Calling all Thomas and the Tank Engine lovers, Thomas Land will make all your dreams come true. Set in 3 acres of parkland in Drayton Manor theme park in Staffordshire, Thomas Land has 18 themes rides and the real set from the original TV show for photo opportunities! Here’s how to get tickets and all the info on opening times!
For more fun days out, read our guide to the Best Toddler Days Out
When is Thomas Land open and how do you get tickets?
The gates open at 10am, and 9.30am on weekends - in peak season, so make sure you get down early to avoid the queues. In terms of tickets, under 2's go free, 2-3 year olds are £6 and 4-11 year olds are £15. It's a good idea to book your tickets online first, to avoid any queues on the day.
What should you bring to Thomas Land?
Take your pushchair with you. Thomas Land is in two areas – a five minute walk apart. You won’t need your stroller in the main area as the rides are close together, so ditch it in the buggy park outside Emily’s Adventure Play. But, it is useful for exploring the other area, which is more spread out. It just means you won’t be reliant on catching the train that links the two sections once those little legs get tired. But for once, you don't need to bring the kitchen sink on this day out. The toilets and baby changing facilities are fantastic and you can buy nappies in the Toy Shop. Most of the cafes sell baby food and will heat up what you want, and there are shady picnic areas.
Where to go first?
First things first, grab a free child ID sticker - you can pop to Guest Services near the lake for one of these. Write your mobile number on it, stick it on your youngster’s back, and relax. Next, make Winston’s Whistle-Stop Tours your first ride! It’s a great one to start with as it lets you see everything the park has to offer, all in one go. The ride trundles above Thomas Land with a commentary encouraging youngsters to spot all of Thomas’ friends. Get him to decide where he wants to go while he’s still on the ride to save time. The exit at the end is through the shop.
What are the best rides/attractions?
From Toby’s Tram Express to Harold’s Helicopter Tours, there really is so much to see! Most of the rides are for really little ones. But to save any tears, stop by the board near the Fat Controller fountain when you get there, to see all the height restrictions. There is a handy chart to measure your toddler here. Terence’s Driving School is one of the best, we'll let you wait and see what's there. Then there's an outdoor play area modelled on Spencer, and tea and cake in Mrs Kyndley’s Tea Rooms. Don't forget to seek out the Thomas & Friends Exhibition! The original set from the Thomas & Friends TV show is housed in a central area, so you can watch Thomas and Gordon puff around – and around – the track.
Don't miss out on having a chat with the Fat Controller! As long as he’s not racing off to sing in his regular Thomas Live Shows, he’s ever so friendly.
How can you avoid queues?
Here's a handy tip. Make sure you board Thomas, Rosie or Percy as Tidmouth Hault station, rather than Knapford Station for shorter queues. The trains make a loop between the two stations. Knapford is in main Thomas Land so attracts a crowd, while Tidmouth Halt is in the secondary, quieter area, so you'll avoid queues! Don’t miss the engines turning around on the turntable at each end!
What else is there to do?
Take lots of photos! Thomas, Gordon, Toby, Rosie and Henry are waiting for little fans in the Engine Shed and behind the James and The Red Balloon ride, you’ll find James at Mathwaite Station. Your youngster can climb up onto this footplate or wait on the platform for a photo that will look like he’s on the telly.
Your ticket will get you into both Thomas Land and Drayton Manor Park. There’s lots of youngsters who will love the main park as it includes a zoo with meerkats, monkeys and macaques – as well as a cable car ride and the Dino Trail for dinosaur fans.