Family fun at Thomas Land

Did you know that Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends are over 70 years old?  Could you have guessed that a Thomas & Friends toy is sold somewhere in the world every two seconds?  No we had no idea either!  These are just a couple of facts we learnt last weekend during our visit to Thomas Land at Drayton Manor Theme Park.  We certainly knew that Thomas is a very popular toy in our house but we had no idea how popular the little blue engine is worldwide.

Over the last few years my husband and I have become experts at carefully navigating our way around our front room floor without disturbing complex train tracks.  Both of our boys are train mad and so we jumped at the opportunity to review the Staffordshire based attraction knowing they would enjoy the family fun at Thomas Land.

We visited Thomas Land three years ago for Charlie’s second birthday.  It was a memorable day for he knew the name of every engine.  Charlie introduced Harry who is nearly two to Thomas & Friends about six months ago by allowing him to play with his beloved engines and train tracks, since then our house has been train crazy again!

Thomas Land is a must visit attraction for families with little train fans.  It reopened in April 2015 after a £2.5 million expansion which saw it increase in size by 40%.  We were therefore keen to check out the newly added Sodor Airport and the three brand new rides – Captain’s Sea Adventure, Flynn’s Fire & Rescue and Toby’s Tram Express.

Charlie particularly enjoyed the Cranky Crane ride, Spencer’s Adventure Playground and Rocking Bulstrode, a boat ride.  It was so cute to watch him interacting with Harry during our visit, he kept pointing out all the different engines in a high-pitched squeaky voice which must be the voice my husband and I use when we speak to Harry!

Harry at nearly two years old was in choo choo heaven!  He had an incredible day running around excitedly pointing out all his favourite engines and characters.  He can only say a few words but he has recently starting saying ‘Tho-mas’ and ‘Perceee’.  All the other engines are just choo choo!  The rides which cater particularly well for toddlers at Thomas Land are the Thomas and Percy short train ride, Winston’s Whistle Stop Tours which takes riders on a journey overlooking Thomas Land from above, Harold’s Helicopter Tour and the Blue Mountain Engine ride.

A few other select rides/areas were open over the February half term holidays including the Dino Trail; the 4D Yogi Bear cinema experience which was a thoroughly entertaining 15 minute feature (even Harry sat transfixed throughout the movie); a traditional carousel and Drayton Manor Zoo where my boys particularly loved the talking parrots and entertaining monkeys.

Having been very fortunate to visit many of the popular theme parks during my five years living in the USA, I am pretty hard to please as I have high expectations of visitor attractions. This was our second visit to Drayton Manor, with most of our time on both occasions spent in Thomas Land.  During our two visits my husband and I have been very impressed.  The attraction has a range of enjoyable rides which cater for toddlers through to older kids, the park is very well maintained and clean, the entrance tickets and food is reasonably priced (£15 entrance fee during the time we visited and kids lunch boxes were only £3.95) and most importantly we have only ever experienced small queues for rides.

Tip: During the Thomas & Friends Weekends (when only Thomas Land rides and the Zoo are open) admission prices are available in advance for a 50% reduction.  See the website for more details. 


Need to know
Website – draytonmanor.co.uk/thomas-land
Address – Drayton Manor Park, Near Tamworth, Staffordshire, B78 3TW
Accommodation – There is a onsite four star hotel at Drayton Manor.  See our review of Drayton Manor Hotel for more information.


Disclosure – We were provided with complimentary entrance tickets and an overnight stay at Drayton Manor Hotel for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are as always our own. 

All photos copyright Travel Loving Family

Tried and Tested
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30 thoughts on “Family fun at Thomas Land

  1. ABRAHAM

    We had a fantastic day at Thomas Land, despite the awful weather. We spent the whole day there, without even getting to the big rides in the main park. There are 8 big thrill rides, as well as lots and lots of family rides too. With a zoo to look around as well, we really needed at least another day to see it all, but unfortunately we couldn t go back the next day. You can visit the next day for a hugely reduced price see the website for prices and special offers.

  2. Anna Fraser

    I love what you say about carefully negotiating the tracks once through the front door, my house is exactly the same!

    Sometimes the complex rail network running between rooms does my head in and I crave a clear floor … but then my husband always reminds me …”one day you’ll miss stepping over all this” – he is right of course!

    Great post, looks like you had a great time.
    Anna x
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    1. Lisa Post author

      LOL I know exactly what you mean Anna! The train tracks drive me mad sometimes too, especially when I catch my foot on a bridge and the entire track gets pulled up. Your husband is so right… I want to use a remote control to pause my boys, they are growing up far too quickly. I dread the day when their train tracks are collecting dust in the attic and they are teenagers with their heads buried deep in games consoles:( Thanks for stopping by Anna x

  3. Coombe Mill - Fiona

    Did you meet any other bloggers there? It seams to have been quite the place to visit this week. I love all there is to do, this is real family fun and something children must adore the country over. I wish mine were still young enough, I want to go! Hope you’ll join me for Country Kids, popping by from #TriedTested

    1. Lisa Post author

      We visited the wkd of half term Fiona, we could not make it to the blog ambassador event. It is a fab place to visit with Thomas fans:) Your older children would love Drayton Manor

    1. Lisa Post author

      I know we were surprised too! Thomas Land first opened its doors in March 2008 so it is quite an established attraction. The rides and facilities still look great though, especially the new extended part

    1. Lisa Post author

      I can definitely recommend it Zena. My youngest was so happy with the train carousel in the hotel foyer so you can imagine his reaction when he walked into Thomas Land!

  4. Sassy

    I’ve never particularly liked Thomas the tank engine for some strange reason, but my nephew is mad on trains, may be my partner and I can take him over the summer! It sounds like a fantastic day had by all the family glad your little boys loved it! 🙂 xxx

  5. Georgina prince

    We have never stayed in the hotel but would love too! I love Thomas land my boys had so much fun there last time we went! We also love the zoo at Drayton manor too! We are planning to go again this summer! x

    1. Lisa Post author

      You should check out the stay and play offer Georgina, it makes a stay overnight very reasonable especially with the discounts available at the Grill Inn too

    1. Lisa Post author

      It is a cool place Laura:) Thomas Land is located within the main Drayton Manor theme park which has all the roller coasters etc for older kids (and adult kids!) To be honest with all the attractions and rides in Thomas Land itself and the few other areas that were open we would not have had time to see any of the rest of the park even if it had of been open. The entrance tickets for the Thomas Land weekends are also reduced so perfect for young families with little train fans

  6. Michelle

    That’s awesome that you had a great time and that Thomas still lives on in your youngest! My oldest was into Thomas but my youngest wasn’t. He was into whatever music preschool shows were on, lol!

    1. Lisa Post author

      We have been very lucky Michelle as we have been able to reuse all of my eldest sons Thomas the tank toys and clothes. We also have a Thomas toddler bed up in the attic ready for when our youngest is ready to progress from his cot!

  7. Tracy murphy

    Izzy loved it here when we took her aged 3 I think , I agree very clean place , no queues lots of fun and she loved it ! 😀

    1. Lisa Post author

      I am pleased you also had a great day at Thomas Land Tracy! We will be returning in the summer, it was bitterly cold when we were there. I have also heard that the Christmas event is fabulous with a very authentic looking Santa:)

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