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.
Highlights? Climbing aboard the train’s carriage and posing with the luggage trolley as it disappears through the platform wall.
Age best for: 8+
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+
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+
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
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
Best for: 2-6 year olds