Thursday 3 October 2013

Drayton Manor with a 2 Year Old

A year ago on September 19th I took Leo along to Drayton Manor for his very first theme park experience. Leo was just shy of 15 months old when we first went along and he still had a really fantastic day, and there were rides that he could go on even then.

We were invited back to the Drayton Manor Park last month, a year and a day since our first visit. I was so excited to see what Leo would make of Thomas Land this time around, as he recently he has discovered Thomas the Tank Engine, so he would be transported into a very magical world full of his imagination. As Leo was two on this visit or 26 months, the whole experience was a lifetime away to that very first visit. 

It would seem my little man is not quite so little anymore...

With Leo taking me by the hand he marched me into Thomas Land, we were warmly greeted by the Fat Controller on the entrance gate but Leo wasn't phased by him at all. Leo had seen that there were rides to be ridden, so he couldn't possibly waste any time talking to people. With Leo almost now pulling me as fast as my feet would carry me, we came across Crazy Bertie Bus. Leo had seen Bertie in the distance as we were walking in, and I knew this was going to be our first point of call. 

With chants 'Mumma, Bus' from my feisty thrill seeker, I knew that now was the time we would have to ride Bertie. There was no fear in Leo's eyes just pure excitement as he led me up onto the bus, the bar came down and up we went. All I could do was look at Leo's face as my tummy did little flips as we went up...and down. Leo's face was a picture, he was just full of smiles and there was pure magic glistening in his eyes.

Of course when the ride came to a stand still...Leo was adamant that he wanted 'more'. I told Leo that there were so many rides for him to have a go on while we were here, and that we could always come back to Bertie a little later.

In a year Leo had gone from being able to go on some rides...To being able to go on pretty much everything. The only ride I came across that Leo couldn't go on in Thomas Land was Cranky the Crane Drop Tower, and although this was a ride that Leo was desperate to go on he was easily distracted by many of the other rides.

What I did find strange was that Leo was too small for the Drop Tower but he was perfect height to hop on the Troublesome Trucks Coaster. There was only 0.5cm in the height difference between the two, but I would have thought it may be the other way round? I was very excited when I realised that Leo was going to be able to have a go on his very first roller coaster if he decided he wanted too. We stood there and watched everyone going around on the coaster for a little while before I asked him for a definitive answer as to whether he would like to go on. Leo didn't need asking twice, he was soon pulling me along once again as we went to hop on the rollercoaster.

We sat in our seats and as the bar came down to keep us securely in our seats, I knew there was no turning back and I really hoped that Leo was going to enjoy this experience. I needn't have worried, Leo absolutely loved the speed, and even shrieked along with everybody else as he lapped up each and every moment. The coaster does two laps of the track before stopping, so luckily after the first lap Leo was screaming 'more' and was more than happy to go for a second spin.

We even came back to the rollercoaster a little later and hopped on the very front seats! Leo just kept on telling me all about how 'fast' it was. Even now if I mention the rollercoaster to Leo, he pulls his face because he would really like to go back again.

This was my favourite ride in Thomas Land, and I felt so incredibly proud to be riding with Leo right by my side. It really hit home for me just how big and grown up my little guy was getting. It won't be long before he can hit up some of the bigger rides over the next few years.

 We took a ride on Thomas the Tank Engine himself along the track all of the way over to Tidmouth Hault, where you can get off and visit the zoo or have a look around the miniature train track. Leo and his little friend absolutely loved being on the train and going on their travels, so much so that they didn't want to get off at the other side! When we did venture off Thomas though, Leo ran. He ran straight into Thomas and tried to drive him. I managed to retrieve him as quickly as he had first run away...  But on the way back after another stealth move on Leo's behalf, he was actually allowed to have a little look around in Thomas, and even sit in the drivers seat. It was so great of the driver to let him have a sneak peak into the controls, and it definitely added to the magic of the entire day.

\We spent the entire day in Thomas Land and never ran out of things to do, I could have stayed so much longer and still continued to have a great time. Although Leo did spy the Maelstrom and was hoping for a ride, Leo doesn't really understand that he was far to little to have a go on there anytime soon.. But still there is plenty of time for all of that.

 I would visit again tomorrow in a heart beat there is still so much that we didn't have time to do, like the zoo and some of the other rides for the kid's outside Thomas Land. I am hoping to go along for the Christmas event, I think that this year Leo is the absolute perfect age for it, and I know he would love to go back again after such a super day.

There is so much to see and do in Thomas Land, from the 15 rides available to the singing and dancing put on by the Fat Controller and his crew! One of the greatest things about visiting Drayton Manor in September is that it is so incredibly quiet, and if you check the weather forcast for the week ahead you can even grab some sunny weather if your luck. We went on a Friday so all of the kid's were back at school and there was no waiting in lines at all. I am very careful to pick quiet times as Leo has absolutely no patience, and I am sure if you have a toddler to keep entertained, and who wants to do what they want to do at that exact moment in time... Then you know exactly what I am talking about.

If you are thinking of visiting Drayton Manor with your 2 year old and they enjoy going on rides, I say do it! Leo had the most amazing time, and it really highlighted to me just how fearless he is, and how he really is my little best friend these days. We will definitely be back again, and I am sure that Leo will just continue to amaze me as he continues to grow and enjoy the magic that comes with a day out at Drayton Manor.


  1. Ahh, it definitely looks like he enjoyed his day. Looks like the perfect day out for a Thomas fan. x

    1. Great day for kids and grown ups alike! x


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