The family guide to Thomas Land™ at Drayton Manor

March 1, 2016

Family time is precious, we all lead such busy lives nowadays that we need to make the most of our time together. As a family, we often use our annual leave to cover the school holidays so it is rare that we have a week off together as a whole family. We get around this by making the most of our weekends and odd days we are together by having days out with the children.

One of our must visit places is Drayton Manor, the home of Thomas Land™. Back in 2009, we made our first visit with Roo a then two and half-year-old. She absolutely loved it and since then we have been back time and time again, year after year. So why do we keep going back? you might ask – well let me tell you…

The family guide to Thomas Land™ at Drayton Manor

Drayton Manor Thomas Land

Thomas Land™ at Drayton Manor is home to Thomas and his friends – the really useful engines. Over the years, there have been many developments within Thomas Land™ from new rides, facilities and not to mention the 2.5 million pound expansion which saw a 40% increase in the size available for families to enjoy. This year they have improved the signage around the park including ride signs and height requirement notices.

Thomas Land™ Rides

Within Thomas Land™, there are 18 different rides for those young and old to enjoy. With a selection of gentle rides and those a little more thrilling depending on what you prefer there really is something for everyone.

Emily’s Play Adventures

Let the little ones burn off some excess energy within Emily’s soft play area. Filled with slides, ball pits and places to climb and explore. For the littler ones, there is a separate section filled with padded shapes so that they can enjoy the fun too. With 15 to 30 sessions available throughout out the day depending on how busy the park is, it’s a great place to sit down, relax and watch the children play.
Height requirements – Maximum height of 1.3m

Winston’s Whistle-Stop Tours

One of the more gentle rides, have a ride upon Winston the Fat Controllers track inspection car as he guides you around Thomas Land™. A lovely way to get an aerial view of the park and spot which ride you’d like to take in next.
Height requirements – Children under 1.05m must be accompanied by an adult

Drayton Manor Thomas Land - Winston's Whistle-Stop Tour

Lady’s Carousel

Hop aboard Lady or one of her carriages and enjoy a ride on the slow-paced carousel. A lovely gentle ride for even the youngest of Thomas Land™ visitors.
Height requirements – Children under 0.9m must be accompanied by an adult

Sodor Classic Cars

There is something about the Sodor Classic Cars that makes everyone what to take a ride around the garages and barn. A gentle, slow-paced ride that everyone can enjoy, the little ones can ‘drive’ the classic car around the track whilst mum or dad sit in the back enjoying a couple of minutes rest – don’t forget to pose for the camera on the way out.
Height requirements – Children under 1.0m must be accompanied by an adult

Bertie Bus

A family favourite of Roo and Tigger’s – hop aboard Bertie as he takes you up, up in the air in a circular motion before coming back down again. Going both forward and backwards it will give your tummy a bit of a flip.
Height requirements – Children under 0.9m must be accompanied by an adult

Harold’s Helicopter Tours

Join Harold the search and rescue helicopter as he slowly rises up above Thomas Land™ to give you a rotating aerial view of the park. A gentle ride which can be enjoyed by the family, the children get to play pilots whilst mum and dad enjoy the view across Drayton Manor.
Height requirements – Children under 1.05m must be accompanied by an adult

Cranky Crane Tower Drop

Possibly Roo’s favourite ride with Thomas Land™ – Climb aboard Cranky’s lifting tower, sit still as he rises you up into the air before dropping you up and down. One for little thrill seekers as it’s sure to make your tummy flip.
Height requirements – Minimum height of 0.95m

Rocking Bulstrode

Take a boat ride with a different with Bulstrode – a mini pirate ship style ride that will have you rocking side to side whilst spinning around at the same time. One for the confident mini rider without being too stomach churning.
Height requirements – Children under 1.05m must be accompanied by an adult

Blue Mountain Engines

Located within the Thomas Land™ expansion area this is one of the gentle rides as you ride in one of the narrow gauge engines up and down the bumpy tracks of the Blue Mountain Quarry.
Height requirements – Children under 0.9m must be accompanied by an adult

Toby’s Tram Express

One of the latest additions to Thomas Land™ within the new expansion, Toby’s Tram Express is one of the mini thrill seekers rides. Climb aboard Toby as he lifts you up and spins in the air – One of Tigger’s favourite rides which considering he isn’t usual a thrill seeker is lovely to watch.
Height requirements – Minimum height of 0.95m | Children between 0.95m and 1.05m must be accompanied by an adult

Flynn’s Fire Rescue

One of the Thomas Land™ expansion water rides – choose whether you drive Flynn to the rescue or climb into his ladder tower to squirt the water to put out the fire – lots of fun but can be a wet one.
Height requirements – Children under 0.9m must be accompanied by an adult

Captain’s Sea Adventures

Another of the Thomas Land™ expansion water rides – climb aboard Captain as you take a rip on the high seas squirting water at your fellow riders, be warned those the spectators can also join in on the action – one to cool you off on a warm, sunny day.
Height requirements – Minimum height of 0.9m | Children under 1.2m must be accompanied by an adult

Thomas, Rosie and Percy Engine Tours

Now it wouldn’t be a trip to Thomas Land™ without a train ride so catch either Thomas, Rosie or Percy from Knapford Station across to Farmer McColl’s farm to take a walk around the animals, and explore the rest of the Thomas Land™ rides.
Requirements – Under 12’s must be accompanied by an adult

Drayton Manor Thomas Land - Thomas, Rosie and Percy Engine Tours

Troublesome Trucks Runaway Rollercoaster

Little ones can experience their first taste of a rollercoaster whilst sitting onboard the Troublesome Trucks. Take two trips around the track for a fun mini thrill seekers adventure. Don’t forget to smile for the camera!
Height requirements – Minimum height of 1.0m | Children under 1.2m must be accompanied by an adult

Jeremy Jet’s Flying Academy

Taking centre stage in the Thomas Land™ expansion is the newly relocation Jeremy Jet’s. Go up, up and away with Jeremy as you can soar into the sky or ride down low depending on your preference. A gentle ride but one for those with a head for heights.
Height requirements – Children under 1.0m must be accompanied by an adult

Diesel’s Locomotive Mayhem

Take a sit inside one of Sodor’s diesel engines and hold on tight as you’re spun around in a figure of eight whilst the engine spins along too – a mini thrill seekers ride but great fun.
Height requirements – Children under 1.2m must be accompanied by an adult

Spencer’s Outdoor Adventure Play

Burn off that excess energy with some time spent over with Spencer. A mixture of play equipment for young and older ones that will keep them entertained whilst mum and dad sit and have five minutes.
Requirements – Suitable for children aged 2-11 years

Terence’s Driving School

Who doesn’t want to learn how to drive their very own Terence engine around the track? Be sure to keep your foot down and steer the right way round the track.
Height requirements – Minimum height of 1.0m | Maximum height of 1.3m


Within the Thomas Land™ expansion is a new toilet and baby changing facility which is really geared up towards families with large cubicles, a baby change area that can be accessed by both mums and dads as an area for feeding little ones too.

Food and Drink

There are three cafes based within Thomas Land™, one over at Farmer McColl’s Farm, one next to Knapford Station and the largest one in the new expansion. Sodor Airport provides that traditional feel inside and serves a selection of sandwiches, pastries and snacks alongside great value children’s meals. Each cafe also has microwaves available for the warming of baby’s bottles and food which is a great help for those with younger families.

Above the Sodor Airport, there are the Thomas VIP rooms which can be hired for birthday parties and conferences (who wouldn’t love to attend a conference at Thomas Land™?).

Drayton Manor Thomas Land - Sodor Airport

All the fun of the fair

Dotted around Thomas Land™are fun fair stalls like hook a duck and throw a ball into a tub to win a stuffed Thomas toy or one of his friends. Great for a spot of fun with no pressure to take part in or spend extra money.

Also throughout the day there are regular shows from the Fat Controller and his friends above Knapford Station. With meet and greet sessions available by the main Thomas Land™ entrance throughout the day – who doesn’t want their photo taken with the Fat Controller?

Gift Shops

One of the great things about Thomas Land™ and Drayton Manor  for that matter is that is that it hasn’t been commercialised. There are two gift shops within Thomas Land™that sell both themed gifts such as t-shirts, accessories and cute snow globes as well as Thomas & Friends toys and DVDs. Neither of these shops have the hard sell feeling that you can get when you can visit similar attractions.

Drayton Manor Thomas Land Shop

As you can see Thomas Land™thing for all the family, whether you have adventurous children or ones who prefer a more gentle ride. There is of course so much more to Drayton Manor that just Thomas Land™, you have the Drayton Manor Zoo which has an array of different animals to watch and admire, there are the Drayton Manor rides, a 4D cinema and a large selection of food outlets to keep you going throughout the day.

Book your tickets today!

What are you waiting for book your tickets today so that you can enjoy all that Thomas Land™ and Drayton Manor has to offer –

Disclosure: We received entry to Thomas Land™ and Drayton Manor FOC for the purpose of review

  • Jennifer March 1, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Wow, I had no idea that there was so much to do there! I thought that mine might be getting a little old for it, but there is actually quite a lot there that would keep them interested, especially as my oldest is a little timid when it comes to rides anyway and there seem to be plenty that would suit him.

  • Liz Burton March 1, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    We’ve been to Drayton Manor a couple of times and always had a great day out. There’s so much to do there!

  • Candace March 1, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Thomas land is somewhere we’ve never been. I know my son would have loved it when he was little

  • Rhian Westbury March 1, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    There’s so much to do at Drayton Manor that I never realised. Thomas Land sounds perfect for little kids x

  • Papatia March 1, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    So many fun things to do there! We might just go there when we travel up there 🙂 xx

  • JuggleMum, Nadine Hill March 1, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    This is a really thorough review – looks like you had lots of fun there!

  • Rachel March 1, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    I think it sounds just brilliant and I am hoping my brother and sister-in-law take my nephew as ive mentioned it to them thousands of times x

  • Carly Markham March 1, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    We went on Saturday for the first time. It is so nice looking at other peoples posts and seeing how much they still love it after multiple visits. It definitely seems like somewhere that doesn’t lose appeal. It is so much bigger than I imagined too!

  • Alina March 1, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    Finally, I found a reason to travel England again. Thank you for the post.

  • Emma Shilton March 1, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    We LOVE Thomas Land, great round up. It’s great to read your children enjoyed it as they’re much older than Olly so it’s great to see that the appeal is there for older children too! x

  • Zoe L March 1, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    We went on the weekend for the first time, it was fantastic! Loved your post.

  • Cat (Parent Blogger News) March 1, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    I have been meaning to take the boys to Thomasland for ages. T is a big fan and we don’t live far away but have just never got round to it. One for Easter maybe.

  • Laura March 2, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Great post, looks like you all had a great time! Leo absolutely adores it here.

  • Sonya Cisco March 2, 2016 at 11:03 am

    I wish it wasnt so far away from us – I know Syd would love it there!

  • Anne March 2, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    There is so much to see and do, I wouldn’t know where to start but we love Toby, I’m so glad he has his own ride.

  • Jen March 2, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Looks like you had a great day. When my two were younger they loved visiting Thomas Land. Now they are Mini thrill seekers and need all the thrill rides. I love Drayton Maner, it is compact, but great for tweens

  • Emma White March 2, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    what a fantastic review i wish we lived closer as the kids I know would love to visit

  • Jenny March 2, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    My children really enjoyed our visits to Thomas Land when they were little.

  • Nikki Thomas March 2, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Such a great guide, there are still some rides that we managed to miss. We are definitely going back again, my daughter still can’t stop talking about how much she loves the place.

  • Carolynne March 3, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    I’ve only been to Thomas Land once. Just before Christmas and not as a blogger. It was cold and we didn’t get to do half of this stuff you mention. I’d like to go back, although it was much further from us than I thought. Probably a bit too far for one day. Might do something this summer as I’m sure my boys would love to go back x

  • oana79 March 4, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Sounds like an amazing place for little ones, Emma has never been to an amusement park in the UK, only Disneyland Paris when she was 3. Wish we could access places like this easily from Northern Ireland.xx

  • Michelle March 4, 2016 at 11:34 am

    My son would have loved Thomas Land when he was younger, it looks like it is so much fun for any fan of the little tank engine!

  • Kara March 5, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    We never did get inside the indoor play area, we were having too much fun outside

  • Emma March 6, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Great review!! I want to visit.

  • Coombe Mill - Fiona March 6, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    Drayton Manor really have thought of it all with Thomas Land. the rides look amazing and all right on theme, there seems to be be so much to see and do I think it would need more than one visit to really do it justice. Looks like you can’t fail to have a wonderful family day out. Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

  • Mary March 16, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    It’s such a magical place, my son loves it there. Can’t wait to explore again with him this year #DWHALT

  • yvette morgan March 29, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Looks like you had a fun day out, cant wait to go again after reading this 🙂

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