Drayton Manor Theme Park & Zoo Reviews

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Drayton Manor Theme Park and Zoo
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★★☆☆☆

“Expensive, dull and entirely underwhelming”

Written on: 10/06/2022 by joehawrylkiw (1 review written)

Back when I was young, I used to love Drayton Manor, and so did my mom, we had the season pass every year from when I was 4 till 9. I have fond memories of this place, riding in a Thomas carriage past the zoo animals, running round over and over on g-force on the odd teacher training day where the park was basically empty, and finally being brave enough to ride apocalypse for the first time. The season pass and food there was cheap and I couldn't ask for more. But when I got to around 10 years old, I started noticing things weren't heading in the right way for Drayton Manor, the entertaining underground pirate ride was closed for maintenance for upwards of 5 years, the old paddle boat ride in the lake closed and the boat was beached, g-force closing, and the cable cars were taken down. It was sad to see. We hadn't gone back till recently, I'm 15, nearly 16 now, and me and my mom finally went back to see the new attractions in Adventure Cove and Vikings. We went on a day where I had no exams, and it was set to have a little rain, so it would be even more empty than a usual Monday. The ticket prices were the first red flag for how the trip would go, the single day tickets, from what I remember, have doubled in price. My mom used a Tesco voucher to get one ticket for about a tenner. When we get there at around 10:15 we have a little time to spare for the 10:30 opening, so we get to the front gates and it is a waste land, not just was no one there, but there was rubbish on the floor, decaying walls of the old red shop that's now an employee area, and somehow the toilets were closed for maintenance. When we get in at 10:25 we head straight for the new Vikings area, and I'll say, the theming of the area is really nice, the planters and brick work looks great. The old buffalo, now Jormunganda (I think that's how it's spelt) is as rough as ever, but I'll let it off as it's old, the station and new trains look good, but the seats are uncomfortable as all hell, there is zero padding, and for such an old ride, it was dearly needed. I then head for the big spinning ride, like the avatar ride in Blackpool Pleasure Beach, either Thor or Loki, I can't remember the name. That was decent, not very thrilling but it's nice views, I went on it twice that day, the first time it was completely smooth, no clunks or bumps, but the second time, something must've fell on the tracks, as there was a loud clunk and the train jolted upward. After the first ride of it I went to the other, smaller spinning ride, either Thor or Loki and the seats are very uncomfortable, there is no padding and the way that you sit on the seat, your thighs get pressed into a sharp edge by the over the shoulder restraints. It was a slightly thrilling ride. I skip the pony ride as I would like to keep my dignity, and we head back to the front and make our way to adventure cove, but on our way there, we go to the bumper cars, nearly enough people were in the queue to fill up most of the cars, we get on and the operator starts the ride, the bumper cars have to be slower than they were five years ago, we were all plodding around the 'circuit', the cars were so slow you couldn't get a decent crash into people. That was boring too. We get to adventure cove and I go on Maelstrom, that was as good as ever, thrilling and a great view of the park, it felt like it picked up speed faster than before, but it also had a shorter ride time, which was disappointing as there was literally no one in the queue. We look around adventure cove for a bit, looking at the theming, it wasn't as good as Vikings was but it was still a bit immersive. I head onto Shockwave, there was no front row queue and I was put onto the second row, while there was an empty seat at the front, that was annoying, then my seat doesn't want to go up any, I have to climb off the crotch holder thing and pull up the seat myself, then I get back on and the operator locks the seats, and we head up the chain lift, Jesus Christ was that ride ever a head banger, I had to shove my head out infront of the restraint to not get a concussion, we get through the short layout and I get off, dazed and slightly dizzy. It was around 1:30pm by then so we go to the safari pizza place as we didn't bring packed lunch. Everything was different, the seating area in the entrance is now where you order, and there aren't meals anymore, a pizza is £8.50. I was disgusted by the price and so was my mom, so we went to the burger kitchen near the bumper cars, no meals there either and the burgers were expensive too. We knew by now every food shop there would have these horrible prices, so we just ate there. Don't get me wrong, the food was decent, but not worth the extra £3 per person for the same food five years ago. We go to the zoo after that before we get back on the rides, and it was boring as anything, half the enclosures were empty, the reptile house absolutely stunk, and the tamarin trail was horribly maintained. We get the Thomas train back to Thomas Land and we head to apocalypse, Pandemonium is gone, shame, and apocalypse was only running one drop tower, but I expected it would be as they attempted to sell it a year or two ago. It was fun, brakes felt a little juddering, but other than that it was good. There wasn't really much else to do. I went back on the big spinner a second time as I mentioned earlier, with the clunk and all. Then we were both burnt out, there hadn't been a big, risky investment in the park in years, no new coaster to bring more guests back, expensive prices for food and shoddy maintenance of old rides. It's a shame to see such a fond place from my younger years fade into irrelevancy. I probably won't be going back again, I would call it a waste of a day. I hope they do get a new coaster one day, I think it would really help them get more money, and bring down those disgusting prices. Thank you for reading, and I hope my review enlightened you of what Drayton Manor is like now.

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★★★☆☆

“visited on the 19/12/15 it rained on and off all-day...”

Written on: 22/12/2015 by 470McBride (1 review written)

visited on the 19/12/15 it rained on and off all-day which can't be helped it is December but there was no where really to take Children out of the rain without it costing you more money and things are on the pricey side even though we had a slot booked for Santa in took us almost an hour to get to see him in fact by the time we did get through my granddaughter was asleep and missed it

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★★★☆☆

“Rainny day!”

Written on: 18/12/2014

In October 2014 we went to Drayton Manor with my friends. It was really bad as it was raining all day. However this was not Drayton Manor's fault we still got a good service from food to going on the rides. It would have been better if we could dry without having to pay.

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★★★★☆

“Lovely park better value than others”

Written on: 10/10/2014 by MrsNLewis (2 reviews written)

Managed to get 2 for 1 tickets so entry price was very reasonable. Had a lovely day perfect for families with children of different ages. Queues for big rides were too long, would benefit from queue jump system or VIP tickets. Perfect range of rides for the family. Good food options available.

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★★☆☆☆

“Better for a younger age.”

Written on: 06/07/2014 by Kirar33 (1 review written)

As the tittle says, just not enough for the price you pay as an adult, compared to a couple of the larger parks for a price of near the same. Fortunate enough to go on a quieter day, be that a sunday which is most suprising, never had to que for more than 10 minutes for anything. That said on a busy day, i could see the negative que'ing comments being reality with so little to go on. For a family day out with the young ones, id recommend it for that, find a corner, take you're own picnic, it's a nice park for that. My only gripe, being charged TWICE for my car parking... not busy, the lad at the ticket both actualy ASKED me if i was alone, "yes me and one car" i replied. Charged twice for my car, listed on my debit recipet. I obviously never checked it, but i still feel ripped off reguardless.

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★★★★★

“Better than Alton Towers.”

Written on: 06/12/2013

Alton Towers is far too large to take a small child around with all of your bags etc. Where as, Drayton Manor is just right for a young family to enjoy their day out.

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Hdhfhgfh's Comment

Written on: 06/12/2013

lance was here 2k13

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Ttrtytyttytyt's Comment

Written on: 16/12/2013

you wat m8?

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★★★★☆

“Actually enjoyed it”

Written on: 11/11/2013 by Mr.Abu.Ayub (4 reviews written)

When I visited the UK, drayton manor was one of the places the kids wanted to go to purely to visit THOMAS LAND! They loved it! There was a guy dressed up as the fat controller who was happy to take lots of pictures and took the roll upon himself brilliantly. The train ride was kool for the kids too! It was easy to find a 2 for 1 offer on groupon (a UK offer site) which meant we all had fun for half the price! The rest of the theme park was also very enjoyable! Attentive staff, A good atmosphere and not too many cues!

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★★★★☆

“okay”

Written on: 11/09/2013 by _und3rc0v3r (3 reviews written)

It was a fantastic day out with me and my family and the rides were really kool. The on site toilets were vile and unbearable and the food available was disgusting. On the plus side, the shops were very low priced considering it's a tourist attraction and we had a great day out at a low price.

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★★★★★

“really good ”

Written on: 17/06/2013 by joshyhughes13 (7 reviews written)

alright but james white fell over at the pool and oil started to fumes the pool because he killed everyone in thje pool awful just awful got free drinks for it tho so thats good then init??????

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★★★★★

“what a relif”

Written on: 22/04/2013

we had been draytor manor and due to the lack of the dreadful ful weather we went back and said me and my kids came on monday and it was raining we asked for a refund an ou woulndt give it us could we please have it for 28 th of april apart from that the kids enjoyed going on apocalypse, shock wave, storm force 10

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★★★★☆

“GOOD”

Written on: 15/02/2013

drayton manor is perfect for all ages the stafe is so kind and helpful;.

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★☆☆☆☆

“What a wash out”

Written on: 07/01/2013 by twinsdadandmum (1 review written)

I booked to take my family of four to Drayton Manor Theme Aprk it was at the end of November 2012. It had rained consistenly for a week so I call ed the day before to check everything was open and I was told it was. We arrived the Themem Park at 12am the next day to find that the whole place was shut due to flooding. I complained andwas told that we would get a refund on our tickets. I was told that every attempt was made to contact me to tell me it was shut due to this reason. I explained that they had not called me or emailed me. The only forms of communication we had used, and they said they had put it on Twiter and Facebook, somehow it was my responsibility to join these mediums and check for updates. Who knows if it is any good, we never got in!

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★★★★☆

“Great for kids and teenagers, a few little niggles thou.. ”

Written on: 01/11/2012

Today my sister and I took my 11 year old son and 8 year old daughter to Drayton Manor for the first time (for them) as we usually go to Alton Towers (which is much better and the same price!) I'll start with the cons.. Some things are waaay over priced like the hot chocolate a £2.50 a cup! The bumper cars were an issue as they have far too many cars and hardly room to move, they could do with taking 4 or 5 out. At lunch time we ate at the cartoon network resturant and the only seats were by the doors which were open and it was cold. There was a young lad who was a member of staff standing by the doors so I went over and asked him if we could close them as they were wedged open, and he replied 'I dunno, and walked off! Charming! Watch out on G Force! Really badly designed in terms of safety restraints! You're held in by with a bar across your stomach which really hurts when you go upside down! An over head restraint would have been a better option!Lastly for the cons, you get more for your money at Alton Towers which is the same price as Drayton Manor, ESPECIALLY if you're an adult! OK, now for the pros! Book online for cheaper prices before you go! Don't pay for the carpark as there's no one on the gates when you leave, and it wasn't clear at all where to pay anyway so we didn't! The park is great for children and if they're the same age as min(8 and 11) they will get on most things like mine did. It's also great for children as it's not very big so easy to walk around, unlike Alton Towers, which is massive, but fantastic for all! The children's meals were reasonably priced at around £4.30 for a hot dinner and a drink. The staff, bar a couple were all very friendly and polite, the toilets were clean as was the park itself. We expected it to be rammed with it been half term, but the most we qued was around 15 for one ride which was the haunting! We didn't really get a chance to see the zoo as we left it a bit late, but the monkeys were cute! The 4d show was fantastic, including the seating so make sure you see that! Over all, a great day out if you have children with you, If you're an adult only party then go to Alton Towers! :)

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★★☆☆☆

“Like long queing? You'll love Drayton Manor!”

Written on: 25/09/2012 by FrankDaTank (6 reviews written)

Long queing! Over an hour for each ride. Everything there was way overpriced. Not worth it!

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★★★☆☆

“Fun day out, but...”

Written on: 14/09/2012

We went on the 29th of August 2012 with some friends to Drayton Maner Park. The moment we arrived it started to rain and soon it was pouring, which went on for the best part of the day. Despite the rain we had a good time and on the plus side, because of the weather, the waiting time for every ride was relatively short. We were (or so we thought) eligible for the Rainy Day guarantee, where you get free tickets when it rains heavily and continuously for a minimum of an an hour. So we went to the customer services office at the end of the day and were given an email address. I followed the instructions, using the email address but never heard a thing back. A week later I rang Drayton Manor to be told that it did not rain continuously and heavily on the day of our visit and we could basically forget about any free tickets. Not impressed.

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★★☆☆☆

“Very disappointed”

Written on: 23/08/2012

Date of visit 23/08/12. We have visited Drayton Manor for the last 3 years and our 2 boys loved Thomas Land. Unfortunately our past experiences were not repeated on this visit. We were shocked to be asked to pay £3 for parking on arrival and then the ticket wasnt checked on the exit so we needn't have bothered paying anyway! The park was far busier than on previos visits and the staff were shocking and that is being polite. At best we got a dismissive nod as communication, they were chatting, texting, hiding, dragging their feet. We saw the Noddy characters leaving the zoo area and it was like a comedy sketch - they were scuffing along on their mobiles!! We came to the conclusion that it must be a terrible place to work. Our boys have now outgrown Thomas Land and we couldnt gt near any of the rides anyway - the lovely Fat Controller and band appear to have been replaced by bored looking teenage staff wih hula hoops?? The queues went on forever, there were no signs advising wait times and queues for the larger rides were cleverly hidden so you had no idea how long you would be waiting once you joined them. Even the minor rides had queues of at least 30 mins and most had an hour or more and the park was looking tired and neglected. What a sad place it has become .... We won't be visiting again.

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★☆☆☆☆

“absolute waste of money”

Written on: 22/08/2012

never again!!!!! no signs to how long queing would be, que'd for an average of an hour for each ride. ignorant people trying to push in front! 80% of the staff were only teenagers. so busy that there was no where to sit to have lunch. everything was overpriced. my kids told me they'd rather stick to going to gullivers kingdom in future. as it rained most of the afternoon and i booked my tickets online, i was entitled to the "rainy day guarnetee return ticket" i wouldnt go back even with the free tickets!!!! complete waste of time and money.

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★★☆☆☆

“Poor to middling at best”

Written on: 20/08/2012 by thechez (1 review written)

I visited the park on the 19th August 2012 expecting a fun filled day which turned out to be a queue riddled mess. The majority of the rides had at least 45 min waits before getting to the front and no signage to let you know how long the wait would be. The number of people in the park was stupid and you could not even get an overpriced ice cream without a long wait. They really need to think about limiting the number to ensure you get a value for money fun day. I think I got on about 7 rides in six hours and even the cable cars took the best part of an hour waiting. I personally could not wait to get back on the coach and go home.

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★★★★☆

“Good for Kids”

Written on: 16/07/2012 by SquareHairBear (5 reviews written)

Just back from a weekend at Drayton Manor with my sister, nephew etc. We stayed at the Hotel which was great. The staff really went out of their way, the hotel was spotless and the breky was yummy! In terms of the park; it was smaller than I was expecting. I think that without Thomas (the tank) they would probably struggle to compete with the bigger parks - There are a few reasonable adult rides clustered together, but Drayton is really about the kids. To that end, the Zoo was very welcome and surprisingly good (albeit a little tired). Overall we had a great time. Without the kids there we wouldn't have gone, but they loved it.

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★☆☆☆☆

“Rip off”

Written on: 28/06/2012 by Isobelle12 (1 review written)

Took my 4 year old for day out as out of school hols so quiet which was about the only, good thing I can think of if had been busy would have just gone home . Overpriced I think if I had payed £5 for 2 adults and child free would still not have been worth the money .The place is run down and tacky dreadful and having read some of the positive reviews I do wonder it they actual went to the same place as we did. The only thing we brought in the park was a coffee which tasted like dishwater this put us off trying the food which looked as grim as the park. I would never return and strongly recommend that you don't it is complete waste of money,I cannot believe the owners have gone and spent money on building hotel when they should have spent money on the park as needs complete overall in fact writing this I got quite angry that I did not ask for my money back .

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