It was Mr T’s 4th birthday earlier this month and we knew we the main thing he wanted was a trip to Thomasland. The last time we went was Mr Z’s 4th birthday which was in summer time so it’s the first time we went during the Drayton’s Magical Christmas event. I would say it’s definitely a good time to choose to visit Thomasland. Most of the other rides in Drayton Manor are closed for the winter season, but if your primary reason to visit is for Thomasland then that does not matter at all. However because of less being open in the park the tickets seem to cheaper so it works out very good value, we still used Tesco Vouchers as usual but without the vouchers it’s still quite good value, especially if you book online which also makes it much cheaper than buying at the gate.
Mr T and Mr R (age 4 and 2) are in full on Thomas obsession at the moment. Mr Z (5) used to be such a dedicated Thomas fan too. In the last year, he’s started toning it down a bit and now he seems to have mainly grown out of Thomas but once he gets to Thomas land he still enjoys it. It really is a great day out for children.
There are 15 rides and attractions in Thomasland, you can see the full list and details here.
It’s a good range suiting younger children, with some very mild rides like Lady’s Carousel going up to Rocking Bulstrode, The Troublesome Trucks Coaster and Diesels Locomotion Mayhem (pictured top left) being more exciting for the slightly more adventurous children.
There is also a new ride: Winston the Monorail which gives you a tour over the park. This is the only ride we had to queue for a little.
As a part of Christmas time at Thomas land they have made a Santa’s grotto in the magical castle. This was lovely and so well done. Our children actually don’t believe in Santa as we are Muslim but we still wanted to let them experience the Christmas events while we were there. There was a slight queue for this too although you are given a fixed time, but not too bad and there are some things to look at while you are in the queue like reindeer models and things which can be seen outside. Once you go into the grotto its a magical area looking beautiful with a huge pile of presents and then a door to go in and see Santa. My boys were quite shy but the Santa made a good effort with them and was very nice. Each of them was given a present bag from Santa including a golden ticket to come back to Thomasland next year, some chocolates, and a special bell. You then exit into a castle area which has been made into a little winter wonderland with a reindeer and sleigh for the children to sit in, lots of wintery displays for them to see and also some kings thrones which they can sit in.
I thought this was all done really nicely, and the boys loved exploring this area with all its shining lights and wintry details.
Another great feature is that they make it snow in the main area of Thomasland which gives a lovely winter atmosphere. This happens 3 times a day after the live shows near the enterance of the park near to the Thomas train and station. The boys dad actually thought it was real snow until I told him! (as we had been forcast rain and didn’t get it, he thought oh.. it’s just snowed instead!!)
The last time we went, in Summer, the boys really enjoyed the Spencer playground which is near to the zoo and you get there by travelling on the train. As it was more on the chilly side at this time of year we did not go over there but they still love playing on the sleeping James, pretending to get coal for him and using their imagination.
It’s a lovely day out, and if you have a Thomas fan I would say it’s definitely worth the journey as they would really enjoy it. All the queues for the rides are pretty short so it’s very manageable for younger children. Mr T has Autism and in some of the parks like Legoland we have to get an access pass as it’s difficult to cope with those queues but there really is no need here as you don’t have to wait anyway. They do have concession prices for carers and guests with disabilities, not applicable for us on this occasion as we just bought tickets through Tesco Clubcard but always useful to know.
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Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
Her easy-to-follow craft ideas and practical parenting advice have transformed In The Playroom into a cherished resource for parents.