Charlotte and I are both huge fans of theme parks, so when Drayton Manor invited us to visit, we jumped at the opportunity. Drayton Manor kindly provided Charlotte and I with accommodation at their hotel along with a full breakfast. The hotel exceeded my expectations, and the staff were all very friendly and accommodating.
With the weather being on our side, I was excited to see what the day had in-store for us at Drayton Manor Theme Park. On arrival, we were kindly greeted by Danielle, who gave us a tour around the park. After tour touring the facilities, Charlotte and I were ready to let our inner-child out! We dove in the deep end, and went on our first ride: Apocalypse. According to Danielle, this was the scariest ride in the theme park. The ride had two different settings: you could either enjoy the ride seated or you could stand, and the seats tilted forwards. This was my first time experiencing a ride standing! It is safe to say we were terrified. The ride slowly takes you 54 meters high; you get an amazing view of the theme park. Once you reach the top, that’s when the adrenaline kicks in, and they keep you dangling at the top of the ride for 2 seconds - before you know it, the ride drops 50 miles per hour! If that wasn’t scary enough, we decided to try the same ride standing with the seats tilted forward. You would think that the second time would be less frightening, but having to stand added an extra element of fear. After going on Apocalypse, we had some time to venture around the park before the next ride opened. Towards the front of the entrance there was a map. The maps were placed all around the theme park and were very helpful, including restaurants and where the rides were located. The theme park had various restaurants spread out so wherever you were, you could always find a place to eat, whether you fancied waffles, ice creams, candy floss or something savory.
Once we had briefly wandered around, we decided it was time to get back on the rides - but this time, we opted for something that seemed to be tame. We were pleasantly surprised that the Accelerator ride was faster than we anticipated. Being an adrenaline junkie, I loved it!
There were two rides in particular I was most excited for: Maelstorm and Shockwave. We decided to go on Maelstorm first, which was my favourite ride. It had Charlotte and I on the edge of our seats! On this ride, we were facing outwards. We were slowly raised into the sky, leaving us dangling in the air. Next, we were swung back and forth while the ride was rotating a full 360 degrees. This got our adrenaline pumping again, so we decided we were ready to experience the most notorious ride at Drayton Manor which is The Shockwave. This is Europe’s first stand-up roller coaster! The exhilarating ride first opened up in 1994, and was the only stand-up roller coaster with zero gravity rolls. It was also voted “the best roller coaster in the world” which is a statement I would happily agree with. This ride travels at a speed of 53mph. Once we had completed our tour of the ride, we decided to visit Thomas Land, which was one of the main attractions. Thomas Land is a great attraction for toddlers - and those who are young at heart.
After our tour of the theme park we decided to venture to the zoo. We were greeted by Lee from the zoo department, who showed us around the zoo. We also got to spectate as customers took part in their zookeeper for a day experience. This involved preparing food for various animals in the zoo such as the tamarin monkey, the red panda and more. It was nice seeing the love and care that goes into preparing the food for the animals; we were told that all foods must be weighed as well as the animals to ensure that they are healthy and are being fed the right amount of food.
The red panda was one of the most adorable animals I have seen, she looked like a cuddly bear! We were lucky enough to actually get inside the cage and feed her bamboo leaves. She was shy at first and did not want to come down, but finally she managed to warm up to up to us. This was my favourite and most memorable part of the trip, as I loved getting to see the animals up close all whilst learning interesting facts about them.
Our final encounter was with a skunk! Yes, that’s right, a skunk. When Lee mentioned us meeting the skunk, I must admit I wasn’t sure what to expect as they have a bad reputation. However, I was pleasantly surprised. As well as being cute, Pepe the skunk was very well trained.
Overall, we had am amazing and adventurous trip. We got to explore the theme park, while also being told about the history behind the rides. I also found this experience different to other theme parks I have visited, as the zoo was a great addition. We had a brilliant time exploring the park, and I would like to thank the team at Drayton Manor for having us, -we really appreciated it!