The Gruffalo & Friends Clubhouse Attraction has opened to the public on Blackpool’s famous promenade.
The brand-new Merlin Entertainments attraction, that cost £2.3million, is a one-of-a-kind magical indoor play adventure featuring six of Julia Donaldson’s and Axel Scheffler’s much-loved children’s stories, has opened its doors.
Special guests including I’m a Celebrity South Africa’s Helen Flanagan, and her son Charlie (2), were the first to experience the enchanting 3D world which brings to life popular characters from The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child, Zog, The Snail and the Whale, Room on the Broom and The Highway Rat.
A world first, the new Blackpool attraction is unlike anything experienced before and is perfect for families with children under ten, who can run wild and immerse themselves in their favourite stories.
Boasting six different zones dedicated to each book: The Gruffalo’s Deep Dark Wood Adventure Play and Soft Play, Room on the Broom Toddler Play, The Gruffalo’s Child Sensory Room, Zog’s Dragon School Challenge and The Snail and the Whale Seaside Play, as well as a Gruffalo Meet and Greet Experience.
The Gruffalo Deep Dark Wood Adventure Play is the main attraction where young explorers can climb, crawl and slide their way through the ‘deep dark wood’. The Room on the Broom Toddler Play is a story-led soft play area specifically for children aged three and under.
The Gruffalo’s Child Sensory Room is specifically for children with specific and sensory-sensitive needs, including autism, and provides a quiet, mini magical winter themed physical and digital sensory experience. In Zog’s Dragon School Challenge, young dragons can meet Zog and have a go at Madam Dragon’s challenges. In The Snail and the Whale Seaside Play, adventurers can plunge into the water inspired ball pool, which transforms into a bio-luminescent environment.
The attraction is located next to SEA LIFE on Blackpool Promenade and has been meticulously designed to bring to life the beloved Gruffalo, Mouse, Fox, Snake, Owl, Zog, Snail and The Highway Rat characters, from the popular films produced by Magic Light Pictures.
It is the first attraction of its kind, with Merlin Entertainments bringing the six much-loved stories all under one roof and has been 18 months in the making.
Kate Shane, Regional Director, Merlin Entertainments said: “The Gruffalo & Friends Clubhouse attraction provides young explorers and families with a magical day out. Just like little brown mouse, guests will brave the ‘deep dark wood’ and climb, crawl and slide their way to the life-sized Gruffalo.
“The unique and immersive experience is ideal for families with children aged ten and under, neurodivergent children and toddlers too. Visitors can even meet the Gruffalo himself and check out his terrible-teeth in his terrible jaws, knobbly knees and turned-out toes.
“We firmly support Blackpool’s ambition to be the UK’s number one family seaside resort and with such an adored family brand joining our plethora of attractions we are very excited to finally open the doors!”
Helen Flanagan said: “"My children and I are huge fans of Julia Donaldson and have read many of her books. The Gruffalo is a particular favourite - my son Charlie even has a Gruffalo bedroom! We have been so excited to visit The Gruffalo & Friends Clubhouse. It is incredible and really brings the books to life. Charlie and I have both had a wonderful time and we are already planning our next trip to Blackpool and The Gruffalo & Friends Clubhouse."
The Gruffalo & Friends Clubhouse joins Merlin’s seven other attractions in Blackpool including The Blackpool Tower, SEA LIFE Blackpool and Peter RabbitTM: Explore and Play.