Tag Archives: Peppa Pig

Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom is a big hit

IMG_0141It might not have been the West End or Broadway but Isabelle’s first visit to the theatre was still a memorable one. We all ventured to the Palace Theatre to see Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom live, it being on stage for the first time ever.

Iz loved her vantage point which was pretty much the perfect spot (clever mummy) as she sat with her hand on her face, a fave pose of late, munching through some sweets. She looks so grown up these days.

IMG_0139For those who don’t know, Ben and Holly are an elf and fairy and are best friends. They live in the Little Kingdom and Holly has a pet ladybird called  Gaston. My personal favourites are Nanny Plum and The Wise Old Elf.

It’s from the same creators as Peppa Pig and for me far more sophisticated, parents will enjoy the banter and downright sarcastic tones of Nanny Plum. If Peppa is Buffy then this is Angel, cooler and funkier.

IMG_0143Back to the stage version, the characters and their voice are all pretty much spot on and the stage show itself is based on several of the TV episodes brought together.

Naturally, there are limits as to what can be done on stage but we still managed Gaston, magic spells aplenty (although elves don’t do magic) and no Ben and Holly experience would be complete without a Jerry Fudd, I mean a Jelly Flood.

Iz clapped, pointed and shouted at all the right times and was enthralled by the whole experience, especially seeing the characters come to life. She even got to take home her very own cuddly Gaston.

Stars in Their Iz: Marty McFly

Or should that be Martine McFly? Iz has been pretty much insperable from from new Peppa Pig sunglasses since Grandma and Grandad bought them last week.

Here we see her adopting the raised sunglasses Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) pose as seen in the poster to Back to the Future.

If only she was wearing her denim jacket!

To quote Doc Brown, frantically looking at his watch. “Damn, where Iz that kid?!

Independence Stay

Last time we’d stopped at a hotel was the night before we flew on holiday last August. At that time Iz was crawling all over the floor, this time round she was a lot more independent.

The hotel in question was the Holiday Inn Express Southampton West and although we were staying there due to its close proximity to Peppa Pig World, Isabelle found it so much fun.

In fact to her this must have seemed like Hotel World with it long corridors, lift buttons to press, leaflets to pilfer (a future Countdown co-host methinks with the way she was taking one from the top and another from the bottom – er including the Cress Festival – surely that should have just been called the Crestival)

Sure, it wasn’t groundbreaking but it got big fat ticks in all the boxes that mattered in that it was clean, well maintained and the staff were always really helpful and happy. The breakfast also really helped to set ourselves up for the day ahead, one day Isabelle was a little bit too eager to get to her banana.

As we were at the hotel several days you saw an influx of new families come down to breakfast in the morning, their reason for being here clear, they all had children with something  Peppa Pig in tow, such as bags, coats, clothes or toys.

Isabelle loved the lift, especially pressing the buttons that made doors open and close – carefully keeping her wandering fingers away from the alarm button.

She could often be found charging down the corridor toward the lift or, as soon as the door had pinged open, charging out of it into reception.

Although reception led to the entrance and the car park we had little to be worried about as Isabelle’s body weight wasn’t big enough to be recognised by the doors, which did mean she almost go ‘squished’ when she was dawdling on one occasion.

Iz also liked the fact the lobby had an ice machine, a cup full which we would take back for our drinks, well that was if we had any left after Isabelle decided that she’d rather like to have a go at eating it instead. Cheap date at the cinema then!

Her first love though had to be those oh so long corridors that she darted up and down, when not hiding in doorways and shouting boo!

Food wise, in the evening, they had a limited menu that you could order things off that were a tad expensive but they also gave you the option of local takeaways and handily placed menus in reception during the evening. We ate out but thought it was a really good idea and showed that they had thought about young families.

Jur-Iz-ac Park

Once we had escaped Peppa Pig World – thankfully no Westworld style shenanigans went down – we found ourselves come face to face – or should that be face to foot with dinosaurs. Being a fan of George, Isabelle knew what a dinosaur was and what noises they make (in films anyway).

I think Isabelle was overwhelmed by the sheer size of the models more than anything else. I think every child has a soft spot for dinosaurs – certainly I fondly remember ‘seeing’ some at a Dinosaur Park in Colwyn Bay one family holiday (it must have been 1987 as I remember it being the birth place of Timothy Dalton who had just had his first Bond film released, The Living Daylights) and having my pic taken with them all, especially with my favourite, the Triceratops.

It turns out that this giant beast before us at Paultons Park was just the beginning as we all entered under a sign and down a secluded path that transported us back 60 million years (and we thought we had done a lot of mileage that week already what with us driving up to Notts, then Northumberland and then back to Notts and finally to Southampton).

With the weather being a tad grotty and a bit muddy it added to the whole atmosphere and as we made our way through we came across a whole host of beasts that once ruled the Earth, yes, including my still firm fave, the Triceratops (well he is vegetarian as well).

The secluded path reminded me somewhat of one of the sets from the much derided – but why didn’t mind it – A Sound of Thunder – needless to say we checked our shoes for any giant butterflies we might have trodden on – If you are familiar with the Ray Bradbury story you’ll know what I mean.

Sort of sticking with that cause and effect idea on our journey ‘back in time’ we also discovered what wiped out the dinosaurs…cigarettes!

Dinosaur, as we all know, is Latin for terrible lizard and with Isabelle’s rather impressive impression of a dinosaur I think we can say that she didn’t make a not to terrible Iz-ard.

When George Met Izzy

Isabelle loves George Pig, there I said it. Sure, she  likes his big sister, Peppa (although she can be something of a smug know it all like Daddy Pig), but George is kind of cute and I think Isabelle relates to him a lot more on screen…and his dinosaur of course!

He might be little just like Iz but was obviously quite taller when it came to meeting him in the flesh, well spongy costume. Although he was a giant of a er pig Iz didn’t bat an eyelid and muscled her way through to meet her ‘hero’ as if she were a mini heat-seeking rocket.

You hear some stories of young kids (or even older ones in the case of Kim) freaking out at the sight of giant mice in clothes with giant hands and giant smiling, nay smirking, faces bending down to eat, I mean greet you.

And then it was to the shop, filled with George’s as far as the eye could see.

It didn’t take Iz long to find a giant George which she was soon inseparable from in everything from the car to everywhere we travelled in the hotel

 

And just like When Harry Met Sally, well perhaps not just LIKE When Harry Met Sally, there was even a restaurant scene, where he enjoyed a sneaky lager (a can of top deck lager shandy of course).

 

Iz may have ran into her hero but I had a face to face meeting with my Peppa Pig nemesis, Mr Potato from Potato City!

Iz could later be found happily watching Peppa Pig (what else) with George in our hotel room. Bless!

A trot to the Peppa Pig gift shop and other Peppa Pig tales

Considering Peppa Pig World is such a small part of Paultons Park we spent most of our time there, but then that was the main reason for us going.

I think we practically covered every inch of that section of the Park and Isabelle did (inbetween those crying and tantrum moments) really did love the experience, the freedom to run around in a safe environment and just spend some nice quality time with mum and dad.

There was only really one ride that Isabelle was unable to go on due to her height (for this month at least),which was George’s Dinosaur ride, which if I’m honest did look pretty great as you get to ride on a dinosaur! I should have gone on it by myself (for research purposes you understand)

Isabelle got to meet Peppa several times, including a person in their costume, which was phased about it in the slightest and also the whole family in their house, staring at the ceiling at some pancakes that are stuck on it, a seminal Peppa Pig moment by all accounts.

We did explore other areas of the park as well, which including Isabelle taking her first ever rollercoaster ride with me, and also taking in feeding time at the penguins, although Iz was more interested in feeding the giant penguin shaped bin.

The Windy Castle ride was more like the wet and windy castle ride and was the wettest that we got on any of the rides. It also wasn’t that much different from the balloons to be honest, but worst of all you couldn’t see Grandma and Grandad Pigs house from it like you can in the cartoon.

The area that saw an amazing reaction from Isabelle. She could be found organising glasses on trays (!) and destroying displays in her quest to hold as many toys as possible, you could have been forgiven thinking that Iz had won some special trolley dash.

Seeing as we were rubbish at trying to win a George Pig we bought Iz a giant one, she also came away with a small Grandad Dog (her choice)and t-shirt with the balloon ride on it seeing as she loved it so much. Oh, and a small George’s dinosaur for me which now patrols the wasteland more commonly known as my desk at work.

The shop was reasonably priced and no real difference to prices that you’d find in the high street. I think that it was also great that they did the toys in several sizes to cater for most budgets.

We were somewhat tempted by the muddy puddle chocolate pancake mix, but resisted it in the end…we’d thought we’d seen more than enough puddles, muddy or otherwise, for one day!

Splish, splash, splosh at Peppa Pig World

Peppa Pig is infamous for her love of muddy puddles, a section of the park even being devoted to it – which is about the only part we didn’t pay visit to as we saw a grown man get absolutely soaked through there (if only we had known about the giant dryers by that stage of course).

With Iz soon changing into her standard issue Peppa Pig wellies – no toddler should ever leave home without them – it was pretty much inevitable that at some point during the day that actual puddles (and there were a lot of them) of Peppa Pig World would get something of a pounding from my daughter. Loved it, what do you think?

It reminded me of that girl who wrote into Jim’ll Fix It and all she wanted to do was slam doors, lots of doors, and that’s exactly what they showed (me, I could never decide if I wanted to meet Roger Moore or Sean Connery). I don’t think one single puddle was left unsplashed.

 

Multi-coloured Hog Shop – welcome to Peppa Pig World

The first inhabitant of Peppa Pig World that we ‘met’ was Grandpa Pig, who rather intrigued Isabelle who recognised him but wasn’t quite sure about him at the same time, especially as he kept talking to her!

The first thing that really hits you when you enter Peppa Pig World is the mass of vibrant colour that is like something from The Grinch or The Cat in the Hat films, a larger than life world of colour that has been vividly brought to life.

The second thing that hits you is the constantly piped Peppa Pig theme that seemingly floats through the air from every corner of this part of the park. And the third, which I thought was rather a neat touch, is the voice telling you about remaining safe on each ride, which just so happens to be the narrator of the show.

As Isabelle had developed quite a penchant for helicopters the first ride we all went on was Miss Rabbit’s Helicopters, which was fine whilst the ride was moving…but not so fine for Iz when it wasn’t. To be fair to her they did keep stopping and starting with it as people got into the other copters, which did mean we were left swinging in mid air as if we were trapped there.

When we were dormant, just swinging in the air it reminded me of that scene in Beverly Hills Cop 3 where Axel Foley has to swing from one basket to another on a ride to save some stuck kids…thankfully it didn’t come launching myself into such escapades accompanied by the Axel F theme.

When it did get going Iz did – sort of – get into the swing of things, even managing an odd weeee as it went round and round. Even though we had plenty of opportunity, due to the shaky and stuttering start to the ride we decided to give it a miss for the rest of the day.

A-Peppa-lypse Now AKA Good Morning Peppa Pig World!

I love the smell of bacon first thing in the morning! Actually I don’t, I’m vegetarian but I thought it would fit in with the whole title of this blog entry. Today was the day we invaded Peppa Pig World, but rather than flying in by helicopter we flew in by Sarah’s new car.

As we had pre-booked our visit we had to go no matter what the weather and despite the weather being lovely on the journey down from my mum and dads – I even had to buy a pair of sunglasses as I had forgotten mine – it was of course grey and wet on the day of our visit. The weather may well have been damp but we weren’t going to let that dampen our spirits.

When we first arrived at Paultons Park, home of Peppa Pig World, the first few car parks were completely empty, which did make us think of Wally World in National Lampoon’s Vacation where they park as far away from the park so that they are the first to leave…but then we came across civilisation and lots of people carriers and hybrids with their owners taking out their brollies and pushchairs.

We did the same. Typically Sarah and I had built this moment up for us as a moment that would get some mega reaction from Isabelle…but she was fast asleep, taking a mid-morning nap.

We made our way through the various sections of the park and pushed our way ever closer to our Eldorado, first spotting a giant Peppa Pig tower reaching skyward, marching forward to the lure of that familiar plinky plonk theme tune we were about to cross the threshold from our world into Peppa Pig World…

The Peppa Pig-shape of things to come

I sit typing this up in a Holiday Inn, but not just any Holiday Inn, this is the closest Holiday Inn in the world to Peppa Pig World and we will be there in less than 12 hours time.

2012 might be a historic date for Southampton with it being one hundred years since Titanic sank but it will also mark the first meeting of Isabelle Jane Newman and Peppa Pig in the flesh.

Iz is pretty much unawares of the meeting that awaits, not that we have blindfolded her and put her in our boot or anything, in fact she was very much  swotting up on the subject as we headed to our hotel with the latest issue (thanks to Gavin and Shona) of Peppa Pig magazine.

One thing is for sure, you can expect phasers to be set to fun from 6am in the morning as we rise and shine waiting for the park to open at 10am, just please don’t let it be closed like Wally World in National Lampoons Vacation, I may not be held accountable for my actions!

To be fair we don’t really know what to expect either, the only thing we hope is that it is nothing like Potato City, which is perhaps one of the most insane/brilliant pieces of children’s television I have seen in recent years. See the episode below, you’ll never look at a potato in quite the same way again…or potato based theme parks for that matter.