William and Daniel

Imagine the look on our children’s faces as we drove up to Drayton Manor, yes, we were cruel, we didn’t tell them where we were going and the squeals of excitement could be heard several cars away once they realised.

Our son, William and his friend, Daniel, both aged 9, simply had a magical day, running from ride to ride, through the zoo, back to the rides, then something magical happened, whilst watching the show put on by The Fat Controller and his crew, snow, yes SNOW began to fall. Such a wonderful experience to see the faces of our children and many others, marvelling as the snow fell. I’ll upload a snowy video to our YouTube channel later today.

William and Daniel in the snow

We simply had a fab day at Drayton Manor, magical from the moment we arrived. All the family rides are running (NOTE the big thrill rides are not operating during this festive season). I’ve added a picture of the height restrictions here, so you can maybe plan ahead :

Drayton Manor Height Restrictions

Simon and I ambled around, allowing the boys (William and Daniel) to guide us. We strolled around the Zoo, trying to find reptiles amidst the foliage in their tanks.

No visit would be complete without a visit to the cafe for a welcome cuppa, you can see here William enjoying his lunch :

William enjoying a sandwich

Back to the rides, their favourite ride of the day was The Accelerator, they dragged me on this ride, I will admit to being a little scared, my heart was certainly in my mouth when I came off, it didn’t stop me going again, much to the amusement of the staff who could hear my screams and knew it was me.

Here you can see our boys posing in the queueing area.

Daniel and William ready to ride The Accelerator

Queueing was minimal, often, our boys were able to remain on the rides to ride again.

Our time came to visit Father Christmas, the main reason for our visit to Drayton Manor. We’ve visited many Father Christmas’s over the years and the one at Drayton Manor is definitely in my top 5 favourites. He looked, sounded and acted realistic.

William & Daniel with Father Christmas

The boys also enjoyed a moment on the Ice Rink, much to our amusement, they did remain on their feet “most of the time” but when they fell, it was comedy gold. We almost had to drag them off the rink and they both said this was their favourite part of the day, though it took some thought to choose a single best.

Our visit ended with The Fat Controller and crew putting on The Imagination Parade for us, leading to a finale firework display, a spectacular way to end the day.

The Fat Controller and Crew

I’m sure you will agree, we had a magical day and Drayton Manor ensured we left feeling ready for the Festive Season ahead. Both boys slept most of the way home, though neither will admit it. Daniel’s parent’s said he didn’t shut up telling them what a fab day he had at Drayton Manor and William was the same.

Now for the official bit… the press release direct from Drayton Manor.


Get ready for this year’s festivities at Staffordshire-based Drayton Manor Park as its award-winning Magical Christmas event begins on Saturday 17th November and takes place on selected dates until the end of December*.

Secure your tickets early this year as the festive celebrations at the renowned attraction are set to be more magical than ever before and will encourage families visiting from the UK and beyond to really get into the spirit of Christmas.

Families are invited to enter Europe’s only Thomas Land™ which has been beautifully adorned with sparkling decorations as far as the eye can see, not to mention the accompanying festive music so visitors can fully immerse themselves in the ultimate fairy-tale setting. Based on the popular Thomas & Friends™ books and children’s TV show, this themed area becomes the ultimate winter wonderland, with guaranteed snow showers.

Drayton Manor Park’s Magical Christmas recently received an award for the Best Tourism Experience of the Year in the Enjoy Staffordshire Awards, so visitors can be assured of a wonderful day out to make those precious memories last a lifetime.

Father Christmas and his elves will also be in attendance, welcoming families and their little ones to his grotto at the Castle of Dreams with a special Christmas present for everyone**.

To add to the festivities, there will also be a spellbinding firework display every evening for guests to enjoy, sweet treats, mince pies and delicious mulled wine for mum and dad to keep the winter frost at bay, not to mention a meet and greet with Father Christmas’ reindeers at the park’s 15-acre Zoo.

With so much on offer, guests may wish to extend their Christmas visit and stay over in the 4 Star Drayton Manor Hotel and experience the magic all over again the next day! A Stay & Play package includes an overnight stay, breakfast and tickets to enter the theme park and enjoy Magical Christmas, including a complimentary visit to see Father Christmas in the Castle of Dreams.***

For more information about the park and its magical Christmas visit: Drayton Manor Magical Christmas.

To book a stay at Drayton Manor Hotel, visit Drayton Manor Hotel, call 01827 285551 or email.

Footnotes :

*Drayton Manor Park’s Magical Christmas will take place on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th November, Friday 23rd – Monday 26th November, Friday 30th November – Monday 3rd December, Friday 7th – Monday 10th December, Friday 14th–Monday 24th December and Thursday 27th – Monday 31st December.

**Each child that enters the Castle of Dreams with their family will receive a special Christmas gift from Father Christmas.

***Please note that Father Christmas will only be with the park up until 24th December, 27th – 31st December will be park only. Father Christmas visits are subject to availability.

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