My friend Katie's son recently turned 3 years old, so along with another coaster companion we went to Paultons Park as a birthday treat to visit Peppa Pig and her pals.
Unfortunately the Hampshire weather didn't play ball and there were a few downpours during the day ... even if certain phone apps swore to us that there wasn't so much as a sprinkling in the air!
Despite that, we had a lot of fun being back at the park for the first time in a couple of years, taking in both Peppa Pig World and the rest of the Paultons attractions, plus having a peek over the fence at Tornado Springs under construction.
We met up at the main entrance under dark skies, but no rain ... yet!
Katie and her son hadn't arrived yet, so we decided to do a few of the bigger rides. First up was Flight of the Pterosaur, one of my favourite Vekoma Suspended Family Coasters.
OK, so we paused our plan to do all the big rides to have a ride on The Dinosaur Tour Company on our way to Velociraptor.
I spot a dinosaur!
Velociraptor, the Vekoma Family Boomerang, vibrated a bit more than I remember it doing a couple of years ago.
Back to the big rides ... Dino Chase...???
OK, now we're back to the big stuff - Cobra never disappoints.
Katie and Isaac arrived - the cobra got a haircut to celebrate!
While they got sorted out, we took a "quick" ride on Magma. It took ages, due to an overly large woman and a staff member who seemed unwilling to make her do the walk of shame, resulting in it taking so long fiddling with her restraint that the ride timed out and had to be reset. And the woman? Yeah, she took the walk of shame ... eventually. But Magma is fantastic and bouncy, so it was worth the wait.
The rain started as we settled down for our picnic ...
... and then it started pouring down.
Critter Creek became a real creek.
Beastie Burrow provided a few moments of dryness.
The time had finally come to visit Peppa.
With the weather still less than adequate, we headed over to the tractor ride.
While Trekking Tractors is not actually part of Peppa Pig World, it is currently accessed through the piggy dominion, but that will all change next year when the ride becomes part of Tornado Springs.
The Queen's Flying Coach Ride was new since any of us had visited the park, so we rode that next. The sun even came out for a bit!
The ride gives nice views over Peppa Pig World
It's a "monorail" that runs on three rails
Grampy Rabbit's Sailing Club is another new ride which was added last year
It turned out to be a much wetter ride than expected for Katie and Isaac ... but that'll make a good story for his 18th birthday!
After all the excitement, it was time for a tea break.
Peppa Pig came out to meet everybody
We ignored her and went to ride on Windy Castle instead
With the end of the day fast approaching, it was time to leave the swine world
Storm clouds were gathering, but we raced across the park so that Isaac could get a ride on a proper rollercoaster before the gates closed.
More about the Park