Last year we headed to Thomas Land, with a 2 year old and an 8 week old. This year we had the chance to go back with a 3 year old and a 15 month old. Who is on the move. Having two children who were on the move, and able to go on the rides made this years Thomas Land visit a little more challenging. However, I had the foresight to bring along my oldest friend to help out along with my mum!
Driving down the A38 singing the Thomas theme tune at the tops of our voices, we optimistically looked at the threatening clouds keeping our fingers crossed for a dry day, not only did we get a dry day the sun broke through as we pulled up just in time for the park to open at 10am.
Sun cream at the ready, hats on (one of them anyway) away we went….
First stop was a height check, I knew the Baby would be hit or miss on a few rides which was fine as he is a baby after all. But last year the Big One missed out on a couple of rides that he really wanted to do because of those precious few centimetres. Turns out he’s been growing like a weed as this year he got the green light for all the rides in Thomas Land.
With 19 themed rides and play zones to choose from first up we headed for Blue Mountain Railways and the runaway train where the Big One flatly refused to get on after running excitedly to the front of the queue. Point blank refusal. Still, the Baby could go on. And did.
The Big One merrily waving and watching his little brother spin round in the front of the train sparked some healthy competition as after that there wasn’t a ride refused. A much better start than last year!
From tackling Flynns Fire and Rescue service, and getting a bit splashed, to spinning on Captain’s Sea Adventure where he was disappointed that the water squirter feature had been replaced by lights. Then of course, we had to head to old favourite Harolds Helicopter Adventure, a gently spinning helicopter ride which takes you up to look over the whole of Thomas Land.
With an obligatory helicopter selfie….
Yes from the grown ups not the boys…… we spun round delighting in the view from the top over Thomas Land, the theme tune piping into our ears.
After this we decided not to chance our luck much more as it was getting close to lunchtime and you know, a hangry 3 year old was looking to make an appearance, so we headed to the Thomas train to ride up to the farm by Spencer’s Adventure Playground where we knew there were plenty of picnic tables for us to enjoy the picnic carefully packed in the pram. Joining the queue to ride Thomas we were just in time for the Fat Controllers show. On a balcony, above Knapford Station, the Fat Controller and his friends performed a singing, dancing show. Then it was time to board Thomas…
Pushing the pram into the special carriage designed to hold (empty) prams, we sat just behind filling a carriage, looking out at the lush greenery as we puffed along. At times I really thought we were on Sodor! A quick pitstop for a picnic with by the stream with the geese looking hopeful as the Baby dropped crusts of bread, we were suitably refuelled and a bribe of an ice cream later on if he was good meant we were good to go once again.
And go we did, time for a quieter pace of life to get the Baby wound down for a nap, heading to Terence’s Driving School. A chance to ride on a motorised Terence the Tractor that he missed out on last year. Turns out living in Dubai where beeping the car horn is a common theme has turned our 3 year old into quite the aggressive driver, beeping imaginary horns. All well and good if a. there was a horn or b. he actually had the coordination to drive the tractor without having the lovely lady working on the ride having to come help him every 20 seconds…..
Prising the Big One off with promises of dinosaurs we ran past Spencer’s Adventure Playground to take in the Dino Trail, a short walk where we let the Baby loose, peppered with large model dinosaurs and lots of information on the different species on display. My pair just let out there best roars and ran from dinosaur to dinosaur.
The Dino Trail is right by Spencer’s Adventure Playground, as we exited the Big One made a beeline to run, jump, slide and climb. With the Baby, newly walking, eagerly chasing. They climbed. They slid. They crawled. They let off a lot of excited energy.
At this point the Baby let it be known that he was no longer hangry, he was just tired and grumpy, so we decided to pop him in the pram and take the scenic route back to the rides of Thomas Land (stopping to have a go on the rapids on the way!) after about 3 minutes of protest he nodded off just as we stepped into the zoo, a hidden gem of 15 acres with over 100 animals. The Big One darted from enclosure to enclosure while I paced to keep the smallest one asleep, with beautiful trees, serenity and just all over greenness! A world apart from a noisy theme park, perfect for a little calm time and nap. A leisurely stroll later and we were back in Thomas Land ready to tackle the last few rides, after a quick ice cream stop.
We headed back to the Blue Mountain Trains, jumped on the gentle Lady’s Carousel, took a tour round on Winston (the Fat Controllers very own transport I’ll have you know), nipped onto Sodor’s Classic Cars and of course, had another go on Harold’s Helicopter Tours. We just had time for a quick ice cream stop before one final ride, as somehow it was already nearing closing time, so jumped on Diesel’s Locomotive Engines with time for a squashed selfie.
Before piling into the car and heading home for a chippy tea…
Thomas Land – a Video
Thomas Land – The Details
Thomas Land is situated in Tamworth, near Birmingham, in the grounds of Drayton Manor Park. From 19 themed Thomas attractions, to the Dino Trail, the zoo and 24 other rides including the thrilling Maelstrom (the thought of which terrified me and I was quite glad to have the boys as an excuse!) there really is something for everyone from the thrill seeker to the just walking. Booking in advance saves you up to 40% on the gate price with a graduated scheme meaning you pay less for under 4’s. Prices start from £23 per adult, £18 for those 4-11, £6 for 2-3 and free for under 2’s. Full ticket prices can be found here.
Plentiful facilities with food and drink plentiful around the park, lots of toilets (essential when you have a 3 year old who is prone to leaving it to the very last second to announce he needs a wee) and staff on hand to answer any questions you may have.
A thoroughly enjoyable trip for all from the 15 month old to the mumble mumble Grandma.
Disclosure: We received entry to Thomas Land for the purpose of this review, all opinions and photography is my own.