Thomas Land at Drayton Manor is probably one of the most exciting places to be if you’re a train mad pre-schooler like my three year old Olly. On Saturday, we got the chance to explore the park, have a go on some of Olly’s most favourite rides and discover new adventures.
We were invited along to Thomas Land on Saturday as part of their Thomas and Friends weekends where little ones can enjoy all their favourite rides and explore the zoo at their leisure. Imagine Olly’s excitement when we told him we could spend the whole day there and do whatever he wanted. He was SO excited!
Last year Thomas Land underwent a huge £2.5million expansion so we were looking forward to returning to check out the rides and attractions and to find out if Olly had grown that little bit taller to enjoy the ‘bigger’ kid rides!
Here’s Olly’s top 10 most favourite things to do at Thomas Land..
1) Fly high with Jeremy’s Flying Academy
One of the first rides we went on was Jeremy’s Jets at the Flying Academy. Olly sat up front and piloted the plane whilst his Daddy sat in the back as a passenger as he took the plane high up above Sodor Airport. It’s so great to let the little ones take control and enjoy the ride, Olly loved taking the plane up and down and fly the jet around Sodor.
2) Take Toby’s Tram Express
Olly really enjoyed this ride last year and couldn’t wait to climb back on board Toby to be whizzed around. We love how the rides have the familiar faces from the Thomas and Friends books and Olly instantly recognised Toby as one of his favourites. You can get a little dizzy on Toby (well I did!) but Olly absolutely loved it.
3) Get into trouble with the Troublesome Trucks
Olly was desperate to have a go on the Troublesome Trucks ride and was delighted when he stood next to the height restriction chart to find out that he had indeed grown tall enough over the last six months to try it out (Riders must be over 1m to ride and riders between 1.0 – 1.2m must be accompanied by an adult.) He sat up front with his Daddy and loved it. The rollercoaster climbs up high above Sodor and then falls and sharply twists along 220 metres of rails. Olly loved it so much he rode the rollercoaster twice, wow!
4) Take a helicopter tour with Harold
Another one of Olly’s favourite characters from Thomas and Friends is Harold. The helicopter tours let little ones pilot their very own helicopter as it soars into the air and spins around Sodor. Hubby and I sat in the back as Olly took the controls and he loved it.
5) Let Thomas take the strain
No trip to Thomas Land would be complete without a trip down to Farmer McColl’s farm pulled by Thomas the Tank Engine himself! We waited at Knapford Station as we saw Rosie and Percy take passengers on rides and when Thomas pulled into the station for our turn, Olly’s little face lit up. Thomas took us on a short engine ride and Olly was delighted!
6) Test out your driving skills with Terence
After a short ride across the park pulled by Thomas, Olly wanted to test his driving skills by hopping on board Terence the crawler tractor. Luckily for Olly, he was tall enough to drive Terence and with help from one of the park assistants, Olly drove the tractor around the test area and I was a little overcome with emotion. Seeing my little man driving the tractor all by himself was brilliant. He loved the independence and freedom of being able to drive it and it’s an experience he hasn’t shut up about all weekend!
7) Have lunch overlooking Spencer’s Adventure play area
After a morning of fun and excitement, we took half an hour to enjoy the sunshine and grab a bite to eat. Spencer’s Adventure play area is a wooden play area where little ones can climb, slide and play to their hearts content. There’s picnic benches around the park so Parents can have a cup of tea and a sandwich whilst the little ones let off a little steam!
8) Check out the animals and reptiles in the zoo
Another favourite area of ours at Thomas Land is the zoo. The zoo is home to a huge amount of animals and reptiles that many little ones will have never seen before. Olly took great interest in the monkeys, we spotted them grooming each other and it was so lovely to watch them. We loved looking at all the reptiles in the Reptile House, I was in awe of the snakes and Olly loved the turtles. We even spotted the Sumatran Tiger hiding in its enclosure which was absolutely beautiful.
9) Watch the trains explore the original set from Thomas and Friends
Next to Terence’s Driving School is the Discover Thomas Exhibition which houses the original set from the Thomas and Friends TV series. Olly is a huge Thomas and Friends fan and will happily watch Thomas explore the island of Sodor on DVD on a rainy afternoon. It was brilliant to see the trains make their way around the village which has been kept in brilliant condition.
10) Take home memories of a fun filled day at Thomas Land
There’s so much to see and do at Thomas Land that it will take you all day to explore the park. Olly had an amazing day seeing his favourite trains up close and personal. I think the huge smile on his little face says it all! We can’t wait to go back in the Spring and explore the park some more.
We all had a fantastic day out at Thomas Land. We’ve narrowed it down to our top 10 things as these are the things that Olly has been raving about all weekend. There’s so much to see and do. We haven’t even mentioned meeting The Fat Controller, sailing on the high seas with Captain’s Sea Adventure, having a near miss on Diesel’s Locomotive Mayhem or riding in Sir Handel on the Blue Mountain!
The parks facilities make it a really family friendly place to take toddlers and preschoolers, we would all highly recommend Thomas Land for a fun day out for all the family. We will most definitely be back!
With thanks to Thomas Land for inviting us to attend on Saturday. All words (including Olly’s) are our own and all images were taken on the day.