Drayton Manor History
Before it became Drayton Manor, this area of land was once known as the Peel Estate. In total, five generations of Peel sons owned the Estate from 1790 through to 1926. The most famous of these individuals was Sir Robert Peel 2nd Baronet who was Prime Minister of the UK from 1834-1835. During his political career he created the Metropolitan Police Force, which is where the term ‘bobby’ comes from! In 1843 the Peel Estate was visited by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert who stayed in the luxurious Manor House, home at the time to many expensive works of art and rare books. This is also the location of the annual Peel Society Dinners, which still continue today in Drayton Manor’s extensive banqueting facilities. The final Peel to own the Estate before it was sold left a legacy of ancient trees which now form part of our native wildlife reserve. There are over 3000 trees in this ancient forest! In 1926 the Peel Estate was sold to Mr King who demolished the magnificent Peel Manor House, leaving only the Clock Tower standing. After becoming an army base in 1939 for five years, the derelict land was finally bought by George and Vera Bryan in 1949 for about £6000. After an exhausting and demanding renovation process, which required the overgrown landscape to be restored, the mountains of rubbish to be removed, the lakes to be cleaned and a variety of paths to be created through the greenery, Drayton Manor Park first opened its doors in Easter of 1950. Far less sophisticated amusements, including donkey rides, paddling pools and old-style fairground carousels, were on offer back then - and the families still turned out in their droves.After over 60 years, the Bryan family still own and run the theme park today.
Some of the attractions, like the cable car that gives a bird’s eye view of the whole park, are still there in 2017.
Main attractions include: Shockwave is an Intamin stand-up roller coaster. It was opened in 1994, and is one of the only two stand-up coasters in Europe. Shockwave, which reaches 53 mph (85 km/h) and delivers up to 4 g, features a lift to 119.7 ft (36.5 m), then an 105 ft (32 m) drop into a loop. It is also the only stand-up roller coaster with a zero-gravity roll ever made. the ride opened along with two other roller coasters in the UK the Pepsi Max Big One at Pleasure Beach Blackpool was the worlds tallest coaster when it was made and Nemesis the only invert coaster in Europe open at Alton Towers
A giant gyro swing known as Maelstrom, the X Car roller coaster G Force, the river rapids ride Splash Canyon and a Verizon of Zamperla's Air race
Aerial Park main attractions include: the drop tower Apocalypse, the mad house The Haunting, the inverted giant swing Pandemonium, the teacup style drunken barrells, the laser shooting game Wild west shootout, The flying Dutchman a swing style ride, the Buffalo rollercoaster and a forementioned Accelerator roller coaster. It also host UK's only Cartoon Network Shop.
Fisherman's Wharf is situated next to the lake - hence the name Fisherman's Wharf,
Attractions include: the super splash Stormforce 10, the Polpero Express, the carousel and the swinging ship The Bounty.
Pirate Cove is loosely themed as a Pirate haven, with 3 appropriately themed rides: the dark ride Pirate Adventure, the Jolly Buccaneer and the Dodgems
The Zoo and Dinotrail offer respite from the amusement park rides; the 15-acre walkthrough zoo (open all year) has quite a few animal enclosures with over 100 different species of animals on display including tigers, meerkats, penguins, parrots, reptiles, owls etc. There is also a Discovery Museum, and then there is a walkthrough Dinosaur-land with life-size models of dinosaurs to intrigue and enthral the kids.
Thomas Land is the park's children's area and draws inspiration from Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends who are quite familiar to both readers of the books and the TV-series. This area, which was called Robinson's Land until 2007, has many rides and attractions that appeal to children
Record-breaking bookings for Drayton Manor Hotel as staycations prove popular in 2018
This February, Drayton Manor Park’s on-site hotel achieved a record-breaking number of room bookings since opening in 2011, demonstrating that staycations are the choice of holiday for families this year.
February half term was a key contributor to the hotel’s success, with Drayton Manor Park itself opening for two weeks instead of one for the first time. It also comes as no surprise that people are choosing the four-star hotel, set in the grounds of the park, due to its brilliant facilities including family rooms, executive rooms, presidential rooms and a selection of Thomas & Friends™ themed rooms, as well as offering two bars, two sublime restaurants and a relaxing lounge. Drayton Manor Hotel, located in the heart of the Midlands, is also equipped with three large conference rooms for functions and exhibitions plus an idyllic wedding facility for up to 400 guests.
2019 update After years of problems with G Force the park made the decision to close the ride. There is no plans to replace the ride at this time.