Drayton Manor Theme Park

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Drayton Manor Theme Park
DraytonManorLogo.png
LocationDrayton Bassett, Tamworth, Staffordshire
Coordinates52°36′39″N 1°42′48″W / 52.61083°N 1.71333°W / 52.61083; -1.71333Coordinates: 52°36′39″N 1°42′48″W / 52.61083°N 1.71333°W / 52.61083; -1.71333
OwnerColin Bryan
Opened16 October 1949
Operating seasonMid March to early November (main season), late November to December (Drayton's Magical Christmas), selected days in February (February Half Term)
Area280 acres
Attractions
Total35
Roller coasters4
Water rides2 (one currently closed)
Websitedraytonmanor.co.uk

Drayton Manor is a theme park and zoo in the grounds of the former Drayton Manor, in Drayton Bassett, Staffordshire, England, UK.

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.

History[edit]

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.

Rides[edit]

Family rides[edit]

# Name Opened Manufacturer Description
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.

Thrill rides[edit]

# Name Opened Manufacturer Description
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[edit]

# Name Opened Manufacturer Description
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.

Past rides[edit]

# Name Opened Closed Manufacturer Description
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.[1]
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.
21 Rowing Boats 1950 c.1997
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
28 Giant Slide 1985 2002 Astroglide.
29 Cleo 1986 1997 Modern Products Junior magic carpet.
30 Red Baron 1986 1997 Soriani & Moser Junior Jets.
31 Ladybirds 1986 2007 Modern Products
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

Zoo[edit]

Accommodation[edit]

Drayton Manor Hotel[edit]

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[edit]

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.

Events[edit]

February Half Term[edit]

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.

Eggs-ellent Easter[edit]

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[edit]

Fireworks[edit]

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[edit]

The park opens in December to celebrate Christmas and also New Years. Only Thomas Land and selected rides are open during this period.

Incidents[edit]

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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "G-Force". draytonmanor.co.uk. Drayton manor. Retrieved 14 July 2012.

External links[edit]