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Drayton Manor - 28 March 2010
meames
post Mar 29 2010, 3:15 PM
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OK, we got some Tesco vouchers to go to Drayton Manor so thought we would take baby Meames to Thomas Land.

We arrived about 10:15 to a very quiet car park. No queues to get in so straight through the gates. As there was 15 minutes before the rides opened we thought we would take a look around the park first. First impressions were really good, the park looks clean and well kept. A few minor bits and bobs stuck out, but on the whole very good.

Sombrero was in bits and there was a cherry picker on the Flying Dutchman which was a shame as I rather like those 2.

Anyway, we watched Stormforce testing from the other side of the lake before a worker started up the riverboat and plunged us into a thick cloud of Diesel fumes - thanks for that! As the rides opened we headed back down for Thomas Land.

A quick ride on Sodor Classic Car's which Daniel loved as he could 'steer' them around. Then Lady's Carousel which has a funny design where the base and top rotate one way while the carriages go the other - looks very odd. But this scared Daniel to death as it is loud as hell - and I really mean its loud, I couldn't have talked to anybody sat next to me whilst riding.

Then off to Crazy Bertie Bus which again Daniel didn't like as it made his belly go all funny, so off to Diesels Locomotion Mayhem which he didn't mind if not getting a bit confused as things kept moving around him.

A quick go on Harold's Helecopter Tours which Daniel liked as again he could 'steer' (do you see a theme here yet?!).

Now then, Pirates........I had heard that they had done a bit of work to this over the closed season. Last time I went on it nothing worked - not a single thing. Guess what, very very little was working. It was the potential to be one of the best dark rides we have in the country - I really believe that, but with next to no models working, the models which get wet were all green, it was awful. There was a great big hole in one of the fake rock faces which could have really easily been fixed, but nope......and the exit to the ride is about as bad as you could design. I am sure it used to dump you into a shop, but now you walk down this horrible corridor - so much potential to improve this ride with very little money needed - I don't see why they don't just spend a few weeks on it and get it fixed.

Off for lunch and as tradition dictates we went for burgers. I am sure these get worse every year! We worked out a family deal was cheaper than buying 2 burgers and a bit of something for Daniel. So for 13 we got 4 burgers, 4 fries and 4 drinks (very very small drinks). It was the worst tasting burger ever, even Daniel spat it out (after picking the cheese off it anyway) but the fries were nice having just come out of the fryer.

Off to Excalibur which I used to like - the finale to it was brilliant - the dragon walking across the rocks I thought was very well done.

Guess what......very few models still working, models with arms, legs and a few heads missing, the sound on the boat was screwed up and the final scene fire effects were all turned off. boo!

While Daniel slept we rode G Force with no queue, which I liked but has turned pink, then the front row of Shockwave which was OK - most people got off Shockwave raving about it, the others were just staggering around in pain!

So, all in all quite a dissapointing day out. It seems that they have poured money into Thomas Land which looks brilliant, and if Daniel was just a year or so older I am sure he would have liked it more, but he did seem to like seeing the Fat Controller and Thomas in the flesh so can't complain!

The rest of the park is sadly lacking in maintenance and investment. I know that Drayton Manor havn't got the money to throw at the park, but its the small things which really don't cost that much.

Oh. I almost forgot, who's idea was it to mess with the Haunting?! The building and truck look like they are about to collapse, but get inside, the same video plays and you walk down the same corridor where the effects don't work any more. They have replaced the vicar ghost with a vampire which doesn't work very well and sound doesn't really work. The moving floor still works, but thats about it. Even the wallpaper was just about gone.

Into the main ride, which is a lot smaller than Hex, but I do like these things - just for the fasination of how on earth they got it to work in the first place. You spin about a bit then come to a rest. A coffin in the centre of the room opens....oh good I thought, maybe a vampire will jump up screaming or something. Nope.....we get a bat on a stick! A frigging bat on a stick!!!! The lights go out and air jets fire at you. The lights come on and the doors open - absolutly rubbish ending!

As an edit - they are actually starting to clear land now for the hotel - posters say its coming in 2011 - hopefully that should bring in some money.

This post has been edited by meames: Mar 29 2010, 4:01 PM


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Fruit Corner
post Mar 29 2010, 11:09 PM
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Why would you ever want to stay at Drayton Manor....
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meames
post Mar 30 2010, 7:52 AM
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Well they have a camp site which does rather well - if the price was right I would go to Drayton Manor, stay over at the hotel then drive to Alton Towers the day after.

But, you have to look at all the other stuff which goes along with a hotel - a restaurant, corporate bookings, weddings etc etc.


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Howie
post May 17 2010, 9:24 PM
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To be fair, that 'bat on a stick' provided me with one of the biggest laughs I've ever had in any theme park anywhere!
I think (although I wouldn't swear to it!!) that the bats inherent 'naff-ness' is deliberate and meant to be a joke. At least I hope so, no-one in their right mind would ever consider that thing even remotely scary. Would they?? huh.gif
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