Ho! Ho! Ho! Let’s go to Drayton Manor, home of Europe’s only Thomas Land™, to experience its award-winning Magical Christmas with the Imagination Parade and fireworks until 31st December 2018 to really get into the spirit of Christmas!
Drayton Manor Park is a short car hop for us and we have become quite a regular visitor! Throughout the years, we have seen so many changes and improvements in the park which keeps us going back again and again.
If you or your child is a big fan of Thomas & Friends, then you must come and catch a glimpse of the balcony show where the Fat Controller dance along with all his Fungineer friends. There are four shows a day at 12pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm! After the 12pm, 2pm and 3pm shows, there will be an opportunity to meet and greet the characters! Arrive early to get your spot!
Even though both my children are much older now, they still love the rides in Thomas Land, especially Sodor Classic Cars, Troublesome Trucks Rollercoaster, Cranky the Crane Drop Tower, Diesel’s Locomotion Mayhem, Rocking Bulstrode etc. It was still fun and exciting for them and they loved every minute in there.
For this festive event, there is also an indoor Slide & Glide rink, which is free for anyone and requires no booking! Mr K, Ms C and Mr K’s friend all had a go at it and enjoyed it so much they went back for a second time later that evening! The ice rink is quite small but they limit the number of people and duration which works well. This means everyone will have space and sufficient time to enjoy themselves. There were no ‘penguins’ available and it is suitable only for children wearing shoe sizes 8 and above. Luckily, all of them were confident enough to go on their own, and slipped a couple of times but shrugged it off and enjoyed it.
If you are not a fan of skating, then why not visit the 4D cinema for an amazing 15-minute adventure! This year for the first time ever, they are offering two family favourite films! You can enjoy a family viewing of Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas or Ice Age: No Time for Nuts! We went for the Ice Age: No Time for Nuts at 2pm, which is simply a lovely film with a lot of entertaining moments! We all enjoyed those silly moments! But be prepared to get slightly wet!
We then walked through the 15-acre zoo to check out their two special reindeer, all the way from the North Pole. They will be assisting Father Christmas with his worldwide present delivery on Christmas Eve! We made sure we didn’t forget to visit the rest of the animals too like the reptiles and leopard! It is home to over 100 other species of animals from across the globe. If your child loves to watch animal feeding, then don’t forget to check out the timings for each different animal which occur throughout the day starting from 10.30am.
There is also 30-foot light show Christmas tree set to festive music to play every half an hour throughout the day, which is definitely a showstopper! We love the festive lights, especially towards the evening! It looks spectacular!
We also met Father Christmas and his elves in his grotto at the Castle of Dreams. It was very well decorated and organised by his little elves. We didn’t have to wait for too long for him and each received a special Christmas present with a golden ticket, which allows a child to go free in 2019 with a purchase of an adult ticket (valid from 9th – 24th February and 27th March – 31st October 2019).
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 £20-£22 for 12 years and over, 4 – 11 at £17-£19, and 2 – 3 at £8-£10.
At 4.30pm, we all went to watch the Imagination Parade journeying to the imagination stage. As we went quite late, we were not able to see much as there was already a mass of people standing around. The parade then ended its journey over the lake with fireworks! It was great fun! We all had an enjoyable trip to Drayton Manor and will definitely be back soon!
If you want to extend your stay, then the onsite four-star Drayton Manor Hotel, which features 15 Thomas & Friends™ themed rooms, has a Stay & Play package includes an overnight stay, breakfast and tickets to enter the theme park and enjoy Magical Christmas, including a complimentary visit to see Father Christmas in the Castle of Dreams.
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 and Facebook. There is a car park fee of £2, which is payable at the machine in the park.
Disclosure: We were provided with a family pass for the purposes of writing this review, however, all thoughts and opinions remain our own. Images used with permission.