REVIEW: Drayton Manor a great day out for adrenaline junkies of all ages
Drayton Manor is a great day out for adrenaline junkies, be they toddlers or fully grown adults.
But it’s a theme park that requires an organised approach or a two-day visit to fully appreciate and experience what’s on offer.
The first task is getting into the park.
Approaching the driveway entrance to Drayton Manor can be slow going due to traffic, which makes an early arrival preferable.
The other trick to ensure maximum time inside the park enjoying the rides and attractions, is to select ‘E-tickets’ when booking online, which eliminates the need to queue just to collect your tickets.
Once you’ve waltzed through the gates, preferably with time to spare before the rides spring to life, you can plan your assault on the top attractions.
Queues do start to build early for the biggest and best rides, but not so much that you can’t get two or three in before many people have even got into the park.
For thrill-seekers, Maelstrom is a must. You’re flung high into the air on a gyro-swing that rotates and plunges. Perhaps give your breakfast time to settle before this one.
Shockwave is another scream-inducing ride.
Riders stand for a rollercoaster journey that takes you every which way in a breathless two-minute experience. It includes a ‘zero gravity’ roll, reaches 53mph and boasts of up to 4g.
The best bit, as with most rollercoasters, is that agonisingly slow ascent up the first incline, building anticipation of the drop to come.
If dropping from great heights and great speed is your thing, Pandemonium is another priority.
For novice rollercoaster lovers, the Ben 10 ride is a good introduction.
There are the usual whirling and spinning experiences to keep your insides churning, and the obligatory water rides to cool you off on a warm day.
Be warned, however, some rides may be closed for maintenance and that information is normally disclosed on the park’s website, so it’s worth checking before you buy tickets.
Traditionalists are catered for with the dodgems and a carousel.
Thomas Land is a major jewel in the Drayton Manor crown.
Fans of the much loved children’s character will be in heaven with a ride for almost every engine and vehicle possible.
There is, of course, an actual Thomas train that transports you to the zoo.
The surprisingly zippy Troublesome Trucks Runaway Coaster, Jeremy Jet’s Flying Academy and Flynn’s Fire Rescue are all popular with little ones.
The queues for Winston’s Whistle-Stop Tours are often long, so it’s another to perhaps visit first thing.
If you’ve been on your feet all day, an afternoon visit to the 4D cinema provides a welcome sit down - so long as you’re willing to experience the full special effects.
Away from the rides, the zoo is a much quieter area of the park.
There’s an excellent reptile house and plenty of animals, but with so much on offer in terms of attractions and rides, you’re advised to decide before your visit how much time you’re willing to spend in the zoo.
For those intending to spend more than one day in the park, it does have an on-site hotel.