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Drayton Manor Theme Park facts for kids

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Drayton Manor Resort
Slogan Creating Fun Family Memories
Location Drayton Bassett, Tamworth, Staffordshire, England
Owner Looping Group
Opened 1 April 1950
Operating season Theme Park
Main season: March – November
Drayton's Magical Christmas: late November to December
February Half Term: selected days in February
Drayton Manor Zoo
Drayton Manor Hotel
Conference Centre
Area 180 acres (73 ha)
Total 40+
Roller coasters 4
Water rides 2 (one currently closed)
Status Operating

Drayton Manor Theme Park is a theme park, zoo and accommodation in the grounds of the former Drayton Manor, in Drayton Bassett, Staffordshire, England, UK. It covers 180 acres (73 hectares), of which about 113 acres (46 hectares) are in use, and hosts about 1.5 million people each year. It is the fourth-largest amusement park in the UK by land area at 280 acres (110 hectares). The park is also home to Thomas Land and Drayton Manor Zoo, home to over 100 animals, including Red pandas, Eurasian lynx, Sumatran tigers and a variety of monkeys and gibbons.

On 3 August 2020, Drayton Manor Park was sold to Looping Group, who own two other attractions in the UK, West Midland Safari Park and Pleasurewood Hills.


The land on which the theme park was built on once belonged to the Peel family. Drayton Manor mansion, built for Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet in 1835, had been reduced to ruins by 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). In 1950, they opened a small amusement park with just a handful of children's rides. In 1954, Mrs. Molly Badham, who later opened the nearby Twycross Zoo, partnered with the Bryans and opened a zoo to complement the amusement park. The amusement park grew slowly in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, but in the late 1980s, the park began to install bigger and more thrilling rides to attract customers from all over the United Kingdom and to compete with rival theme parks. In 1992 Colin Bryan, George Bryan’s son, became Managing director of the park.

George Bryan is the grandson of the founders of Drayton Manor Park. Along with his brother and cousins, he grew up in the family business, working – albeit unofficially – from the age of 12 or 13. This career began with menial tasks, before progressing to more complex aspects of operations. George Bryan went on to develop expertise throughout the whole business. In 2013 George’s brother, William Bryan, became managing director while George moved out of operations to work at board level

In February 2020, the park suffered flood damage from Storm Dennis. Following this, the park was required to remain shut until July 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On 3 August 2020, the park entered administration and was bought by the Looping Group who own various parks, zoos and aquariums around Europe. However the Bryan family still play a key part in running the business, with William Bryan’s role being managing director, even though under new ownership.

In December 2020 the park suffered a fire within the Thomas Land area of the park. The blaze started in a toilet block and was deemed accidental by investigators.

Rides and attractions

Family rides

# Name Opened Manufacturer Description
1 4D Cinema 2009 Simworx A 4D cinema which shows a short film. In the 2021 season it will be showing Thomas & Friends 4-D Bubbling Boilers
2 Carousel 1958 Savage A vintage merry go round ride. The height limit is 1.1m alone.
3 Dodgems Ahoy! 1990 I.E. Park A dodgems ride with a pirate theme. The height limit is 1.2m & 8 Y.O with an adult and 1.45m & 12 Y.O to drive.
4 Drunken Barrels 2006 Intamin A teacup style spinning barrels ride on a circular platform that has an extending arm that lifts the platform up to 45 degrees. The height limit is 1.1m. Drunken Barrels replaced Cyclone a HUSS Enterprise that's now at Thorpe Park under the name 'Zodiac'.
5 Flying Dutchman 1983 Intamin A wave swinger ride. The height limit is 1m.
6 Jolly Buccaneer 1992 Mack Rides A spinning boat with a pirate theme. The height limit is 1.2m alone
7 Polperro Express 1971/2003 Severn Lamb A 2 ft long (610 mm) narrow gauge train ride that goes around the park via Splash Canyon and Shockwave. The new Polperro Express locomotive (2003) is based on the Severn Lamb Texan model with a face lift to be a more English style loco/train rather than classic western American.
8 Sherrif's Showdown 2000 (2018 it became Sheriff's Showdown) I.E. Park An indoor laser shoot out ride with a wild west theme. The height limit is 1m. It was previously known as "Golden Nuggets: Wild West Shootout" until it was refurbished in 2018, with a new gun system and new theming elements.
9 The Haunting 1996 Vekoma A madhouse ride themed as an old and haunted vicarage. The height limit is 1.2m alone. The attraction had a minor refurbishment with a different story in 2015.

Thrill rides

# Name Opened Manufacturer Description
1 Accelerator 2011 as

Ben 10: Ultimate Mission

(2017 as


Vekoma A junior boomerang roller coaster that reaches speeds of up to 62 km/h on a 180m long track and reaches a height of 20m. The height limit is 1m and the rider must be over 4 years old. Riders below 1.2m must be accompanied by an adult.
2 Air Race 2014 Zamperla An inverting aeroplane ride, which replaced Black Revolvers. The height limit is 1.2m.
3 Apocalypse 2000 Intamin A stand-up and sit-down drop tower ride with a 54m drop. The height limit is 1.2m for sit-down and 1.4m for stand-up. It was the first stand-up drop tower in the world.
4 The Buffalo 1987 Zamperla A powered roller coaster that goes over the lake for added effect. The height limit is 1m alone.
5 Maelstrom 2002 Intamin A gyro swing ride with 32 outward-facing seats on a circular gondola. The height limit is 1.3m & 2m max
6 Pandemonium 2004 Fabbri A 360° swinging inverter ride. The height limit was originally 1.2m, however this has now been altered to 1.4m when it was refurbished in 2017. This may have been due to extra safety precautions being put in place following the 2017 Splash Canyon incident.
7 Shockwave 1994 Intamin A stand-up roller coaster that reaches speeds of up to 85 km/h on a 500m long track and reaches a height of "almost" 36m with 4 inversions: a loop, a zero-gravity roll and a double corkscrew. The height limit is 1.4m. After 1994 (when "Stand Up" from Skara Sommerland, Sweden was relocated to La Ronde, Canada as "Cobra") and up to 2014 (after which "Freestyle" opened at Cavallino Matto, Italy, after being relocated there from Canada's Wonderland where it operated as "SkyRider"), it was the only stand-up roller coaster in Europe, but it is still the only one with a zero-gravity roll in the world. It is also the only Intamin stand-up coaster left in operation after Cobra at La Ronde closed in 2016. In 2021 closed season it had a refurbishment which included the repaint of the station building
8 Unnamed River Rapids 2021 (1993 as Splash Canyon) Intamin A 455m long river rapids ride. The height limit is 0.9m with an adult and 1.1m alone. As of 2017 the ride is SBNO after an incident of that year. Currently undergoing a refurbishment and will reopen April 2021.
9 Stormforce 10 1999 BEAR GmbH A 500m long flume ride formerly sponsored by the RNLI and has 3 drops including a 9m backwards drop. The height & age limit is 1.3m/14 Y.O alone
10 The Bounty 2007 Intamin A swinging pirate ship that swings to an angle of 75 degrees. The height limit is 1.2m. The Bounty replaced the old Pirate Ship which operated until 2006.

Thomas Land rides

# Name Opened Manufacturer Description
1 Bertie Bus 2008 Zamperla A crazy bus ride. In partnership with Arriva.
2 Blue Mountain Engines 2012 Zamperla A junior regetta ride. Relocated in 2015.
3 Captain's Sea Adventure 2015 Zamperla A watermania ride.
4 Cranky's Drop Tower 2008 Zamperla An 8m high sky drop ride.
5 Diesel's Locomotive Mayhem 2008 Zamperla A demolition derby ride featuring themed cars resembling the Diesels.
6 Flynn´s Fire Rescue 2015 Zamperla A fire brigade ride. In partnership with West Midlands Fire Service.
7 Harold's Helicopter Tours 2008 Zamperla A samba tower ride.
8 James and the Red Balloon 2017 Zamperla A samba balloon ride.
9 Jeremy Jet's Flying Academy 2008 Zamperla An aero top jet ride.
10 Lady's Carousel 2008 Zamperla A junior carousel ride.
11 Rocking Bulstrode 2008 Zamperla A rockin' tug ride.
12 Sodor Classic Cars 1972 Supercar A car ride. That was re-themed to fit the area that is now known as Thomas land, after Robinson's land was dismanteled.
13 Toby's Tram Express 2015 Zamperla A barnyard ride.
14 Troublesome Trucks Runaway Rollercoaster 2008 Gerstlauer A junior roller coaster located in Thomas Land. The height limit is 1m with an adult and 1.2m alone.
15 Winston's Whistle-Stop Tours 2013 Zamperla An aerial ride.
16 Thomas, Rosie and Percy Engine Tours 2008 Metallbau Emmeln A themed train ride. Thomas and Percy were the original engines, with Rosie being added in 2009. The Rosie train had a repaint in 2019, to be a burgundy colour, contrary to the original pink.
17 Terence's Driving School 2008 SB International A driving school ride. Relocated in 2011 to the back end of the zoo near the exhibition.
18 Spencer's Outdoor Adventure 2008 Unknown An outdoor adventure play area.
19 Emily's Adventure Play 2008 Unknown An indoor soft play area.
20 Discover Thomas & Friends Exhibition 2009 HIT Entertainment An indoor miniature model railway exhibition with the original models from the first twelve series of the TV series.

Other rides and attractions

# Name Opened Description
1 Bryan's Works Museum 1990 A large collection of penny slot machines.
2 Dino Trail 2010 Walk-through prehistoric dinosaurs.
3 Crazy Golf 1992 A crazy golf course.
4 HB Games 1950 A number of arcade games.
5 Test Track 2019 A pay-per-ride car attraction for small children, operated by HB leisure.

Past rides

# Name Opened Closed Manufacturer Description
1 Log Flume 1981 1998 Reverchon Industries The original Log Flume replaced by Stormforce 10. Parts of the original Log Flume were used to lengthen Klondike Creek that used to be at Flamingo Land.
2 Klondike Gold Mine (Python Coaster) 1984/1995 2004 Pinfari A Pinfari Zyklon ZL-42 roller coaster that was sold to Funland in Hayling Island (Now removed there) and replaced by G-Force. Now travelling.
3 G Force 2005 2018 Maurer Söhne The world's first X-Car steel rollercoaster with a unique Loop inversion lift hill that reached 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 (sidewinder immediately followed by a cutback) height limit 1.35m. Closed after maintenance issues and it constantly breaking down. It did not operate for the 2019 Season and was deconstructed during the 2019-2020 off season. The ride is currently in storage in The Netherlands
4 Jumbo Jet 1981 1983 Anton Schwarzkopf A City Jet coaster replaced by Python Looping Coaster. Was subsequently moved to Nigloland in France and now operates at Parc de la Vallée.
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, later replaced by an indoor play area.
7 Paratower 1982 1997 Vekoma A Parachute Tower, sold to 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 Accelerator.
10 Jungle Cruise 1976 2001 Alan Hawes/Bennett A river raft ride replaced by Excalibur.
11 Excalibur 2003 2011 BEAR GmbH Tow boat ride that took riders on a humorous tour of a Medieval village with an indoor finale. Designed by Farmer Studios. Currently SBNO and the boats are in a storage area by the hotel.
12 Sky Flyer 1989 2003 Vekoma Vekoma Skyflyer, opened by 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 Bounty. G-Force stands where Pirate Ship once was.
15 Snake Train 1950 1995 In House 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 & Ferretti Brothers A 180-degree cinema.
18 Balloon Race 1987 1997 Zamperla A Wave Swinger ride where Maelstrom is currently located.
19 Quasar 1985 1987 A.R.M. Sold to showman Michael Phillips in September 1987.
20 Octopus 1984 1997 Soriani & Moser Polyp ride.
21 Rowing Boats 1950 c.1997 Rowing Boats on the lake that were removed due to the popularity of Drayton Queen.
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 converted to Bertie Bus.
35 Whirly Copters 1998 2007 Modern Products 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 roller coaster. Replaced by Super Dragon.
39 Pirate Raft Ride 1998 2007 Zamperla Junior jets. Relocated to Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach.
40 Jolly Roger 2004 2007 Zamperla Rockin Tug Pirate Ship. Converted to Bulstrode
41 Mississippi Showboat 1988 1994 S.D.C A showboat-themed fun house. Closed and didn't operate for the 1994 season. Was left SBNO at Drayton Manor for years until the end of 2016 when it was removed.
42 Big Wheel 1986 2017 Helmut Hauser A ferris Wheel. Replaced by a pay for ride themed around Accelerator
43 Pirate Adventure 1990 2015 Mack Rides A pirate themed water dark ride inspired from the pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney land. It closed in 2016 with various parts sold off at a private auction in 2020. Boats for the ride are still on site and located in a storage area by the hotel.
44 Chair Lift 1964 2017 British Chairlifts The chair lift offered a view from the entrance to the back of the park; height limit none / 16 years alone. Removed and put into storage. The ride closed with no statement given.
45 Drayton Queen 1992 2016 Severn Lamb The Drayton Queen was a paddleboat that gave people rides around the lake, in the 2018 season its now decommissioned and left in a storage area by Splash canyon. In the 2019 season it was moved to a storage area by the hotel, which is where it is today and can be seen over the fence under a black cover.
46 VertiGo 2016 2019 Ropes Course, Inc A high ropes adventure course.


Drayton Manor is also home to a 15-acre (6 ha) zoo. It contains over 100 species from all over the world.


Drayton Manor Hotel

In 2009, 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 15 Thomas & Friends themed bedrooms is designed to primarily meet the demand from park visitors as the park is attracting families from all over the UK, especially since the arrival of Thomas Land.

The Camping and Caravanning Club

The Camping and Caravan Club have a site at Drayton Manor. On the site there is 90 pitches, Glamping tents (available through Ready Camp) and a children's playground.

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