Do you have a little Thomas & Friends fan? Or did you have a thing for Thomas the Tank when you were younger? If so, you need to take a visit to Thomas Land™, part of Drayton Manor theme park in Tamworth.
We first visited Thomas Land™ when Roo was the same age as Tigger is now (2yrs old) and whilst she may not have been the biggest Thomas fan in the world she had an amazing time. So much so that year after year for the last four years in fact we have returned to Thomas Land™.
Whilst Tigger had been twice before to Thomas Land™ it was only this year that the true magic of it all grabbed him and transported him off to having a fun day out with his Thomas & Friends. As we drove down the driveway into Drayton Manor he began to see the signs with Thomas on them and I could see a puzzled look set upon his face wondering where we were (we are the parents who don’t tell our kids where we are going until we get there).
As we walked across the car park, his little face lit up as he saw Cranky emerging from above the outer wall. A quick scan of our tickets and we were in…
Thomas Land™ here we come!
What rides are available at Thomas Land™?
Knapford Station – Thomas & Percy Engine Tours
|Take Thomas the Tank engine, Annie & Clarabel or Percy, or Rosie on a journey to Tidmouth Hault, to Spencer’s Activity Park, entrance to the Zoo and Farmer McColl’s Farm|
The first thing you will see as you enter Thomas Land™ is Knapford station, a truly wonderful sight for all Thomas fans. With three trains to chosen from the biggest decision is which one you will take first, Thomas, Percy or Rosie? The trains depart Knapford station and take you on a short journey over to Tidmouth Hault, where you can opt to take in the activities and animals or jump back on the train back to Knapford.
|Thomas & Friends Exhibition located in Farmer McColls Farm|
Take a trip down memory lane and watch Thomas and his friends as they chuff around the Island of Sodor.
Terence’s Driving School
|Drive your own Terence around the yard|
Time to put the pedal to the metal and test your driving skills. Take Terence for a spin around his yard and see if you fabulous driving skills.
Spencer’s Activity Park
|Let off some steam in Spencer’s Activity Park|
Spencer’s Activity Park is located outside of the main Thomas Land™ area and is reached either via the Zoo or by taking a ride on the Thomas & Percy Engine Tours to Tidmouth Hault. The large play park allows little ones to let off a bit of steam by climbing, sliding and crawling through the tunnels.
Troublesome Trucks Runaway Coaster
|A 220m roller coaster that runs up and over Thomas Land™|
The Troublesome trucks is the only ride within Thomas Land™ with a photo booth, so make sure you remember to smile as you go round!
Diesels Locomotion Mayhem
|Join Iron Bert, Mavis, Rusty, Salty, Dennis and Diesel on a journey of near misses|
Locomotion mayhem is certainly the right word for this particular ride. Each of the diesels spin and turn as they go round, which get rather close and you get the feeling you are going to crash into another diesels at any moment. This was Tigger’s favourite ride and kept asking to go back on it time and time again.
Jeremy’s Flying Academy
|Fly high with Jeremy and control your flight over Sodor|
Climb aboard Jeremy and take flight as he spins around. By holding the button in you climb higher into the sky but be warned let go and you soon drop back down.
Crazy Bertie Bus
|Climb on board and enjoy a crazy journey with Bertie|
Hop on into Bertie Bus and hold on tight as he takes you up into the sky and back down again before doing the whole thing over again but backwards. Not my favourite ride and thankfully not Tigger’s either.
Harold’s Heli Tours & Engine Shed
|Fly with Harold, see Edwards, Henry, Gordon, Toby and Rosie for photo opportunities|
Take to the skies with Harold on his Heli Tours, turning round and round you are able to take in some of the sights of Thomas Land™. The engine shed is located around the outside of Harold’s Heli Tours and allows you get some fabulous photos along with testing your little ones knowledge of the engines.
Rockin’ Bulstrode & Sodor Docks
|Climb on board & have a rockin’ ride as it rotates you 360 degrees|
The Rockin’ Bulstrode is a pirate ship with a twist, not only does it swing back and forth it goes sideways and all ways, a full on 360 degrees. Not one for me personally but Roo and Mr Boo had great fun.
Cranky’s Drop Tower
|Drop & bounce from 8m high|
Think towering heights and a sudden drop, then think slightly smaller and you’ll find Cranky’s Drop Tower. This is Roo’s favourite ride, and it is funny to see how over the years we have been that more of her is now visible above the safety harness.
Sodor’s Classic Cars
|Steer your car through tunnels and a barn|
I don’t think any theme park would be complete without some classic cars. Simply hop on and enjoy the peace and quiet for a few moments before the children demand to go on another spinning ride.
|A gentle ride on Lady’s engine, for the very small|
Not wanting the very small to miss out there is a charming little carousel featuring Lady.
Blue Mountain Engines
|A gentle ride for the very small|
Fans of the Blue Mountain Mystery film will recognise the characters of Rheneas, Skarloey, Peter Sam and Sir Handel. A gentle ride going up and over the Blue Mountain hills.
Emily’s Adventure Play
|Scramble up and down in this large indoor playground|
Children a little over excited? why not let them burn a bit of energy off in Emily’s Adventure Play. I have to be honest and say that we rarely visit the play area. There is so much else going on that we never find the time to go.
Winston’s Whistle Stop Tour
|Join Winston for an aerial tour of Thomas Land™|
The latest addition to Thomas Land™ for the Summer 2013 season. Accessed next to Emily’s Adventure Play it isn’t really suited to those who struggle with stairs. The ride takes you on an aerial tour of Thomas Land™ with narration from Winston pointing out all the different things to look at. The exit takes you through the shop where you can chose to have your own green screen photo with you sitting in Winston.
There are a number of food outlets throughout Thomas Land™ and Drayton Manor itself. With many offering a family meal deal for £22 which for a family of four I don’t think is too bad. We opted to take a picnic so that we could munch on the go. There are several areas where you are able to sit and eat however, I do feel that this could be improved. For example, within Spencer’s Activity Park here are a handful of picnic tables available, however there is amble space towards the back of the play park where additional tables could be placed.
The toilets are easy to find and are clean, the baby change facilities however I feel need to be overhauled. For example, the baby change next to the Zoo has no changing mats or disposable ones available. Babies and small children are laid upon a worktop with no guard rail and within reach of the sink. The room itself is no bigger than the average disabled toilet and getting pushchairs in and out is difficult.
One thing I like about Thomas Land™ and in turn Drayton Manor is that they aren’t forcing their brand upon you. Yes there is a gift shop within Thomas Land™ and a couple of stores within Drayton Manor but there is no hard sell, you are free to look and walk away.
|Tickets||Online||At the gate price|
|Aged 12 to 59 years||£20.00||£36.00|
|Aged 4 to 11 years||£15.00||£27.00|
|Aged 2-3 years||£5.00||£5.00|
|Under 2 years||Free||Free|
There is a special fireworks weekend planned for Sat 2nd and Sun 3rd November which we have booked to take Roo and Tigger back for as a special birthday treat for them both.