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February 21, 2023
Merlin Entertainments has announced the launch of The Gruffalo & Friends Clubhouse, which is set to open on Blackpool’s seafront in May, featuring characters from children’s author, Julia Donaldson, and illustrator, Axel Scheffler.
The Gruffalo & Friends Clubhouse will bring together six stories to create an indoor play adventure and is part of a $2.8 million investment that has been 18 months in the making.
Developed in partnership with Magic Light and Blackpool Council, the attraction is set to open next door to Sea Life Blackpool, in the English seaside resort. Guests will enter a 3D world with distinct play zones 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.
“We are incredibly excited to bring some of the U.K.’s best-loved children’s characters to Blackpool,” says Kate Shane, regional director, Merlin Entertainments. “Blackpool is the U.K.’s number one family seaside resort and this latest partnership with a globally recognized 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. This significant investment further supports Merlin’s strategic growth plans, bringing further jobs and economic benefit to the local community and wider region.”
“Blackpool already has the biggest portfolio of branded attractions outside London and the addition of this world-class family attraction will strengthen that position,” says Cllr Lynn Williams, leader, Blackpool Council. “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.”
“The Gruffalo & Friends Clubhouse will be the first of its kind and we can’t wait to see this amazing space, full of play and adventure, come to life,” says Alex Sanson, senior brand manager, Magic Light Pictures. “Merlin Entertainments have 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.”
Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler are the picture book partnership behind books such as “The Gruffalo,” “Room on the Broom” and “Zog.”
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