Despite being almost 3 hours away from home, Drayton Manor is a place that all the family love to visit as it caters for all ages with Thomas Land for the little ones and adrenalin rides for the teens.
Last weekend we were invited up to the park to try out their new VertiGO high ropes activity which you can read about by clicking the link. It is safe to say that Isaac adored the course, especially the ziplines which he did again and again, whilst Eliza and Sebastian practised their balance on the VertiGO Tots course.
Once we had finished climbing we headed straight for Thomas Land, where we bumped into Sir Topham Hatt who happily chatted to an awestruck Sebby before posing for a photograph.
Since our last visit, Sebastian has reached the milestone of 0.9m tall, which meant he could go on even more rides than before and he was most excited about finally getting to ride Captain’s Sea Adventure which spins you round really fast in the water.
Sebastian really does have an adventurous streak in him as he also had a blast riding in Bulstrode, the rocking boat – even putting his arms in the air as we rocked and spun around.
Thomas Land has a good mix of rides from the more gentle for timid little ones, like Flynn’s Fire Rescue where you have to put out the “fire”, to slightly more adventurous like Cranky Crane and the Troublesome Trucks Runaway Coaster for those children who want to try bigger rides but aren’t quite brave or tall enough just yet.
When the park gets too much you can board Thomas, Rosie or Percy and head to the back of the park to find the play area, Dino Trail and Zoo.
There ate 15 acres of open plan zoo to explore which is home to over 100 animals from all over the world including endangered species such as the Sumatran Tigers and Black Leopard, plus many more animals from several species of owl, to the reptile centre and the all new Tamarin Trail.
For older children and adults there are lots of adrenalin rides to enjoy too and my favourite is Shockwave, which was Europe’s first intamin stand-up roller coaster and is still only one of two in Europe, although Kian only had eyes for Apocalypse, the first stand up drop tower ride in the world which reaches speeds of over 50mph as it falls 54m to the floor in just 4 seconds.
Facility wise, Drayton Manor has lots of restaurants / outlets if you want to purchase food onsite but also has plenty of space to sit and enjoy a picnic. The best toilet / baby change facilities are in Thomas Land, those in the main park are quite dated and tired looking although from our visit last week this is something they are working on.
Drayton Manor offers a parent swap deal if parents want to ride the big rides and have a young child in tow but do not have a fast-track facility, which I actually quite like, as I cannot stand it when you think you are next on a ride and someone walks in front of you. I have to admit that we have never queued for more than 2o minutes for a ride at Drayton Manor, but have never visited in high season.
From a family point of view, one with tots and teens, this is our favourite theme park as there is plenty to entertain the whole family.