Have you ever seen a pig in shit? How happy they were? That was Frankie at Thomas Land!
We recently had a short break to Thomas Land, staying over at the Drayton Manor Hotel for the night & we loved it! Our Thomas mad Frankie had the time of his life & we wished we’d taken advantage and booked a second night up too!
It was so worth the hours spent in the car on the M6 from Essex to Drayton Manor, for Frankie it doesn’t get better than Thomas, so Thomas Land was his equivalent of what Las Vegas is for a gambler/alcoholic!
We barely queued for any rides, the longest we waited was two rides to go round before we got on. The park is so clean too and the park attendants are brilliantly helpful. I just wish it was closer to us! We were worried as we were told that it isn’t very big and it can all be done in a few hours, but those people don’t have a train crazy 2 year old darling! We spent the entire 10-5pm in the park from start to finish!
Below I’ve broken down our hotel, food & the parks themselves. I’ve outlined all the rides we went on, Frankie just hit a metre, just! So that gives you a rough idea of the rides and what he could get on:-
Frankie managed to stay on this one x4 times over, he giggled and laughed and thought the ‘beeping noises’ were great! Bertie is a bit like a ‘cow jumped over the moon ride’ at Adventure Island, which funnily enough he isn’t tall enough to go on. The ride loops clockwise a few times, then anti clockwise.
Blue Mountain Engines
I liked this one because I have a soft spot for the ‘Blue Mountain Mystery’ film! Frankie went through a Starlowie and Rheneas phase so he was overjoyed when he saw the trains & there were speakers blaring out the theme song from the film! The ride goes round on a hilly track, bit like a carousel.
Captain’s Sea Adventure
This one made me feel sick, the boat is big enough so you can all get in as it isn’t restricted to just two of you but it spins and spins and spins and spins! But Frankie liked pretending to flash Captain’s lights into the water.
Cranky’s Tower Drop
Frankie was too small for this one but it looked great! & he loved waving to Cranky at the Docks.
Diesel’s Locomotive Mayhem
Similar to a teacup ride, two adults can also ride in this with a child too, we took Diesel and spun around and around!
Discover Thomas Exhibition
If you take an engine tour from Knapford you will go past Dryaw and arrive close to the Zoo and the Discover Thomas Exhibition which holds the original sceneries and engines, Frankie absolutely loved running round trying to spot Percy and Thomas riding on the tracks.
Emily’s Play Adventure
A huge indoor Thomas themed softplay inside where you queue for Winston’s ride, we didn’t manage to get in there as Frankie (thankfully) didn’t spot it and was too busy on the rides, but on cloudier days it would be a perfect addition to your day at Thomas Land!
Thomas, Percy and Rosie circulate up and down Thomas Land from Knapford, the main rides and attractions to Dryaw which holds Spencer’s Outdoor Adventure Play, Terence’s Driving School & the Dino-Park and Zoo. The men who drive the trains are chatty on the tour pointing out different animals and people on the tracks, Rosie was sleeping when we visited but we managed to go up and down Thomas and Percy a fair few times!
Flynn’s Fire Rescue
Kids can either ride Flynn round in a circle or stand on his ladders which go up and down and spray water at the fire! I got soaked as Frankie was pointing the water at me rather than at the house but it was a fun ride! Something different for sure!
Harold’s Helicopter Tours
Based in the middle of Tidmouth Sheds with the trains surrounding, the helicopters go right up high in line with Winston’s car ride & spin round. Frankie liked this one as he saw the whole park from being up high!
James and the Red Balloon
Loved this one! The hot air balloons spin round and go up and down, Frankie laughed the whole way round on this one!
Jeremy Jet’s Flying Academy
You control the plans going up and down (which Daddy didn’t realise until closer to the end and they spent most of the ride on the floor) but even so, Frankie enjoyed it!
The first ride we went on when we got into Thomas Land, a smooth caroseul, perfect for younger riders, Frankie enjoyed ‘driving’ Lady and sitting in the coaches.
Bullstrode rides in a U shape up, down and round spinning round in circles as he goes. Only one adult per row on this one.
Sodor Classic Cars
The last ride we went on to finish our day as it was packed for most of the time we were there! One of the first rides at Thomas Land, perfect for younger riders & Frankie pretended he was driving.
Spencer’s Outdoor Adventure Play
A huge outdoor play area spanning slides, climbing frames, bridges and tunnels. We made a pit stop after getting the engine tour and exploring Dino Land and let Frankie play whilst we got a coffee from the tea rooms opposite the station. There are also speakers blaring out Thomas songs from films (if you are sad like me, you will sing along).
Terence’s Driving School
Frankie was just under the height for this to reach the pedals, it’s situated by the little park near Discover Thomas Exhibition.
Toby’s Tram Express
This one was my least favourite, it spins in the air and rotates in different directions leaving me feeling dizzy & sick! But Frankie the little daredevil loved it! Funny how it doesn’t affect them the way it affects us! Haha.
Troublesome Trucks Runaway Coaster
Frankie’s first ever rollercoaster! He absolutely loved the troublesome trucks, we must of gone on this one 10+ times, each time he laughed harder and hasn’t stopped telling people about it since!
Winston’s Whistle-Stop Tours
This one is a nice break from the fast rides! You can all go in too, it circles around the park at a slow pace, so you can see the whole Thomas Land too & Winston talks to you whilst you go round.
In a Nutshell –
For any child’s imagination that has watched Thomas, it is a total must do! Daddy winning a teddy on the hook a duck, which he proclaimed to call ‘poom poom’ for the rest of the day and insisted went on every ride with him & spending the majority of the day was the pit of the whole day as we had to argue poor poom poom away from the troublesome trucks!
Closed for our trip.
Frankie was too short.
Too short again..
If you hate spinning rides, don’t go on this, I’ve never been on a kids ride that goes so fast in my life! I let Daddy go back on with him once Frankie demanded to go back on again and again!
Gutted that it was closed and signposted off as I know Frankie would of absolutely loved the train round the park!
This ride is so fun, it’s like an arcade game that you ‘shoot’ at lasers and it tells you who wins at the end! I won!!
The Bounty Pirate Ship
Frankie loved this one, he thought it was so much fun and managed to get on this one on his own too!
We ate at the chicken shack at the park and paid £21.15 for our three meals. All the meals come with curly fries only which wasn’t a problem for us as I love curly fries, we had a chicken wrap which was poorly wrapped but it was tasty and mine and Frankie’s chicken bites were freshly cooked and delicious!
Drayton Manor Zoo & Dino Park
Despite reading up before our trip I didn’t realise that the Zoo and Dino Park were included in the price we paid for our stay! Frankie started getting tired after 4 full on hours of spinning on the rides so we grabbed his buggy and went exploring the animals, the tigers were my favourite! Watching them run around was brilliant and the monkey walk through was great too, Frankie loved watching them swing about.
Frankie was fascinated by the reptile house, the snakes were some of the biggest I have ever seen!
The zoo was definently a great addition to our day and was an extremely needed distraction to the full on ride experience that our over-tired two year old was experiencing for an hour!
We looped through and walked the Dino-Park and got the train back to Knapford on Percy after another pit stop to play in Spencer’s park once Frankie had recharged!
Drayton Manor Hotel
The hotel has a train carousel as you first walk in which Frankie spent 15 minutes clinging to before we could coax him to our room. Check in was smooth, we had requested a Thomas themed room online but upon checking in we were told that there were none available, which we were gutted about but after a 4 hour delayed car journey we didn’t argue it and got our keys to a 1st floor room which was clean with a king size bed and a sofa bed folded down for Frankie.
You can order room service 24 hours & there is a bar and restaurant downstairs. On each floor there are two trains in their sheds. We had James and Emily on our floor, but we had to travel up and down the three floors out of curiosity of where Gordon and Henry were of course & was relieved to find them on floors 2 and 3!
We had breakfast included with our stay which was a buffet style full English which was delicious and well cooked, Frankie had a bowl of cereal as well as his cooked breakfast and toast.
There are two parks out the back of the hotel which were lit up into the evening which was great for us to enjoy a drink whilst Frankie played.
Although our fault for not triple checking after booking the Thomas rooms online, that was the only downfall on our trip not being able to stay in a Thomas room and rinse the whole experience for our little train driver! But next time I will whole heartedly quadruple check we have a themed room!
We are already planning our next trip, we will definitely stay for two nights next time and take advantage of the discounted next night and do the park over two days and maybe visit another attraction close and make the most of being so far away from Essex!It was truly one of those family breaks that you wish you could do again and again!
For all parents of Thomas and Friends mad children, it is an absolute must do! Frankie’s face spotting all his favourite engines was absolutely heartwarming & I feel so happy we got to experience it for him! x
*side note* Thomas Land holds Europes BIGGEST Thomas and Friends shop, you will spend money, and a lot of it…!