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Drayton Manor adds new 4D effects theatre and increases catering capacity for 2009


New facilities will help build on huge success of 2008 season

Following one of its most successful years ever in 2008, the UK’s Drayton Manor Theme Park will introduce a new 4D effects theatre for the 2009 season, while also adding significantly to its wide range of catering outlets in order to cope with visitor demand.

Having enjoyed a major increase in guest numbers last year, the park has decided to add further to its impressive range of rides and attractions with the opening of a 4D effects theatre from specialist company Simworx.

Representing an investment of £1m., the new, 152-seat theatre utilises the building previously used for live stage shows, The Television Theatre, and is accessed via an impressive new entrance which forms part of the café and retail buildings in the Aerial Park section of Drayton Manor. The main film being shown throughout the season is Curse of Skull Rock, an award winning pirate themed adventure, with a Halloween film and a Christmas movie due to be shown at the appropriate times later in the year. Among the effects guests will experience are a 3D film, vibrating seats with seat drop (backwards), water spray, air blast, leg ticklers, aroma, low smoke and bubbles, and the new theatre will also form part of this year’s Christmas opening.

Drayton Manor has also significantly increased its catering capacity and has invested approximately £500, 000 in restaurants and cafés to do so.

Included in the new facilities is a £250, 000 Chicken Diner, which replaces the Miner’s Diner, situated adjacent to the G-Force roller coaster and seating 66 inside and a further 80 on the covered veranda area outside. The outlet incorporates a state-of-the-art kitchen to ensure quality, quickly served fare, while all chicken served will be sourced from within the UK.

The Buccaneer Burger Bar, located between Pirate Adventure and Excalibur – A Dragon’s Tale, has been completely revamped in a £200, 000 refurbishment programme and now seats up to 400 visitors both inside and out, again under cover. As a result it becomes the largest of the park’s five restaurants and also features a redesigned entrance canopy and brand new kitchen facilities. Take-away options will also be available from this outlet.

Additionally, in the Aerial Park area, the Coffee Stop café has been fully refurbished as part of a total redevelopment of the retail element of this part of the park. Featuring Art Deco styling complete with black and white floor tiling, booths, stool seating, a jukebox and posters of films from the 1950s, the new-look outlet has tripled in size to seat over 100 people and will serve almost twice as much coffee than previously. A variety of snacks and refreshments will also be on offer.

And as part of the refurbishment of the row of buildings which incorporates the Coffee Stop, the Palladium and Haunting retail outlets have been combined into one large shopping experience.

The 2009 season will also see new live entertainment offerings at Drayton Manor, once again supplied by Hamagination, with two or three shows per day for youngsters in Thomas Land and a variety of street entertainment within the central area of the park also taking place throughout the day.

And talking of the hugely popular Thomas Land, new elements are also due to be added to this section of the park. A third engine, Rosie, is set to join Thomas and Percy to provide train rides from Thomas Land to Farmer McColl’s Farm, and the Tidmouth Hault Station, and back again, providing much needed increased capacity in an area of Drayton Manor which has enjoyed unprecedented success since it opened at the beginning of last season.

Along with Rosie, a new attraction, the Discover Thomas & Friends Exhibition, will also be opened in Thomas Land in conjunction with brand owner HIT Entertainment and will include some fascinating items used in the original Thomas & Friends series. A total of 11 series of Thomas & Friends were filmed at Shepperton Studios in Buckinghamshire over a period of 24 years and for the first time ever real live sets from the Island of Sodor, featuring Thomas and various other engines, will be on display, along with a host of other items never previously showcased.

The exhibition will also include original illustrations from the first Thomas & Friends books written by the Rev. W. Awdry, while visitors of all ages will be able to watch model engines puff around the most famous locations from the series from behind a screen at Farmer McColls Farm.

Finally, also new for this year is a Pay Dirt gemstone and fossil panning attraction, which will provide a fun, interactive, hands on experience for guests.

Drayton Manor opens for the 2009 season on Saturday, March 21st.

For further information please contact:

Helen Pawley-Tuft, General Manager Central Services, Drayton Manor Theme Park
Tel. +44 (0) 1827 252400. Email

Andrew Mellor, leisure industry media and PR, Drayton Manor Theme Park
Tel. +44 (0) 1743 872200. Email

See Also: Winter opening proves a popular draw for visitors to Drayton Manor 
Drayton Manor Theme Park celebrates one millionth Visitor 
A ‘magical Christmas’ in store for Drayton Manor guests during 2008 winter opening – New live show and Thomas Land ‘in the snow’ are Xmas highlights

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