Plenty for all the family to see and do as Drayton Manor Theme Park reopens after lockdown

Today, Drayton Manor Theme Park is perhaps most famous as the home of Thomas Land.

By Jon Ball
Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 10:28 am

But the theme park itself has existed since 1950 when it started as a collection of children’s rides on land which had been used as an Army training site during the Second World War.

Last year was meant to be a landmark year for the family attraction as it prepared to celebrate its 70th birthday, but the coronavirus pandemic meant it had to cancel its plans and close its doors to the public.

However, Drayton Manor is now back to welcoming visitors and while some indoor attractions, including the soft play area and Discover Thomas exhibition are closed until May 17, most of the

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    park is up and running (almost) as usual.

    Food and drink is available from kiosks around the park, but must be eaten outside and the whole site has become a cash-free zone so make sure you take your debit or credit card with you.

    The zoo now has a one-way system in place and tickets must be booked online before the day of your visit.

    All the staff are wearing personal protective equipment and there are hand sanitisation units everywhere but, as all the open attractions are outside, visitors only need to wear face masks on some of the faster rides.

    Jessica Ball, aged nine, and six-year-old Rebecca Ball in the stocks at Drayton Manor Theme Park.

    Most of the Covid-safe measures like leaving a little bit of extra space between people in the queues now seem so normal, it is hard to remember a time when everyone crammed in like sardines to get on a ride.

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    Plenty of white-knuckle rides

    Thomas Land remains on of the main attractions in the park with child-friendly rides themed on the popular engine and his friends.

    Setting off in the Sodor Classic Cars in Thomas Land.

    But there are plenty of bigger white-knuckle rides to satisfy thrill-seekers, including the high-speed Accelerator which goes forwards and backwards, Apocalypse, which was the world’s first stand-up drop tower, Shockwave, the only stand-up rollercoaster with zero gravity roll and Stormforce 10, a three-drop water ride where, speaking from personal experience, you will get very wet.

    And a new zone called Adventure Cove is set to open this year with a new River Rapids ride and a colourful nautical theme.

    A message from Phil Bramley, Derbyshire Times Editor...

    Three-year-old Imogen Ball sprays water on the Captain's Sea Adventure ride in Thomas Land.

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