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Drayton Manor Theme Park is a theme park in the grounds of the former Drayton Manormarker, near Tamworthmarker in Staffordshire, Englandmarker.

Drayton Manor is a large theme park with a mixture of scenic and white knuckle rides. It covers of land, and is visited by over one million people annually. Drayton Manor opened to the public on 16 October 1949 as an 'inland pleasure resort' and has since grown substantially in size. In 2006, the park received two awards: 'Best UK Attraction' awarded by Group Leisure and 'UK Attraction of the Year' awarded by Coach Tourism. In 2009, Drayton Manor celebrates its 60th birthday.


Rides in the park include Stormforce 10 (funding RNLI), Shockwavemarker, Europe's only stand-up roller coaster, Apocalypse, a Freefall Tower with a choice of sit-down, stand-up or floorless ride positions, Pirate Adventure, a dark ride loosely based on Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean which takes riders through a dark journey of a pirate's life, The Haunting, a walkthrough attraction that incorporates a haunted swing, Excalibur, a boat ride attraction with medieval scenes, Splash Canyon, a river rapids, G-force, a steel roller coaster with three inversions, Pandemonium, a double inverted swing and Maelstrom, a gyro swing.

Stormforce 10

Stormforce 10 is a water ride that recreates the story of a lifeboat rescue, launched in association with the RNLI. It holds the title of world's first charitable ride and accepts donations on site. Opened in 1999 to replace the ageing log flume, the idea was said to have been thought up by the manager's nephew. Stormforce 10 is the most popular ride in the park. It starts with a small drop into water and is followed by a backwards drop and finally a large drop. For every ride photograph sold a donation is made to the RNLI through which Drayton Manor has raised £66,000 since the opening of the ride and have funded a lifeboat named the 'Drayton Manor' Atlantic 85 rescue boat.


Shockwavemarker is a stand-up roller coaster that was built in 1994 by Intamin AG. The ride was created as part of a two year £4 million project in 1993/1994 to build Splash Canyon with Shockwave. The ride, which reaches 53mph and delivers up to 4 g, features a lift hill up to , then into an drop and a medium size loop followed by a Zero G roll and then finishes with two corkscrews and a bend around back to the station. Shockwave is located in the 'Action Park' area next to G Force. In 1994 after the completion of the ride, neighbours complained that the final bend was too close to the edge of the property. In fact it had been built as planned but local Councillors had not noticed the proximity to the boundary on the plans.


Apocalypse is a free-fall tower ride high, built by Intamin AG in 1999, and opened in 2000. The ride has been voted 'Britain’s scariest ride' . It has three different forms of seating: one is the normal sit down; another is stand-up position (the world's only stand-up tower drop until 2005 when the Hurakan Condor opened in Port Aventura) and the last one is a stand-up floorless (which was introduced in 2002 and is known as the 'Fifth Element'). Riders experience 4g as they decelerate after falling 54 m in 4 seconds.

G Force

The G Force roller coaster
The G Force roller coaster

G Force is a steel roller coaster designed by German company Maurer Söhne and opened in 2005. It replaced the Klondike Gold Mine (previously the Python) that used to be in the area in previous years. G Force is the second X-Car coaster to be built after the prototype in Skyline Park, in Germanymarker, called Sky Wheel. The coaster train has a hip restraint (instead of the usual over the shoulder restraint) and 'Big Boy' seats that are capable of safely holding larger riders. After a short drop out of the station the train negotiates a 'Humpty Bump Lift' which is a 180 degree chain lift, where riders hang upside down as they are lifted to 23 m. The ride includes a camelback hill, a loop and a new inversion known as the 'Bent Cuban Eight' an element that is modelled on aerobatic manoeuvres. G Force riders experience 4.3g during its 385 m long ride with speeds of up to 70 km/h (or 43 mph).


Pandemonium is a swinging inverter ride manufactured by Fabbri and opened in 2004 at a cost of £1,000,000. It is on the site of its similar predecessor, SkyFlyer which closed in 2003. The ride has two large swinging cars that feature over the shoulder restraints and a large lap bar. The two cars swing progressively higher, in opposite directions, until they swing right over 360 degrees at the height of 24.7 m.


Maelstrom is a gyro swing ride from Intamin AG with 32 outward-facing seats on a circular gondola. The ride swings up to a maximum height of 22.5 m at an angle of 95 to 120 degrees while simultaneously revolving at 5 rpm. The coastal village theme surrounding the ride tells the story that a Maelstrom has struck Drayton Manor and various debris has been strewn about, including washed up surf boards, a submarine swept up with a shark pierced through it, and a hut that has been damaged. Maelstrom cost £1,000,000 and was opened in April 2002 by the pop band Hear'Say, later than was planned out of respect for the Queen Mother's death.

The Bounty

The Bounty is a rocking pirate ship that swings backwards and forwards making you feel weightless in the process. Whilst swinging the ship ends up swinging till it's almost vertical, therefore you're looking straight up at the sky and straight down at the water.

New for 2009

With the opening of the 2009 season on 21 March, Drayton Manor opened a 4D cinema showing the film 'The Curse of Skull Rock'.

Colin Bryan has recently confirmed more additions for 2009 on an interview on Drayton Manor Plus - including an Art Deco Style entrance for the cinema and changes to Food & Drink places in the park.

Themed areas

The park is split up into five differently themed areas:
  • Aerial Park: Apocalypse, The Haunting, Pandemonium, Big Wheel, Flying Dutchman, Drunken Barrels, Wild West Shoot Out, Buffalo Coaster, Sombreros and Drayton Queen Boat.
  • Pirate Cove: Excalibur - A Dragon's Tale, Pirate Adventure, Dodgems and The Jolly Buccaneer.

  • Fisherman's Wharf: Stormforce 10, Polperro Express Railway, Carousel and The Bounty.

  • Action Park: Maelstrom, Shockwavemarker, Splash Canyon, Black Revolver, G-Force and Chair Lift.

  • Thomas Landmarker: Thomas, Percy & Rosie at Knapford Station, Troublesome Trucks, Jeremy's Flying Academy, Terence's Driving School, Diesel's Locomotion Mayhem, Crazy Bertie Bus, Lady's Carousel, Sodor's Classic Cars, Harold's Heli-Tours, Cranky's Drop Tower, Emily's Indoor Play Area, Spencer's Outdoor play area and Rockin' Bulstrode.


Drayton Manor is also home to a zoo. It contains over 100 species from all over the world.


The park holds many events throughout the year including fundraising for Birminghams childrens hospital and musical projects including Nach Nach live by

Future projects

In 2005, Drayton Manor had an official press release on their plans to build a water park to accompany their planned hotel to create a resort for the park, much like Alton Towersmarker have done. Part of this proposed development included a water park called 'Stormalong Bay' and containing several attractions such as water slides.. The hotel has been planned for over 4 years and has been granted planning permission. The hotel construction should start in 2010 and open Spring 2011.The plans for the water park have been declined due to the scale of the development..

Plans for expansion of the park have been submitted to Lichfield Districtmarker Council.

Hotel plans 2009

In February 2009 revised plans for a hotel at Drayton Manor were submitted to Lichfield District Council.Planning permission for the hotel was granted in 2007 though the applicants felt that the scheme could benefit from further improvements without increasing the site area required.

The 150 bedroom hotel will primarily meet the demand from park visitors as the theme park is attracting families from all over the UK, particularly since the arrival of Thomas Land.

Bedroom design will be innovative in allowing double rooms to be enlarged to family rooms. Meeting rooms to cater for business events and conferences will also feature in the hotel’s broad offer in complimenting Drayton’s existing banqueting and dining facilities.

See also


External links

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