Drayton Manor Theme Park
|Location||Drayton Bassett, Tamworth, Staffordshire|
|Opened||16 October 1949|
|Operating season||Mid March to early November (main season), late November to December (Drayton's Magical Christmas), selected days in February (February Half Term)|
|Water rides||2 (one currently closed)|
The park covers 280 acres of which about 113 acres are in use and hosts about 1.5 million people each year. The park's maximum daily capacity is 15,000 guests, which is set with guest experience and traffic congestion in mind. It is the fourth largest amusement park in the UK by land area at 280 acres.
- 1 History
- 2 Rides
- 3 Zoo
- 4 Accommodation
- 5 Events
- 6 Incidents
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The land on which the theme park was built on once belonged to the Peel family, but the mansion, built in 1835, had been reduced to ruins by 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). In 1949, they opened a small amusement park with just a handful of children's rides. 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 amusement park. The amusement park grew slowly in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, but in the late 1980s, 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 is still managed by Colin Bryan.
|1||4D Cinema||2009||Simworx||A 4D cinema which shows a short film. It is currently showing Ice Age: No Time For Nuts.|
|2||Carousel||1958||Savage||A vintage merry go round ride. The height limit is 0.9m alone.|
|3||Dodgems||1990||I.E. Park||A dodgems ride with a pirate theme. The height limit is 1.2m with an adult and 1.45m to drive.|
|4||Drunken Barrels||2006||Intamin||A teacup style spinning barrels ride on a circular platform that has an extending arm that lifts the platform up to 45 degrees. The height limit is 1m.|
|5||Flying Dutchman||1983||Intamin||A wave swinger ride. The height limit is 1m.|
|6||Jolly Buccaneer||1992||Mack Rides||A spinning boat with a pirate theme. The height limit is 1m.|
|7||Polperro Express||1971||Severn Lamb||A train ride.|
|8||Sherrif's Showdown||2000||I.E. Park||An indoor laser shoot out ride with a wild west theme. The height limit is 1m.|
|9||The Bounty||2007||Intamin||A swinging pirate ship that swings to an angle of 75 degrees. The height limit is 1.2m.|
|1||Accelerator||2011||Vekoma||A junior boomerang roller coaster that reaches speeds of up to 62km/h on a 180m long track and reaches a height of 20m. The height limit is 1m and the rider must be over 4 years old.|
|2||Air Race||2014||Zamperla||An inverting aeroplane ride. The height limit is 1.2m.|
|3||Apocalypse||2000||Intamin||A stand-up and sit-down drop tower ride with a 54m drop. The height limit is 1.2m for sit-down and 1.4m for stand-up. It was the first stand-up tower drop in the world.|
|4||The Buffalo||1987||Zamperla||A powered roller coaster that goes over the lake for added effect. The height limit is 1m alone.|
|5||Maelstrom||2002||Intamin||A gyro swing ride with 32 outward-facing seats on a circular gondola. The height limit is 1.3m.|
|6||Pandemonium||2004||Fabbri||A 360° swinging inverter ride. The height limit is 1.4m.|
|7||Shockwave||1994||Intamin||A stand-up roller coaster that reaches speeds of up to 85km/h on a 500m long track and reaches a height of "almost" 36m with 4 inversions: a loop, a zero gravity-roll and a double corkscrew. The height limit is 1.4m. It is the only stand-up roller coaster in Europe and the only one with a zero-gravity roll in the world.|
|8||Splash Canyon||1993||Intamin||A 455m long river rapids ride. The height limit is 0.9m with an adult and 1.1m alone. It is currently SBNO after an incident.|
|9||Stormforce 10||1999||BEAR GmbH||A 500m long flume ride which is based on the RNLI and has 3 drops including a 9m backwards drop. The height limit is 1.2m.|
|10||The Haunting||1996||Vekoma||A madhouse ride which is themed to an old and haunted vicarage. The height limit is 1.2m and the rider must be accompanied by an adult.|
Thomas Land rides
|1||Bertie Bus||2008||Zamperla||A crazy bus ride. In partnership with Arriva.|
|2||Blue Mountain Engines||2008||Zamperla||A junior regetta ride.|
|3||Captain's Sea Adventure||2015||Zamperla||A watermania ride.|
|4||Cranky's Drop Tower||2008||Zamperla||An 8m high sky drop ride.|
|5||Diesel's Locomotive Mayhem||2008||Zamperla||A demolition derby ride.|
|6||Flynn´s Fire Rescue||2015||Zamperla||A fire brigade ride. In partnership with West Midlands Fire Service.|
|7||Harold's Helicopter Tours||2008||Zamperla||A samba tower ride.|
|8||James and the Red Balloon||2017||Zamperla||A samba balloon ride.|
|9||Jeremy Jet's Flying Academy||2008||Zamperla||An aero top jet ride.|
|10||Lady's Carousel||2008||Zamperla||A junior carousel ride.|
|11||Rocking Bulstrode||2008||Zamperla||A rockin' tug ride.|
|11||Sodor Classic Cars||1972||Supercar||A car ride.|
|12||Toby's Tram Express||2015||Zamperla||A barnyard ride.|
|13||Troublesome Trucks Runaway Coaster||2008||Gerstlauer||A junior roller coaster located in Thomas Land. The height limit is 1m with an adult and 1.2m alone.|
|14||Winston's Whistle-Stop Tours||2013||Zamperla||An aerial ride.|
|1||Log Flume||1981||1998||Reverchon Industries||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.|
|3||G-Force||2005||2018||Maurer Söhne||The world's first X-Car steel rollercoaster with a unique Loop inversion lift hill that reached 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 1.35m.|
|4||Jumbo Jet||1981||1983||Anton Schwarzkopf||A City Jet coaster replaced by Python Looping Coaster. Was subsequently moved to Nigloland in France and now operates at Parc de la Vallée.|
|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 Accelerator.|
|10||Jungle Cruise||1976||2001||Alan Hawes/Bennett||A river raft ride replaced by Excalibur.|
|11||Excalibur||2003||2011||BEAR GmbH||Tow boat ride that took riders on a humorous tour of a Medieval village, with an indoor finale. Farmer Studios helped with the theming. Closed after multiple malfunctions and currently SBNO.|
|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 Park Attractions||A Pirate Ship replaced by Bounty. G-Force stands where Pirate Ship once was.|
|15||Snake Train||1950||1995||In House||A land train replaced by The Haunting.|
|16||Cyclone||2003||2005||HUSS Park Attractions||An Enterprise ride, relocated to Thorpe Park as Zodiac.|
|17||Cine 180||1985||2003||OmniVision Technologies & Ferretti Brothers||A 180-degree cinema.|
|18||Balloon Race||1987||1997||Zamperla||A Wave Swinger ride where Maelstrom is currently located now.|
|19||Quasar||1985||1987||A.R.M.||Sold to showman Michael Phillips in September 1987.|
|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||Modern Products||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 roller coaster. 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||The original iteration closed in 2015 for refurbishment with a reworked story.|
|40||Mississippi Showboat||1988||1994||A showboat-themed fun house. Closed and didn't operate for the 1994 season.|
|41||Big Wheel||1986||2017||Helmut Hauser||A ferris Wheel. Replaced by a pay for ride themed around Accelerator|
|42||Pirate Adventure||1990||2015||Mack Rides||Indoor water ride. Currently SBNO – reason for closure never officially announced.|
|43||Chair Lift||1964||2017||British Chairlifts||The chair lift offered a view from the entrance to the back of the park; height limit none / 16 years alone.|
|44||Drayton Queen||1970's||2016||Unknown||The Drayton Queen was a paddleboat that gave people rides around the lake, in the 2018 season its now decommissioned and left in a storage area by Splash Canyon|
Drayton Manor Hotel
In 2009, 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 15 Thomas & Friends themed bedrooms is designed to primarily meet the demand from park visitors as the park is attracting families from all over the UK, especially since the arrival of Thomas Land.
The Camping and Caravanning Club
The Camping and Caravan Club have a site at Drayton Manor. On the site there is 90 pitches, Glamping tents (available through Ready Camp) and a children's playground.
February Half Term
The park opens for 1 week during February, however only Thomas Land and selected rides are open. During this period, maintenance is still taking place which means that none of the thrill rides are open.
The park hosts an event in April where they hold Easter related events, for example an egg hunt along the course of the Polperro Express. All of the rides are open.
May Half Term
The park host a fireworks event each year. This also includes night time rides as people wait for the fireworks to be set off.
Drayton's Magical Christmas
The park opens in December to celebrate Christmas and also New Years. Only Thomas Land and selected rides are open during this period.
There has been a small number of incidents at the park over the years.
- In 1988, a woman died after her sari got caught in the wheels on the Polperro Express.
- In 1995, 9 people were injured after a carriage of the Snake Train overturned.
- In 2012, a woman died from a heart attack after riding Maelstrom.
- In 2017, an 11-year-old girl died from her injuries after she fell from the Splash Canyon ride and into the water.
- "G-Force". draytonmanor.co.uk. Drayton manor. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Drayton Manor Theme Park.|