The stories of Beatrix Potter are a much loved staple of British childhood, and none more so than that of Peter Rabbit. And where better for this quintessential storybook character to call home than the UK's top theme park.
Everyone's favourite Bunny first bounced onto the scene in 1994, as the star of the park's new ice show, Peter Rabbit and Friends On Ice, which retold a selection of the tales of Beatrix Potter. In the show, her animal characters were brought to life by a troop of skilled skaters, transformed into woodland creatures by costumes featuring highly detailed character heads molded out of plastic and covered in fur flock.
The new show proved to be so popular that two years later the area around the big top was transformed into a suitable home for Peter Rabbit and his pals, becoming Storybook Land in 1996. The new area brought another of Beatrix Potter's friends to the park with Squirrel Nutty weaving his way through the trees and even passing through Peter Rabbit's House, which sat at the heart of the area. When Peter Rabbit was home, his house served as a Meet and Greet location for the character and shared an oversized treehouse with Ginger and Pickles, the area's shop.
After eight years and two iterations of the show, Peter Rabbit's adventures on ice came to an end on 2nd September 2001, but even then the bunny did not leave the resort altogether. Over at the Alton Towers Hotel, Peter Rabbit's Burrow had been added alongside the Benjamin Bunny Room in 1998, allowing guests to immerse themselves into the hand illustrated world of Beatrix Potter. And so, even though his show had come to an end Peter continued to delight guests with his magical tales.
Indeed, even though Peter had moved out, his house remained in the park, acting as a rather incongruous entrance for later ice show's such as the technological Webmaster. After the ice arena closed, the house was abandoned until it became part of CBeebies Land, returning to life to become the area's Photo Studio.
Little did we expect, however, that the development of CBeebies Land would also see the return of a certain bunny to the park, but just five years later, Peter Rabbit hopped back into the park for 2019, looking more youthful than ever. This time round, he featured in Peter Rabbit's Hippity Hop, a pink knuckle ride that allowed young guests to join Peter and his friends in a good ol' hopping session.
Whilst Peter's main role was now as a character for young guests to grab a photo with, he has also appeared in his old stomping ground, now Big Fun Showtime, featuring in Fifth Birthday Party for CBeebies Land as well as the Monster Ball during Scarefest.
With over 25 years under his belt, Peter Rabbit is the longest serving character to appear in the resort and, with the arrival of his new ride, it looks like he's he to stay for many years to come.