PHOTOS: Peppa Pig's New Florida Theme Park Might Be the Most Adorable Ever
February 23, 2022
Orlando just got a new competitor for the family theme park dollar, and she's one sassy pig.
The new Peppa Pig Theme Park opens this week in Winter Haven, Florida, about 40 miles south of that other citadel of kid-dom, Walt Disney World. The new development was built alongside Legoland Florida, which requires a separate ticket to enter.
If you think a standalone amusement park devoted to one independent-minded piggy might be excessive, then you probably don't have any preschoolers at home. Last summer, after the animated British TV show began its seventh blockbuster season, The Guardian reported that Peppa's extreme popularity among cooped-up toddlers had influenced many American kids to speak with British slang and accents.
The new Peppa Pig Theme Park brings tykes face-to-snout with their favorite porcine protagonist.
The theme park is tiny—just six rides—but how much excitement can a toddler take, anyway? As business partners Legoland and Hasbro boast, this is the "world's first" attraction of its kind. There are Peppa-themed play areas within other theme parks elsewhere, but none are standalone and none are near Orlando.
Legoland Florida is already one of the world's finest theme parks for small children because nearly all of its attractions have been specifically designed for youngsters under 10. Even before Peppa came along, that park had plenty of its own branded amusements for little ones, including a toddler-focused area based on DUPLO blocks.
But to meet Peppa herself (and little brother George himself), you've got to pay extra to go beyond the pink velvet rope, cross under the rainbow arch, and get into this new VIP (Very Important Pig) area. And what an adorable VIP section it is.
One of Peppa's new attractions, Grampy Rabbit's Dinosaur Adventure, is so cute it's hard to look directly at the photos. Kids (and their adults) ride slowly around a track on a system that's reminiscent of the old Coney Island Steeplechase. The dinosaur vehicles wiggle with an oh-so-gentle hop as kids try to spot other dinosaurs along the way.
Royal Joust is a similar version of the ride next door at Legoland Florida, but that's for ages 4 and up. Grampy's aims a little younger.
Thoughtfully, all the rides at Peppa Pig Theme Park are designed so adults can ride alongside their kids—which will surely result in some of the cuddliest family vacation photos ever captured.
In the candy-colored section called Fun Fair (that's a British name for a carnival, so there's another term your kids will be using), there are a few very simple rides like Mr. Bull's High Striker (right), which gently levitates a bench.
There are also a few games of skill appropriate for the teeniest members of your traveling party. Fortunately, the games are free to play.
Daddy Pig's Roller Coaster is sized just right for kids who have never experienced this type of thrill before. Even though the ride only goes 14 feet high and spends most of the time doing slow curlicues, it is the rare children's coaster that also has an electromagnetic speed booster (known as a "launch" on a coaster for grown-ups) that provides an extra goose of energy in the middle of the ride.
It won't be hard figuring out if your kids can handle any of this. Outside every attraction, the park posts a "Sensory Guide." From day one, Peppa Pig Theme Park has been accredited as a certified autism center by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards. Accessibility was built in: For example, kids who use wheelchairs will find the ground was graded and ride vehicles were constructed with them in mind.
Kids with wheelchairs can roll right into the balloon baskets of the impossibly sweet-looking Peppa Pig's Balloon Ride—in case you were wondering, even the safety instructions are delivered in a charming English accent. As with many of the kiddie thrills here, the ride goes around in an easy circle, as does Grandad Dog’s Pirate Boat Ride, a slow-going, barely rocking carousel above shallow water.
Naturally, there's a place to eat: the counter-service, indoor Miss Rabbit's Diner, which serves kiddie faves including grilled cheese sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and, of course, mac and cheese. Adults can order something a tad more complex, such as a smoked brisket melt on herbed focaccia, veggie rice-and-quinoa bowls, and flatbreads.
Peppa Pig Theme Park is under 5 acres in size, but within that domain, there are plenty of playground-like creations to explore, including George's Fort (which can be found at the end of a very soft-feeling hedge maze), Madame Gazelle's Nature Trail, the Pirate Island Sand Play area, and the "not-so-high" Peppa Pig's Treehouse with a minature slide. All these features are very simple for kids and so endearing you might feel ripped off by the porkless concrete playgrounds of your own childhood.
But there is a caveat to all this precious pleasure: As you can see from this photo, there isn't much shade yet. A lack of mature trees is the price one pays for a newly planted theme park, and in Florida's brutal summer season, that price can be exceptionally high. That's why we recommend checking the weather before your visit. If the day is forecast to be hot, come to the park early in the morning.
That said, the designers have thought about ways to beat the heat. Muddy Puddles Splash Pad is a veritable giggle zone of fountains, slides, and ouchless surfaces to soak kids in delight—and help them cool off. When you come to the park, it's wise to dress your kids to get sopping wet. Small changing rooms are available for free.
There are a few places to catch shade, including The Cinema (again, how darling can something be?), where Peppa's greatest hits play on a loop in the air conditioning; a tented pavilion (Mr. Potato's Showtime Arena) outfitted with nap-inducing giant pillows; and an indoor souvenir store that, thanks to the star character, is absolutely drenched in the color pink.
Tickets for all ages to Peppa Pig Theme Park (1 Legoland Way / 6000 Cypress Gardens Blvd., Winter Haven) cost $31 each if booked ahead or $35 if bought at the gate for same-day entry. Parking costs another $33 with discounts for advance online booking. The park is open from 10am to 5pm daily.
You can bundle a ticket with entry to the more complex offerings at Legoland Florida next door, but only if you agree to buy two days of tickets ($135–$150). You don't have to drive all the way down from Orlando, though—Legoland has three on-property hotels, including one with a beach theme and one devoted to all things pirate. You can just imagine how cute those are, too.