With theme parks finally being allowed to open for the 2021 season, no park has been more excited about its opening than Paulton Parks. It delayed the opening of its brand-new area, Tornado Springs, due to the pandemic, moving it from 2020 to 2021. When the parks opened on Monday 12th April the area finally had its grand opening. Unfortunately, we had to wait until Sunday to finally visit and see this new area in all is spectacle.
Creating Tornado Springs did mean that the resident Flamingo’s had to be relocated to the back of the park in the gardens. It also meant that Adventure Golf, Gold Rush Falls (a gold panning experience) and the play area Tiny Tots Town had to be removed. But when you think about the area we received in return for these being removed, it more than makes up for it.
Tornado Springs features 6 rides, 2 play areas, a shop, a diner, toilets and 2 food kiosks. The area itself is very heavily themed to an American mid-western town and the park have done such an amazing job at creating it. It is very immersive, incredibly detailed and there are so many small details that really add to the whole area. Everything is themed in the area, from the shop to the diner, to the road markings to the rail crossings signs, nothing has been missed and you can really see that a lot of time, effort and care has gone into the area.
Two existing rides that were there originally have been rethemed to be included in the area. Trekking Tractors and Buffalo Falls. The new theming on each of these rides really matches the overall aesthetic of the area and really feel included. Al’s Auto Academy is one of the new rides in the area for children to enjoy, offering them the chance to drive old style American cars to earn their driver’s license. The space has been themed really well with the queue being through a garage workshop.
Windmill Towers is another new ride, or should we say two rides. Offering guests the chance to ride either Windmill Tower or Water Tower, this Zierer double family free fall tower offers the same ride experience on either tower. The ride experience is a bit bonkers to be honest. The surprisingly sharp drops whilst turning and twisting make it such an enjoyable ride experience.
Tornado Springs is home to Paultons Park first major thrill ride, Cyclonator. This is a Zamperla Gyro Swing and it’s huge. It really stands out in the area. It is also proving to be popular with guests as they have had to extend the queue line with some temporary barriers.
The centrepiece of Tornado Springs is the Mack Sierra Sidewinder spinning coaster, Storm Chaser. This roller coaster sends guests on an exhilarating spinning journey through Tornado Springs. It is pretty intense and can spin a lot, but it really is the perfect addition for the park. The layout is more intense than it looks and as you are spinning your way through the rock work and around the area you really begin to realise how much of a game changer this roller coaster is for the park. The Rio Grande train ride also goes around the area offering some fantastic views of the ride as well as the rest of Tornado Springs.
The last thing we have to talk about is the Route 83 Diner, the classic American Diner. Because of the pandemic it is takeaway only, but we genuinely cannot wait until indoor dining is available as inside it looks amazing. Outside is just as amazing as inside with its vastly themed exterior. The food offering in this restaurant is great. There is an array of food options that everyone will be happy with, even the pickiest of eaters. The portions are great, and the burgers are actually huge. It’s not the cheapest food offering but the quality and portions kind of make up for it. The diner currently has an huge outdoor seating area with some spectacular views to enjoy whilst eating your burgers.
On the day tickets for the park cost £42.50 but if you book in advance tickets cost £35.75 per person, but they do have different options depending on how many In your family with a family of four ticket coasting £139.00 when booked in advance. Children under one metre get in for free. It is also worth noting that there is no additional charge for parking, unlike other major theme parks. You do have to prebook your parks tickets at https://paultonspark.co.uk/ as you cannot buy tickets on the gate. More information about all the park has to offer can be found on the website including opening times and the full ride line up.