On the weekend Oli, Leo and I were up in Leicester visiting our lovely friends for their little boys 3rd birthday party. As we were up in that part of the country we decided to head on over to Thomas Land on the Sunday for some locomotive, tooting good fun. We have previously visited Thomas Land in December on one of their magical Christmas days, Leo loved it and I couldn’t wait to take him back to meet his favourite engines all over again. If you have a toddler who loves trains and is also a Thomas fan, I can’t recommend Thomas Land enough. I have decided to write about our day to convince any parents out there that a trip to Thomas Land is always a good idea. I hope you enjoy reading about our fun filled day and I have also chucked in a few tips to help make your day as fun as possible too.
Thomas Land, a fab day out for toddlers.
Thomas Land is part of Drayton Manor theme park in Tamworth, it is really easy to find and there is loads of space for parking. We were parked and through the gates of the park in just under 15 minutes.
Top tip – buy your tickets online as it is much cheaper and makes getting into the park a lot quicker. Pregnant ladies, you can book a cheaper ticket as you can’t go on all of the rides due to health and safety.
Leo had been chatting for days about how excited he was to go to Thomas Land and when we arrived he couldn’t wait to go in and immerse himself in all things steam engine. There are over 15 rides and attractions in Thomas Land and, for the majority, small children can ride as long as they are supervised by an adult. The highlight for Leo was not the rides themselves but getting to sit inside Annie and Clarrabelle and be driven by Thomas himself along a bendy track, saying hello to The Fat Controller before departing from Knapford Station first of course.
Top tip – if you have a baby/toddler take a small buggy if you want to ride on the train. There is not much room to store them in the carriage at the back and, although there are buggy parks at the rides, there is nowhere for you to leave it at the station. If you have one, maybe taking a sling or baby carrier would be easier.
The train goes to the other side of Drayton Manor where there is a Tea room, the Dino Trail and the zoo. We had a stroll around the Dino Trail and a quick browse of the zoo but Leo was eager to get back and go on some rides so we walked back into Thomas Land. I think this part of the park would be more interesting for children a little bit older than Leo.
Once we were back in Thomas Land it was time to have some serious fun. We all had a go on Winston’s Whistle Stop Tours , flew around on Harold’s Helicopter Tours and we nearly crashed a lot on Diesels Locomotive Mayhem. Leo loved the Diesel ride the best and I think we went on it at least 4 times.
Top tip – Pick rides with small queues. Toddler’s are not built for standing still and it can be quite hard to keep them entertained on excitement alone for more than 10 minutes. Pretty much all the queues are outside so you can easily see which is the shortest.
Leo and Oli went on a few rides without me, I couldn’t go on due to being pregnant so I was on photographer duty instead. Leo loved Jeremy’s Jet Flying Academy, Captain Sea Adventure and Blue Mountain Engines. He wasn’t too keen on Flyn’s Fire Rescue as it involved standing up and shooting water out of a hose, he got a bit wet which kind of ruined this ride for him. Oli also took Leo on Toby’s Tram Express which wasn’t a great idea as it was quite high and span around, Leo did not enjoy it at all. I was able to go on Sodor’s Classic Cars with him though and we had a lot of fun driving around looking at the pretend farm animals and watching all the rides around us.
Top tip – Some rides have height restrictions even for supervised children. Make sure you check how tall your child is on the board by each ride before queuing up. The staff have a measuring stick to check and you don’t want to get sent back after spending time waiting for your turn on the ride.
There is also a soft play at Emily’s Play Adventure and a playground at Spencer’s Outdoor Adventure Play. These both looked amazing but we decided to stick to the rides as we can take Leo to play in the park or to soft play anytime, days out to Thomas Land are few and far between.
As well as going on the rides in Thomas Land lots of times, we also went on a few in Drayton Manor itself. Oli had a go on the Ben 10 roller coaster, the smallest of all the big rides but it was apparently still pretty scary. We had a go on the big wheel to get a good look of the whole of the park and to just have a sit down for 10 minutes. The 4D cinema experience was showing a special version of Yogi Bear and Leo LOVED this. I think if we had let him he would have stayed in that cinema all day. Although it is not really a ride, your seats move around a bit and you get splashed by water in parts. We went on this twice and Leo enjoyed it just as much the second time as he did the first, Oli and I thought it was pretty fun too.
Top tip – If your child is likely to run off you are allowed to sit them on your knee during the show, just keep a tight hold as the seats do move back and forth a bit. If you don’t want to get too wet I would suggest sitting as far back as possible, we were sat in the fourth row and Oli and I got soaked, Leo missed most of the water as luckily he was so low down in his seat.
There are lots of big rides at Drayton Manor for any of you thrill seekers, we didn’t go on them obviously but you can see a list of them all on the official website. The rides all closed at 5pm so after going on all Leo’s favourites again, we cleverly avoided the gift shop and headed home after a fun filled day, overflowing with trains galore.
There are loads of different rides at Thomas Land as well as shows with The Fat Controller and friends on the station balcony and lots of stalls with games where you can win prizes. If you are looking for a fab family day out and to do something really fun, I highly recommend Thomas Land at Drayton Manor, it is worth every penny. Leo only had one tantrum all day and that was when we had to leave, I count that as a very successful day out.
Have you ever been to Thomas Land? If not, would you like to? Any theme park regulars got any more tips on how to make the day easier when you have a toddler? If you do go to Thomas Land over the summer I hope you have a great day and enjoy it us much as we did.
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