Europe’s only Thomas Land™ attraction is welcoming a brand new ride this season to mark further expansion to the thriving attraction at Drayton Manor Park, Staffordshire.

James and the Red Balloon, set to delight visitors from Saturday 1st April 2017, is based on the beloved Thomas and Friends™ character James and his naughty antics with a red hot air balloon. James will be joining the 20 other rides and attractions based on the popular series. Families can experience the magic of Sodor like never before as they fly up, up and away in their very own balloon.

The £250,000 ride, made by Italian manufacturer Zamperla, takes visitors on an adventure onwards and upwards to the lofty heights of 1.5 metres with a maximum speed of 5.5 RPM, a perfect ride for the whole family to enjoy. Families will get to enjoy extensive views of the park from the ride’s highest points, the perfect opportunity to plan which ride is next!

The successful multi-million pound Thomas Land was launched in 2008 and recently underwent a £2.5 million expansion, cementing its status in the hearts of UK families. The well themed attraction ensures visitors of any age are immersed in Thomas and Friends fun from the moment they step in the gates.

For those who want to plan a Thomas filled staycation, the Drayton Manor Park Hotel also extends the fun from Thomas Land into its halls with special themed rooms and a ‘Stay and Play’ package, perfect for those young and old locomotive enthusiasts!

William Bryan, Managing Director of Drayton Manor Park said: “This is another exciting step in Thomas Land’s progression. We are always looking for new ways to excite and entertain our visitors and James and his Red Balloon seemed the perfect addition to our family of rides.

“James is the ideal ride for the whole family to enjoy and will act as a great stepping stone for those little ones looking for their next, thrilling experience and we are looking forward to welcoming new and returning visitors once we open for the season.”

To book tickets, or for more information about the park, visit Drayton Manor or call 0844 472 1950. Reduced prices are available for tickets bought in advance. For regular updates and news about Drayton Manor Park join it on Twitter and Facebook.


About Drayton Manor


Drayton Manor Park Ltd, opened to the public in 1950 by the Bryan family, is one of the UK’s most popular family attractions with over one million visitors a year. George and Vera Bryan OBE, converted 80 acres of derelict land, which once belonged to Sir Robert Peel; MP & PM to Queen Victoria and her family, into today’s wonderful multi award-winning family attraction, combining thrill rides with a conservation zoo plus catering and conference facilities.

Today, Drayton Manor Park, still family owned and run by second and third generation family members, covers 286 acres of beautiful woodland and countryside and features some of the wildest and scariest rides around. Rides include: Rollercoasters – Shockwave, Ben 10: Ultimate Mission and G-force.  Major rides: Maelstrom, Apocalypse and Storm Force 10, our wettest ride. It is home to the hugely popular Thomas Land™ featuring many named Thomas & Friends™ character rides for the children and adults alike. Thomas Land™ at Drayton Manor is the only one of its kind in Europe.  The park’s 152 seat 4D Cinema, over 50 rides and attractions makes for a truly unforgettable day.

A four-star Hotel onsite featuring 150 rooms includes Thomas & Friends™ themed rooms all sleeping four to six guests, family rooms, executive rooms and presidential rooms. It also features two bars, two sublime restaurants and a relaxing lounge.  Within Drayton Manor Park and Hotel there are three large conference rooms for functions and exhibitions as well as an idyllic wedding facility for up to 400 guests.

The popular Grill Inn Restaurant and bar is adjacent to the hotel, seats up to 150 guests and is open all year round.

Visit the websites for more information :


About Mattel


Mattel is a creations company that inspires the wonder of childhood. Our mission is to be the recognized leader in play, learning and development worldwide. Mattel’s portfolio of global consumer brands includes American Girl®, Barbie®, Fisher-Price®, Hot Wheels®, Monster High® and Thomas & Friends®, among many others. Mattel also creates a wealth of lines and products made in collaboration with leading entertainment and technology companies. With a global workforce of approximately 31,000 people, Mattel operates in 40 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. Visit us online at Mattel


About Thomas & Friends™


Thomas the Tank Engine™ was created over 70 years ago by a British clergyman, the Rev W Awdry, as a storybook for his son. That story quickly grew to become the award-winning global brand franchise it is today, enjoyed by families in more than 150 territories and in over 40 languages across multiple touch-points and formats, including: 400+ original TV shows; 11 feature-length films; 14 websites in nine languages; apps; toys (ranked number one property in the pre-school toys category in the UK and Australia and number two in the US); consumer products; publishing; live attractions and much more. 

Thomas & Friends has scooped prestigious accolades including a Parent’s Choice Award, a Webby and a Licensing Award for Best Classic Licensed Property. The famous and cheeky No.1 blue engine and his friends invite children to enter a world of imagination through the tracks of a train. Together, the children and engines embark on timeless adventures while experiencing valuable yet fun life lessons of discovery, friendship and cooperation. Thomas & Friends™ is viewable on more than 30 world-class broadcasters including PBS KIDS® in the US, Super RTL in Germany, and on Five’s Milkshake! and Nick Jr. in the UK. 

Downloadable episodes are available through iTunes and on YouTube You Tube Thomas and Friends .

For more information about the wonderful world of Thomas & Friends, please visit Thomas and Friends, Facebook and Twitter.

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