We arrived at Drayton Manor at midday with two very excited girls. We were straight into Thomas Land where right from the word go there was plenty of Christmas Magic! The bells were ringing and the buildings were topped with snow. The music was festive and just the right volume for the kids to skip along to.
Evie and Poppy got straight onto the carousel, always a winner with these two. Poppy chose to ride a chicken and Evie chose a beautiful horse.
Both girls were a little disappointed at first that some the big rides were shut, but actually for us (Evie 7 & Poppy 6) there was more than enough to keep us occupied for 6 hours, and actually I wished we had arrived a little earlier.
This was our first trip to the park and we were not disappointed. I loved the fact that the whole family could go on all the rides and enjoy them together - for the age of my girls this park was perfect.
Make sure you wrap the kids up well as most of the activities are outdoors. I took Evie hand and foot warmers and she definately needed them, as we stayed until the very end of the day. Drayton Manor has really thought about parents, facilities include a covered picnic area, lots of reasonably priced cafes, clean spacious toilets and for families with buggies there is plenty of parking at the rides.
We managed to go on all the rides that were running apart from the helicopter ride and the fire-engine ride. But, I had put these to the back of the day as they look a little tame for my kids.
Evie and Poppy really enjoyed Ben 10, Ultimate Mission Coaster it was just the right amount of fast and scary…and, we went on it 5 times over the day!
The Polar Express 4-D Experience was a 15-minute film, it was worth watching and gave us a chance to rest ready for the next activity. Glide and Slide skating is included in the entrance price, which is reasonable, especially if you book in advance. If you can skate don’t think you’re going to be showing off your skills on here though…it impossible to actually skate normally. But, if you are 6 and usually can’t event stand up on the ice at a rink then you are going to love this. Evie and Poppy spent 30 minutes on here and loved every minute.
Poppy has always loved Dinosaurs and really enjoyed the Dinosaur trail, insisting on have a photo with most of them.
The highlight was a trip to the Magic Castle. We were given a time for this when we first arrived, so at our allotted time we had no queue and were in to see Santa straightaway. The Elves were friendly and fun and Santa was charming and very lovely. He didn’t rush and took time to speak to each of the girls in turn. On our way out he sang a Christmas little song and chucked to himself. …brilliant touches that really made the experience special. The gifts were good quality and included an Elf for your shelf and a golden coin.
On leaving Santa we had a second walk around the zoo and it was nice to see all the animals settling in for the night. We left the zoo just in time for the Parade, this included a nice story about a young girl traveling on a train to see her aunt, with singing around a very impressive and tall festive Christmas tree and fireworks over the lake and Magic Castle to end the evening.
The whole day was filled with great photo opportunities and moments the kids will remember right through the season. We all agreed Drayton Manor really had given us a great day out and had really delivered in their promise of a Magical Christmas!