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Drayton Manor
Previously known as Drayton Manor Park Drayton Manor Family Theme Park
LocationFazeley, England
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
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Opened16 October 1949
OwnerColin Bryan (Manager)
Slogan"Total value family entertainment"
Operating seasonTheme park: mid March to early November (regular); late November to January (Drayton's Magical Christmas); selected days in February (February Half Term) and in March (Thomas Weekends) Zoo: All year round
Area280 acres (110 ha)
Roller coasters5
Water rides3 (one under maintenance)

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

The park covers 280 acres (110 ha) of which about 113 acres are in use, and hosts about 1.5 million people each year. Rides at the park include The Shockwave, Europe's only stand up coaster,[1] and Apocalypse, a five-sided drop tower.[2] The park's maximum daily capacity is 15,000 guests, which is set with guest experience and traffic congestion in mind.


The land on which the theme park was built belonged to the Peel family, but the mansion (built in 1835) had been reduced to ruins in 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). They opened a small amusement park with just a handful of children's rides in 1949. 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 fun park. The amusement park grew slowly in the 1950s, '60s and '70s but in the late '80s 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 still managed by Colin Bryan

The Park[]

Drayton Manor Theme Park is divided into 7 areas: Thomas Land, Action Park, Aerial Park, Fisherman's Wharf, Pirate Cove, The Zoo and Dinotrail, Farmer McColl's Farm.

Main Plaza is the main entrance to the park.

Thomas Land is the park's children's area and draws inspiration from Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends who are quite familiar to both readers of the books and the TV-series. This area, which was called Robinson's Land until 2007, has many rides and attractions that appeal to children.

Action Park does not really have any discernible theme to it apart from the number of thrill rides it has on offer - hence the name Action Park. Main attractions include: One of Europe's stand up roller coasters; the Shockwave, a giant gyro swing known as Maelstrom, the X Car roller coaster G Force, the river rapids ride Splash Canyon and a Verizon of Zamperla's Air race

Aerial Park also serves as the park's main throughway, flanked by rides, restaurants and stores. The rides are mostly characterized by their aerial nature - hence the name Aerial Park. Cartoon Network Street is the new name given to the part of the street where the roller coaster that opened in 2011 Ben 10 - Ultimate Mission can be found. Entrance 1 (next door to the hotel) is located here as well. Main attractions include: the drop tower Apocalypse, the mad house The Haunting, the inverted giant swing Pandemonium, the teacup style drunken barrells, the laser shooting game Wild west shootout, The flying Dutchman a swing style ride, the Buffalo rollercoaster and a forementioned Ben 10 - Ultimate Mission. It also host UK's only Cartoon Network Shop.

Fisherman's Wharf is situated next to the lake - hence the name Fisherman's Wharf even though (apart from the Lighthouse) theming is not the area's strong suit. Attractions include: the super splash Stormforce 10, the Polpero Express, the carousel and the swinging ship The Bounty.

Pirate Cove is loosely themed as a Pirate haven, with 3 appropriately themed rides: the dark ride Pirate Adventure (which is currently under maintenance), the Jolly Buccaneer and the Dodgems

The Zoo and Dinotrail offer respite from the amusement park rides; the 15-acre walkthrough zoo (which is open all year) has quite a few animal enclosures with over 100 different species of animals on display including tigers, meerkats, penguins, parrots, reptiles, owls etc. There is also a Discovery Museum, and then there is a walkthrough Dinosaurland with life-size models of dinosaurs to intrigue and enthral the kids.

Farmer McColl's Farm is an extension of the zoo, but it specialises in domestic farm animals. There is also a Discover Thomas and Friends Exhibition, an outdoor activity area, exotic animal reserve, and Bryan's Slot Machine Museum.

Just outside the park is Peel Plaza where guests can play Miniature Golf. It also has a Caravan and Camp site.

Roller coasters[]

# Name Style Opened Manufacturer Themed Area Status Description Replaced Replaced By
1 Shockwave (Originally Sponsored By 7up & RWE npower) Stand-Up Rollercoaster 1994 Intamin Action Park Closed Until 2017 Season A stand-up roller coaster that reaches speeds of 53 mph (85 km) on a 1640 ft long track (500m) and a height of "almost" 120 ft (36m) with 4 inversions (loop, zero gravity-roll, double corkscrew); height limit 1.4m.[1] It is the only stand-up roller coaster in Europe and the only one with a zero-gravity roll in the world. N/A N/A
2 G Force (Originally Operated By Capital FM) Steel Sit Down 2005 Maurer Söhne Action Park The world's first X-Car steel roller coaster with a unique Loop inversion lift hill that reaches 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.[3] Klondike Gold Mine Python Coaster N/A
3 Ben 10 – Ultimate Mission Steel Sit Down 2011 Vekoma Aerial Park A junior boomerang coaster that reaches speeds of 37 mph (62 km) on a 590 ft long track (180m) and a height of 65 ft (20m); height limit 1m and rider must be over 4 years old. Sombrero N/A
4 Buffalo Mountain Coaster Steel Sit Down 1987 Zamperla Aerial Park A family powered roller coaster that goes over the lake for added effect; height limit none / 1.0m alone. Refurbished by Severn Lamb Ltd. N/A TBA
5 Troublesome Trucks Runaway Coaster Steel Sit Down 2008 Gerstlauer Thomas Land A junior coaster in Thomas Land; height limit 1m / 1.2m alone. Super Dragon N/A

Thrill rides[]

# Name Opened Themed Land Opened By Manufacturer Description Replaced Replaced By
6 Apocalypse 2000 Aerial Park Intamin A stand-up and sit-down drop tower with a 177 ft drop. This ride reaches speeds up to 22 metres per second (72 ft/s) and produces forces up to 4g; height limit 1.2m for sit down and 1.4m stand up.[2] It was the first stand-up tower drop in the world. this is also the only ride that can be seen outside of the park and around parts of Tamworth N/A N/A
7 Maelstrom 2002 Action Park Hearsay Intamin A gyro swing ride, it has 32 outward-facing seats on a circular gondola; height limit 1.3m. N/A N/A
8 Pandemonium 2004 Aerial Park Fabbri A 360° swinging inverter ride; height limit 1.4m N/A N/A
9 The Bounty 2007 Fishermans Wharf Intamin A swinging Pirate ship that swings to an angle of 75 degrees; height limit 1.2m. N/A N/A
9 Air Race 2014 Action Park Zamperla An aeroplane ride where you experience many inversions; Height limit 1.2 Black Revolver N/A

Water rides[]

# Name Opened Themed Land Manufacturer Description Replaced Replaced By
10 Stormforce 10 1999 Fisherman's Wharf BEAR A 500m long spillwater ride which is based on the RNLI and has a 9m backwards drop; height limit 1.2m. Log Flume N/A
11 Splash Canyon 1993 Action Park Intamin A 6-passenger boat on a 455m long river rapids ride;

0.9 meters with an Adult / 1.1 meters alone

12 Pirate Adventure (currently under repair) 1990 Pirates cove MACK Rides An indoor dark boat ride which features pirates (similar theme to Pirates Of The Caribbean in Disney Parks); height limit none /1m alone. Currently under repair. N/A TBA If Not Reopening

Other rides[]

# Name Opened Manufacturer Themed Land Description Replaced Replaced By
13 Wild West Shoot Out 2000 I.E. Park Aerial Park An indoor laser shoot out ride with a Wild West theme; height limit 1m. N/A N/A
14 The Haunting (The Haunted Mansion) Starring Dr Ghostman 2016 Vekoma Aerial Park A mad house where mist gathers at the front door to the old and haunted Vicarige; height limit 1m. Snake Train And The Haunted House Starring Dr Ex N/A
15 4D Cinema (Originally Operated By Heart FM) (Now Odeon) 2009 Simworx Aerial Park A cinema which shows one film every year. Currently showing Yogi Bear And Polar Express At Christmas 4D Cinema Captain Scab Swash Buckle Adventure And Happy Feet N/A
16 Drunken Barrels 2006 Intamin Aerial Park a teacup style spinning barrels ride on a circular platform that has an extending arm that lifts the platform up to 45 degrees; height limit 1m. Cyclone N/A
17 Flying Dutchman 1983 Intamin Aerial Park A wave swinger ride; height limit 1m. N/A N/A
18 Drayton Queen Boat 1992 Severn Lamb The lake A boat on a lake which takes you on a cruise. N/A N/A
19 Big Wheel (Sponsored By Cartoon Network) 1986 Helmut Hauser Aerial Park A ferris Wheel. Classic Ferris Wheel N/A
20 Jolly Buccaneer 1992 Zamperla Pirate Cove A Regatta ride with a pirate theme; height limit 1m. N/A N/A
21 Vintage Carousel 1959 Savage Fisherman's Wharf Refurbished by John H Rundle. Ltd in 2013.

A merry go round; height limit none / 90 cm alone

22 Chair Lift (Operated By Emirates) 1964 British Chairlifts Action Park The chair lift offers a view from the entrance to the back of the park; height limit none / 16 years alone. N/A N/A
23 Polperro Express Railway 1971 Severn Lamb Fisherman's Wharf A Template:RailGauge narrow gauge[4] train ride that goes around the park via Splash Canyon & Shockwave. Rio Grande N/A
24 Dodgems Ahoy 1990 I.E. Park Pirate Cove Bumper Cars; height limit 1.2m with an adult, 1.45m & over 12 to drive Original Dodgems And Free RadioTemplate:Dn Dodgems N/A

Thomas Land[]

Main article: Thomas Land (Drayton Manor)

Set in 3 acres (12,000 m2) of parkland, Thomas Land was re-themed with plenty of new children's rides in 2008, previously it had been called Robinson's Land. In addition to the rides, there are 3 daily live shows, the Discover Thomas & Friends Exhibition, the Thomas Land Shop and an indoor and an outdoor play area for kids.

# Name Opened Manufacturer Description Replaced Replaced By
26 Knapford Station 2008 Metallbau Emmeln (in partnership with Mega Bloks) Take Thomas the Tank Engine, or Percy the Small Engine, or Rosie on a 15-minute journey from Knapford Station to Tidmouth Hault, to Knapford Cafe & Patio, Discover Thomas and Friends Exhibition, Terence's Driving School, Spencer's Activity Park, entrance to the Zoo, DinoTrail and Farmer McColl's Farm. See James resting on the siding. Riders under 1 metre must be accompanied by an adult. Main Entrance Station N/A
27 Troublesome Trucks Runaway Coaster 2008 Gerstlauer A 220-metre roller coaster that runs up and over Thomas Land. Riders must be over 1m to ride and riders under 1.2 metres must be accompanied by an adult. (see roller coasters for details) Super Dragon N/A
28 Diesel's Locomotion Mayhem 2008 Zamperla Join Iron Bert, Rusty, Mavis, Salty, Dennis and Diesel on a journey of near misses. Riders under 1.2 metres must be accompanied by an adult. N/A N/A
29 Jeremy's Flying Academy 2008 Zamperla Fly high with Jeremy and control your flight over Sodor. Riders under 1 metre must be accompanied by an adult. Only two adults per jet. Flying Jumbos N/A
30 Terence's Driving School 2008 SB International Dive your own Terence around the yard. it is located outside the Thomas exhibition in Farmer Mcolls Farm; Riders must be between 1 metres and 1.3 metres to ride. N/A N/A
31 Crazy Bertie Bus 2008 Zamperla Climb on board and enjoy a crazy journey with Bertie. Riders under 0.95 metres must be accompanied by an adult. Only one adult per row.

(in partnership with Arriva)

Arriva Crazy Bus N/A
32 Harold's Helicopter Tours 2008 Zamperla Fly with Harold. See Edward, Henry, Gordon, Toby & Rosie for photo opportunities. Riders under 1.05 metres must be accompanied by an adult. Only 2 adults per helicopter. Whirly Wheel N/A
33 Rockin' Bulstrode & Sodor Docks 2008 Zamperla Climb on board & have a rockin' ride as it rotates you 360 degrees. Riders under 1.05 metres must be accompanied by an adult. Only one adult per row. Cadburys Junior Pirate Ship N/A
34 Cranky's Drop Tower 2008 Zamperla Drop & bounce from 8 metres high. Riders must be at least 0.95 metres tall to ride. Frog Hopper N/A
35 Sodor's Classic Cars 1986 Supercar Steer your restored 40-year-old Ford vintage cars through tunnels, garage and a barn. No height restriction but only one adult per car. Veteran Cars N/A
36 Lady's Carousel 2008 Zamperla A gentle ride on Lady's engine, for the very small. Riders under 0.9 metres must be accompanied by an adult. Only one adult per carriage or engine. Junior Carousel N/A
37 Blue Mountain Engines 2011 Zamperla Join Peter Sam, Sir Handel, Rheneas and Skarloey as you go round & round in a gentle ride for the very small. N/A N/A
38 Emily´s Adventure Play 2008 in partnership with Busy Bees Scramble up and down in this large indoor playground. N/A N/A
39 Spencer´s Outdoor Activity Park 2008 A Spencer-themed outdoor play area, located next to the Dino Trail in the Zoo. N/A N/A
40 Winston´s Whistle-Stop Tour 2013 Zamperla A Winston-themed monorail ride, providing an aerial tour of Thomas Land. The ride opened on 19 July 2013.[5] N/A N/A
41 Captain's Sea Adventure 2015 Zamperla Spin with Captain the lifeboat and play around with water cannons. N/A N/A
42 Toby´s Tram Express 2015 Zamperla Rock and roll around with Toby. N/A N/A
43 Flynn´s Fire Rescue 2015 Zamperla Spin Around with Flynn and help fight the fires with him. In Partnership With West Midlands Fire Service N/A N/A

Discover Thomas & Friends Exhibition[]

Located in Farmer McColls Farm. In early 2009, HIT Entertainment announced that the original models from the Thomas & Friends television series would be put on display at Thomas Land in an exhibit called "Discover Thomas & Friends", as production was to move to Canada, now that the series is to be animated with CGI. The models were then put on display in 2010. So far, the layout features Great Waterton, a town that first appeared in "The Great Discovery", the Fishing Village and Brendam Docks. Many other buildings have been seen from previous seasons from the show, such as "Neptune's Refreshments", "Ben's Books", Toby's Shed and Bluff's Cove signal box. Models have also appeared in the workshop, including: Bulgy, Terence, Trevor, Elizabeth, Butch, 3 Horrid Lorries, a canal boat, A Tug boat (Top Hat), A Harbour Ship (Izzy Gomez), 2 red and white express carriages, 2 green and cream express carriages, Thomas, Edward, Toby, Stepney, Rosie, Harvey, Bulstrode, Toad the brake van (faceless), and various trucks.

Thomas Land Shop[]

A large selection of Thomas & Friends toys, games, memorabilia and collectibles available for purchase.

Past rides & attractions[]

# 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.
4 Jumbo Jet 1981 1983 Anton Schwarzkopf A City Jet coaster replaced by Python Looping Coaster. Now located at Nigloland
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 Ben 10: Ultimate Mission.
10 Jungle Cruise 1976 2001 Alan Hawes/Self-Built A river raft ride replaced by Excalibur.
11 Excalibur 2003 2011 Farmer Studios /BEAR Tow boat ride that took riders on a humorous tour of a Medieval village, with an indoor finale.
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 G-Force.
15 Snake Train 1950 1995 Self-Built 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 A 3D Cinema.
18 Balloon Race 1987 1997 Zamperla
19 Quasar 1985 1986 A.R.M.
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 Zamperla 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 rollercoaster. 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 original ride closed in 2015 for major refurbishment, paint and a brand new story


File:Eolophus roseicapilla -Drayton Manor Theme Park, Staffordshire, England -aviary-8a.jpg

Drayton Manor Zoo

Drayton Manor is also home to a 15-acre (6 ha) zoo. It contains over 100 species from all over the world. It is also the only part of Drayton Manor that is open all year round (apart from Christmas Day).

Drayton Manor Hotel[]

In February 2009 revised 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 11 Thomas & Friends themed bedrooms is designed to primarily meet the demand from park visitors as the theme park is attracting families from all over the UK, particularly since the arrival of Thomas Land.


The park holds many events throughout the year including fundraising for Birmingham's Children's Hospital and musical projects. An annual fireworks event takes place on the lake.

The Park will also be home to Miss Community UK Grand Finals in 2016. This national UK pageant focuses on community and charity work.[6]

A number of musicians have visited the park including Steps, G4, Hear'Say, and The Vamps.



On August 3, 2012, a mother-of-two died of a cardiac arrest seconds after coming off the maelstrom ride. A message from her daughter read "RIP Momma, Love You." The ride was also closed for several hours for inspection. [7]


Not necessarily an incident but due to ongoing changes in the industry the height restriction for Pandemonium had been altered. It changed from 1.2m to 1.4m.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Shockwave". Drayton manor. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 [ ride=apocalypse "Apocalypse"] Check |url= value (help). Drayton manor. Retrieved 14 July 2012. line feed character in |url= at position 25 (help)
  3. "G-Force". Drayton manor. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  4. "Tourist and Enthusiast Railways - West Midlands".
  5. "New Ride at Thomas Land". Family Days UK. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  6. "".
  7. Byrne, Paul (2012-08-05). "Mum dies after white-knuckle ride: Theme park death on fun day out". mirror. Retrieved 2016-12-29.

External links[]

Drayton Manor Theme Park at Curlie

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