For the first time, preschoolers have a place to call their own in Central Florida as an all-new standalone theme park has joined the Legoland Florida Resort. Themed to the British children’s animated series, the world’s first Peppa Pig Theme Park offers six rides, interactive attractions, and themed playscapes that bring the show’s storylines and characters to life. Live shows, meet and greets, and unique dining rounds out this new experience designed to bring the entire family together.
By Carly Caramanna
Since opening in 2011, the Legoland Florida Resort has grown to include Legoland Florida theme park, Legoland water park, and three on-site accommodations — Legoland Hotel, Pirate Island Hotel, and Legoland Beach Retreat. Approximately one hour from Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort, its steady growth over the past decade and dedication to a younger audience has solidified its place as a sought-after vacation destination.
Rex Jackson, managing director of Legoland Resorts North America, shared with us what this means for the future of the resort. “Here at Legoland Florida Resort, we’ve been on a mission to become a true multi-day destination and Peppa Pig Theme Park really is the future expansion that allows us to generate that. Peppa Pig is a global IP. She is known throughout the world and we have seen her be very popular with any social media posts or public relations activations. I think it’s going to be a phenomenal addition to not only our resort but Central Florida at large.”
The park was designed specifically with children ages 6 and under in mind. “The preschool market doesn’t have that longevity to last 8, 9, or 10 hours at a theme park,” explained Jackson. The park can be experienced in as little as a few hours and serves as a complementary addition to the overall resort.
Kelly Hornick, head of marketing and communications for Legoland Florida Resort, shared, “We are the first preschooler theme park in Florida. When you look at what a great park Legoland Florida has become and what Legoland water park has become, we have really nailed that two-to-12-year-old demographic.” Hornick, a mother of two small children, continued, “What we saw is a big opportunity to get some younger ones in and get them really excited about being able to do a multi-day destination. Staying at one of our awesomely themed hotels and then have the little ones have a day just for them.”
Guests step directly into the vibrantly colored world of Peppa and her friends as soon as they enter through the park’s giant rainbow archway. The attraction line-up includes Daddy Pig’s Roller Coaster and the instant favorite Grampy Rabbit’s Dinosaur Adventure. This unique attraction takes guests around a track while riding on the back of a prehistoric creature. Peppa Pig’s Balloon Ride soars guests high in the sky for a bird’s eye view of the park to a soundtrack of playful music. Other attractions include Grandad Dog’s Pirate Boat Ride and Mr. Bull’s High Striker with every ride allowing parents and children to ride together.
Its e-ticket attraction, Daddy Pig’s Roller Coaster, was designed to be a child’s first roller coaster. The approachable attraction welcomes children along with their parents as they travel 16 mph at 14-feet in the air aboard his famous red car. The family-friendly attraction has a 36-inch height requirement, and the thrilling track can be enjoyed by both kids and adults alike.
Seemingly every space of the park has been thoughtfully utilized as a place for kids to explore and play. In addition to rides, there are plenty of places for kids to let loose, including waterscapes, shaded playground areas, a treehouse, and a sandpit. The Muddy Puddles Splash Pad is the most elaborate with several water activities and slides, a colorful oversized umbrella, and yellow wellies. Fun Fair is home to carnival-style games that are complimentary to play for all guests. Peppa’s Pedal Bike Tour and George’s Tricycle Trail feature camping-inspired all-terrain courses that children can pedal around.
Peppa Pig Theme wasn’t just built for some kids, it was built for every kid. The park was designed with accessibility at the forefront, including all attractions and playscapes. Muddy Puddles Splash Pad’s entire ground has been grated for wheelchair use and offers the ability to maneuver and play throughout all of its water features. The Balloon Ride features a gondola specifically designed to allow a wheelchair to roll directly on board without having to transfer.
“Our parks have always had accessibility at the core, and we are learning every day how to be better and stronger at offering those types of programs,” shares Hornick. “Through our partnership with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), we have earned our certified autism center designation.”
The opening of Peppa Pig Theme Park coincided with the entire Legoland Florida Resort earning such designation. Rigorous staff-wide autism sensitivity training for all employees was required to earn the title of a certified autism center. This training empowers the employees to feel comfortable while ensuring that the parents who have worked hard to plan a vacation have all the tools needed.
“I think a lot of people, when something is unfamiliar to them, tend to just not approach and that’s not what we want,” explains Hornick. “We want every family to have the best day ever. This park is about the preschooler’s ultimate day of adventure and you can’t do that if you are not talking to them.”
Together with IBCCES, they have developed a sensory guide for every attraction based on the five senses. This provides insight into how a child with sensory processing issues may be affected by each sense while experiencing the attraction. Sensory guides are available at the entrance of each attraction, in the Peppa Pig mobile application, on their website, and at guest services.
The park wouldn’t be complete without Peppa and friends making frequent appearances during interactive shows, Peppa Pig Comes to Play and Peppa Pig’s Treasure Hunt Adventure. Peppa, George, and more also make appearances throughout the day at Mr. Potato’s Showtime Arena. Families looking for some relaxation can head to the Cinema where episodes of the smash-hit series are continually playing on a big screen. Guests can unwind on the indoor cinema’s many oversized bean bags and enjoy air-conditioning.
The park’s restaurant, Miss Rabbit’s Diner, delivers as an elaborately themed indoor quick service location with cozy booth seating and delicious bites. The menu features kid-friendly options — including pizza and a three-cheese grilled cheese — and plenty to appease the adult palate, like a smoked brisket melt. The theme park’s signature Muddy Puddle Milkshakes, available in strawberry or chocolate, are topped with a cookie and shine as a photo-worthy moment for guests.
Exclusive park merchandise as well as Peppa Pig toys and apparel can be found at Mr. Fox’s Shop. Single-day tickets are available with advanced purchases receiving a discount. Bundle tickets are also available that include visiting the Legoland Florida Theme Park. Peppa Pig Theme park is offering a limited number of annual passes that include free parking and discounted purchases of additional tickets. All-inclusive vacation offers are also available that include on-site accommodations. Peppa Pig Theme Park is located at the Legoland Florida Resort in Winter Haven, Florida.