Yesterday was Libby and Lia’s first trip to a theme park. We were lucky enough to be invited to Drayton Manor to watch the brand new Thomas the Tank Engine movie, Tale of the Brave. Much to hubby’s disgust, he couldn’t get the day off work to come with us. Luckily for me, my fabulous photographer friend was able to come with us. Not only did she take some *FABULOUS* photos, but she was a huge help with the kids, to the extent that Libby asked if she wanted to come and live with us! So thank you Mel for all your help and photos. If you are in the Herefordshire or Worcestershire area and need an incredible photographer, you can find Mel here.
When we arrived at the park, we made our way straight to the 4D cinema for the screening. Libby’s eyes lit up when she saw the popcorn and juice that had been laid on for the children. Rather impressively, THE Sir Topham Hatt (the Fat Controller) was greeting visitors and showed us all into the auditorium, which had smoke effects at the start.
Libby adores trains, and has been waiting to ride on “Thomas the Engine” (as she calls him) for ages. As soon as he came on the screen, she was captivated, as was Lia. This was where taking a professional photographer with me came into its own, because in this photo you can literally see how much they loved it.
The story was about monsters on Sodor where Thomas and his friends live. There was an underlying message there that it’s ok to be frightened, and that to be really brave you have to face up to your fears. It’s really quite an exciting story, so when Libby started to get a little bit fidgety after she’d finished her popcorn, she still managed to watch it all and even I was gripped enough by the story to want to know what happened.
After watching the film, Libby gratefully received a bag full of Thomas goodies before we headed off to enjoy the rest of the park. First stop, Thomas Land of course! Here, she got to meet her hero, and even ride on Thomas himself!
The staff at Drayton Manor were incredibly accommodating. I always carry Lia in the sling, and we all wanted to go on the rides together so Lia was allowed to go on everything that Libby wanted to. On one ride, Libby went on with Mel and I went with Lia, and a gentleman member of staff even let Libby jump into the car with us at the end of the ride for Mel to take a photo.
For anyone with pre-school age children, now is a perfect time to visit Drayton Manor, we didn’t have to queue for any of the rides that the girls wanted to go on. Lia found some of them a bit of a surprise…
But both girls loved them none the less. Lia hardly slept all day, and Libby walked all the way round so by 4 pm, both girls were exhausted. We could have stayed much longer, we hardly touched on looking at the animals and didn’t go on any of the rides more than once. I would highly recommend both a trip to Drayton Manor and the Tales of the Brave film. And so, it seems, would Libby!