Drayton Manor Review

We were delighted to have been invited to Drayton Manor recently, yes that's right my crazy family were invited out! I am entering their blogger ambassador reach out for 2016. This blogging business really has given us some amazing opportunities, I am so very thankful for everything we received on our visit. We felt so lucky to not only of been able to visit the park but we had an hour to explore Thomas Land before it opened to the public at 10.30am. Thomas Land has over 25 rides and attractions available for the family to enjoy. It is set in 6,000 square feet of parkland, which is just stunning. Thanks to Drayton manners multi million expansion...this is now all available for our children to enjoy, and boy will they enjoy it. 

The day started out with my brother almost falling out the car into the motorway at full speed, long story short he thought he was opening his window but instead only opened his bloody door?! This is why I said crazy family, I really was not exaggerating. - No brothers were actually harmed during the car journey.

We did arrive a little late to the park than we wanted too but we were naughty and snuck in a McDonalds breakfast and a Costa coffee on the way. Nevertheless we still received plenty of time to explore Thomas Land before the public arrived. I feel even when they did access the park the waiting times for rides and such were not awful, and that's me saying it with a 19 month old very up and down toddler. We manged just fine.

Penelopes absolute favourite ride was the Jeremy Jets Flying Academy, she adored this ride and we even went on twice. I have never had her on a ride that has any height involved before then and I think she really enjoyed herself. She sat on the curb outside the fencing of the ride and just loved watching it go around and around also.

All of the rides were so different from one another, for a small child attraction it gave the impression of a really exciting and adrenaline junky feel to it. Rides that spun, twirled, and flew high, but most importantly of all was getting to ride on the 'Real' Thomas the tank engine on a real train track? Well. It's just perfect for children.

We were also able to access the VIP rooms above the Sodar Airport which supplied nibbles, and fresh hot and cold drinks for us. I especially loved the jumbo sized bean bags available, I'm not sure if they were for the children or not but I definitely sat on one myself and my daughter tried them out for size too resting her little bottom on the edges as they were so huge. You too could have access to one of these rooms for £25.00 per person but of course that's with unlimited access to the park and to have the room to yourselves.

Thomas Land also has some great gifts shops which we thoroughly explored. I've never seen so much train memorabilia, ever. There were T-shirts, teddies, pens, toys, cups you name it. It was Thomas related. They had such a huge choice no matter the age of the visitor.

I invited a wide range of ages with me to the park, my daughter of course of 19 months, my brother of 21, myself at 24, my mother at 43 and,  my elderly nana at 75, I thought this would be a really good point to make because with children being so young and the elderly both having walking troubles when it comes to distance. I just wanted to point out that neither my daughter, nana or my mother who also has leg trouble ever had a problem with the walking. Everything was really well spaced out so there was never a long distance between the attractions, either that or there was a pit stop to get a hot drink and some food in between. It worked out perfectly for us. My mother was really worried about whether she would manage during the day. 

We also visited all the other gift shops and even the candy store. We left with lets just say 'ALOT' of sweets.

We stopped for lunch at the Lakeside Tea shop. We all had a packed lunch picnic under the huge canopy area. It was really refreshing to sit outside if I' m honest. It sheltered us from any drafts and was just lovely to stay in the fresh air.We sat on picnic benches and had many a laugh and took so many photos. The Teas Shop sold all sorts of refreshments from food, including jacket potatoes, pasties, sandwiches, snacks, too yogurts, coffee, tea, and so much more. Its great if you just want a pit stop or your are looking to sit down and eat some lunch.

We even met up with our great friends Steph and Emily who we adore! It was great to see them even if it was just for a short while!

Did you know Drayton Manor also have their own zoo?! No I didn't either and it was bloody fantastic I tell you because going to the zoo is one of mine and Penelopes favourites places to visit. Penelope adores animals so was completely in her element here. Home to over 100 species of animals from all over the world, even giving homes to poor endangered animals, which is fantastic.

The animals seemed to be really happy in their homes, all were really active and on the go, this was great to see. They had alot of indoor parts too like the reptile house and small mammal house. This would be great if the weather did turn sour, you can still have access to the animals out of the wet. The zoo again was really well spaced out so walking is not an issue.

This story really tugged at my heart strings, I felt so sad for TOTO, but I completely agree with the staffs decision to let him live out his live as comfortably as possible. It would be cruel to introduce him to another mate at this age and to then have another chimp left heart broken and alone. Or to introduce him to a bigger group and then have him be badly injured because of his age. I think they are making the best of a bad situation. I hope he is as comfortable as possible.

Penelope was very up and down during the day, she has always been a very shy and sensitive girl around new places, and sometimes even old places that we've visited since she was tiny. She finds things a little over whelming at times, and all I can do as her mummy is try to comfort her where possible. She still took so much from the day and we made the best of the time we had at Drayton Manor that's for sure.

The only slightly negative side for me was witnessing a small incident on a ride and I felt like the member or staff to hand could have had a better response to the situation. I feel awful putting this in but I have to be completely honest in my review and feel I shouldn't mislead my experience in any way. This did not at all ruin our day, it was just a little disappointing.

What I love about places that offer so much is that they make you want to visit again because you simply just cannot quite squeeze everything into one day, 'time just flys when your having fun' they say. The great thing is you can visit again to do all your favourite rides and attractions, then proceed to do what you missed out on last time.  Its endless. 

Thankyou to everyone at Drayton Manor for looking after us, including the girls in the VIP rooms running around getting fresh drinks and nibbles for us all. You worked so hard because I know we were quite a handful so much was going on. Thankyou for having us! We'd love to visit again. Infact we 100% will do.

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  1. We had such a blast at Drayton Manor when we went! The only thing that spoiled it for me was that we accidentally picked a busy school holiday week and we were queuing for ages. Like an hour for the Harold ride. I would go back in a heartbeat though! H x

  2. They have a great variety of activities and things to see :) Definitely a great day out for the little ones x

  3. This looked ace, I was gutted I didn't apply, but I was thinking it would've been too far for us to travel. Kinda regretting it now as I've a Thomas obsessed kid who woulda loved it... mean mummy! Glad you had a nice day xx

  4. That looks like such an amazing day! Fab photos! x

  5. I haven't been to Drayton Manor Park in years. My son would abosutely love Thomas land.

  6. Sounds like you had a great day its bit far up north for us weve not been yet but would love to one day. Great review xx

  7. Aw it sounds so awesome there, I wish Toby and I had been invited and I'll definitely be taking him over the summer. Penelope will find her confidence when she's ready and it will be because you've always been there to support her, I'm sure xx

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