Matt N’s 18th Birthday Trip 29th/30th July 2021 (LEGOLAND Windsor/Paultons Park)

Discussion in 'Your Trip Reports and Plans' started by Matt N, 29th Jul 2021.

  1. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Hi guys. Today, my parents and I had the first day of a 2-day theme park trip to the South of England. This trip is actually my parents’ 18th birthday present to me (my birthday is on Saturday); we were originally planning to go to Florida to ride things such as VelociCoaster and Iron Gwazi, but as you’ve probably guessed, COVID had other plans. However, that’s besides the point; Storm Chaser & Flight of the Sky Lion are a more than worthy substitute, in my opinion!

    I know that going on a family theme park trip in the South of England seems like a strange thing to do to celebrate one’s 18th birthday as opposed to something more grown-up, but this is a trip I was very keen to do, as Tornado Springs is the UK investment that’s excited me most since 2018, and Paultons is the most major UK park I’m yet to visit, so I’m really excited to get there! I was also keen to get a new perspective on Legoland after perhaps not giving it the fairest chance in 2017, not to mention that they had some very exciting dark rides that I was yet to ride!

    So before I ramble for much longer, we started with our first trip to Legoland Windsor in 4 years...
    29th July 2021: Legoland Windsor
    I was interested to get back to Legoland, as in spite of the fact that my 2017 visit wasn’t my most pleasurable theme park experience, I feel that that was down to some of the extenuating circumstances working against us at the time (busy park, rain, mum in wheelchair), so we wanted to give the park a second chance. Also, I was keen to get on some of their new dark rides, such as Ninjago and Flight of the Sky Lion!

    The day didn’t get off to the greatest start, as we initially joined a 20 minute queue of traffic to get into the park, meaning we didn’t get in until around 10:30-11am. However, I’m happy to report that that was by no means a bad omen for the rest of the day, as it all went fairly smoothly from there! After parking up, we wandered into the park:
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    One thing I’ll admit I’d forgotten about Legoland was quite how stunning the view is from on top of the hill; the view of Windsor and the surrounding area is phenomenal:
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    After getting in, we walked down the hill towards our first ride...
    Lego Ninjago: The Ride
    Ninjago was on an advertised 20 minute queue, so we decided to start there. However, once we got into the queue, it looked rather long, and we suspected that 20 minutes may have been somewhat of an underestimate. Our suspicions were correct, as the queue ultimately turned out to be closer to 50-55 minutes. On a more positive note, however, Ninjago has a very nice queue, with some nice posters explaining the story to you, as well as play areas for the kids to play with Lego in while us grown-ups queue; a nice idea that I’m surprised more parks don’t do, although I’ll admit it did make me jump when kids kept running past! But enough rambling about the queue; how was the ride? Well, I was interested to see how the hand gesture technology worked, and I’ve got to say, I thought Ninjago was an excellent dark ride; I was incredibly impressed! The ride feels very dynamic, and has lots of effects relating to the different scenes in the ride (such as hot air in scenes relating to heat, and cold air in scenes relating to the cold, as well as some nice smoke)! The 3D also worked really well and added a great element to the experience, and the gesturing was surprisingly not too hard to grasp; in spite of not being that great at interactive dark rides, I managed a score of 49,500, which I was quite satisfied with, but my mum & dad both beat me, with my dad reaching 82,900! It was certainly far more satisfactory than my last Duel tally of 3,100, anyway! Overall, Ninjago was an excellent interactive dark ride, in my opinion, that definitely exceeded expectations; we all thoroughly enjoyed it:
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    After our excellent ride on Ninjago, we headed onto another dark ride...
    Haunted House Monster Party
    Haunted House Monster Party was on only a 25 minute queue, so we joined it. I have to say, the facade and queue for this are yet again very nicely done; the front haunted house facade is very detailed, and while the queue perhaps isn’t laden with scenery, there are some nice details in there too! So, how was the ride? Well, I thought that it was a very nice Madhouse, personally; I do rather like Hex, and while this lacks quite the degree of drama and ambience that Hex has, I think it’s a very fun ride in its own right, personally, with a catchy soundtrack and fun theming; I thought things like the projectors within the Madhouse itself were a particularly clever effect, and I also thought that smells were very well utilised within the attraction! The kids certainly seemed wowed by it; in our group, there were certainly a few children who seemed to genuinely think we were going upside down, and there were a fair few screaming kids when we did “go upside down”! Overall, I thought Haunted House Monster Party was a fun Madhouse, and I was glad we were able to ride:
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    After Haunted House Monster Party, we headed to yet another dark ride...
    Flight of the Sky Lion
    After having had a 90 minute queue earlier in the day, Sky Lion had dropped to a mere 40 minutes, so we decided it would be worth joining. When we approached, a host out the front told us it would be “about an hour”, but in all honesty, the 40 minute time on the entrance seemed more accurate, as we only waited around 35 minutes before being admitted into the pre-show. So, how was the ride? Well, I’ll do a bit of a longer review of the ride & area later on in the relevant topic, but I’ll admit that I was very impressed, and thought that Sky Lion was an absolutely excellent dark ride! The motions are very convincing, and on the whole, I thought the ride worked very well:
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    The area of Mythica is also really nice, with some very impressive models; it’s very detailed in areas, and looks fantastic on the whole:
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    After Sky Lion, the day changed course a little, as we headed onto our first coaster of the day...
    Dragon
    Dragon was on a 40 minute queue, so we decided to give it a go. I already had this credit from our 2017 visit to Legoland, when I rode it with my Nan, but I remember it being quite fun for what it was, and my parents had never ridden before, so we decided to give it a go. The 40 minute queue time ended up fairly accurate, possibly even slightly overestimated, as we ultimately waited only around 30-35 minutes. So, how was the ride? Well, we were seated in the very front row, and I must say that the dark ride section was better than I’d remembered, with some excellent Lego models and as with many of the rides at Legoland, strong use of smells! In terms of the coaster section itself, it was perfectly fun for what it is, and very smooth, with one or two nice moments of speed for a family coaster! It doesn’t seem to take too long for it to begin to feel like it’s struggling a little pacing-wise, however, and it’s also a shorter ride than I’d remembered, with lift hills taking up a fair bit of the ride duration. Regardless, Dragon was still a good fun family coaster that I rather enjoyed, although my parents were less than impressed:
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    After Dragon, we decided to take things a little slower, and we took a relaxing ride on the Hill Train:
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    After that, we decided to take a look around Miniland. I’ll admit that I find the models in this area so impressive, and I think you can spend a fair bit of time in Miniland alone, personally:
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    Finally, we decided to have a quick look around the Model Making exhibit:
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    After that, it was getting to around 3:30-4pm, by which point we decided it would probably be best to get going. We needed to get to our Premier Inn near Paultons Park in decent time for an evening restaurant reservation, so we couldn’t really have stayed much later anyway.

    Overall, I’ve got to say I was really pleasantly surprised by Legoland today; I certainly think I owe the park an apology after rating it less than highly following my 2017 trip, as now I’ve had a day to ride more of the attractions and get more of a feel for it, I must say that the park is really nice for what it is! Although I wouldn’t have called it quiet, the park pathways seemed less crowded and hard to navigate than on my last visit, and I must say that this made me realise some of Legoland’s strongest points; the park is actually really well-themed, with very clear themed areas, and I dare say that they have perhaps the strongest selection of non-coaster rides in the UK, with 5 dark rides, 3 water rides, and a fair few family flat rides! I’d possibly suggest they could do with a slightly more thrilling family roller coaster now, to even things out a little and match the thrill level & quality of the likes of Sky Lion, but that’s a very minor thing; the park isn’t really focused on coasters! Overall, I must say that the park is far nicer than I’d previously given it credit for, and as much as it’s not really aimed at our age group, we did have a really nice day at Legoland Windsor!

    As one last bonus; as a collector of theme park maps, one thing I’ve been able to relish today is getting my hands on my first new paper theme park maps since 2019, with us being handed a Legoland map on entry and me taking a Paultons map from the pile of maps in the hotel reception! I know it seems minor, but I’ll admit that it felt nice to be able to have paper maps again; it felt like a real dose of normality:
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    Thanks for reading my first trip report from the trip; I hope you enjoyed it! Tomorrow, I’ll be reporting back from my first ever visit to Paultons Park and Tornado Springs; I’m so excited to experience Paultons for the first time!
    P.S. Apologies for the current lack of images; the Premier Inn free wi-fi is not the fastest for uploading images over, so they’ll be coming a bit later.
     
    Last edited: 29th Jul 2021
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    Posted 29th Jul 2021
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  2. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    Happy birthday for Saturday. :) Very interesting report from Legoland, I still haven't been I must go down there at some point.
     
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  3. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Thanks @JAperson!

    I don’t know how near you are to LLW, but I’d certainly recommend a trip if you haven’t been, especially if you’re a dark ride fan! For us, it was quite a convenient trip, as it’s actually my closest Merlin park and is only about 2 hours away!

    Also, you guys might have noticed that I’ve now put the Legoland pictures in!
     
    Last edited: 29th Jul 2021
    Posted 29th Jul 2021
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  4. monkeyboy

    monkeyboy TowersStreet Member

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    Happy 18th

    It was a long time ago but all that I remember from my 18th was…………


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  5. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Thanks very much @monkeyboy!
     
    Posted 30th Jul 2021
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  6. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    We went on the other half of the trip today, and it was very good!
    30th July 2021: Paultons Park
    I was very excited to get to Paultons for the first time; the park has always been reviewed so positively by those who’ve been, and Tornado Springs in particular was an area I was very excited for! However, I was getting a little nervous this morning because Storm Evert was threatening to give us the full Tornado Springs experience and potentially shut rides; my nerves eventually turned out to be unwarranted, as the weather was better than expected!

    As we were staying in a hotel a mere 5 minutes from Paultons, we were able to make incredibly good time, and were through the turnstiles by the 10am ride opening time. I’ve got to say, first impressions were very good; the park has a much more imposing coaster skyline than you’d expect for a family theme park, and the entrance plaza looks really nice and well-kept:
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    After getting through the turnstiles, we went to our first ride of the day, and my 75th coaster…
    Flight of the Pterosaur
    Flight of the Pterosaur’s queue looked short, so we decided to join, as I’d noticed from examining the Paultons app that this ride tended to get one of the longer queues later in the day, so I thought about getting it done early. One thing I must say is that this ride is very, very well-themed; the queue & station are really nice, and I like all the rockwork! So, how was the ride? Well, we were sat in the front row, and the ride actually really exceeded expectations for me! It was very smooth, and felt surprisingly fast & forceful in sections! Overall, Pterosaur was a really good, fun ride, in my opinion; definitely one I enjoyed, and a more than worthy ride for the milestone of my 75th coaster:
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    After Flight of the Pterosaur, we headed to the other coaster in the area…
    Velociraptor
    Velociraptor had an even shorter queue than Pterosaur beforehand, so we decided to join it. As with Pterosaur, this ride is very nicely themed, with some lush greenery and very nice animatronics! So, how was the ride? Well, I was seated in the front row, and it was good fun; it was very smooth and ran reasonably fast during the forwards stretch, and from memory, I liked the ride more than Accelerator, the similar Family Boomerang coaster at Drayton Manor. However, I didn’t think the backwards section was quite as enjoyable, and overall, I can easily say I preferred Pterosaur out of the two Lost Kingdom coasters:
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    Before I leave Lost Kingdom, I’d just like to say that even though Tornado Springs is currently getting all of the attention, Lost Kingdom is an absolutely amazing themed area in its own right, in my opinion; some of the animatronics were brilliant, the landscaping is lush, and I also really liked the rockwork! Excellent stuff, Paultons:
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    After Velociraptor, we headed out of Lost Kingdom and boarded our first non-coaster of the day…
    Magma
    Magma was on a mere 5 minute queue, so we decided to join it. The queue was quite nice for Magma, I must say; the dinosaur animatronic is particularly nice, and the rockwork & smoke are really nice! We also got on quickly, which is a bonus! So, how was the ride? Well, I actually thought it was really great fun for what it was; for a family drop tower, the drops were actually surprisingly forceful! The cycle was also reasonably long, or at least felt it, anyway, which is always a bonus! Overall, I thought Magma was a surprisingly excellent little drop tower given it’s aimed at families:
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    After a fun ride on Magma, we went onto another coaster...
    Cobra
    Cobra was on only a 5 minute queue, so we decided to give it a go. I will say, this ride is notably less themed than some of the park’s other rides, but it’s still really nicely presented, in my opinion; the greenery around it is really nice! So, how was the ride? Well, I’m not normally a fan of wild mice or coasters that focus hugely on laterals, so I was unsure how much I’d like Cobra having not ridden a Gerstlauer bobsled coaster before, but I’d have to say that overall, I actually didn’t dislike it at all! Don’t get me wrong, I still didn’t especially like the laterals, and I’ve had liked the ride more if they weren’t there, but unlike the likes of Rattlesnake, the laterals only make up a very small section of the ride; the rest of the ride is very smooth, reasonably fast and really quite fun, with some fun turns and helixes as well as surprisingly good airtime, so the laterals that I’m not keen on become a little easier for me to overlook:
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    After Cobra, we sat down and relaxed by the ride with some drinks for 10 minutes or so before heading over to the other end of the park, taking a slight detour through part of Paultons’ rather stunning gardens on the way by; I’ve got to say, Paultons is such a well presented park, and every crevice of it is absolutely immaculate:
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    After our slight gardens detour, we arrived in my most anticipated part of the park, Tornado Springs. I’ll do a longer review of Tornado Springs in the relevant thread, but I’ve got to say, I was quite floored; the area is phenomenally detailed, and the park have seemingly left no area of it untouched in terms of immersion! Bravo, Paultons!

    We then wandered onto the first Tornado Springs ride I was really anticipating…
    Storm Chaser
    Storm Chaser was on a mere 10 minute queue, so we decided to give it a go. May I firstly point out that like the area, the queue for Storm Chaser is incredible; really detailed, with lots to look at! But what about the ride? Well, I’ll admit I was somewhat unsure what to expect; I’m not usually a huge lover of spinning coasters, and I sometimes find the Maurer & Reverchon models a little too nauseating for me, but I do love a good Mack coaster, as I absolutely love Icon and even really liked the often maligned Slinky Dog Dash. I’m pleased to report that I should have trusted my Mack instincts as opposed to my spinning coaster instincts, because I thought that Storm Chaser was a really excellent family coaster that I thoroughly enjoyed! While the ride is a spinning coaster, it doesn’t spin absolutely loads, which appealed to me more as someone who has quite a weak stomach for spinny rides, and while it’s very smooth, comfortable and well executed in its movements, it’s also very well paced, with even the slower-looking sections feeling fast on-ride, and surprisingly vigorous in places! Overall, I think Storm Chaser is a smashing family coaster that certainly blew me away (pun intended!); it’s easily my favourite spinning coaster, and I’d also say that it slightly beats Pterosaur for the title of my favourite ride at Paultons:
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    After Storm Chaser, I headed to another ride within Tornado Springs…
    Cyclonator
    Cyclonator was on a 10 minute queue, so I decided to give it a go. I did this one alone, as my parents understandably weren’t keen on it based on how it looked from off-ride. I’ll admit that I myself have quite a weak stomach for spinny flat rides, but I’d heard incredibly good things from everyone who’d ridden it, so I decided to give it a try in spite of this. As with Storm Chaser, the queue for Cyclonator is incredibly detailed, so I certainly wasn’t bored while I was waiting! So, how was the ride? Well, I’m sorry to say I was somewhat disappointed, and didn’t enjoy it anywhere near as much as I’d hoped. This is probably in large part down to my aforementioned weak stomach, but the ride also rode quite differently to what I was expecting. I was hoping it would be a bit like Rush at Thorpe Park (which I absolutely love, by the way) in that it would give you a really nice burst of floaty airtime at the top of the peaks, but it didn’t really do that; it just felt like non-stop positive g-forces and spinning, and when combined with the rather tight & uncomfortable restraints, it didn’t make for a ride experience I especially enjoyed. I can see the appeal, as you get some nice speed at the bottom of the swings, and the spinning is pretty intense, but it made me feel a bit sickly getting off, and I’ll admit it’s not something I’d be in a rush to repeat, personally. That being said, however, I applaud the park for trying something different, and I hope it works for them, so that we hopefully see some slightly more thrilling rides from them in the future:
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    After Cyclonator, we decided to take things a little more slowly, and spent a bit of time simply wandering around some areas of the park. We started by taking a leisurely saunter through Peppa Pig World, which is a very nicely presented area, by the way:
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    Then, we took a look through the really interesting Little Africa animal exhibit:
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    After that, we headed towards the watermill, which is a really interesting item to have within a theme park, I’ll admit:
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    After a while, we decided to get back into ride mode, and we headed into Critter Creek to ride…
    Cat-O-Pillar
    The queue for Cat-O-Pillar was a mere 10 minutes, so we decided to give it a go. I’ll admit that before visiting, I was a little hesitant as to whether I was going to ride this, as I wasn’t sure whether it would be embarrassing, but I was spurred to give it a go as it looked far less shameful in person than I’d imagined it being (it certainly gave off more of a “family coaster” vibe than a “kiddie coaster” vibe), and I actually rather enjoyed the similar coaster at Oakwood. As with many areas at Paultons, Critter Creek is pretty well-themed, and this particular coaster had some very nice creatures within the ride area! So, how was the ride? Well, it wasn’t a bad little coaster for what it was, with some fair moments of speed for a ride of its size, but it seemed less interesting than Treetops at Oakwood, and also a little bit rougher in sections:
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    After Cat-O-Pillar, we took a relaxing ride on the Rio Grande Railroad, where I got some amazing shots of various parts of the park:
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    After our relaxing ride on the Rio Grande Railroad, we headed back to Tornado Springs for a reride on Storm Chaser; it was still just as fun as it had been earlier!

    After our Storm Chaser reride, the peak lunchtime period had passed (it was about 2pm by this point), so we decided to head for a spot of lunch. And in a rather unusual move compared to what we usually do in a theme park, we actually went into Route 83 Diner for a proper sit-down meal:
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    The general consensus on the food was that it was very good; my mum & dad both really liked their meals, and my chicken tenders were excellent! I particularly liked the “tornado fries”; they were curled into tornado shapes, which I thought was quite a nice little touch, and they tasted really nice! On the recommendation of a fellow forum member, I also tried a piece of the apple pie, and I have to say, that was an excellent recommendation, because it was absolutely delicious!

    After our lovely meal in the Route 83 Diner, it was getting towards 3pm, so we headed back over to the left side of the park, taking a detour through some of the gardens we hadn’t seen earlier on the way there:
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    As the sun was shining more brightly than earlier in the day by the time we reached the other side of the park, we decided to give a water ride a go…
    Raging River Ride
    Raging River Ride was on a 15 minute queue, so my dad & I gave it a go. This ride is a fairly simplistic affair compared to some other UK log flumes, with a double drop layout that’s seemingly quite typical of travelling log flumes, but the splashes generated looked surprisingly big, so I was intrigued to see how it rode. So, how was the ride? Well, it was reasonably good fun; the drops were good, and the level of wetness was fair; we were far from dry getting off, but the wetness was far from overbearing. However, we did notice that the ride wasn’t the smoothest when engaging with the drive tyres; there was a noticeable jolt whenever the boat crested a lift hill! Yes, it’s a simplistic layout, the theming is minimal, and I think it would be nice to see the ride get a Buffalo Falls-style theming overhaul when Paultons eventually reaches this area of the park, but I certainly had fun on it, so I can’t really complain:
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    After Raging River Ride, we decided to go for a reride on Flight of the Pterosaur; this time, we were seated in the back row, and the ride felt notably faster on the back! As with earlier, I thoroughly enjoyed it; Pterosaur is great fun, and certainly a very close second to Storm Chaser for me in terms of the park’s coasters!

    After that, my dad & I had a reride on Velociraptor, and in spite of being sat in the same row as earlier (the front), I enjoyed it marginally more, although my overriding thoughts on it remained the same.

    I then went off by myself for a 3rd ride on Flight of the Pterosaur; I was seated in row 8, and it was still great fun!

    We then ended the day with me & my dad taking a lovely 3rd ride on Storm Chaser; that coaster is great fun, and I really hope it does well for Paultons!

    After that, it was getting to about 4-4:30pm, so we headed back to the entrance, where I got a brief look at the kugel ball before heading home:
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    Overall, I have to say we had an absolutely smashing first visit to Paultons, and it’s certainly somewhere I hope to return to in the not-too-distant future! Yes, the park may not necessarily be aimed at our demographic, but I have to say that it comfortably exceeded my expectations, and they were quite high to begin with for a park of its scale!

    The park is stunningly presented; much of it is very well themed, and even the older, lesser-themed areas of it are still absolutely immaculate, with beautiful landscaping! As much as none of the rides were necessarily top 10 material or whatever for me, they’re not really meant to be, and they do have some incredibly fun stuff; Storm Chaser and Pterosaur are both absolutely fab family coasters, Magma is a surprisingly excellent family drop tower, Velociraptor & Cobra, while not quite as highly rated by myself as Chaser & Pterosaur, are really solid family coasters, Raging River was quite a good little log flume, and on the whole, I had a lovely first day at Paultons! I was chuffed to bits with my ride count of 14 (!), especially seeing as we probably faffed a fair bit more than an average enthusiast probably would, and weren’t exactly trying too hard to rack up a huge ride count!

    So in conclusion; Paultons is a smashing little family park that I’d certainly recommend a visit to if you’ve never been! Don’t dismiss it as just being mild rides for small children like we were perhaps guilty of doing for years prior to actually going, as I’m convinced that practically anyone could go and have a nice time with the ride selection they have! Yes, it’s perhaps not my very favourite park in the country, as I do personally crave a more thrilling ride selection in my very favourite parks, but I’d certainly say it’s comfortably a top 5 UK park for me (off the top of my head, I’d only place Alton, BPB & Thorpe higher), and for the demographic they’re aiming to attract, I think the Manceys are absolutely nailing it; I can’t wait to see where Paultons goes in the years to come, and I think (or at least hope) that the future will be very bright for the park!

    Thanks for reading my Paultons report, and my reports from this little trip as a whole! I hope you enjoyed them; currently, a September trip to Thorpe Park is next up on my agenda!
     
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    Posted 30th Jul 2021
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  7. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    Thanks for another interesting report from another park I must visit but have decided to wait until they add something a little more thrilling. Is it really worth going to someone who is more interested in extreme coasters over theming (don't get me wrong I do love some theming!)? Is it worth a visit of people of our age (I think we are about the same age)?
     
    Matt N likes this.
    Posted 30th Jul 2021
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  8. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Personally, I'd say I have somewhat similar tastes to yourself in terms of valuing hardware over theming, but I'll admit that some of the rides are more thrilling than they perhaps look from viewing them on RCDB! I certainly had a nice day at Paultons, anyway, and I'm personally convinced that most people probably could.

    Admittedly, there's not loads in terms of stuff specifically for our demographic, but a lot of what Paultons has has got quite universal appeal, I'd say; outside of Peppa Pig, I wouldn't say there's too much that's aimed solely at young children and no one else, and the short queues makes getting on everything very easy!
     
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    Posted 30th Jul 2021
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  9. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    Thanks! I think that is one area where we agree. I'm not getting there anytime soon as its a long journey however maybe I'll do a similar trip to you and throw in a visit to Thorpe and Chessington as well. I hope by the time I get there they would have added something a little more exciting by then as I think they will keep pushed the boundaries of (family) which has actually become (kids) I think a true family park is something like Alton Towers with something for everyone. Paultons really have stepped up there game and there next big investment can't be far away! Personally I am really looking forwards to it! Seeing these really well taken shots of tornado springs really makes me wonder how Merlin is going to react to such competition and what on earth Paulton's will come up with next!
    Thanks again @Matt N
     
    Matt N likes this.
    Posted 30th Jul 2021
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  10. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    Glad you enjoyed your pie! And the park as a whole. It's just lovely, isn't it.

    Can I take it from the report you didn't go on Windmill Towers in then end? Genuinely better drop towers than Magama!! Or Windy Castle in Peppa Pig? It's great fun, do it next time!
     
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  11. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Thanks @pluk!

    I must admit, in spite of a lot of people hyping Paultons up, it somehow still managed to exceed my expectations! I don’t know quite what it was, but something about the place just really impressed me! My ability to get a staggeringly high ride count of 14 (I still can’t believe it; my highest ride count ever in a theme park!) while doing a fair bit of faffing and not even trying to get a high ride count may have admittedly helped…

    You’d be correct in saying I didn’t do Windmill Towers or Windy Castle. I must admit, I’m quite surprised that Windmill Towers could be so forceful, as I’ll admit I was surprised by how forceful Magma was when I rode today!
     
  12. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    Happy 18th birthday Matt. What I was doing on my 18th probably can't be posted on here.....

    I'm tempted to go back to LLW after a few years since my last visit because I really want to do the flying theatre and the madhouse. Last time I went they'd just opened up Ninjago which I thought had an excellently designed queue only to find the ride itself akin to riding through a concrete motorway tunnel plastered with telly's plugged in to Nintendo Wiis. No matter how many chances I've given the place, I've always found it thoroughly horrid.

    Paultons never disappoints for me. Pterosaur is the best family coaster for it's height restriction in the country in my opinion (haven't ridden Storm Chaser yet). Won't find something with so much thought put into it in a Merlin park, if you did it would probably be ruined with a rediculously over zealous height restriction, over the shoulder restraints and a fast track queue. After seeing the upkeep, care and attention to detail that goes into theming and the grounds at Paultons, it puts Alton in a different light when you get back up there.

    It's to their credit because of the high quality of their new editions, but I find the park a little jarring. The whole area from Cobra through to the flume looks very plain, fun fareish and out of place with the rest of the park now (I'd imagine this is even more the case now Tornado Springs is open). But Rome wasn't built in a day.
     
    Last edited: 31st Jul 2021
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  13. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    Happy Birthday @Matt N , I hope you have a wonderful day

    Thanks for sharing the photos, Poultons looks very clan, neat and tidy and well presented
     
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  14. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    Happy birthday @Matt N , I order you to get very drunk and buy a lottery ticket.
     
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  15. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Thanks very much for the lovely messages, all!
    Sky Lion is great, and certainly worth a visit for if you haven’t been! Haunted House Monster Party isn’t quite as good as Hex for me, but it’s still a really fun ride in its own right, and certainly worth experiencing!

    Paultons was excellent, and did really surprise me, I’ll admit! Prior to going, I was unsure if I’d particularly like it in the way that everyone else does, as many of the rides looked like they were aimed at a fairly mild demographic, but after visiting, my opinions were completely different! The park is lovely, and definitely somewhere I’d be up for revisiting in the not-too-distant future; as much as it’s not really meant to appeal to thrill seekers, they have many very fun rides, in my opinion! As for Pterosaur; had I visited pre-Tornado Springs, it would easily have been my favourite coaster on park! It definitely surprised me; it never looked overly interesting on POVs, but rides really well!

    See, I actually thought the older areas of the park, while not themed like the newer ones are, still looked really nice and were very well presented. Based on previous reports, I was expecting the older areas (e.g. by Cobra) to look a bit run-down and in need of a bit of work, but they still looked incredibly well maintained and nice! I think eventually, Paultons will move onto the area by Cobra/Magma/Edge/the log flume and redevelop it into something more themed; there’s certainly enough empty space around there where they could put in a major ride to front such a development!
    It sure is; it’s definitely somewhere I’d recommend a trip to, if you haven’t been!
     
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  16. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    Happy birthday @Matt N have a great day !

    Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
     
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  17. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Thanks @JAperson!
     
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  18. NuttySquirrel

    NuttySquirrel TowersStreet Member

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    Thanks for the write up Matt - and a belated happy 18th birthday! Have been curious about Paultons for a while and based on this I'll definitely try to fit in a visit before the year is out. I do love my big coasters but I'm also a fan of well-presented parks and properly themed areas, plus being based down south it should make for a fairly hassle-free day trip (will wait until the summer holidays are over though!). Also did you say animatronic dinosaurs? I'm there! ☺️
     
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  19. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    Oh I absolutely agree. They're mostly good attractions and the whole area is clean, well maintained and well presented. It's not a criticism of the park at all. You can definitely see the potential with it. Judging by the way they've don't their last 3 themed areas you just know they'll have something of similar quality on the development drawing board for that area for the future.
     
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  20. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Thanks @NuttySquirrel!

    I would certainly recommend a visit if you can make it down there; we had an excellent day!

    And yes, Lost Kingdom has quite a few animatronic dinosaurs, some of which are fairly big!
     
    Posted 1st Aug 2021
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