Thursday 31 August 2017

Paultons Park and Peppa Pig World Fun

How was your half term holiday? We had a lovely week off and visited Paultons Park with Peppa Pig World. It already seems like a distant memory now we're back in full swing on the school runs though.

I'm going to split our story of a fabulous day out into two posts, and see if you can spot the different angles I'm coming from.

We drove down to Southampton on the Sunday of half term. I'd wanted to combine it with an overnight stay (the girls just love a hotel room!) but Mr C wasn't so keen. Luckily it only took us just over an hour and a half to drive there as we didn't encounter any traffic problems, phew! Sasha is not a happy traveller in the car if it involves a journey longer than 20 minutes. We know we are extremely lucky that she has not yet been physically sick in the car, but the travel does make her very sick - you can see the colour drain from her, and she becomes what I call 'quietly distressed'. I know that sounds like a contradiction but I see how upsetting it is for her - she wants to leave the car, but knows she can't. Fortunately the 'reward' at the end of the drive is often just enough to get her through the travel without trying to open the car door and leave (yes, we still have the child lock on for her; you never can tell when she might change her mind!).
So anyhow we arrived just in time for the park opening at 10am, and were delighted to see there wasn't yet much of a queue. We had bought tickets online in advance - cheaper and the queues to get in with a pre-printed ticket are generally smaller. 
We headed straight to the Peppa Pig World section of the park and saw that there were already some fairly long queues for rides. We realised though that they were nothing how they'd look like towards midday, so we took our chance and went on Grandpa Pig's boat ride first of all, followed by a quick trip in Peppa Pig's car. 
After that, it was already getting busy and Sasha had only one thing on her mind - the Muddy Puddles Splash Park! So I toddled off there with her whilst Tamsin and Daddy went to find a few of the 'bigger' rides nearby to have fun on - Tamsin loves the Viking Ship and the Jumping Bean. 
Sasha played happily in the water for a good 40 minutes, until she decided abruptly she had had enough of that. We joined back up with Daddy and Tamsin and went to explore the rest of the park - the big Skyswinger ride is one of the few 'grown-up' rides that Sasha really loves (can you zoom in to spot her big grin?!). 
Along the way we played in playgrounds and sandpits - always seems strange on a big day out when they choose to do something which they could otherwise do at home for free, but it certainly makes them happy!

Tamsin loves the bigger thrill rides such as the rollercoasters, and the Edge, so Sasha had a very quick go on a bouncy castle while Tamsin did that. Then we drove some racing cars round a track (Tamsin with Daddy, Sasha with Mummy) and I think both girls agreed that Mummy was the better driver. 

Next we spent some time in the main big splash park - well, when I say we, I mean the girls went in and got wet whilst we had the chance to sit down and rest our feet for a short spell. After that we headed back to Peppa Pig World to go on the rides we hadn't been on at the beginning of the day, and we were still there at Park closing time.

Sasha declared that we would have to go back for another visit soon to have a go on the remaining Peppa Pig rides that we didn't quite manage, and we all left happily, despite having been stripped of a few extra pounds in the Peppa shop on the way out (balloons and soft toys, Daddy's favourites...). Leaving the car park was also pain-free, no big queues for that, and we were lucky with the drive home too. So all-in-all a fab family fun day out. 

For part 2, and information on disability access at the park, see my next post: Paultons Park Part 2: Queue Assist Policy

Top marks to Paultons Park for a fab clean park with good facilities and friendly, helpful staff. Am guessing we'll be back soon.....!

For more information about PDA, please read the book shown below: 
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Book cover for Understanding pathological demand avoidance syndrome in children, by Phil christie, margaret duncan, zara healy and ruth fidler
(Other PDA books can be found in my 

To find out more about our experiences, please check out our 'About Us' page or the summary of our experience in Our PDA Story Week 35. If you are looking for more online reading about Pathological Demand Avoidance, the posts below may help.

What is PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)?

Ten things you need to know about Pathological Demand Avoidance

Does my child have Pathological Demand Avoidance?

The difference between PDA and ODD

Strategies for PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)

Pathological Demand Avoidance: Strategies for Schools

Challenging Behaviour and PDA

Is Pathological Demand Avoidance real?

Autism with demand avoidance or Pathological Demand Avoidance?

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