of getting a wristband saying so, but turns out they only do them for 1m (bit silly given there's a few rides reliant on that restriction, but okay).

 

Went to Cobra; he was very clearly under the height stick. By a good 2-3cm. Standing up straight, etc etc, but very clearly under the bar. At the ride entrance, he was borderline. So, after doing more rides, popped to guest services to see what's what. Height checked again, clearly over, get a manager to sign a wristband confirming he's 1.1m.

 

Try our luck with Magma. Had a bit of wait, get the front. Once again, my brother is under the height stick (and yet closer than he was at Cobra!). Try explaining we've had management confirm his height, but point blank refusal. At this point it's becoming obvious there's no consistency with their height sticks.

 

Another trip to guest services to explain, another manager measures and confirms his height to be above 1.1m. Now says that for any future rides we have problems, get the operator to call so-and-so a person and they'll confirm to let us on. Problem sort of solved I guess, but in a way which undermines staff at the ride (if I was in that situation, I'd be feeling pretty uncomfortable).

 

Further problems happened later in the day on one of the Peppa Pig rides, showing that my brother was again under 1.1m at the entrance according to the height stick, but over 1.1m according to the restriction board and the height stick before going onto the ride. This was a particular issue as the restriction determined whether he had to ride alone or with an adult.

 

In fairness, all our issues were resolved and most staff handled it well. But this was an incredibly frustrating issue which underpinned the day and caused a lot of it to be wasted.

 

Another, more minor, thing: pricing. Damn Paultons are cheeky. The food places in Peppa Pig World are more expensive than the rest of the park. Literally the same food is more expensive; we're talking less than 50p extra, but still. Left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth when I noticed, and feels very sly.

 

So, rants out the way, the rest of the park:

-Lost Kingdom is a great area. Little rough round the edges, but well done with perfect rides for the park.

-Peppa Pig World hits the bullseye for what it aims to do. And with a very good selection of rides for kids.

-I didn't quite realise before my visit how expansive their zoo was. However, I really enjoyed it.

-Outside of Peppa and Lost Kingdom, the park feels rather tacky. I know a lot of that hasn't been touched in recent years, but it's very jarring.

-Operations were okay. Some rides felt very slow and had very weird loading procedures which felt very inefficient. Some rides had very inaccurate queue times (one Peppa ride we queued for advertised a 45min queue when it was 10min..). Bit of a shame.

 

Overall, had a nice time, though hurt a bit by the frustrations of height measuring, which impacted the day a fair amount. My brother enjoyed everything he did and really loved Lost Kingdom (despite not being 'in' to dinosaurs).

 

One thing to note is how busy the park was. Peppa was RAMMED all day, queues advertised at greater than 30mins for everything pretty much all day. The rest of the park was rather quiet; didn't see or wait for anything above 15mins. A very jarring situation which felt like we were in two different parks. For all of Paultons' development and successes, you wonder just how reliant they still are on Peppa right now.

 

 

Final note on Tornado Springs: construction looks alright. They have a radio loop playing alongside the advertising boards which is a good touch. Very much looking forward to that, as I'm sure that'll give an indication for the quality of things to come, and whether they'll be a 'nice park which is rough round the edges' or a genuine threat against Merlin.

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I don't know a single theme park with accurate queue boards. Once I queued 2 minutes for Pegasus at Europa Park and the queue board said 1 minute!

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Ignoring the unnecessary sarcasm in your post, when you're at a theme park you've never visited before and want to make the most out of your day (especially with a 4 year old) you use the advertised queue times as a means of doing that. When some are completely out of the ball park in terms of accuracy, it's frustrating. 

 

And yes, it's the same for every other theme park which struggles to give accurate queue times. Doesn't make it any less of a valid point.

 

NB: Walibi parks, Toverland, Efteling, Phantasialand (minus Taron) have all been pretty good at giving accurate queue times in my experiences.

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1 hour ago, JoshC. said:

Ignoring the unnecessary sarcasm in your post, when you're at a theme park you've never visited before and want to make the most out of your day (especially with a 4 year old) you use the advertised queue times as a means of doing that. When some are completely out of the ball park in terms of accuracy, it's frustrating. 

 

And yes, it's the same for every other theme park which struggles to give accurate queue times. Doesn't make it any less of a valid point.

 

NB: Walibi parks, Toverland, Efteling, Phantasialand (minus Taron) have all been pretty good at giving accurate queue times in my experiences.

Sorry Josh, didn't mean to come across as rude sarcasm, more playful sarcasm. Apologies.

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