Saturday, 28 June 2014

Nursery Leavers trip to Drayton Manor

Yesterday, was J's nursery leavers trip, and they had chosen to go to Drayton manor, home of Thomas Land. Now, we are not Thomas fans in our house, but we were still excited. Daddy M was off, so he looked after S, so that I could take J and go on all the rides she wanted to without worrying about heights. However, it was raining on and off whilst we were getting ready, so despite the glorious weather for the week previously, we decided to gamble and take our winter coats. We were the first at nursery to wait for the coach, and the only ones with winter attire...  mummy was a tad nervous she would be carrying the coats, lunch and drinks.
 

After the 90minute coach drive, which had its own dramas due to a tired J after a restless night due to nightmares. We finally arrived, along with the heavy rain. Phew, the gamble paid off with the coats as they certainly were needed.
After dispersing from the nursery group to do our own things, J wanted to go on the first ride she saw. Drayton Manor isn't aimed at just pre-school children, but also thrill seekers, so I was relieved that the first ride she saw, was relatively calm. However we did get very wet, being swung around in the circle on a giant swing, along with high schoolers.
We then headed of to the pirate area, and rode on two pirate themed rides. Both again being filled with high school children. J was very nervous on one, as we were told there was a little drop whilst floating around in the dark. But this was all good fun, and J enjoyed it. It reminded us of a ride very similar in Disney World. And the rain soon eased. Then it was on to the carousel, and as Mummy didn't have S to worry about, I could ride along with J.
We then spotted Thomas Land, and headed inside, away from the swarms of teenagers. There were so many rides so close to each other, and not huge queues either, perfect, for a very eager J, who was darting from one to the other. She soon stopped at a ride that did a figure of eight with the various engines, and then straight onto a driving around a farm ride, where she got to pretend she was driving. These rides reminded me of two in particular at Gulliver's world in Warrington, but along the Thomas Theme, and a lot more modern.
 
 
Whilst looking around J spotted lots of bubbles, so went to explore, and bumped into the Fat Controller.
 
 
The time was getting on, and it was lunch time, J wanted to do one more ride before we stopped to eat, so we just picked a line, and it turned out to be the Thomas train ride queue. This was a great surprise, so we had lunch whilst riding the Thomas train to a much quieter area of the park. We have seen pictures of a Thomas on a train before, but this looked so realistic, rather than just painted on, it even had moving eyes. And steam when he stopped at the platform.
 
 
Whilst in the quieter area, there were plenty of animals to view, but J wasn't interested in that today, she wanted to ride the rides, which there weren't many at this end, however she did get to drive her own engine, at Terence's School of driving. And she was determined to try and crash into the lady helping another small child steer. Thankfully, there weren't any hits.
 
 
We then viewed a very large train set of Thomas in the exhibition centre, before then moving on to explore some more. We just missed the train back, so explored the other side. The outdoor play area was shut due to poor ground conditions, which I am guessing was due to the heavy rain in the morning. Next to the play area, was a dino trail, J enjoyed this as there was multiple choice questions, where you had to guess the answer... through this, she learnt what a herbivore, carnivore and a piscivore were.
 
After the dino trail, we caught Thomas back to the main area of Thomas land. And J wanted to do the Harold helicopters... there were no queues... what was going on?? When we visited Peppa pig World about 18months ago, the queues were ridiculous... was the rain putting people off? It still hadn't rained since the first morning heavy shower. So we made the most of it. The guy in charge, had a good way at telling us all to watch our heads, and made it seem like a great big happy family. And then we were off.... now I don't do heights, but if J could do, then I could, and whilst up in the helicopter, the rain came along with the thunder AND lightening... that sure put the scare factor into the ride..... thankfully the lightening was still a little way off....
 
 
Once we got safely back on the ground we moved onto the Rocking Bulstrode, which is an equivalent of a pirate ship that goes back and forth, but also spins a little too.... Whilst we were getting on this, the thunder and lighting was right above us, as there were no time delay between them both, but we were strapped in and couldn't go anywhere... The Bulstrode was filled, and we were all giggling like pre-schoolers, even us crazy mums. We all got off looking like drowned rats.... where we were sat down, our whole legs as well as bodies were saturated....
 
Whilst we were still so wet, we decided to stay out a little longer and get some pictures with the engines as the park was slowly getting disserted.



 
The rain then started to ease, so we went to find some more rides, and J soon spotted the Jeremy Jet ride...
 
 
after the jet ride, we noticed the rollercoaster for younger children, had NO queue what so ever, so jumped on.... poor J screamed the whole way down, and around, and clung on for dear life.... and then when we pulled into the station, it then went around again... poor J started to cry... but soon started to giggle on the 2nd run down.... I was cheeky and caught a snap shot of us on the wayout... but got a stern telling off..... but didn't get told to delete... so proof to Daddy M... I did go on a rollercoaster.... and yes it was aimed at small children....
 

 
J said she never wanted to go on the rollercoaster again, so we headed over to the Berty Bus ride which takes you in a circle vertically forwards and backwards... she enjoyed this so much, we stayed on for a 2nd go, especially as the rain picked up again.

We then got a text from the nursery saying they were bringing the collection time forward due to the bad weather... so we headed to the loo's and back to the coach... J was starting to get very cold at this point, even though her coat was more waterproof than mine, and she had waterproof trousers on.
Torrential rain, and I make her pose... evil mummy!
Once back at the coach, we stripped her out her waterproofs, and she was bone dry.... amazingly. Me however, my big heavy coat was stuck to me as the rain had seemed to have penetrated into the coat. We then had to wait another hour whilst we waited for one more family to arrive back on board. Then it was time to drive back in rush hour. This took 3.5hours..... to say the vodka and coke was calling me was an understatement.....
It was a great day out, and the rain meant we could get on more rides then anticipated. We completed Thomas Land, but there were much more to explore in Drayton Manor, so I would like to go back again.... but maybe drive myself so we aren't waiting for people that cant tell the time.

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