A magical trip to Thomas Land

If there is one thing Leo loves more than anything else in the whole word, it is Thomas The Tank. Regular readers of my monthly Leo updates will already know that my boy is some what obsessed with the blue steam engine and his friends. As a special Christmas treat for our Thomas super fan, on Saturday we travelled half way up the country to have a Christmassy, train filled day at Thomas Land at Drayton Manor.

As it turns out, Drayton Manor is friggin miles away from Southampton! We left the house, blurry eyed and still half asleep at 7.30 in order to arrive at the park for opening at 10am. We told Leo we were off to Thomas Land and he was so excited. The journey took nearly 2 and half hours and although he was sleepy from the early start, Leo was no way going back to sleep.
A face of pure wonder.
That little face.
Once we arrived at Drayton Manor we headed straight to Thomas Land and Leo’s little face lit up when he saw where we were. The Thomas engine was parked on the track right at the entrance and Leo ran straight up to him, you could tell that he was just so happy to see his hero in the flesh (kind of). We jumped straight in the queue to have a ride of Thomas but by the time we got to the front, Thomas had already set off and we had to ride Percy instead. Obviously, Leo had a bit of a meltdown about this but we promised him we would ride Thomas later.
The Dino Trail.
Riding on Percy. Leo had his mouth open in amazement most of the day!
The train took us up to the Dino Trail and the Thomas themed outdoor play area and tea rooms. The weather was pretty rubbish so we had a quick walk/run around the dino trail and then it was back to the station. It is a shame it was raining because the play area looked really impressive and being a little bit geeky myself, I would have quite liked to have read about all the dinosaurs.
Knapford Station.
We managed to hitch a ride back to Knapford station on actual Thomas this time so Leo was in a much better mood and he kept going ‘We’re riding Thomas..We’re riding Annie’. When we got back in to Thomas Land we met up with one of my lovely friends who I haven’t seen in over a year, with her 2 year old boy and fiancé. The boys weren’t too keen on each other to start with as they haven’t seen each other since they were babies, as the day went on they interacted with each other a little bit more though.
Driving Harold the helicopter.
Diesels Locomotive Mayhem.

Flying at Jeremy’s Jet Flying Academy.
Now we were all together it was time to go on all the rides. As with any theme park, even in winter time, the queues took nearly 5 times longer than the actual rides themselves. The kids were surprisingly well behaved while were queueing which was a relief, and I guess it gave us mums a good opportunity to chat and catch up. We went on most of the toddler friendly rides, Leo’s favourite was the Jeremy Jet aeroplanes. Pretty much all the rides in Thomas Land are suitable for toddlers as long as an adult goes on with them. There was a runaway train type rollercoaster but Leo was too small for that and I am pretty sure he would have hated it anyway!
Waiting very patiently for their turn.
After a busy couple hours going on the rides we stopped for lunch. There were a few different places we could have bought food from in Thomas Land but theme park prices tend to be a bit extortionate so we planned ahead and packed a picnic. As it is the season to be merry, the men bought themselves a mulled wine to enjoy with their sandwiches (I was quite happy with my coffee, mulled wine is gross).
I didn’t manage to get a photo of the real Fat Controller.
Once lunch was finished it was time for more rides. The queuing was a bit of a pain and the rides were short but the kids really enjoyed them. Leo loved spotting all his beloved Thomas characters and telling us their names, did you know the crane is called Cranky? We spotted The Fat Controller wondering about but Leo wouldn’t keep still long enough for a picture.
Pretty Christmas tree.
Christmas lights at Sodor airport.
Thomas looking very festive – blurry!
Giant bauble.
Thomas Land has been made to look all festive for the Magical Christmas season at Drayton Manor. There is a huge, beautiful Christmas tree and at different times throughout the day it flashes all different colours. As well as the Thomas the Tanktheme tune, Christmas classics were being played as you walked around and fake snow fell from the balcony at Knapford station, the whole atmosphere made me feel very Christmassy indeed.
Quick photo op while we waited in the massive queue.
Rocking his 3D glasses
After going on all the rides we went and queued for the 4D showing of the Polar Express. The film only lasted 15 minutes but we had to queue for nearly an hour. If you are visiting a theme park with a toddler I would suggest taking something to entertain them with in the long queues. The boys kept trying to run away and we had quite a few tantrums, when we eventually got into the cinema us parents were quite exhausted! The actually 4D film was ok, the seats moved around a bit, wind whistled around, lights flashed and you got splashed a tiny bit. It was quite a challenge to keep the 3D glasses on Leo but I think he enjoyed the Polar Express, from what he could actually see without the glasses on that is.
In was dark when we came out of the cinema, we had another go on the aeroplanes and the helicopters and then it was time for the Christmas show and parade. Leo didn’t want to watch the show so I took him for another go on the Blue Mountain carousel and then we got back to watch the parade, featuring Santa, The Fat Controller and some Christmassy creatures on stilts.
Thomas the Reindeer?
Before we left Thomas Land, Oli ran to the gift shop to buy Leo a soft toy (this is tradition whenever we go on a special day out) and we all stood and watched the fireworks. When we got back to the car we popped Leo in to his pj’s and he was fast asleep within a matter of minutes.
Snoozing with his new cuddly Thomas.
It was a really lovely day and it felt extra special spending it with friends we hadn’t seen in such a long time. Although the day was not completely without tears or tantrums, Leo definitely enjoyed Thomas Land and he has been chatting about it a lot the past couple of days. I can’t wait to take him again in the summer time when the rest of Drayton Manor will be open and the seats on the rides will be dry, hopefully.
If you have a Thomas fan then you really must visit Thomas Land when Drayton Manor reopens next year. If you want to visit Drayton Manor Magical Christmas, it is open until December 31st so there is still time. For Oli, myself and Leo it only cost £36, it is slightly more expensive if you want to visit Santa in The Castle of Dreams. 
Watch the video below if you want to get even more of feel of what Thomas Land is like at Christmas time…

Have you been to Thomas Land? Or are you thinking of taking your toddler to a theme park for the first time? I was slightly dubious about taking a 2 year old to a theme park but we all had a wonderful, magical day.
Life Unexpected

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  1. Harry's Honest Mummy
    December 22, 2015 / 5:12 pm

    That looks a really good day out. It's somewhere that I have seen advertised. My son loves dinosaurs and combined with Thomas the Tank Engine it looks perfect for us. Might look in to it a bit further now. I love that photo of your son looking in amazement at everything. Special Times. #KCACOLS

  2. December 23, 2015 / 5:21 pm

    It looks great all done up for Christmas – and the red nosed Thomas is great. And, bless, I can just imagine how exciting it is to be that age and come face to face with your hero! My daughter's younger but equally obsessed with the old kids TV show Rainbow – we went to a community event recently and the local housing association mascot, Bryn the Bear, was there and she went into excitement meltdown thinking it was Bungle from Rainbow. The guy was nice enough to play along! 🙂 – Totally agree about mulled wine too, ugh! #KCACOLS

  3. December 30, 2015 / 6:58 pm

    That sounds great! I can't imagine taking SB to a theme park at the moment but she enjoyed the fairground rides at Butlins (well, the carousel and the trampolines) so maybe it's something to consider in a year or two! #KCACOLS

  4. Franca Desjardins
    January 4, 2016 / 12:44 pm

    What a coincidence!! We have been at Drayton Manor Park around Christmas. Their Magical Christmas Theme was so lovely!! My girls had so much fun at Thomas' Land. We also enjoyed the little parade and the Fireworks display. It was a lovely day for us too! Thanks for sharing this at #KCACOLS. Hope to see you again next Saturday!! 🙂 xx
    PS: couldn't find my badge in this post either, 🙁

  5. January 4, 2016 / 1:07 pm

    Ohh sorry Franca..no idea how I forgot your badge!I will add it in this evening when I'm at my laptop. That's so weird, I wonder if we there at the same time. Aww I'm glad the girls enjoyed it, it was very magical xx

  6. January 4, 2016 / 9:16 pm

    If Harry likes dinosaurs and trains I am sure he will love it at Thomas Land. Leo keeps asking to go back! You should definitely look into it xx

  7. January 4, 2016 / 9:17 pm

    That is so sweet, I used to love Rainbow, didn't realise it was still on. Oh I am glad I'm not the only one who thinks mulled wine is awful!xx

  8. January 4, 2016 / 9:20 pm

    I thought it would be a lot worse than it actually was. There were a few tantrums but Leo had a great day regardless. I wouldn't have taken hi if he was under 2 though as there isn't much there for tiny people xx

  9. January 6, 2016 / 7:07 am

    Aww what a lovely day out – it's one of those places I've always meant to go but never did because it's so far away #whatevertheweather

  10. Elizabeth Newcamp
    January 6, 2016 / 8:51 am

    Thomas Land! This looks so fun and my train obsessed boys would freak out. So glad you had a nice day despite the crowds! #WhateverTheWeather

  11. January 6, 2016 / 10:07 am

    We haven't been since the eldest was this age. Looks like we should go back again with all three. Lovely pics! #whatevertheweather

  12. Suburban Mum
    January 6, 2016 / 12:57 pm

    It looks like you've had a fantastic day out! My boys are also huge Thomas fans and we visited Drayton Manor back in 2014. My youngest was probably a bit to young to properly enjoy it though so I think we will most definitely be going back again at some point! #KCACOLS

  13. Franca Desjardins
    January 6, 2016 / 1:41 pm

    Oh no worries and thank you for sorting it out!! We might have been in Thomas Land at the same time!! LOL Crazy right? I'm preparing a post and a video about it too, 😉 xx

  14. January 6, 2016 / 2:11 pm

    Looks great! Fab photos. I would love to take my girl there but it is really far from us!

  15. January 7, 2016 / 7:21 am

    What a magical day out for Leo! He seems completely smitten by Thomas! #Whatevertheweather


  16. January 7, 2016 / 5:07 pm

    Aww you should go, it is definitely worth the long journey. There's a hotel at Drayton Manor so you can make a weekend of it xx

  17. Jenny Eaves
    January 7, 2016 / 9:28 pm

    Aww, he looks so happy to be there and seeing Thomas! You're lucky to live nearby, my boys would love to visit, but it's just too far away from Scotland. I think we know most of the Thomas characters by now, my eldest was obsessed by Thomas when he was younger. Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

  18. January 9, 2016 / 8:26 am

    We visited Thomas Land at Christmas this year and last, we love going at that time of year. You didn't miss anything with Santa as the queues for that were huge. Lovely day out isn't it. Mini Traveller #whatevertheweather

  19. Chloe Ciliberto
    January 10, 2016 / 12:37 pm

    Oh wow this is so lovely! I love Thomas. It sounds like you had a fab time. I would have been with the men and had a mulled wine. It looks so magical at Christmas time and it's good that the little ones were so good with queueing. I really want to take Evie here, it looks really exciting. Thank you so much for linking this to #whatevertheweather. xx

  20. January 12, 2016 / 7:45 pm

    If you have train obsessed boys then you NEED to go to Thomas Land. Leo had the best day ever!xx

  21. January 12, 2016 / 7:45 pm

    Yes you should go back. I bet it is great all year but it was so magical at Christmas time xx

  22. January 12, 2016 / 7:47 pm

    Aww, it is hard to tell if they will enjoy it when they are so young, isn't it? Leo is 2 and I think he was old enough to just about appreciate it. Hopefully if we take him again later on this year he will enjoy it even more, being that little bit older.xx

  23. January 12, 2016 / 7:48 pm

    It's definitely worth the drive. You could go for the weekend so you don't have to do loads of driving in one day. It really is a great day out.xx

  24. January 12, 2016 / 7:49 pm

    He was. His little face was just too cute!xx

  25. January 12, 2016 / 7:50 pm

    Aww that is a shame. It would be a pretty long drive all the way from Scotland. It took us just over 2hours and I thought that was bad! Thank you for hosting #whatevertheweather xx

  26. January 12, 2016 / 7:51 pm

    Yes, it is such a great day and really is so exciting and magical at Christmas time. I am glad we didn't miss much, I was worried Leo was missing out but he was happy just going on all the rides, he didn't care about Santa at all.xx

  27. January 12, 2016 / 7:53 pm

    I am sure Evie would love it, you should take her. Yuck to mulled wine, how can you like that stuff?Haha. Yes, the boys were so much better behaved than I was expecting. Thank you for hosting #whatevertheweather xx

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