Come and visit - that's the message from the family behind theme park Paultons Park as it prepares for a bumper summer.

The theme park in Ower, near Romsey, on the edge the New Forest National Park in Hampshire, is run by the Mancey family.

John and Anne Mancey bought the estate in 1979 and opened the fun park in 1983.

Their son Richard Mancey, who has been at the head of the business since 1995, welcomed a host of VIPs to the attraction on Saturday to launch its newest rollercoaster, the Farmyard Flyer.

Daily Echo: Paultons Park March 2022

The £1.5m aeroplane themed adventure opens on April 1 and is in a section of the park called Tornado Springs, which opened last year, costing £12m with an American theme.

It allows riders from just 90cm tall, meaning younger children can experience a rollercoaster for the first time.

Richard said: "It's been some time in the making. We knew we were going to put this ride into the park before Covid struck in 2020. It has been delayed, as was the opening of Tornado Springs, however we are delighted to have finally got there and it is a great new attraction to both Tornado Springs and Paultons Park.

"Paultons Park is a family operated business. My son James is third generation and we have the fourth generation coming along as well. This is what makes us a bit different, that and the care that we put into the park hopefully shines out."

Richard's son, James Mancey, operations director, said he was delighted to see people enjoying themselves on the ride.

He said: "The Farmyard Flyer is our new junior coaster. It's very much designed for young families to enjoy their first rollercoaster experience. It's not too thrilling, not too high, it's just good fun. We would really love as many people as possible to give it a go."

Richard said the past two years have not been easy for the business, but he said they have big plans for the future.

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He said: "It has been a challenge, originally this ride was meant to open last year, but we all know about the pandemic. We had to push it back a year but we worked very closely with the supplier but we are pleased to now be able to open it. It's been a challenge with the build, with lots of external factors but it makes it all the more rewarding to see it today and to see families going round enjoying themselves, with a smile on their faces, having a great day at Paultons Park.

Daily Echo: The Farmyard Flyer, at Paultons Park, opens Aoril 2022

"We are really excited to get back to doing what we do best - creating memories and letting families enjoy themselves. There's so much to look forward to. Come and visit, I guarantee you will have a great day out, there's something for everyone. Enjoy the atmosphere, enjoy the buzz, have some lovely food, enjoy the time with your family - we have all earned it over the last two years."

Farmyard Flyer is the ninth attraction within Tornado Springs. It joins the UK’s first free spinning coaster experience, Storm Chaser, and the Cyclonator that spins and swings riders to a height of 25 metres.

Paultons Park was named by Tripadvisor as the 10th best-rated amusement park in the world and the fourth best in Europe - beating all other UK attractions - in the most recent Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards.

The family theme park also retained its title for an unbeaten fifth year in a row as the UK’s best-rated amusement park.

SEE ALSO: Paultons Park drawing up plans for roundabout on A36

The destination covers 140 acres with almost 80 rides and attractions including Jurassic-themed attraction Lost Kingdom, the UK-exclusive Peppa Pig World, a variety of animal attractions, seasonal live shows, and a 4D cinema.

The theme park hit the headlines earlier this year when prime minister Boris Johnson visited with his family, and he sung the praises of Peppa Pig World.

Daily Echo: Paultons Park March 2022

Paultons Park is also about to put in a planning application for a £2.5m roundabout to ease traffic congestion on A36.

The park is holding a two-day public consultation on the plans between 11am and 3pm on March 25 and 26.

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10 facts about Paulton Park's latest attraction - the Farmyard Flyer

1. Farmyard Flyer, produced by rollercoaster manufacturer Zierer, is an aeroplane themed adventure set in an authentic 1950s American farm in the park’s newest themed-world, Tornado Springs.

2. The ride - which replicates an old crop-dusting plane – can take off more than 175 times per day with over 360 passengers onboard every hour!

3. Young riders experience a flight that swirls around the 158m long track and towers 20 feet tall.

4. Farmyard Flyer passengers are taken on a journey at 36km per hour, swooping up, down and around the farm.

5. Boarding commences from the huge, crooked barn aircraft hangar that is seven metres high, 13 metres long and nine metres wide.

6. Farmyard Flyer is the ninth ride within Tornado Springs and is ideal for riders aged two and above or 0.9 meters or more tall.

7. Tornado Springs is a concept born from the imagination of the Paultons Park team and their creative partners.

8. After enjoying the thrill of eight rides, you can choose from more 50 options at the Route 83 diner, from burgers and hot dogs to sundaes and milkshakes!

9. The Route 83 theme – that’s the road which runs through Tornado Springs - was inspired by the date Paultons Park first opened to the public, May 17 1983.

10. A lot of the bespoke items were created by the in house Paultons Park team, these include the control tower, the windmill and combine harvester which was sourced, serviced and redecorated by the talented team.