Thomasland Has Got Bigger & Better!

Today has been a very good day. Why? We were fortunate enough to be invited to Thomasland, which is always hugely popular with my kids, and then to take the excitement up a notch, it was the grand opening of the expansion project. Yes, Thomasland is now even better and bigger than before, with a 40% expansion, including 3 new rides, Sodor Airport and cafe, Victorian fair games, a bandstand and a rather splendid Fat Controller statue.

Thomasland Expansion

We’ve long been fans of Thomasland here, and if you fancy seeing a bit more of our adventures there and what it’s all about, I’ve written about it here and here, as we also had a season pass for it last year. We’re lucky enough to live just 15 minutes away from it, and you can guarantee that if you ask my Little Man what he wants to do with his day, any day, he’ll say Thomasland!

So first up, if you’ve never been to Thomasland before, I should tell you why we like it there..

Thomasland Best Bits:

– It is two quality theme parks in one. Drayton Manor is home to Thomasland and both will keep you occupied for a day with a good variety of rides (you can read all about them here)

– The two parks are not too sprawling. What I mean by that is that you get off a ride, you can get on another right by it. There aren’t lots of different zones and areas with long walks to them. It’s all short walks, great for little legs.

– The adventure play area, pictured below, is brilliant, just brilliant. Plenty big enough to provide play space even on busy days. My two would stay there all day!

– Along with both theme parks, there’s also a zoo and dinosaur trail. We normally go over there after lunch to have a walk about before going back onto the rides again. We like the meerkats and they’ve a new walk through house, and I always like to see the small primates and reptile house.

– There are a lot of rides that both of my children can go on. In fact, we’ve been taking Boo since she was 18 months, and she went on practically every ride in Thomasland even from that young an age. Truth be told, she is a bit of a thrill-seeker, always egging on roller-coasters to go faster and faster! Today both Little Man, at 2, and Boo at 5 went on lots of rides, and as well as the more tame options, there are faster ones in Thomasland, and then out in Drayton Manor, there are the big thrill rides.

– As you’d want with any family day out, it’s clean, the staff are friendly and there are amenities scattered all across the park, so you’re never far from eateries, toilets, baby change facilities and so on.

The rides…

thomasland rides pics

OK, this is where we all have our favourites. Boo loves the Runaway Trucks as it’s a rollercoaster and fast! Little Man likes the Sodor Classic Cars (you can see him driving one above there), as he likes to drive and it takes you through a pretty little farm, too. Me, I like Winston’s Whistle Stop Tour as it takes you all over the top of Thomasland with great views across the park and the Husband likes the classic Thomas train ride, Thomas Engine Tours, that takes you all on a ride through the park over to the other side where the zoo is. And there are many more than that to check out, too.

The play area…


drayton manor play area

The only issue I have with the play area is that I always struggle to get my pair out of it! There is a little cafe nearby, so the lure of an ice lolly worked today.

Enjoying the zoo and Dino Trail…

drayton manor zoo pics

There are lots of easy viewing areas for smaller children to be able to see the animals, and Little Man was particularly taken with that East African Crowned Crane. He didn’t want to leave him!

Drayton manor dino trail

The Dino Trail is full of facts and questions about the huge models, which Boo enjoyed reading now that she can read, and Little Man liked lifting the flaps to reveal the answers.

So I guess what I’m saying here is that prior to the expansion, Thomasland is a great and full day out. And now there’s even more.

The Expansion Project

The additional area, for those of you familiar with the park, is adjacent to the Runaway Trucks. Jeremy Jet’s Flying Academy has moved into the new section to make way for more there, and Merrick the Crane has been added to preside over the Blue Mountain Engines…

jeremy jet's flying academy

Merrick's Crane

Sodor Airport will have viewing balconies and themed rooms, and on the ground floor it provides a nice cafe. I always think it’s useful to have lots of little restaurants at attractions like this so that people aren’t all crammed into one space come lunchtime. There are plenty spread out across Drayton Manor, and now there is this one, too, with the biggest eclairs I’ve ever seen!

Sodor Airport Cafe

thomasland expansion areas

There are three brand new rides…

Flynn’s Fire Rescue

Flynn's Fire Rescue

As you can see, someone can ride in the cab and ‘steer’ whilst another person stands on the platform and sprays the targets with the hose.

Captain’s Sea Adventure

Captain's Sea Adventure

This one was the kids’ favourite, a little roundabout boat ride, and they giggled throughout it! You can squirt water from the pistols, and also get wet yourself (you’re not likely to get soaked, it’s ok!)

Toby’s Tram Express

Toby's Tram Express

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to try Toby as he had opening day nerves. He went round a few times that I saw, and I was lucky enough to grab a video to share with you, but he was having teething problems. One to go back and try another day.

And here’s a little video of some of the rides, old and new, in action…

Can you see why I now have two exhausted but very happy children tucked up in bed here? Thomasland is a full day out, with loads to pack in, and there’s so much that we didn’t even do today. I think for us that’s the benefit of living so close by – we know we’ll soon be back….!

So what do you think? If you’ve been before, has this tempted you to return? If you’ve never been, what do you make of Thomasland?

Disclosure: We received press entry to this event FOC, though all words and opinions remain my own 

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50 thoughts on “Thomasland Has Got Bigger & Better!”

  1. I have never been to Drayton Manor but I think both the children would be so excited to go to Thomasland. We really must plan a visit x

  2. I now want to go to Thomas land right now!!!
    unfortunately I’m not as fortunate to live as close as you, but if I did I would take full advantage, it looks great both my kids (1 and 6) would love it, I may have to bite the bullet and make the long journey this summer as it look worth it x

  3. This really does look fab, my little boy will love it and I can’t wait to take him, thankyou for the review as it’s now cemented in my head that we’re going to go later in the year 🙂 x

    1. You’re most welcome. There’s loads to do there, though you could spend the whole time in Thomasland itself, too. Have fun! X

  4. As you know, I’m totally with you on the love for ThomasLand. I really like the new additions and think it definitely adds a little something extra to an already great theme park. It was lovely to see you all there too xx

  5. It really does look brilliant, and it’s a shame that we never made in there while we were in the UK. One of our favourite places to take the kids so far is Storyland in NH, which is similar (in fact some of the rides look very similar in format!). It’s brilliant when they cater to younger children too and everyone can have a great time x #CountryKids

    1. Oh yes, I love your Storyland posts! It has something for everyone there, and it’s definitely one of our very favourite places to go 🙂 x

  6. Thomasland has always looked like a great place to go, lots of fun themed rides for all the Thomas fans. It’s great to see the smiles on the faces of the kids in every picture, you can see running around Thomasland and Drayton Manor is their favourite activity. Thanks for linking up with Country Kids.

    1. Ah, it’s nice to think that their happiness and excitement shines through in the photos, too. We do love it there. Thanks for hosting, Fiona x

  7. We visited Drayton Manor last summer when they were just starting work on the new Thomasland attractions – it’s great to see them all finished. It looks like you had a fab day out!

  8. I haven’t been to Drayton Manor since I was little but after I read about the expansion I guessed my daughter would love it – hadn’t realised quite how much else there was to do! #countrykids

  9. ThomasLand sounds awesome! When my boys were tiny I used to always say there should be a thomas theme park so i’m so glad there is one nowadays. Will bear it in mind if we are ever over that way as Miss T is just getting into Thomas at the moment. x

  10. We missed this as we were in Wales for the half term, but have to say we do love Thomas Land. The only problem I have is that my boy loves the park bit more than the rides, and we can never get him off it either!


  11. This looks absolutely brilliant, Jocelyn! I really have to go – I actually can’t believe we’ve never been given we have all boys and they all love Thomas. We aren’t that close, but only in Herts and it looks like it would be well worth the trip. We always worry it’ll be too busy in the hols / long weekends, which is when we’d be going. Great review, really helpful. x #TriedTested

  12. It looks a amazing there. I was so jealous of all the bloggers that got to go for the opening. I am definitely going to take my Thomas mad boys there in the summer. #triedandtested

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  14. Drayton Manor is definitely on my list of places we’d love to visit but it’s just a bit too far for a day out – we’d have to stop over which then obviously pushes the prices up.
    Lovely to see you on #TriedTested this week x

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