A Magical Christmas Review of Thomas Land at Drayton Manor

thomas land magical christmas winter theme park review for toddler best age to go

I did it! I survived Thomas Land! This probably doesn’t mean much to most but I’m not a huge theme park person and I don’t typically like going to places that are jam-packed with kids. I have to say though, we had the BEST time at Drayton Manor’s Thomas Land.

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Our tickets had been booked for ages and we purchased a package that included one night in a Thomas-themed room at the Drayton Manor Hotel. The total package was not cheap – an eye watering £260 for the three of us! Was it worth it? Well let me share our thrills and spills, jitters and japes with you…and we had plenty of jitters! Daddy took b on the rollercoaster and b hated it. Massive mummy-guilt moment!

thomas land magical christmas winter theme park review for toddler best age to go rollercoaster

We drove up to Drayton Manor on Friday morning, arriving at the hotel about half 10am. As we were staying in the hotel, we were able to park the car there which was handy. We picked up our theme park tickets from the hotel reception and walked over to the park. It’s literally a two minute walk. Even so, b wanted carrying. I was really hoping this wasn’t a sign of how the day would pan out and threatened the pram. Luckily he walked for five minutes.

thomas land magical christmas winter theme park review for toddler best age to go

Once in the theme park, it’s a short walk down to “Thomas Land”. The main Drayton Manor theme park is closed off season. This didn’t bother me one bit as I hate theme parks. The actual Thomas Land area isn’t huge and you can easily walk around it fairly quickly. Although if your toddler wants carrying ALL the time then I’d recommend a pram. There were loads of buggy parks by all the rides so it would have been easy to leave the pram parked up somewhere for a bit if needed. Thomas Land is not only jam-packed with rides but also includes a zoo, outdoor play area, 4d cinema and various cafes.

It’s funny how you pay all this money to go into these places and the first thing b was excited about were these coin operated rides! If I knew that I’d have taken him to Morrison’s for a day trip out!

thomas land magical christmas winter theme park review for toddler best age to go

Our first stop was to the 4D showing of The Polar Express. Now we’d just watched this at home so b was excited to see it on the big screen. It isn’t the whole film (thank goodness – I found it a bit dull to be honest) but 20 minutes or so of the main bits. As per usual b refused to put the glasses on. We’ve had enough of arguing over these things so mr d and I said that’s fine but the film will be blurry and won’t look good. As soon as the film started, his glasses went on. And he loved it! They sprayed us with water and air and the seats moved here, there and everywhere. I’m not a huge 3d film fan as I always think it will make me travel sick. I spent most of the 20 minutes looking over the top of my glasses and telling myself I wasn’t “really” moving. But the little man loved it and that’s all that matters.

thomas land magical christmas winter theme park review for toddler best age to go
Daddy looks squashed :/

Next up were the rides. Rides, rides and more rides. We literally went on everything. Well, by “we” I mean B and daddy. Mummy doesn’t really do rides.

Mummy did manage to go on the aeroplanes and that was enough. I was going to sit out the last aeroplane ride but the guy operating it told me not to be a coward – what a bloody cheek! Here we all are, living it up:

thomas land magical christmas winter theme park review for toddler best age to go

B loved the Harold Helicopter ride and he enjoyed the fire engines.

thomas land magical christmas winter theme park review for toddler best age to go fire engine

In the summer you can squirt water at everyone too!

thomas land magical christmas winter theme park review for toddler best age to go fire engine

As part of the Magical Christmas experience at Drayton Manor, our ticket included a visit to see Santa. Not another visit I hear you shout?! Yep, this would make it our third visit to the big man. We’ve seen him so many times this year that I’m convinced b will notice some small difference – his beard was a bit wonky, a lighter shade of white, non-existent etc etc. But no, we were all good. We had to queue for about 20 minutes before we saw Santa. When we finally got in, B wouldn’t have his photo taken. I wasn’t surprised at all and that’s it now, im Santa’d out for 2016! Most of our Santa visit have been crap – you can read more here if you’re having trouble sleeping…

No visit to Thomas Land would be complete without a ride on Thomas!

thomas land magical christmas winter theme park review for toddler best age to go

To be honest, Thomas really frustrates me. He never listens to the Fat Controller and just goes off, willy-nilly, thinking he has a good idea. He literally never has good ideas and always ends up in trouble.

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But this time Thomas did good – Knapford station was looking beautiful and festive and we made our way along the tracks to the other side of the park, to the zoo and play park.

thomas land magical christmas winter theme park review for toddler best age to go knapfod station ride

The outdoor play area was mega! And we go to loads of play parks! It had loads of slides and tunnels and bits and bobs to climb on. B really enjoyed it.

Next to the play park is Dinosaur Zone. We had a walk around but I didn’t get any good pics. It’s basically some dinosaur replicas.

In terms of food for the day, I’d packed snacks and drinks for us. I wanted to avoid spending a billion pounds on things you can pick up at the supermarket for 50p (bottled water for example). We had lunch (3pm!) at the Safari Pizza and Pasta café. The prices weren’t too bad in my opinion. We paid eleven quid for two pizza meals which included two pizzas, two portions of wedges and two drinks. It was plenty for me and b to share. The pizzas were 10 inch I think…don’t quote me!

thomas land magical christmas winter theme park review for toddler best age to go rides rollercoasters draton manor
Tried to get a pic of me and b but he ran off!

So there you go, a little round up of our fun time at Thomas Land. I haven’t been to any theme parks aimed at toddlers before so this was new for me. We had a lot of fun! In terms of “was it worth it?” – if you are going to just the theme park then the ticket price for the full day is worth it in my opinion. You get unlimited rides all day and can go on things as often as you like. We were lucky in that we didn’t ever need to queue very long. I can imagine it would be busier in the summer though.

thomas land magical christmas winter theme park review for toddler best age to go rides rollercoasters draton manor

Also, I think b’s age – 3 – is a perfect age to go to Thomas Land. I wouldn’t have bothered going when b was younger. There were so many people there with tiny babies and I just don’t think I could be bothered with the faff and expense. Most of the rides had height restrictions and some rides b needed to be over a meter to ride even with daddy. He is just past a meter so we had no problems but some kids weren’t allowed on.

thomas land at drayton manor

Have you been to Thomas Land or any other theme parks? What did you think? Did you have a good day out?! Share with me your jitters and japes in the comments 🙂
And don’t forget to share and pin for later too!

Disclosure: There is none! I purchased my Thomas Land tickets because we really wanted to go! This review is simply a write-up of our day out.

thomas land magical christmas winter theme park review for toddler best age to go

 

 

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