As a new season nears for Dutch Wonderland, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the award-winning children’s park, has named James Paulding as their new general manager of the Kingdom for Kids.
Paulding takes over Dutch Wonderland and its two sister properties in Lancaster County, the Cartoon Network Hotel and Old Mill Stream Campground, as all three properties prepare for a promising summer season. Paulding began at Dutch Wonderland on April 12 after an impressive career within the amusement industry, primarily spent with Merlin Entertainments. He last worked as a multi-attraction general manager overseeing Sea Life Orlando Aquarium and Madame Tussauds, and those diversified duties prepare him well for his new role. Paulding leads the teams operating three unique locations including Dutch Wonderland, the Cartoon Network Hotel, and Old Mill Campground. The Cartoon Network is the world’s first such hotel, a 159-room property themed to Cartoon Network’s many hit popular shows, including Adventure Time, PowerPuff Girls, Ben 10, We Bare Bears and Steven Universe. Old Mill Stream Campground is an outdoors lodging venue next to Dutch Wonderland able to accommodate more than 150 sites for tent camping, RV stops, and rustic cabin stays.
Raised in Sheffield, England, Paulding brings more than 30 years of industry experience to Dutch Wonderland and the Cartoon Network Hotel. After a stint as Operations and Entertainment Director at Alton Towers, he relocated to the United States to serve as Merlin Entertainments’ Head of New Openings, bringing 15 major attractions online throughout North America. He then shifted directly to managing some of those attractions, first as Regional General Manager for the Southeast U.S. before transitioning to leading key Orlando properties Sea Life Orlando Aquarium and Madame Tussauds, along with opening and managing the Orlando Eye until 2018.
“I can’t wait to get started and learn more about Dutch Wonderland and the Cartoon Network Hotel, great locations that bring smiles to so many in the local community and beyond,” James says. “There is so much potential within the unique attractions, and I look forward to working with the teams and having a great season in 2021.”
The first priority for James and the rest of the teams is continuing the key health and safety steps that best prevent the spread of COVID-19. While Cartoon Network Hotel and Old Mill Stream Campground are currently open and accepting bookings with numerous safety restrictions in place, Dutch Wonderland began its 2021 Summer Season on May 15.