Last weekend we headed to Thomas Land at Drayton Manor Theme Park near Tamworth in Staffordshire. Both of our children love Thomas the Tank Engine, but it is our two year old son who is particularly obsessed right now!
With this in mind, we decided to make it extra special and book one of the Thomas and Friends Weekend packages running throughout March. Super excited at the prospect of being transported to the magical island of Sodor, we set off early on Saturday morning to arrive at Thomas Land in time for the park opening.
It took us just over two hours by car, we picked up our park tickets from the reception of our hotel and walked the short distance to the entrance to Thomas Land – all very straight forward.
The thrill rides are closed during the Thomas and Friends weekends, just Thomas Land and the zoo are open, which was absolutely fine with me! The park was pretty quiet, we didn’t have to queue long for any rides and it was actually a whole lot nicer than I ever imagined it would be! If it hadn’t been for our son throwing tantrums left, right and centre, it would have been the perfect weekend! Thankfully, our daughter had a terrific time!!
There were a lot of rides to choose from, a few a little too scary for our kids, but plenty of others that suited them just fine. Our daughter’s favourite rides were Jeremy Jet’s Flying Academy and Toby’s Tram Express.
Our son enjoyed Lady’s Carousel, the Blue Mountain Engines (I think we went on this ride at least five times…) and Flynn’s Fire Rescue. Beware Captain’s Sea Adventure – it was like experiencing real life sea sickness…
The Engine Tours take you on a short ride over to the other side of the park where you can play at Spencer’s Outdoor Adventure Play Area and visit the Discover Thomas Exhibition.
If the weather turns bad, or if you just fancy a change, Emily’s Adventure Play Area is an indoor soft play centre with a separate toddler play area for the little ones. Our children had a great time in here, but the sessions are time limited when busy, so they were not best pleased when after about 20 minutes we had to tell them that it was time to go…
The park closed at 4pm, but by this point we were ready to head back to the hotel and check into our room. We had booked a Thomas and Friends Stay and Play package which included accommodation for a family of four, full English Breakfast and our park tickets (for use on either the Saturday or Sunday). However, on check in, we discovered that room upgrades were available, so for a little extra we upgraded to a Thomas themed room. I think I was more excited than the kids… This also included breakfast with Thomas and Friends and complementary Thomas and Friends activity packs for both children.
The upgrade was definitely worth it – the room was fantastic and the kids loved it! There were hand painted Thomas themed murals on the walls, train track patterned flooring and a Thomas bunk bed with TV/DVD combos for both beds.
The activity packs were also brilliant and contained quite a variety of stuff to keep the kids entertained. In ours we found storybooks, activity books, crayons, soft toys, toothbrushes and calendars, among other things.
The Thomas and Friends character themed breakfast was not to my taste (a bit too participatory), but again, the kids loved it. Why wouldn’t they love sitting in a room watching episodes of Thomas whilst eating their breakfast? Plus, they also got to meet the Fat Controller in person! The breakfast itself was really very good – full English, croissants, Danishes, fruit, cereals, toast… and plenty of it! The Fat Controller actually insisted that we kept eating…
Our kids were too tired and were ready for bed, but there was also the option to attend the children’s evening entertainment session held in the hotel between 6.30-8.30pm.
Overall, I can’t really fault it – the hotel was fantastic, the staff were very helpful and extremely sympathetic to tantrums, and the park itself was perfectly suited to the ages of our children (two and five). The only downside is that by pre-booking, you have to take a gamble on the weather. When staying the night, you do however have the flexibility of deciding which day you use your park tickets for, which certainly helped us out given the weather last weekend!
When: Thomas and Friends Weekends run at specific times throughout the year.
Where: Thomas Land, Drayton Manor Park, Drayton Manor Drive, Tamworth, Staffordshire, B78 3TW
Cost: Varies – please select dates on the website to check for availability and room rates
Extra Info: Pre-book your stay / tickets for the cheapest prices
Contact Details: For general enquires call 01827 287979 or email email@example.com. Please visit the website for further information.