Insider’s Guide to Drayton Manor

It’s worth planning ahead for those looking to visit Drayton Manor & Thomas Land this theme park season so we’ve put together a guide to help you get the most from your day out.  Once you’ve worked out the best Drayton Manor Ticket Deals & Discounts then it’s time to turn your head to more practical matters including tips & tricks to beat the queues.

1. Thomas Land; Tips & Tricks

i. Head Directly To Base; Thomas Land is a popular attraction for young families and so avid Thomas fans should head directly to this themed area as queues tend to build throughout the day.

ii. The Thomas & Friend Train Ride; did you know that the Thomas & friends train only provides a ONE WAY journey from Thomas Land over to the other side of the park? You’ll often find a much shorter queue in place if you buck the trend and take the train from Tidmouth Station back to Thomas Land!

iii. Lesser Known Thomas Attractions; look out for more Thomas Land attractions squirreled away at the back of the park that attract shorter queues. Find Terences’s Driving School & a fantastic miniature Thomas railway over by Tidmouth Hault station that many guests don’t even know exist!

Shockwave at Drayton Manor theme park

Drayton Manor; Shockwave

2. Thrill Ride; Queue Capacities

Worth noting that queue capacities for thrill rides vary quite considerable at Drayton Manor, (pre covid numbers);

Shockwave; good queue capacity with each carriage taking up to a maximum of 24 people.

Maelstrom; whilst the queues may look longer for this ride, the queues move quickly as capacity is high.

Pandemonium; this ride takes from 2 separate queues and again offers a good queue capacity

G-Force; slow queue capacity as only one carriage ride with a maximum of 18 people at a time.  Queues quickly build for this ride although it can be difficult to assess as the queue take place within an enclosed area.

Stormforce 10; both tend to get busier throughout the day with queues peaking at around 1-2pm.

Accelerator Rollercoaster; remains a popular at the park although more of a family coaster than the high end thrill ride.

Looking for cheap tickets to Drayton Manor? Follow our Guide to Drayton Manor Deals for current promotions & offers.

Drayton Manor; Troublesome Trucks

Drayton Manor; Troublesome Trucks

3. Beat The Queues; Early Bird

Plan ahead & take advantage of the quietest time at the park which tends to be the first 60/90 minutes of the day.  Good to know that the car park & ticket booths both open significantly earlier than the park so ensure you are parked up & ready to go the moment the gates are opened. As the park tends to open about 30 minutes before the rides, this gives you ample time to find your bearings, select your first ride & start queuing before it opens.

4. Drayton Manor; Non Queue Attractions

As the queues begin to build at the park, look to intersperse rides with non-queue attractions to balance your day.  For time away from the queues look out for attractions such as Spencer’s Activity Playground, the Drayton Manor zoo, Dino Trail or even Thomas & Friends Miniature Railway.  Older children will enjoy the fully functioning penny arcade, (Bryan’s Works Penny Slot Machines) or the 4-D Adventure.

5. Beat the Queues; Infant Rider Swap

Young families can take advantage of an Infant Rider Swap at Drayton Manor that allows both parents & a child to ride without having to queue twice. The parent queue system operates differently for each ride so worth checking with the individual ride attendants at the exit point for each ride. The Infant Rider Swap works particularly well in larger parties that allows adults/older children to ride together.

6. Cheap Tickets to Drayton Manor

There are plenty of ways to reduce your entrance charges at Drayton Manor for those planning to shop around. Take advantage of cheap ticket promotions that can also include meal deals or 2 day discounted tickets.  Alternatively look out for ticket offers that can combine Drayton Manor tickets with entry to attractions such as Alton Towers & Water World.

More information available at Drayton Manor Tickets; Deals & Discounts.

thomas land at Drayton Manor

Drayton Manor; James & the Red Balloon

7.  Drayton Manor; Fastrack Tickets?

Whilst there are no fastrack tickets available at Drayton Manor that ‘in it together’ attitude remains popular with theme park users.

8. Ride Photography Deals

For those that like to pick up a ride photo or two, look out for the photo pass offer at Drayton Manor.  This offers a discounted price on 4 photographic items, (including Thomas Land photos & driving licences) plus free digital downloads too.  The added advantage with this offer is that you can use it throughout the season should you wish.

More information available at Drayton Manor Ride Photo Offers.

9. Drayton Manor; Picnics & Lockers

Picnics are welcome at Drayton Manor and offers an easy way to make some savings at the park.  There are plenty of lockers available to store your belonging with a range of pricing options available.

More information can be found at Drayton Manor; Picnics & Lockers.

Drayton Manor Thrills

Drayton Manor Thrills

10. Extra Attractions, (young families)

The great advantage with Drayton Manor is that there are plenty of other things for young families to see & do away from Thomas Land that offer you time away from the queues.

i. Spencer’s Activity Park; a fantastic adventure playground for children for young children, (8 years & under).

ii. Drayton Manor Zoo; wander around the zoo & keep an eye out for the feeding times.

iii. Dino Trail; go back in time and explore a world packed with friendly dinosaurs.

iv. Emily’s Adventure Play; this indoor play area runs timed sessions throughout the day, (worth booking a session on busy days).

v. Thomas & Friends Exhibition; this miniature railway is great for little ones as they try to spot the Thomas & his friends as they speed by.

More Drayton Manor Information

Cheap Deals for Drayton Manor Theme Park.

Drayton Manor Picnics & Lockers

Free Entry to Drayton Manor & Manic Monday Deals

Free Entry to Drayton Manor & Manic Monday Deals

What do you think? Leave us a comment below!

Share your thoughts


  1. Are there single rider lines

  2. Caroline Stratfull says:

    Just for info… DM say they DO offer fast track bands for special needs guests. You just need to ring and arrange one. X

  3. dont get this. no one needs this info.

    • Top Dog Days
      lizwalsh says:

      Sorry to hear that this Drayton Manor information wasn’t for you – was there something in particular you were searching for?

  4. TRACEY hill says:

    We are going tomorrow to draton manor just wanted to know is it dog friendly as we just got a puppy and would love for her to come with us I need a reply Asap thank you

  5. I meant mum sorry

  6. Hi you guys gave me a lot of information thank you but I need to ask I will be visiting drayton manor this summer but does my muni haft to pay for entrance even though she will not go on rides just to supervise my little brother in Thomas land it would be a great help if you would email me the answer thank you so much

    • Hi Amina, unfortunately as in line with most other theme parks, your Mum will need to purchase a ticket for Drayton Manor whether she intends to use the rides or not. If they intend to visit over the summer holidays, at least they can take advantage of discounted tickets for visits taken between 20 July & 1 September if they book online at Drayton Manor.

Latest comments

Unfortunately there are no single rider lines at Drayton Manor:(... Read more »

lizwalsh, 02/08/2016

Are there single rider lines... Read more »

Ecgymnast, 02/08/2016

Thanks Caroline for the Drayton Manor update, good to know:)... Read more »

lizwalsh, 24/07/2015

Just for info... DM say they DO offer fast track bands for special needs guests. You just need to ri... Read more »

Caroline Stratfull, 24/07/2015

Sorry to hear that this Drayton Manor information wasn't for you - was there something in particular... Read more »

lizwalsh, 04/07/2015
Post you own comment, click here...

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