Drayton Manor Theme Park
|Slogan||"Total value family entertainment"|
|Owner||Colin Bryan (Manager)|
|Opened||16 October 1949|
Drayton Manor ParkDrayton Manor Family Theme Park
Theme park: mid March to early November (regular); late November to January (Drayton's Magical Christmas); selected days in February (February Half Term) and in March (Thomas Weekends)Zoo: All year round
|Area||280 acres (110 ha)|
|Water rides||3 (one under maintenance)|
The park covers 280 acres (110 ha) of which about 113 acres are in use, and hosts about 1.5 million people each year. Rides at the park include The Shockwave, Europe's only stand up coaster, and Apocalypse, a five-sided drop tower. The park's maximum daily capacity is 15,000 guests, which is set with guest experience and traffic congestion in mind.
The park has three entrances (Main Entrance, Entrance 1 and Entrance 2). Entrance 1 is also accessible by Arriva Midlands Bus 110  and is 900 metres south of the Fazeley bus stop via Drayton Manor Drive.
Drayton Manor Theme Park is open daily from mid March to early November and on selected days in late November to January (Drayton's Magical Christmas: Thomas Land, Ben 10 – Ultimate Mission, Regular Show, The Amazing World of Gumball and the Zoo only), in February (February Half Term: Thomas Land, Ben 10, Regular Show, The Amazing World of Gumball and the Zoo only) and in March (Thomas Weekends: Thomas Land and the Zoo only).
During the main season, gates opens at 9:30 a.m., rides starts at 10:30 a.m. and close at a minimum of 5 p.m. (as late as 6 p.m. during summer school holidays). Special opening hours apply outside the main season.
- 1 History
- 2 The Park
- 3 Zoo
- 4 Drayton Manor Hotel
- 5 Events
- 6 Future projects
- 7 Celebrity Visits
- 8 Artist Visits
- 9 Incidents
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The land on which the theme park was built belonged to the Peel family, but the mansion (built in 1835) had been reduced to ruins in 1926. The British Army requisitioned it as a training post during World War II. After the war, entrepreneurs George and Vera Bryan borrowed £6,000 and bought the land (and the 17 huts that the army had constructed during their stay). They opened a small amusement park with just a handful of children's rides in 1949. In 1954 Mrs Molly Badham (who later opened the nearby Twycross Zoo) joined forces with the Bryans and opened a small zoo to complement the fun park. The amusement park grew slowly in the 1950s, '60s and '70s but in the late '80s the park began to install bigger and more thrilling rides to attract customers from all over the United Kingdom. Drayton Manor Theme Park is today the fifth most popular theme park in the UK and still managed by Colin Bryan
Main Plaza is main entrance to the park.
Thomas Land is the park's children's area and draws inspiration from Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends who are quite familiar to both readers of the books and the TV-series. This area, which was called Robinson's Land until 2007, has many rides and attractions that appeal to children. It also host the world's largest Thomas Land Shop with the world's largest selection of Thomas & Friends clothing, accessories, toys, books, games, DVDs, memorabilia, collectibles and Thomas Land merchandise.
Action Park does not really have any discernible theme to it apart from the number of thrill rides it has on offer - hence the name Action Park. Main attractions include: One of Europe's stand up roller coasters; the Shockwave, a giant gyro swing known as Maelstrom, the X Car roller coaster G Force, the river rapids ride Splash Canyon and Air race
Aerial Park also serves as the park's main throughway, flanked by rides, restaurants and stores. The rides are mostly characterized by their aerial nature - hence the name Aerial Park. Cartoon Network Street is the new name given to the part of the street where the roller coaster that opened in 2011 Ben 10 - Ultimate Mission can be found. Entrance 1 (next door to the hotel) is located here as well. Main attractions include: the drop tower Apocalypse, the mad house The Haunting, the inverted giant swing Pandemonium, the teacup style drunken barrells, the laser shooting game Wild west shootout, The flying Dutchman a swing style ride, the Buffalo rollercoaster and a forementioned Ben 10 - Ultimate Mission. It also host UK's only Cartoon Network Shop.
Fisherman's Wharf is situated next to the lake - hence the name Fisherman's Wharf even though (apart from the Lighthouse) theming is not the area's strong suit. Attractions include: the super splash Stormforce 10, the Polpero Express, the carousel and the swinging ship The Bounty.
Pirate Cove is loosely themed as a Pirate haven, with 3 appropriately themed rides: the dark ride Pirate Adventure, the Jolly Buccaneer and the Dodgems
The Zoo and Dinotrail offer respite from the amusement park rides; the 15-acre walkthrough zoo (which is open all year) has quite a few animal enclosures with over 100 different species of animals on display including tigers, meerkats, penguins, parrots, reptiles, owls etc. There is also a Discovery Museum, and then there is a walkthrough Dinosaurland with life-size models of dinosaurs to intrigue and enthral the kids.
Farmer McColl's Farm is an extension of the zoo, but it specialises in domestic farm animals. There is also a Discover Thomas and Friends Exhibition, an outdoor activity area, exotic animal reserve, and Bryan's Slot Machine Museum.
Just outside the park is Peel Plaza where guests can play Miniature Golf. It also has a Caravan and Camp site.
|1||Shockwave (Originally Operated By 7up)||Stand-Up Rollercoaster||1994||Intamin||Action Park||A stand-up roller coaster that reaches speeds of 53 mph (85 km) on a 1640 ft long track (500m) and a height of "almost" 120 ft (36m) with 4 inversions (loop, zero gravity-roll, double corkscrew); height limit 1.4m. It is the only stand-up roller coaster in Europe and the only one with a zero-gravity roll in the world.|
|2||G Force (Originally Operated By Capital FM)||Steel Sit Down||2005||Mauer Söhne||Action Park||The worlds first X-Car steel roller coaster with a unique Loop inversion lift hill that reaches speeds of 43 mph (70 km) on a 1263 ft long track (385m) and a height of 82 ft (25m) with 3 inversions (loop, bent Cuban eight); height limit 1.3m.|
|3||Ben 10 – Ultimate Mission||Steel Sit Down||2011||Vekoma||Aerial Park||A junior boomerang coaster that reaches speeds of 37 mph (62 km) on a 590 ft long track (180m) and a height of 65 ft (20m); height limit 1m and rider must be over 4 years old.|
|4||Buffalo Mountain Coaster||Steel Sit Down||1987||Zamperla||Aerial Park||A family powered roller coaster that goes over the lake for added effect; height limit none / 1.0m alone.|
|5||Troublesome Trucks Runaway Coaster||Steel Sit Down||2008||Gerstlauer||Thomas Land||A junior coaster in Thomas Land; height limit 1m / 1.2m alone.|
|#||Name||Opened||Themed Land||Opened By||Manufacturer||Description|
|6||Apocalypse||2000||Aerial Park||Intamin||A stand-up and sit-down drop tower with a 177 ft drop. This ride reaches speeds up to 22 metres per second (72 ft/s) and produces forces up to 4g; height limit 1.2m for sit down and 1.4m stand up. It was the first stand-up tower drop in the world. this is also the only ride that can be seen outside of the park and around parts of Tamworth|
|7||Maelstrom||2002||Action Park||Hearsay||Intamin||A gyro swing ride, it has 32 outward-facing seats on a circular gondola; height limit 1.3m.|
|8||Pandemonium||2004||Aerial Park||Fabbri||A 360° swinging inverter ride; height limit 1.4m|
|9||The Bounty||2007||Fishermans Wharf||Intamin||A swinging Pirate ship that swings to an angle of 75 degrees; height limit 1.2m.|
|9||Air Race||2014||Action Park||Zamperla||An aeroplane ride where you experience many inversions; Height limit 1.2m|
|10||Stormforce 10||1999||Fisherman's Wharf||BEAR||A 500m long spillwater ride which is based on the RNLI and has a 9m backwards drop; height limit 1.2m.|
|11||Splash Canyon||1993||Action Park||Intamin||A 6-passenger boat on a 455m long river rapids ride;
0.9 meters with an Adult / 1.1 meters alone
|12||Pirate Adventure (currently under repair)||1990||Pirates cove||Mack Ride||An indoor dark boat ride which features pirates (similar theme to Pirates Of The Caribbean in Disney Parks); height limit none /1m alone. Currently under repair.|
|13||Wild West Shoot Out||2000||I.E. Park||Aerial Park||An indoor laser shoot out ride with a Wild West theme; height limit 1m.|
|14||The Haunting (The Haunted Mansion)||2016||Vekoma||Aerial Park||A mad house where mist gathers at the front door to the old and haunted Vicarige; height limit 1m.|
|15||4D Cinema (Originally Operated By Heart FM) (Now Odeon)||2009||Simworx||Aerial Park||A cinema which shows one film every year. Currently showing Yogi Bear|
|16||Drunken Barrels||2006||Intamin||Aerial Park||a teacup style spinning barrels ride on a circular platform that has an extending arm that lifts the platform up to 45 degrees; height limit 1m.|
|17||Flying Dutchman||1983||Intamin||Aerial Park||A wave swinger ride; height limit 1m.|
|18||Drayton Queen Boat||1992||<Unknown>||The lake||A boat on a lake which takes you on a cruise.|
|19||Big Wheel||1986||Helmut Hauser||Aerial Park||A ferris Wheel.|
|20||Jolly Buccaneer||1992||Zamperla||Pirate Cove||A Regatta ride with a pirate theme; height limit 1m.|
|21||Vintage Carousel||1959||Savage||Fisherman's Wharf||A merry go round; height limit none / 90 cm alone|
|22||Chair Lift (Operated By Emirates[disambiguation needed])||1964||British Chairlifts||Action Park||The chair lift offers a view from the entrance to the back of the park; height limit none / 16 years alone.|
|23||Polperro Express (Originally Rio Grande)||1971||Severn Lamb||Fisherman's Wharf||A 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge train ride that goes around the park via Splash Canyon & Shockwave.|
|24||Dodgems (Operated By Free Radio)||1990||Reverchon||Pirate Cove||Bumper Cars; height limit 1m|
Set in 3 acres (12,000 m2) of parkland, Thomas Land was re-themed with plenty of new children's rides in 2008, previously it had been called Robinson's Land. In addition to the rides, there are 3 daily live shows, the Discover Thomas & Friends Exhibition, the Thomas Land Shop and an indoor and an outdoor play area for kids.
|26||Knapford Station||2008||Metallbau Emmeln (in partnership with Mega Bloks)||Take Thomas the Tank Engine, or Percy the Small Engine, or Rosie on a 15-minute journey from Knapford Station to Tidmouth Hault, to Knapford Cafe & Patio, Discover Thomas and Friends Exhibition, Terence's Driving School, Spencer's Activity Park, entrance to the Zoo, DinoTrail and Farmer McColl's Farm. See James resting on the siding. Riders under 1 metre must be accompanied by an adult.|
|27||Troublesome Trucks Runaway Coaster||2008||Gerstlauer||A 220-metre roller coaster that runs up and over Thomas Land. Riders must be over 1m to ride and riders under 1.2 metres must be accompanied by an adult. (see roller coasters for details)|
|28||Diesel's Locomotion Mayhem||2008||Zamperla||Join Iron Bert, Rusty, Mavis, Salty, Dennis and Diesel on a journey of near misses. Riders under 1.2 metres must be accompanied by an adult.|
|29||Jeremy's Flying Academy||2008||Zamperla||Fly high with Jeremy and control your flight over Sodor. Riders under 1 metre must be accompanied by an adult. Only two adults per jet.|
|30||Terence's Driving School||2008||SB International||Dive your own Terence around the yard. it is located outside the Thomas exhibition in Farmer Mcolls Farm; Riders must be between 1 metres and 1.3 metres to ride.|
|31||Crazy Bertie Bus||2008||Zamperla (in partnership with Arriva)||Climb on board and enjoy a crazy journey with Bertie. Riders under 0.95 metres must be accompanied by an adult. Only one adult per row.|
|32||Harold's Helicopter Tours||2008||Zamperla||Fly with Harold. See Edward, Henry, Gordon, Toby & Rosie for photo opportunities. Riders under 1.05 metres must be accompanied by an adult. Only 2 adults per helicopter.|
|33||Rockin' Bulstrode & Sodor Docks||2008||Zamperla||Climb on board & have a rockin' ride as it rotates you 360 degrees. Riders under 1.05 metres must be accompanied by an adult. Only one adult per row.|
|34||Cranky's Drop Tower||2008||Zamperla||Drop & bounce from 8 metres high. Riders must be at least 0.95 metres tall to ride.|
|35||Sodor's Classic Cars||1986||Supercar||Steer your restored 40-year-old Ford vintage cars through tunnels, garage and a barn. No height restriction but only one adult per car.|
|36||Lady's Carousel||2008||Zamperla||A gentle ride on Lady's engine, for the very small. Riders under 0.9 metres must be accompanied by an adult. Only one adult per carriage or engine.|
|37||Blue Mountain Engines||2011||Join Peter Sam, Sir Handel, Rheneas and Skarloey as you go round & round in a gentle ride for the very small.|
|38||Emily´s Adventure Play||2008||in partnership with Busy Bees||Scramble up and down in this large indoor playground.|
|39||Spencer´s Outdoor Activity Park||2008||A Spencer-themed outdoor play area, located next to the Dino Trail in the Zoo.|
|40||Winston´s Whistle-Stop Tour||2013||Zamperla||A Winston-themed monorail ride, providing an aerial tour of Thomas Land. The ride opened on 19 July 2013.|
|41||Captain's Sea Adventure||2015||Spin with Captain the lifeboat and play around with water cannons.|
|42||Toby´s Tram Express||2015||Rock and roll around with Toby.|
|43||Flynn´s Fire Rescue||2015||Spin Around with Flynn and help fight the fires with him.|
Discover Thomas & Friends Exhibition
Located in Farmer McColls Farm. In early 2009, HIT Entertainment announced that the original models from the Thomas & Friends television series would be put on display at Thomas Land in an exhibit called "Discover Thomas & Friends", as production was to move to Canada, now that the series is to be animated with CGI. The models were then put on display in 2010. So far, the layout features Great Waterton, a town that first appeared in "The Great Discovery", the Fishing Village and Brendam Docks. Many other buildings have been seen from previous seasons from the show, such as "Neptune's Refreshments", "Ben's Books", Toby's Shed and Bluff's Cove signal box. Models have also appeared in the workshop, including: Bulgy, Terence, Trevor, Elizabeth, Butch, 3 Horrid Lorries, a canal boat, A Tug boat (Top Hat), A Harbour Ship (Izzy Gomez), 2 red and white express carriages, 2 green and cream express carriages, Thomas, Edward, Toby, Stepney, Rosie, Harvey, Bulstrode, Toad the brake van (faceless), and various trucks.
Thomas Land Shop
The ultimate place in which to remember Thomas & Friends. Probably the largest selection of Thomas & Friends toys, games, memorabilia and collectibles you will discover under one roof. Take a piece of the magic home with you. Open daily.
Past rides & attractions
|1||Log Flume||1981||1998||Reverchon||The original Log Flume replaced by Stormforce 10.|
|2||Klondike Gold Mine (Python Coaster)||1984||2004||Pinfari||A Pinfari roller coaster that was sold to Funland in Hayling Island (Now removed there) & replaced by G-Force. Now travelling.|
|4||Jumbo Jet||1981||1983||Schwarzkopf||A City Jet coaster replaced by Python Looping Coaster. Now located at Nigloland|
|5||Super Dragon||1984||2007||Pinfari||A Pinfari MD31 coaster that was sold to Funland in Hayling Island & replaced by Troublesome Trucks.|
|6||Haunted Crypt||c.1970s||2001||Orton & Spooner||A ghost train ride was replaced by indoor play area.|
|7||Paratower||1982||1997||Vekoma||A Parachute Tower, now at Pleasure Island Family Theme Park|
|8||Black Revolver||1980||2010||Jackson||An enclosed waltzer. Replaced by Air Race. Now operates at Rainbow Park, Hunstanton.|
|9||Sombrero||1998||2010||Soriani & Moser||A Polyp ride replaced by Ben 10: Ultimate Mission.|
|10||Jungle Cruise||1976||2001||Alan Hawes/Self-Built||A river raft ride replaced by Excalibur.|
|11||Excalibur||2003||2011||BEAR||Tow boat ride that took riders on a tour of a medieval village with an indoor finale.|
|12||Sky Flyer||1989||2003||Vekoma||Vekoma Skyflyer, opened by Doctor Who John Pertwee. Upgraded to Pandemonium in 2004.|
|13||Tea Cups||1988||2004||Zamperla||A Tea Cups ride replaced by G-Force. Now located at Adventure Wonderland|
|14||Pirate Ship||1982||2003||HUSS||A Pirate Ship replaced by G-Force.|
|15||Snake Train||1950||1995||Self-Built||A land train replaced by The Haunting.|
|16||Cyclone||2003||2005||HUSS||An Enterprise ride, relocated to Thorpe Park as Zodiac.|
|17||Cine 180||1985||2003||Omnivision||A 3D Cinema.|
|20||Octopus||1984||1997||Soriani & Moser||Polyp ride.|
|22||Junior Carousel||1986||2007||Modern Products||A Carousel.|
|23||Flying Jumbos||1998||2007||Zamperla||Elephant shaped jets.|
|24||Junior Combat Star||1986||1997||Modern Products||Junior Jets.|
|25||Cadbury's Junior Pirate Ship (Operated By Cadbury)||1986||2007||Modern Products||Junior Pirate Ship. Was sold to Funland in Hayling Island but has now been removed there.|
|26||Kiddie Concorde Jets||1986||1997||Modern Products||Junior Jets.|
|27||Lunar Carousel||1986||2007||I.E. Park||Carousel|
|29||Cleo||1986||1997||Modern Products||Junior magic carpet.|
|30||Red Baron||1986||1997||Soriani & Moser||Junior Jets.|
|32||Frog Hopper||1998||2007||Zamperla||A Small drop tower. Sold to Funland in Hayling Island.|
|33||Mini Balloons||1998||2007||Zamperla||Samba Balloons. Sold to Funland in Hayling Island.|
|34||Arriva Crazy Bus||1998||2007||Zamperla||Crazy Bus Replaced by Bertie Bus.|
|35||Whirly Copters||1998||2007||Zamperla||Junior Ferris Wheel. Was sold to Funland in Hayling Island but has now been removed there.|
|36||Waltzer||1965||1979||Lakin||Replaced by a newer model in 1980.|
|37||Dodgems||1952||1989||Orton & Spooner||Replaced by a new set in 1990.|
|38||Roller Coaster||1960s||1983||Supercar||Small oval rollercoaster. Replaced by Super Dragon.|
|39||Pirate Raft Ride||1998||2007||Zamperla||Junior jets. Relocated to Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach.|
|40||The Haunting (original)||1996||2015||Vekoma||original ride closed in 2015 for major refurbishment, paint and a brand new story|
Drayton Manor is also home to a 15-acre (6 ha) zoo. It contains over 100 species from all over the world. It is also the only part of Drayton Manor that is open all year round (apart from Christmas Day).
Drayton Manor Hotel
In February 2009 revised plans for a hotel at Drayton Manor were submitted to Lichfield District Council. Planning permission for the hotel was granted in 2007 though the applicants felt that the scheme could benefit from further improvements without increasing the site area required.
The 4-star hotel with 150 well-appointed contemporary guest rooms including 11 Thomas & Friends themed bedrooms is designed to primarily meet the demand from park visitors as the theme park is attracting families from all over the UK, particularly since the arrival of Thomas Land.
The park holds many events throughout the year including fundraising for Birmingham's children's hospital and musical projects, plus the annual fireworks event taking place on the lake.
The Park will also be home to Miss Community UK Grand Finals in 2016. This National UK Pageant focused on community and charity work will finish at the Wonderful Drayton Manor Theme Park
In 2016 a further expansion to Thomas Land is planned much like the 2015 developments.
An Episode of Tots TV visit Drayton Manor Park. 2 episodes of Brum were featured here; the crazy hair chase and the runaway train. plus ITV News Central Johnathan Ray And LIewella Bailey Were Filmed Here For Central News In Summer.
On August 3, 2012, a mother-of-two died of a cardiac arrest seconds after coming off the maelstrom ride. A message from her daughter read "RIP Momma, Love You." The ride was also closed for several hours for inspection.
Not necessarily an incident but due to high risks in the past of smaller people nearly slipping out and feeling nausious after the ride the height limit was raised from 1.2M to 1.4M in 2014 for safety reasons
Storm Force 10
On April 17, 2016, a boat was inside the rotary building when another boat began to come up the lift hill. The boat collided with the other and the ride was emergency stopped, drained of its water and evacuated. The ride was closed for the remainder of the day as inspections were carried out.
- "Shockwave". draytonmanor.co.uk. Drayton manor. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
- "Apocalypse". draytonmanor.co.uk. Drayton manor. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
- "G-Force". draytonmanor.co.uk. Drayton manor. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
- Tourist and Enthusiast Railways - West Midlands
- "New Ride at Thomas Land". familydays.org.uk. Family Days UK. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
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