Drayton Manor: not just for little ones (by Robert)

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Robert at Drayton Manor, StaffordshireRobert, aged 11, writes:

In half term we went to Staffordshire for a short holiday and on the final day of our trip we went to Drayton Manor, which is a very cool theme park. There was loads to do for all different ages. Here’s what I thought.

Scary, Exhilarating Rides

Outside the Shockwave ride at Drayton Manor, StaffordshireShockwave is one of the two main roller-coasters in the park. It is one of the few attractions that go upside down and is unlike any ride I’ve ever been on. It’s actually one of only two roller-coasters in Europe in which you stand up. The carriage adapts to your height, so your feet are on the ground, before sending you on a course of fast loops and turns. I really enjoyed Shockwave althoughI felt like I was going to fall out. This is only because I was one of the smallest people in the ride and the bar didn’t go any lower.

G Force is the other big rollercoaster in the park and was one of my favourite rides. At the beginning you slowly go up a large ramp before starting a loop the loop very slowly, which means you are dangling upside down for a small amount of time. Then you rush down quickly and go through a series of turns, twists and drops, not mentioning a few more loops. G Force is very popular and was one of the only rides at Drayton Manor that I had to queue for. I did really enjoy it though and it was worth the wait.

The terrifying Maelstrom ride at Drayton Manor
The terrifying Maelstrom ride!

Maelstrom is a brilliant thing to go on if you’re a thrill seeker who isn’t scared of heights. The ride swings you up and down, every time escalating until it gets to the maximum height which is around 74 ft. Whilst spinning like a pendulum you are also spinning around so at some points you are falling forwards, sometimes falling backwards and sometimes falling sideways. I loved this ride and in my opinion it was one of the best attractions in the park.

The pirate boat at Drayton ManorThe Bounty Pirate Ship is like a less scary version of Maelstrom. It still swings you up and down but it is not as high and you don’t spin around. There are people on both sides of the boat so you still go backwards and forwards but going backwards isn’t scary at all. The further to the side you are the higher you will go, so if your child forces you to go on you can let them go at the back and you can sit in the middle where it won’t be so scary.

Air race is a very fun ride which some could find quite scary. Don’t be fooled by the colourful aeroplanes: the ride basically spins you around for the entire time, one loop the loop after another. The ride gradually gets faster and fasters until you are whizzing around. Funnily enough it didn’t make me feel queasy at all although I’m sure some people didn’t get off so lucky!

There were a few of the scarier rides that I didn’t go on. Pandemonium looked very good but was closed when we went and In Stormforce 10 you get absolutely soaked, which I couldn’t face in the British winter time. Apocalypse was the only one of the big rides I chose not to go on as I couldn’t face a 177 ft drop.

Family Rides

I didn’t go on that many of these kinds of rides that weren’t very scary but one attraction that was very scary was The Haunting. Drayton Manor’s haunted house doesn’t actually have anything that should scare anyone over the age of six yet, after going to countless places like The London Tombs and The London dungeons I was expecting a different scenario than what actually happened. At the beginning we were shown a video in which a man told us “Some people see things, some people smell things and some people feel things.” I felt that implied that people were going to touch me and from then on was very scared. The whole thing actually turned out to be some models of ghosts and a chair that moved. Although it wasn’t that scary it was very fun and would recommend going. It is quite long so we had to queue for ten minutes or so.

I didn’t find Ben 10 Ultimate Mission Coaster that great or thrilling, but all the younger kids seemed to love it. In the ride you go quite fast at the beginning before reaching the end of the track and doing most of the ride again backwards. I did quite enjoy it and is perfect for younger children as it is fast but not too scary.

I enjoyed Yogi Bears 4D adventure as you can’t beat a free trip to the cinema. There wasn’t as many special effects as in ones I’ve seen before but we were still squirted with water and I found the film funny and a good way to let my queasiness go away from all the previous rides I had been on.

There are loads of other rides in the park that I didn’t go on. If you want to find out about them go to the Drayton Manor website  

Thomas Land

Cranky the Crane at Thomas Land, Drayton Manor, Staffordshire
If you’ve got younger kids, they’ll love Thomas Land!

A large chunk of the theme park was taken up by attractions all about Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends. As you would’ve guessed I spent nearly all my time in Thomas Land going on Bertie the Bus and Harold the Helicopter. Just joking! There are loads of calm rides to go on and the toddlers and kids seemed to be having the time of their lives. We did pop in for 10 minutes or so and it was very enjoyable.

Overall,  Drayton Manor is a brilliant place to go. Most of the people who go are there for Thomas Land so most of the other rides had no queue. There was so many things to do including a zoo with monkeys and a great reptile house. I loved going and would definitely recommend it.

Drayton Manor is open from November 19th for for its “Magical Christmas season”. A family ticket for the park costs £98.

Disclosure: We went to Drayton Manor as part of a “Staffordsheerescape” package, courtesy of Enjoy Staffordshire, although they had no input at all into this blog post. The Drayton Manor package starts at £170 for a family of four, and includes an overnight stay (we stayed at the fabulous Hilton St George’s Park, which you will read about soon!), plus admission to Drayton Manor Park and two other attractions. There’s a basket of 10 to choose from in all, including the Snow Dome and Trentham Monkey Forest – so you’ll have a fun packed time. You can see the details of the Drayton Manor package here

Read what I thought of:

Thorpe Park

Siam Park (the best waterpark in the world!)

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19 Responses

  1. Nisbah - Five Adventurers

    Sarah, sounds wonderful and Robert writes so well. We have never been to Drayton Manor and love that there is very little queues and so much variety. Definitely on the list for 2017 🙂

  2. Cathy (MummyTravels)

    I haven’t been to Drayton Manor since I was probably about the same age as Robert – I grew up not that far away in Staffordshire (although we were a bit spoiled for choice with Alton Towers even closer). I’ve wondered about going back with my daughter for Thomas Land but lovely to read about some of the other more thrilling rides and how great not to have to queue and queue.

  3. Nichola - Globalmouse

    Wow, I didn’t realise there was so much to do for older kids! My three would love it here, I don’t know why we haven’t visited. Great review Robert, love all the tips.

  4. Kirstie

    Looks great fun and I do love a rollercoaster although the picture of the Maelstrom ride gave me a bit of vertigo! Good post Robert…

  5. Christine

    Reading this reminds me that I promised I’d take the kids to a theme park this year and I haven’t actually done that yet, might need to keep quiet and hope they don’t remember! I can imagine they’d both enjoy Drayton Manor though, good that they’ve got a variety of rides for different ages.

  6. Kevin Wagar

    Now this is a post that will get my kids excited! What a great list of rides and attractions, and the Thomas features would have my kids going gaga!

  7. Mike Cotton

    Great job, Robert. My little nephew loves Thomas the Tank Engine, he might have to wait until he’s a little bit older before we can take him to a theme park.

  8. Marta

    We were in Drayton Manor last year and we all loved it! My kids are little and their favourite part was Thomasland: Elisa (who was 3) was particularly happy to see ‘Rosie’ there. We will definitely go back and try the bigger rides too!

  9. Monika

    I love theme parks! I haven’t been to I’ve in a very long time, but I love them for making me feel like a child 🙂

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