This morning, the children and I left home in the rain and collected our friends Anne and Louise for a bit of half term fun. We had a lovely 2-hour drive to Drayton Manor in Staffordshire, the children giggling in the back whilst Anne and I just chatted continuously, barely stopping for breathing. We talked about reward charts, school, summer holidays, France and life in general.
We got to Drayton Manor just after 12 and it was pretty quick to park, really close to the entrance. The beauty of going to a theme park on a rainy day is that the queues are a lot shorter than usual and you can do far more in the time you have there. Every cloud has a silver lining!
Our adventure started with the Drunken Barrels for Anne and the older three. Louise and Crevette loved it but Beanie wasn’t a fan.
Sheriff’s Showdown was a definite win with everyone. As we climbed onboard, we all grabbed our guns and started shooting the targets and we all got a bit competitive. Crevette, Beanie and I got the best scores.
The Haunting was our next destination. Looked at our scared children just below. By then, we were getting pretty wet as the queue was outside, and considerably longer than for the other two rides. Thank goodness for wellies and raincoats. It was a brilliant haunted house and we all left feeling a tad sick after the chapel room!
The rain was still going strong outside but it didn’t defeat us. The Jolly Bucaneer was our next stop after a toilet break, then we headed towards Thomas Land, where we went on a train ride, to the delight of the youngest two!
Photo credit: my friend Anne
It was nice and quiet at the end of our train journey and we had a lovely walk. We saw some tapirs, flamingos and shrews there before taking the train back to the main station of Thomas Land.
Anne then treated us to doughnuts, drinks and ice cream and we went to the 4D cinema to see Ice Age: No Time for Nuts. That was a huge hit with everyone in our party.
The only thing Jumpy had been talking about since we walked into the theme park was ‘the caterpillar’ (The Accelerator ride), so at 5 p.m, just before closing time, I finally gave in and took her, albeit reluctantly. She was bursting with excitement as we joined the queue. I, on the other hand, might have had a bit of vomit in my mouth at the thought of a roller coaster. How can my 5-year-old be so keen on these kinds of thrills already? My screams of horror during the ride were drowned with her squeals of joy. Go figure!
Our return journey took a good three hours, but it was all rather nice, with lots of chatting, laughing and a pleasant drive.
I think if we were to go again, I’d look into booking an overnight stay. The award-winning theme park actually offers a Thomas & Friends™ themed bedroom in its four-star onsite hotel from £317, which also includes breakfast plus tickets to visit the theme park for one day. A second-day ticket can also be added for £14 per person, so even thought it’s definitely an expense, it’s not outrageously expensive for a theme park stay.
Disclosure: We were sent press passes to visit the park free of charge in exchange for an honest blog post. All photos and opinions are my own.