Drayton Manor, home of Europe’s only Thomas Land™ has officially opened its popular magical winter wonderland Christmas event with fireworks! Following Thomas Land’s £2.5 million expansion in the spring, this year’s Magical Christmas promises to be bigger and better than ever, with over 25 rides and attractions to enjoy, such as new arrivals Flynn the Fire Engine and Captain’s Sea Adventure.
The exciting new Thomas Land, which is now 40% bigger, also features a brand new two-storey Sodor Airport complex, with balconies offering stunning views across the park, a café and VIP Thomas and Friends themed suites that are available for private hire. Even though both my children are slightly older now, they still love the gentle rides in Thomas Land especially the Sodor Classic Cars, Troublesome Trucks Coaster, Cranky the Crane Drop Tower, Diesel’s Locomotion Mayhem, etc.
If you happen to be around Knapford Station (you can’t miss it), you might get some flurry snow (at least three times a day) or even better, catch Fat Controller patrolling the place or put on a show!
This was our second time visiting their Magical Christmas event and we love it despite the extreme cold weather. The children never seem to feel the cold especially when they are busy playing and even if you did, there are outdoor heaters that can be found outside their restaurants or you could seek refuge inside the one of the indoor dining areas or let the kids play in the soft play area (Emily’s Adventure Play).
There is also a spectacular indoor ice rink (£2 charge for 15 minutes) and Mr K had a go at it by himself. The ice rink is small and they have limited penguins available. Mr K slipped a couple of times but shrugged it off and enjoyed it.
There is a 30 foot lightshow Christmas tree set to festive music that will play throughout the day. Not only that but the Apocalypse tower drop is going to be turned into a 54 metre high Christmas tree, complete with star on top!
Last year, we had watched The Polar Express at the 4D cinema, hence this year we decided to skip it. The show lasts around 15 minutes and is a great film to show at this time of the year.
Afterwards, we all went to see Santa in his magical Castle of Dreams. Both of them were very excited to tell Santa what they really want for Christmas! We then took a photo with Santa and each child received a gift from him! The magical experience does not end there! Inside the castle, they got to do arts and crafts and listen to stories from the Princess. There is also a gift shop for you to get more merchandise.
Just before the park closed, they put on a low-noise yet beautiful firework display (great for babies and toddlers) at the Castle of Dreams which lasts around 5 – 10 minutes. We all had an enjoyable trip to Drayton Manor and will definitely be back soon! Inside our Santa’s gift, there is a special pass which allows a child to go for free with purchases of an adult ticket for 2016. What a great saving for next year! We are all looking forward to their new build for 2016.
Visitors can also ride the Ben 10: Ultimate Mission Coaster but note that if it is too cold, they will close the ride. They can also visit the animals in the 15-acre zoo where resident reindeer, including newest arrival baby Phoenix, will be preparing to assist Father Christmas with his worldwide present delivery on Christmas Eve! The zoo is also home to over 100 other species of animal from across the globe.
If your children are a little too young or old to meet Father Christmas, you can buy park tickets only, without the Father Christmas visit, with prices at just £15 for 12 years and over, and 4 – 11 at £10.
If you want to extend your stay, then the onsite four-star Drayton Manor Hotel, which features 15 Thomas & Friends™ themed rooms, has a selection of packages available over the Christmas period.
Drayton’s Magical Christmas will be open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from Saturday 21st November to Monday 14th December, then every day from Thursday 17th December to Wednesday 23rd December and Sunday 27th December to Thursday 31st December. Pre booking Christmas tickets is essential due to demand.
To book tickets, or for more information about the park, visit www.draytonmanor.co.uk or call 0844 472 1950. For regular updates and news about Drayton Manor Theme Park join it on Twitter www.twitter.com/Draytonmanor and Facebook www.facebook.com/DraytonManorPark.
Disclosure: We were provided a family pass to write this honest review. Press images used with permission.