All you need to know about taking your family for a day out at Thomas Land at Drayton Manor Park, including our top tips and what not to miss
As the UK’s fourth largest amusement park, Drayton Manor has been a household name since it first opened its doors to the public in the 1950s. What started out as a small park with a few children’s rides (that would seem tame now), has established itself as one of the greatest attractions in the UK for a fabulous family day out – complete with thrilling rides and its very own zoo.
One of the most exciting features of Drayton Manor Park is, of course, Thomas Land, home to Thomas The Tank Engine and his many friends. Thinking of taking your kiddos to meet the heroes of their bedtime stories? Here’s everything you need to know ahead of your day at Thomas Land!
Thomas Land won’t keep its passengers waiting
Thomas the Tank Engine didn't believe in keeping his passengers waiting, and nor will you have to worry about keeping your troop queuing for hours on end either when you book your tickets in advance on Kidadl.com or on our app. Not only will you beat the queues, you're also protected by our Kidadl Price Promise when you book with us.
During bank and school holidays – particularly those that fall on sunny days – things can get rather busy at Drayton Manor. If you're visiting on a sunny day in the school holidays, it's worth bringing along things to keep the kids entertained while they queue for the rides, and of course bring plenty of snacks and drinks.
Cranky drops and rocking rides
If you think your toddlers are going to be the only ones to get something out of a visit to Thomas Land, think again! In fact, if you’ve spent your adult life skilfully avoiding rollercoasters, there will be no escaping this one: The Troublesome Trucks Runaway Rollercoaster is ideal for first-timers and young thrill-seekers wanting to get a taste of Thomas’ adventures.
Once the initial adrenaline kick has subsided, you can sit back on Harold’s Helicopter tours, where you’ll get the chance to see Thomas and his friends from high above. You won’t have to join in all the rides, though. Show your kids the ropes in a classic Sodor car before giving them their first taste of independence by sending them off to Terence’s Driving School.
Explore beyond the Isle of Sodor
Once your kids have had their fill of rides in Thomas Land, before you head home it's worth getting on board the big Thomas the Tank Engine train and taking a ride across to the other side of the main park, says mum of two Jasmine Horna. "From there you can look at animals, a playground, and a dinosaur park, which is great, and then you can walk back through the main park."
Fuelling up – keep those engines running
Once you notice your kids’ energy running low, there are several options for filling up on a broad menu of fuel: from handmade burgers to pizza and pastas in a jungle setting, to seaside snacking on fish & chips. There are also Humble Pies and teas to be had in the park – no need to worry about anyone going hungry! If you’re on a budget and would rather enjoy a homemade lunch in the park, you’ll find plenty of designated picnic areas. You’re also welcome to eat under the Teashop’s beautiful canopy.
Hired wheels and changing stations
A day out with kids can quickly feel like you’re moving house, due to all the gear you need to lug around: buggies, food, changing bags, etc. etc. The list just doesn’t end. Scrap at least the buggy from your list by hiring one on-site. At £10 per item, this is a hassle-free solution, especially for those who are travelling from far or in a group. When your little engines need a wipe-down or some fuel, there are several nursing and changing stations located within Thomas Land. Can’t find the wet wipes among the 700 other items in your changing bag? No need to panic – just head on over to the Toy Shop, in the centre of the park, which stocks plenty of essentials.
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