So this weekend, it rained.
We could have snuggled in front of the fire with our shiny new copy of Arthur Christmas for company but instead Flea and I (accompanied by Flea’s best friend) headed off to the Midlands to spend the day at Drayton Manor theme park.
Over the next few weeks, Drayton Manor’s Thomas Land attraction will be open at weekends and holidays, making it a great option for under 10s.
We arrived at Drayton Manor at lunchtime and headed straight for the Ben 10 rollercoaster, which is Flea’s favourite ride at the whole park (at least until next summer, when my little adrenaline junkie will be tall enough to try some of the more grown-up rollercoasters).
Three consecutive rides on the coaster later, we made our way into Thomasland, which I think is a brilliant idea in theme park design – all the rides are suitable for smaller children, nothing is TOO scary, and everything is contained in one small area.
For our two charges (7 year olds) the best rides were the Troublesome Trucks rollercoaster and Cranky’s Tower, although we did manage to fit in no fewer than eight rides on Ben10 before the end of the day.
Thanks to the rain, the queues were non-existent, and if the drizzle did wash away the fake snow it did little to dampen the spirits of the park’s staff, who put on some lovely Thomas-themed performances, and were happy to pose for photos with the children. Although do check with the park before travelling as shortly after our visit, the park had to close due to too much rain!
Because it’s nearly Christmas there are some special attractions as part of Drayton Manor’s Magical Christmas package, including a new Knight Before Christmas enchanted castle – where the Excalibur ride is – complete with jesters and dragons. You can book a timed ticket to see Father Christmas but be warned, even with a ticket, the queue was more than 40 minutes long on our visit – too long for my two charges, who soon opted to spend their time going on more rides rather than standing in line.
Another new attraction this Christmas is an abridged version of Polar Express in the park’s 4D cinema, which both the girls loved, and talked about all the way home – if you’re a Polar Express fan, this is a really lovely experience, and it’s 15 minutes in the warm, in a super-comfy chair even if you’re not!
The day finished with some family-friendly fireworks over the castle, before we retreated to the car park (where I managed to prang my car on a sneaky pole sticking out of the ground – grr) tired, but full of festive cheer.
We were invited to visit the park as guests of Drayton Manor.
Magical Christmas at Drayton Manor Thomas Land, is open from Nov 16 to January 6. Tickets must be booked in advance, if you book online before Dec 1st the price is £10 for children and £15 for adults, increasing to £12 and £20 for tickets purchased during December. Children under 4 go free.