Review: Drayton Manor Theme Park

Little Man has been obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine since the first time he saw him and so when I found out about Drayton Manor and their Thomasland attraction I knew I had to take the children there as even LP loves Thomas!

I decided that we’d all go for my Birthday, spending a weekend away with a day of afternoon tea for me and then a day at Drayton Manor for the children. We picked Birmingham as our base for the weekend and it wasn’t that far to Drayton Manor at all.

When we first got to Drayton Manor I was immediately put out by the parking charge. Why do theme parks insist on charging people to park when there’s no other real way of getting to them? Increase the admission fee slightly instead. It may only be £3 but it’s the principle of it.

Other than that my first impressions of Drayton manor was that it was all quite dated. The whole place has the feel of a seaside resort that hasn’t had much of a makeover since it opened, like a permanent fairground – although I am sure that there have been modernisations as the years have gone by.

IMG_9257

One part of the park that has obviously had money spent on it though is Thomasland. The whole area was busy and with so many rides that we didn’t know what to go on first. The children just loved seeing all their favourite characters and we spent the whole morning in Thomasland, taking photos with trains, going on rides and enjoying ourselves.

IMG_9244

IMG_9258

IMG_9259

The children had such a great time. As far as they were concerned the trains were real and this in itself was enough to keep the kids so incredibly happy. Thomasland is the sort of place that makes children’s dreams come true and LP and Little man loved it.

IMG_9289

IMG_9265

IMG_9294

IMG_9281

After lunch we got on the Percy train – although there’s also a Thomas – and took a ride to the zoo part of the park. The train stops in an area surrounded by animal enclosures although this area was very quiet and the enclosures didn’t have much in – a bit of a waste of space as Hubby remarked.

IMG_9299

IMG_9298

There was also a little farm and a few zoo animals although I wasn’t impressed with their enclosures and the whole animal part of Drayton Manor felt like the last few animals from the original zoo and definitely not something guests would go purely to see although a nice addition. There was a tiger, some monkeys and parrots and a few other small animals.

IMG_9305

IMG_9309

There was also a Dinoland exhibit that again was a bit odd and random with huge model dinosaurs to walk around and look at but the main attraction at this end of the park was the adventure play area that the children would have loved to have spent some time at if they hadn’t been so tired.

IMG_9303

IMG_9304

IMG_9300

We then walked through the main part of Drayton Manor and went on a few rides and I was impressed that the children were tall enough for a lot of it – 90cm seems to be a good minimum height if visiting Drayton manor.

The park is quite big and has a great mix of water rides, rollercoasters and traditional fairground attractions like carousels and even old fashioned penny arcade machines. Drayton Manor has been around for a very long time – and it shows – but it does have a vintage charm about it that is hard not to love. Parts of Drayton Manor need a bit of life putting into them – or pulling down – but other parts really make Drayton Manor such a lovely day out.

IMG_9341

IMG_9349

IMG_9310

Before I started writing this review I had a very rose tinted view of our day at Drayton Manor and now that I’ve put it down into writing it seems really negative but it isn’t meant to be. We had the best of days at Drayton manor, Thomasland especially, and it’s a day that the children will be talking about for years. It’s a great value day out compared to other theme parks – especially if you book more than 7 days in advance – and it is a great day out that the family will love. Just make sure you don’t go expecting the shiny newness of Alton Towers and instead submerse yourself in a theme park that will remind you of everything you loved about your own childhood. I can guarantee any family will have a great day at Drayton Manor.

IMG_9272

Disclosure: We bought our tickets to Drayton Manor ourselves and just wanted to tell you about it. This is in no way a sponsored post.

3 thoughts on “Review: Drayton Manor Theme Park

  1. Great review Donna. We last went when our children were 3 and 6 and we have always said we would return. They are too old for Thomas Land now so we would be heading for the bigger attractions. Though I honestly think they would prefer the shiny rides of Alton Towers. I think Thomas Land is fab for smaller kids though, and it looks like you all had a great day out x
    Tracey Williams recently posted…Ellie Bean Prints – Review and GiveawayMy Profile

  2. My little two would love Thomas land as Sophia is train crazy, I wish it was not so far away. I hate it when you have to pay for parking when you visit places like this too. It is a bit of shame it is looking a bit neglected in places and the zoo seems a bit sparse. I am glad you all had a nice day though xx
    Lindsay @ Newcastle Family Life recently posted…Chloe You Are A TeenagerMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge