We were delighted to be asked to head to Drayton Manor and check out the spooky goings-on. If you follow me on social anything you’ll know that we recently had a new addition so, a day out for the girls was perfect, as it has been very baby focused for a few weeks now. You might remember that we checked out Drayton Manor a few years ago at Christmas – which was really something!
We packed sandwiches in the morning and left with a view to arriving at 9am. Parking is ample, but like most attractions, the later you come the further away you’ll need to park.
There are some big pumpkins around the park, and if you are like us, they’re the perfect photo opportunity. As we walked around, it struck me just how much all the little kiddos were excited. I remember, when I was around 13, I came to Drayton Manor with my school in the summer. I went on Shockwave over and over, it was so hot, and the park felt so big to me then.
Watching the girls running to the queues, and jumping up and down with excitement made me a little bit nostalgic. Or, maybe I’m just really getting old now.
As always there are parents with a light brow sweat trying to tame some adrenaline pumped kids, but you know, it’s not really a family day out if at least one adult hasn’t muttered under their breath, and one (or more) kids have had a tantrum.
The Trick or Treat door, which houses The Fat Controller is just inside the entrance to Thomas Land, and upon knocking the door, each little one gets to chose a candy. And that sets the tone for the rest of the day. The rides are ultimately the same, but the little extras around the park give it a Halloween twist.
Spider webs, pumpkins, more treats than tricks and that crisp October air make a really lovely day.
The value added of the day for us is the 4D cinema, the moving chairs and other things like bubbles, or snow that happens – the kids (and me) love it. Strolling around the zoo is a little bit of a break in the day and allows for the ideal spot for a picnic. As it happens, we left those sandwiches we made in the car and decided that The Grill Inn was going to be our sustenance for the evening, but of course, we stopped for coffee and cake at Sodor Coffee Shop upon arrival and Mrs Kyndley’s for a light bite later on.
There is a ‘Face Your Fears’ table just by the reptile house, where you’ll find 5 boxes that you can pop your hand into and have a guess what is inside. I found this really interesting, not for the I’m A Celeb feel to it, but it had the names of the fear on the outside of the box. I probably should’ve worked out that would be what the game looked like from its name but… I digress. Rather than a kangaroo testicle, the kids get some candy at the end of the trial – which I think we can all agree, is better.
The day is fun, but it is expensive too. For a Family of 5 (kids under 2 are free).
On the day our tickets would be: £165
Cappuccino x 2, 1 cake, 3 juices, 1 doughnut pack & 2 sandwiches: £16 (Sodor)
Cappuccino, 3 sausage rolls, steak slice, 2 fruit shoots: £16.45 (Mrs Kyndley’s)
Plus travel, fairground games, and other snacks or drinks it is over £200. There are pricing concessions which are pretty generous. If you compare it with other theme parks in terms of admissions price it tends to be more cost-effective in both pre-booking and on the day admission and it is incredibly easy to get to.
For me, the sign of any good day out is how the girls talk about it, how they are in the car when it is time to leave. On the way home, as I drove they all traded stories about the rides they had been on, the Meerkats in the zoo, the face your fears boxes and even the hot crumbly pastry on the sausage roll from Mrs Kyndley’s, before the train ride back to the entrance.
And.. the dinos!
So, is Halloween at Drayton Manor Worth it?
According to these three – very much so. Check more out here: https://www.draytonmanor.co.uk/