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 © Drayton Manor Theme Park
© Drayton Manor Theme Park

Monday, September 17, 2012 | This article is listed in the sections Amusement parks and Magazine.

Drayton Manor Theme Park

Nowadays, it is considered as a tragedy in England, that in the 20th century in swaths of Great Britain well-known and large county houses of different architecture were destructed. A change in social conditions was the reason, that this fate even struck the 1830 built Drayton Manor: Demolished in 1926, it was used as a military base camp in World War II. But after times of scare, other times followed very soon: On Easter 1950, Drayton Manor Theme Park opened for the first time.

Bild links Bild rechts
  • Maelstrom<br />© Ross Hawkes
  • G Force<br />© Jeremy Thompson
  • Stormforce 10<br />© Jeremy Thompson
  • Shockwave<br />© Jeremy Thompson
  • Thomasland<br />© Drayton Manor Theme Park
  • Shockwave<br />© Jeremy Thompson

Here, in the heart of England in the county of Staffordshire, where just years before fear was ruling, now happiness should be on the agenda and that is why Mr and Mrs Bryan bought this piece of land and opened a restaurant, a tea room, as well as three hand operated rides and made several rowing boats and dodgems available. The plan worked out and nothing reminded of the old times. Four years later the first expansion, a little zoo, was opened and from then on the park developed yearly. The first roller coaster and log flume ride were installed in 1981 and several other attractions followed.

Riding in a standing position in "Shockwave"
Till today it has been invested regularly and substantially in the park and even with its many improvements the destination manages to keep its own, nostalgic flair alive. The new fun and thrill-machines join perfectly the charm of former days and so guests nowadays can experience adventures out of a variegated range of attractions. Among these there are some truly European rarities to find: Since 1994 "Shockwave” for example is taking its rounds directly at the waterside of a lake. The extraordinary feature of this very special trip: It is the only roller coaster in Europe, in which guests are not rushing through loop and corkscrew or over the hills in a seated position, but absolving the ride standing.

A further highlight is the 54 metres high drop tower "Apocalypse”, offering diverse ride experiences with its five tracks, because three totally different seating variations are available. Either the visitors sit down on an ordinary seat or they choose a standing position. Two options are available here: Falling down with or without a floor under the feet. The one thing that all positions have in common is that they get tilted 15° forwards at the top of the tower. Not for nothing this first of its kind attraction was awarded as "Britain's Scariest Ride” and "Best Thrill Ride in Europe”.

Maelstrom © Drayton Manor Theme Park
© Drayton Manor Theme Park
"Maelstrom" whirls its guests into the air
Moreover, visitors can await a great trip with "G Force”, a Maurer Söhne X-Car coaster, which is taking its guests upside down right at the lift hill and the Vekoma Junior Boomerang "Ben 10 – Ultimate Mission” passes its course even two times – one time forwards and one backwards. The impressive water rides "Stormforce 10” and "Splash Canyon” bring fun to the people as well as the many other attractions, for example the rotating swingboat style ride "Maelstrom”. However, many dark rides and show attractions provide some more relaxing moments as well, and kids are in good hands in "Thomasland”, a theme area especially constructed for them dedicated to the adventures of Thomas, the Tank Engine.

© parkscout/AM

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