10 brand new family things to do in 2015

2015's new rides, shows and lands at the UK's top theme park attractions

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Hogwarts Express at Harry Potter World Studio Tour

What is it? A big new arrival at Harry Potter World (real name Warner Bros Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter) near Watford, north of London. It’s a lifesize recreation of Platform 9¾ complete with the original Hogwarts Express steam engine.

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Highlights? Climbing aboard the train’s carriage and posing with the luggage trolley as it disappears through the platform wall.

Age best for: 8+ 

Read our family review of Harry Potter World here

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Madagascar Penguins at Chessington World of Adventures

What is it? A live action show at Chessington World of Adventures in Surrey. The show is called Penguins of Madagascar Live: Operation Cheezy Dibbles and stars the characters from DreamWorks’ Penguins of Madagascar – but no real penguins.

Highlights? The show is inclusive, so park representatives get children involved by teaching them the ‘Penguin Shake dance’ at the beginning of the show. They then get them up to dance with the cast at the end – a great way to work off excess energy!

Age best for: 4+ 

Visit the Chessington website

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Critter Creek at Paultons Park

What is it? A creepy-crawly mini-land at Paultons Park in Hampshire. The land features the brand new Cat-O-Pillar family-friendly rollercoaster, plus the Expedition Express train ride and the Beastie Burrow, where families can step inside a giant tree trunk and come face-to-face with real fish, bugs and reptiles.

Highlights? Don’t forget, Paultons Park is also home to Peppa Pig World!

Best for: 4+

Visit the Paultons Park website

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Expanded Thomas Land at Drayton Manor

What is it? Two new attractions at Thomas Land at Drayton Manor, Staffordshire. Flynn the Fire Engine is equipped with on-board hoses so riders can help to put any fires out, while Captain’s Sea Adventure, introduces 6 rotating Captain lifeboat carriages, complete with their own cannons to squirt water. There’s also a brand new Sodor Airport with a top-level viewing platform and rooms that can be hired for parties.

Highlights? Water fun with squirting, splashing and hose firing

Best for: 2-6 year olds

Visit the Drayton Manor website

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Octonauts rollercoaster at Alton Towers

What is it? Alton Towers Theme Park in Staffordshire continues to build its pre-school attractions – this time introducing its first rollercoaster aimed at under-7s. The My First Coaster is an Octonauts ride in CBeebiesLand.

Highlights? An early introduction to the world of rollercoasters for thrill-seekers over 0.9m in height

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Best for: 2-6 year olds

Visit the Alton Towers website

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