Olly’s top ten things to do at Thomas Land, Drayton Manor


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.

Thomas Land

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.

Jeremy's Flying Academy Thomas Land

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.

Toby's Tram Express Thomas Land

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!

Troublesome Trucks Thomas Land

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.

Harold Helicopter tours Thomas Land

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!

Thomas The Tank Thomas Land

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!

Terence Driving School

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!

Spencers outdoor play Thomas Land

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.

Discover Thomas Exhibition Thomas Land

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.

Thumbs up

Memories 1

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. 

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  • Reply Charlotte 01/03/2016 at 12:01 am

    Wow, looks and sounds like Olly had an amazing time! Arthur is Thomas mad and would definitely love this!

  • Reply Claire 01/03/2016 at 7:21 am

    Sounds like a fabulous day out and one to put on our days out list :-) love how the characters look likd those from Thomas, i think my little one would love it.

  • Reply Ally Smith 01/03/2016 at 8:35 am

    I took my boys to Drayton Manor last year and they loved Thomas Land. Such a great place to take small children. My boys loved the flying jets too

  • Reply Sarah Simpson 01/03/2016 at 8:40 am

    Great review, I love your photographs. I can’t wait to take my little girl in the Summer when we come down and visit our family.

  • Reply Katie 01/03/2016 at 9:28 am

    Looks like Olly had a great time, my two love it here too! You had good weather so the indoor play area hasn’t made your top 10 but if it’s raining or a bit cold it’s a great place to let them run wild and warm up.

  • Reply Steph 01/03/2016 at 11:18 am

    Great tips for anyone visiting Thomas Land! I haven’t taken O yet, but definitely will be. It looks amazing and I know he would absolutely love every minute! x

  • Reply Liz Burton 01/03/2016 at 2:47 pm

    We have such happy memories of Thomasland at Drayton Manor. I’m a bit sad my daughter’s outgrown it now!

    • Reply Emma 01/03/2016 at 9:58 pm

      Aww that’s so good to hear, I think we have at least another seven years of visits in the calendar ;) x

  • Reply Fiona 01/03/2016 at 3:57 pm

    Do they still have the campsite next door? We used to camp there when my boy was Thomas obsessed. Such good memories x

    • Reply Emma 01/03/2016 at 9:57 pm

      Yes, they do! How fab to camp there ahead of a full day in the park? That is what dreams are made of!

  • Reply JuggleMum, Nadine Hill 01/03/2016 at 4:41 pm

    Those are some happy photos! Looks like you had a fun day out and there’s loads to do there.

    • Reply Emma 01/03/2016 at 9:56 pm

      There’s so much to do! I’m so pleased we managed to capture some of his smiles throughout the day

  • Reply Life as Mum 01/03/2016 at 4:46 pm

    Looks l an amazing experience with many things to do! Fab photos

    • Reply Emma 01/03/2016 at 9:54 pm

      Thank you, we all had a fab day x

  • Reply Joanne Ashton 01/03/2016 at 6:09 pm

    It looks like you all had an amazing day. We had a fab time when we went but by looking at your pics and reading your review it looks like they’ve expanded since we were there, I can’t wait to take my little one’s back there to try out all the new attractions!

    • Reply Emma 01/03/2016 at 9:53 pm

      It was such a lovely day. Yes, you must go back now it’s been expanded, so much more for them to do and see x

  • Reply Zoe Corkhill (Mama Geek) 01/03/2016 at 9:02 pm

    What a fab post – it was a lovely day out, wasn’t it! You got some great photographs :-)

    The girls had a fab day and it was great to see you. Lydia told us that Olly is her “buddy” now!

    • Reply Emma 01/03/2016 at 9:45 pm

      Thanks Zoe, was lovely to see you all on Saturday. Aww love that! I’ll tell Olly in the morning and he’ll be so happy x

  • Reply Angela at Daysinbed 01/03/2016 at 9:37 pm

    I never knew there was a Thomas Land. I bet this is an amazing place to visit for little kids especially little boys! The rides look fun. I heard of Drayton manor and would like to visit with my girl some time! The photos are fab! Angela from Daysinbed

    • Reply Emma 01/03/2016 at 9:44 pm

      Thanks Angela, such a fabulous place to visit. We’re really lucky it’s only half an hour up the road!

  • Reply mummyofboygirltwins 01/03/2016 at 9:56 pm

    Great post!! :) I think I saw you there and meant to say hi but the twins were running all over the place!!!!! We had fun too and I love the way you’ve done this post. Jess xx

    • Reply Emma 01/03/2016 at 10:06 pm

      Thank you for your kind words Jess, oh such a shame we didn’t meet but the kids were SO excited weren’t they? Can’t blame them really! xx

  • Reply Michelle 02/03/2016 at 9:32 am

    Not gonna lie, but Thomas Land looks amazing! I know my son would have really loved that when he was a little boy, he loved Thomas the Tank!

  • Reply Laura 02/03/2016 at 10:27 am

    These are such gorgeous photos Emma, looks like you all had a fab day!

  • Reply Rachael Whitton 02/03/2016 at 10:39 am

    We love Thomas Land it’s my little boys favorite place. he will be 5 next month and he is still a huge fan.

  • Reply Sarah | Boo Roo and Tigger Too 02/03/2016 at 11:00 am

    I fully agree with all of his top ten things, we adore Thomas Land – so much fun to be had

  • Reply Sonya Cisco 02/03/2016 at 11:08 am

    This looks like such a great place , shame it is so far from us as I know Syd would love it!

  • Reply Anne 02/03/2016 at 1:52 pm

    Well done to Olly, his top ten favourites are brilliant. I’m so glad he was big enough to go on his favourite rides, he looks fabulous on the tractor.

  • Reply Jen 02/03/2016 at 2:08 pm

    Thomas Land is perfectly pitched at kids O’s age. it was a BIG hit when my kids were younger

  • Reply Kizzy 03/03/2016 at 10:53 am

    Its been a few years since we’ve been, need to go this summer as it looks like a great day out.

  • Reply Carolynne @ Mummy Endeavours 03/03/2016 at 12:50 pm

    We went to the Christmas at Thomas Land event (not as a blogger) and it really is a great place. I love to zoo bit! We didn’t do as much as we wanted to though. Would like to go back and see more x

  • Reply Amanda 03/03/2016 at 1:34 pm

    My gosh I really want to go here. Arthur would just love it – the helicopter, the trains.. all of it. I think we might consider taking him for his 3rd Birthday as it is about an hour from us.

  • Reply Stephanie 04/03/2016 at 11:19 am

    We have never been there before but it looks so much fun, he looks so happy to be there and go on all those great rides.

  • Reply oana79 04/03/2016 at 11:39 am

    Dear Olly,
    You managed to squeeze so much fun out of your day. Hope You become an ambassador of the park so you can visit loads more!xx

  • Reply ClearlyBex 05/03/2016 at 7:54 am

    Wow, what a busy day you had little man, some lovely photos for wonderful memories. Lovely to see you all there x

  • Reply Kara 05/03/2016 at 4:59 pm

    You got some amazing pictures, he looked like he had so much fun

  • Reply Emma 06/03/2016 at 11:18 am

    Drayton Manor looks amazing! I’m really enjoying reading all the posts .

  • Reply Sam -Travelling with our Kids 30/06/2016 at 7:34 pm

    Thank you for giving me the link to your post. Thomas land looks great fun. Here’s hoping the weather stays ok for when we visit! X

  • Reply Nyomi 30/11/2016 at 7:26 pm

    My 4 year old would really love this. He’s been the biggest Thomas fan since age 2 and at nearly 5 he’s still obsessed. We must have nearly every toy, his room is decorated Thomas. Everything is Thomas! I could have shares in the company. The one thing we haven’t done yet is Thomasland and I really need to. We’ve looked at it lots of times but his sister is rubbish in the car so we keep putting it off! Now I’ve read this I want to schedule it though!

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