Tornado Springs is a £12 million investment at Paultons Park; home to Peppa Pig and over 70 rides and attractions. The area was supposed to open in May 2020, however, due to coronavirus the area was delayed until the start of the 2021 season and it was well worth the wait! The area is themed to route 83, which runs through Tornado Springs. Inspired by the date that Paultons Park first opened to the public, 17th May 1983.
When walking into the area you're greeted by a large Torando Springs sign and lots of theming everywhere. The park has done an amazing job theming this area and making it look authentic, electric pylons and signs hang overhead you when walking through the area along with the re-routed Rio Grande train. You of course cant miss the main attraction Storm Chaser, which towers above everything else in the area.
Storm Chaser, designed by Mack Rides, is the UK's only Mack Free Spinning rollercoaster and in our opinion is a great addition to the park. Fun for all the family, don't let the small layout put you off. This ride packs a punch! When weighted correctly you can get a lot of spinning, however, the ride doesn't spin as much as we thought it was going to. As soon as we entered the queue line for Storm Chaser, we were blown away by the level of detail and the amount of theming located in the queue line and in the ride's station. Along sections of the queue line, we found tractors, hay barrels and cleverly placed windows to allow smaller children and adults to see the ride running. With it being a Mack Rides rollercoaster, the minimum height for Storm Chaser is 1m and it, of course, has the clever Mack Rides baggage system. Automatically rotating for each train, to stop people taking the wrong bags and to secure peoples belongings. Storm Chaser has two trains and during our visit, the park was working hard running the ride and the queue line never stopped moving.
Located in the middle of the area, The Cyclonator is a Gyro Swing spinning pendulum ride, which can hold 30 guests per ride. Although located in a children's area, this ride also packs a punch and swings a lot higher than you would think! Again as soon as we entered the queue line we were amazed at the level of theming for the entrance and during the queue. Our only issue with Cyclonator was the ride's restraints, for guests over 6ft the bars were very tight with not a lot of wiggle room. However that aside, Cyclonator was great fun and we wish more parks had flat rides like this.
Introducing Windmill Towers, a new Zamperla twin family drop ride. Taking guests 25 meters into the air, spinning you around and bouncing you up and down whilst you take in the amazing views of the area. Again another beautiful entrance sign and queue line. Before boarding the ride guests are given the chance to pick which tower they want to ride, Windmill or Watermill tower. We of course couldn't miss out and we chose the watermill tower, both towers actually have the same cycle but just have different names/themes. We loved Windmill Towers and with it having a really low height requirement it's perfect for younger adventures not yet big enough for Storm Chaser.
Rethemed to fit into the new area, the park's Tractors attraction makes a return and is now called Trekking Tractors. Stop by Farmer Flo’s and enjoy a leisurely trip on her cute little old tractors around the farm. There are lots to see on your travels through the farmyard including real flower beds and vegetable patches. Another really cute ride in the area and a must-do for younger guests.
Pedal to the metal, Al’s Auto Academy is a garage-themed driving school ride, with 30 electric cars allowing younger guests the chance to drive a classic 50’s American car out for a spin. Driving around Als driving course, younger guests can also have their parent sit on the back of the car for company and encouragement. Unfortunately, adults can't ride this alone. Although we couldn't ride, the theming around the attraction is really cool, our favourite bit is the trees made from old glass bottles, very American.
Tame the wild river and race dinghies down the breath-taking white waters of the legendary Buffalo Falls. Take in the view across Tornado Springs, before feeling the rush of riding down the falls on this magnificent water raft ride. This is another attraction that's always been at the park but had a major makeover to fit in with the new area. The attraction also had a new queue line built below the station for Storm Chaser, previously this space was wasted and wasn't accessible to guests.
The Rio Grande Train takes you through the heart of Torando Springs, getting you up close and personal with Storm Chaser along with taking you on a guided tour of the park. What's amazing is rather than scrapping the train the park rerouted the train to go around the rollercoaster and kept most of the same route along with adding speakers to the train during the season it was closed.
Tornado Springs has two locations where you can get food near trekking tractors and the main food outlet Route 83 Diner, a 50’s themed family restaurant. As with a traditional American diner, this is the only place in the park where you can purchase alcohol with Budweiser on tap! With self-service order points, guests can also order at a till if their food requires any special additions or if a guest has dietary requirements or allergies. Tornado Fries are our favourite!
Music played around the area has been scored by IMAScore who has done music for attractions around the world and at Merlin parks. When walking through the area, it sounded great and it was almost as if we were in America.
Paultons Park has never been a place that's done a lot of theme park merchandise apart from the Peppa Pig brand but with Tornado Springs the park appears to be expanding their merch with a few items such as mugs, magnets, t-shirts and hoodies and even a pin badge for the area. We love this but wish they would do more for each ride/area around the park.
Tornado Springs is a great addition to the Paultons Park line up, all of the rides and attractions fit in well and the addition of Storm Chaser is amazing. Being the first Mack Spinning coaster in the UK is a great title to have. Hopefully, over time being able to get a spinning car on the ride will be easier as the park works out the bugs in the system. With the area now open the park has already announced a small expansion to the area with a new ride called Farmyard Flyer already under construction for the 2022 season!
Paultons Park continually invests in the theme park and we cant wait to see what they build next!