Advantages Plenty of things to do on a day there!
Disadvantages It's in the UK, you will never get the perfect weather for it!
|Is it worth visiting?|
I have to say when I was told where I was going this weekend I was slightly dubious. Mainly becausehaving been there a year or so ago, I found it quite boring - but I thought well I have different company this time so you just never know! Thankfully this time I was with a bit more of a vaired group of people so got to see something more than just the main park!
Drayton Manor park is situated in Tamworth in Staffordshire, on the A4091, just off the A38/A446, Junction 9 M42 and Exit T2 M6 Toll, now I have to admit I wasn't paying much attention to the road because the Sat Nav was telling me where to go. If you are going to travel there by Sat Nav you will be needed the post code B78 3TW, hopefully your Sat Nav will find the park because ours didn't, but due to the wonder that is roadsigns we found our way there!The Drayton Manor website actually tells you that during the busier summer months there are buses running from the train station in Tamworth directly to the park - so fear not if you don't fancy the hassle of driving and parking is a simple way to have a good day - well I say simple it might not be because I haven't used it! It must work well else it wouldn't still be running! As always with big attractions there are plenty of options to get there and back with various discounts, all to get you through the gates. For more detailed information log onto http://www.draytonmanor.co.uk/ParkGuide/Directions.aspx
http://www.draytonmanor.co.uk/ParkGuide/WhereToStay.aspxAs always its good to have a look on the internet just to see which hotel sounds better for you depending upon on the facilities - but the Ramada is definately a great hotel, with a great suite for two people or a family... Thats all for another review!!
There is a campsite attatched to the park, which is specifically for families, meaning no wild parties until the early hours! With the campsite there are facilites available, with toilets and running showers and the added bonus of plenty of security. The prices for the night at Drayton's campsite are fairly reasonable at £25 a night for an electric hook up pitch, and £15 for a standard one. I'm not sure how the car parking is at the campsite, but if it is as good as the parking at the main park site there is plenty of space for a lot of visitors. Until the staff decide to wheelspin oer the grass making it pretty disgusting to walk over!All this information is available here: http://www.draytonmanor.co.uk/ParkGuide/CampingAndCaravans.aspx
When you first walk through the gates, you will get your ticket scanned by a member of staff. After that you are faced with a fairly open pathway with the main rides to your right, (which I will talk more about in a moment,) and a fairly long walk ahead of you. Within the main park as well as your rides, there are the usual fast food vendors and suprisingly enough plenty of places to sit down in you need to. There are plenty of things to be getting on with if you are not into scary rides or the childs side - theres plenty of more tame things you can do such as...
To be honest this attraction is not all that scary, unless you are easily scared by something brushing past your hand in the dark. The flashing lights at the beginning of the attraction are enough to give you a headache, and if you are with a boyfriend like mine, you will jump out of your skin! There are plenty of warnings about this attraction, such as not going on it if you are epileptic or pregnant which is more than understandable considering what goes on during the attraction!
I have to say this attraction annoyed me, mainly because I have no aiming skills and it is not as easy as it looks, especially when you find yourself aiming pointlessly while your other half is shooting everything and ending up with a score 15 times the size of yours! I would say though this attraction is more of a time filler than anything else, well that is unless you are ultra competative. There are no safety restictions on it so this ride seems to be open to anyone who can shoot a fake gun!
So there are also a few more of the tame rides you can take smaller children on, with supervision of course, smaller things such as the Ferris Wheel. Which gives you a good view of the park especially when they leave you hanging up there for a few minutes while others get on the ride. You get two maybe three rotations on the wheel depending upon how busy the park is, be warned if it's windy you will be rocking about up there quite a lot! Though warning for anyone over four foot high remember to duck as you walk out of your little seat otherwise you will do what I did and bash your head on the iron bar holding the wheel together - believe me you will regret that for a few hours!There is also a buffalo ride which takes you over the river and across the top of the walk way, it seems like a nice way to get into the rides, it's especially good for the children if you go with them because apart from the coaster in Thomas Land is as close as they will get to a scary rollercoaster. It wasn't really my thing when we went because it was a bit tame for me but I have it on high authority from the 6 year old I was with that it was really cool! Another ride that impressed my boyfriends little brother was the Flying Dutchman, basically a bunch of boats on ropes that swung round, though beware if you have a bit of vertigo it does go quite high and a little bit diagonal at a speed! There is also a ride called the sombrero but it wasn't functioning on the day so I never got to see what that did, but it looks like you sit in a little sombrero hat and get spun around, so it would be worth a try with children!
There is also the luxury of a cable car, to go over the top of the whole park at quite a height actually, it's a good experience if you are there on a sunny day - but the weekend just gone was quite drizzly so I ended up a little bit wet when I got off. Though regardless of the weather I recommend it, it's definately worth a go when you're there, but beware of the start because they do push you quite hard up the cable. If you are facing backwards than it is a bit of a shocker when they push you up especially since your not used to it - though beware if you have a bit of vertigo! There is also a pirate ship for everyone to have a go on, but every time I walked past it, it was under maintenance so I would avoid it personally but if it is working and you fancy it try it! It's all included in your ticket price so why not!
Well for all you parents out there of young children, you probably know all about, Sodor and all the Thomas characters - I didn't but I do now! There are plenty of rides here to keep your children entertained, from a magical bus, to helicopters and aeroplanes! I never remember there being that many characters in Thomas all those years ago but then again that was a long time ago! You and your little one can explore 6,000 square meters of Thomas Land and enjoy the rides over and over again probably!I will give you my personal opinion on a few of the attractions there, including the 'Troublesome trucks runaway coaster,' now I will say this much about this coaster for the height restrictions they set of 0.9 meters high which could be anyone about 4 or 5 years old, this coaster could be a little scary. If you hadn't realised I was at the theme park with a 6 year old this weekend so we decided to pile on this coaster with him just for fun, now shockingly we were quite suprised at just how crazy this ride was for being a childrens ride. Now I know normal coasters are fairly high but this one gets pretty skyscrapping itself for a childrens ride, it took us four adults by suprise actually but of course we were all fine with it, but the 6 year old we were with absolutely loved it!
Other than this beast of a childs coaster there are a number of other attractions for your little one, from driving a little car of their own to being on a train that takes you around the park, in a circle or one that takes you from the centre of the Thomas Land to the Zoo. I have to say as an adult this land didn't impress me too much, but from a childs point of view I can see why it would be so much fun because it is literally a television show brought to life. There is no wonder they get so excited, even if you aren't keen on letting them on rides there is two play areas for your children to be let loose, one is outdoors which will be great in the summer and there is one indoors, which I didn't actually see anyone go in or out of but if it is at the same level of cleanliness and quality as the rest of the land it will be good for your children.It is hard to tell you too much about Thomas Land as it is not aimed at my age group but the little boy I was with did say he would recommend it!
For a full list of attractions in Thomas Land log onto here: http://www.draytonmanor.co.uk/ThomasLand/RidesAndAttractions.aspx
Well it is called a zoo, but I have to say there are not too many species of animals you can spend your time looking at, especially if it's cold outside - afterall would you be wanting to walk around in the cold 24/7! So when you visit the zoo there are varying animals you can see from linxs' to penguins, and lots of things inbetween. The zoo is set in fifteen acres of land but it genuinely doesn't feel like it, or even look like it. Especially when you look at the size of the cages some of larger animals are placed in. When it comes to interacting with the animals I have to say that it is very limited in that the closest things I got to were rabbits and a cheeky chicken, that was all over the place when it wasn't being chased by children. There are however day trips for schools that mean you can discover different species and get some hands on experience, but that does seem to be for school parties only. There are also opportunities to become a zoo keeper for the day, but it is something you would have to inquire about in advance as there is very little detail around the park about it.In this zoo there are not too many majorly exotic animals, there are small monkey in the small mammals house, which if let free I am guessing they would be more than friendly! I only saw one larger monkey this weekend, but that is not to say that there wasn't another one hiding away somewhere, as it would only be fair that it had company. As with all the animals there seems to be more than one of each which is a good thing, except the flamingos as there are definately plenty of those around - some of the pinkest flamingos i've seen in the UK. Overall the zoo section is a good place to go for a relaxing walk after lunch, or just to introduce your children to some of the more rare species that they might not get a chance to see in the wild, such as the beautiful Tigers. Now for everyone who is now in love with meerkats thanks to that advert, there are apparently some here but I was either walking around with my eyes shut or we didn't happen to walk past them because I didn't spot any! It may be though that the zoo's layout is a bit more complicated than it seemed, as the majority of it did seem to go round in a circle an aim so that people didn't miss anything I would assume.
Since the Thomas Land Train drops you off at the zoo, and has plenty of Thomas branded things to do you will find a Thomas Cafe here, as always in a theme park it is not cheap but you might find yourself dragged in it's direction anyway! The zoo area itself is very amply fitted with toilets, and they are all very clean and warm - one block especially, near the rabbits its apparently a bit like a sauna for it's positioning. So you know where to go on a chilly day to warm up! The zoo is an acceptable part of the park in combination with everything else ithe park offers, from thrill rides to family rides. If you are looking for a fuller zoo experience pick up the Twycross Zoo package from a local hotel if you are staying the night before, or look out on the internet for deals. As it will have more animals and more ways to interact, though Drayton Manor has a good enough zoo for a family day out to keep everyone entertained.
Well there aren't many spine tingling rides at Drayton Manor, they are all a bit short and spend a lot of time out of use for one reason or another. So it made me wonder if they were even safe to go on - but that didn't stop me! I was really disappointed that they weren't that scary but afterall, this isn't Alton Towers.
Well this ride, is made out on the website to be oh so scary, but really it's not a thriller ride like you find at perhaps Thorpe Park or Alton Towers. It is apparently, 385 meters long, but let me assure you it really doesn't feel like it! That's if you can even get on it, when it's not out of use... When you do get on it, there are quite a few sections where you find yourself inverted, and let me assure you that is not something I enjoy, but the ride is over so soon you barely notice it. The loops are apparently 70 Kph, but to be fair it really doesn't feel like it! If this ride had a queue I would avoid it really, it wouldn't be worth waiting for anything more than 15 minutes for something that lasts less than a minute!
Well I just found this ride a bit boring, there is quite a simple idea behind it swing on a bit of metal at 25 meters in the air at 360 degrees, now to some that may sound exciting but it just seems a bit boring to me and had no real intention of going on it. I watched it a few times, and to be honest the people on it did look like they were enjoying themselves, well except for a few that did look a bit green! The queue wasn't really that long so it's not perhaps the most popular ride, but it definately lasts longer than either of the rollercoasters!
Now if you like water rides you will like this ride, its a backwards drop of 9 meters into a lot of water, and trust me it's cold, and not too tasty! The ride in association with the RNLI, gives you a bit of a thrill, especially dropping at 64kph, not once, not twice, but three times! It's quite a thrilling ride, really for a water ride, but it is quite funny since you are there waiting for it and you can't see whats coming. Though I would recommend it on a warm day, because on a cold day it is very very cold, and not even the added bonus of the dryer at the bottom of the ride can make up for that feeling!
Adult (12+) = £28.00
Child (age 4-11) = £24.00
Grandee (age 60+) = £14.00
Disabled Visitor & Helper (each) = £19.00
Attention, this is the first review from this author
Instead of giving a negative rating, consider:
Help this member by giving your advice
Report fraud (for example plagiarism) or other issue with the review to the Ciao support team
Add your comment