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Matt Creek

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After visiting the likes of Europa Park and Liseberg recently, I would be taken to yet another theme park that's been on my to do list for many years now [with many failed attempts]. However compared to my last two, this one may come across as being a little anticlimactic.

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My next new park of call would be Drayton Manor Theme Park. Located just under 30 miles from Towers, what would this family park be able to offer in the UK outside the Merlin lot?

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This sudden entrance. It's no towers street but it's not in anyway a bad entrance.

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G-Force a maurer which is the only one in the U.K that isn't a mouse or spinner. 

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The ride starts with a looping lift hill, because it goes upside down on the chain lift. This process was about of comforting as the ride's throughput of 12 people on one train. The rest of the ride was alright but mostly forgettable.

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The next coaster is Shockwave, this coaster marked a major milestone on my coaster quest. It's cred 100.

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Wow, what an amazing B&M that was! It's intamin actually but for some reason looks like a B&M. I was honestly expecting to hate this ride [shock[wave]], but found it ok. It's certainly not my favourite coaster. All stand up for cred 100!

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The park's newest coaster is Ben 10. A Vekoma junior boomerang which opened in 2011.

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And my opinion it's their best too. The coaster features a richly themed queue line alongside a short but sweet paced ride which is great fun. Throughputs were relitively good here too. 

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Another coaster offering is the Troublesome Trucks in Thomas Land [more on that later]. Decent young family coaster which offers two laps round too.

 

Apparently I didn't take as many photos as I thought. This may have been down to the park being incredibly busy with thousands of school kids [no exaggeration] which means there was more people in the queues, and when there's more in the queues the wait for the rides is always longer. 

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Last and least is the Buffalo Coaster.

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Which has to be slowest powered coaster on earth. It literally crawls the whole way through and takes a few years to complete each lap. Yay, old Zamperla.

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The park has more to offer though. Like this drop tower called Apocalypse. I only managed sit down here but was definitely impressed here. It's certainly on a par with Detonator to say.

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Drunken Barrels. Arguably the best tea cups in the UK both in theming and experience. It also tilts up a little too, making for a even more fun experience.

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Maelstrom, this mighty looking outside facing after burner. Possibly my favourite park ride and means they already have a significantly better selection of flats than Towers currently do.

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They also have an Air Race here which they also named Air Race [yay for creativity]. This ride was actually lots of fun and I enjoyed the prospect of being flung upside down continuously dozens of times a lot more than I expected. 

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Look!, it's a working Log Flume, don't see many of these nowadays.

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The working log flume is Storm Force 10, which is a fun log flume with a backwards drop. As much as I liked this, you do get wet here, very very very wet. Even a poncho couldn't keep me immune to wetness. Tidal Wave has nothing here.

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They also have a Rapids ride. This was a rather fun ride but it was no Congo let alone Fjord or Colodado. Still it beats Rumba so that is certainly something.

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Have no dear dark ride fans, they do have dark rides. This one is The Haunting.

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For 2016 the ride has apparently received an upgrade, but being new to the park I can't really compare. I liked this ride a fair bit, they had some good [not great] projection mapping and the pre-shows were cheesy but fun and reminded me a bit of Containment. 

 

It's not a patch on Hex but I suppose it's strong point is this is actually open for guests to ride and not slowly gaining dust in a Vault sealed for 2 centuries. 

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The other dark ride is this Golden Nugget shot out ride. The ride's actual reference to the name like parkwide audio is practically non-existant. It's almost as good as Tomb Blaster.

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Unfortunately, their third dark ride has been closed for repairs. Apparently for a couple of seasons too. That's piracy!

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Meanwhile for the park's younger guests are spoiled with Thomas Land. The most popular and best kept area of the park, and technically the most immersive [which isn't saying a lot].

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Aside from starting the trend of UK parks getting I.P kids areas, it's a loverly place to walkthrough with an upbeat happy atmosphere and decent theming in places for a park like this. If I had then when I was child, I would probably never leave as I used to be obsessed with trains [maybe I still am].

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They also have a Big Wheel and Cable Car. Neither of which I got to ride.

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And this cool looking Pirate Ship which I also didn't manage to ride [thanks to busyness]. I'm sure it beats Blade though.

 

Drayton is an interesting park and for a family and independent one, it isn't bad. I did feel however the park as a whole felt dry, in the sense it lacks park wide audio in most places, a standout attraction and the rest of the park outside Thomas Land feels overlooked. With the exception of Ben 10, none of the coasters are at all standout and easily take it or leave attractions. 

 

The flats, flume and [to a lesser extent] The Haunting help but cannot rectify this. If the park did some more investments outside Thomas Land now, they could really go on the up especially as the newer additions certainly show some signs of hope and prosper. I think a Mack coaster for example along the lines of Lost Gravity or Arthur even could give the park a much needed staple star attraction the place deserves. Merch here was also practically none existent and the few bits they sold had absolutely no interest to me what so ever.

 

 As much pleasantness I experienced at the park, it probably isn't a park I will probably rush back to. At-least until they build something worthwhile or visit again with friends. The latter is more likely. Drayton is no Towers but for an independent UK park it's alright. 

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