New Gruffalo attraction to open in Blackpool

Published on: 21st February 2023

The Gruffalo & Friends Clubhouse is a new multi-million pound family attraction created by Merlin Entertainments and Magic Light Pictures.

The partnership will create the world’s first The Gruffalo & Friends Clubhouse, featuring characters from UK bestselling children’s author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler.

Merlin Entertainments has announced that the attraction will launch on Blackpool’s seafront this May. The Gruffalo & Friends Clubhouse will bring together six of the best loved stories to create an indoor play adventure. The £2.3m investment has been 18 months in the making and is part of Merlin’s aim to bring the very best stories and brands to life in its family friendly attractions.

Developed in partnership with Magic Light and Blackpool Council, the attraction will open next door to Sea Life Blackpool in May, joining Merlin’s seven other attractions in Blackpool including The Blackpool Tower, Sea Life Blackpool and Peter Rabbit: Explore and Play, making it a key destination for families of all ages from both the UK and abroad.

In the new Blackpool experience, guests will burst through the pages of some of their favourite stories into a magical 3D world. From The Gruffalo’s deep dark wood, to Princess Pearl’s castle in Zog, distinct play zones are inspired by The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child, Zog, The Snail and the Whale, Room on the Broom and The Highway Rat. The attraction will include play suitable for children under 10, with a toddler play area specifically for those under three.

Kate Shane, regional director for Merlin Entertainments, said: “This latest partnership with a globally recognised brand will provide compelling new reasons for visitors to come to Blackpool. The Gruffalo and other characters from the world of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler will be amongst brilliant company alongside our already strong cluster of family attractions on the resort, delivered with Merlin’s world-class guest experience.”

Councillor Lynn Williams, leader of Blackpool Council, added: “Blackpool already has the biggest portfolio of branded attractions outside London and the addition of this world-class family attraction will strengthen that position. The family audience is key to Blackpool’s tourism growth strategy and we are delighted to be working in partnership with Merlin Entertainments to deliver something that will truly resonate with that audience, as well as providing new jobs for local people and economic growth to our town.”

Alex Sanson, senior Brand manager at Magic Light Pictures, said: “We can’t wait to see this amazing space, full of play and adventure, come to life. Merlin Entertainments has done brilliant work with The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom at Chessington; as well as with Zog at Warwick Castle. We can’t wait to see what the Clubhouse will bring to Blackpool, and to the stories that we love.”

Magic Light Pictures recently also announced a collaboration with Forestry England for a new Zog family activity trail and a free interactive app.


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