Following the launch of Thomas Land at Drayton Manor Theme Park in the UK at the start of the 2008 season, the hugely popular new area has been given an added boost with the arrival of another passenger train from the Thomas and Friends series, Percy.
Thomas Land brings to life the world famous Island of Sodor and many of the characters featured in the Thomas and Friends books, TV programmes and DVD series, in a fully themed section of the park and Percy was one of the characters included in the original plans for the area. His arrival will help take some of the “strain” off Thomas who has been working flat out since the beginning of the season taking passengers on a journey from Thomas Land to the Farmer McColl’s Farm area of the park.
“We were always going to have two trains providing rides for our visitors to Thomas Land, ” explained Drayton Manor’s general manager park operations Edward Pawley, “and we are delighted Percy has now arrived to join Thomas in carrying out this important element of the Thomas Land experience.
“We knew the new area would be extremely popular and we have been proved right judging by the reaction from guests and the distances people are travelling to come to see Thomas Land. We really needed a second train to lighten the load on Thomas, who has been working non-stop since we opened in March, and I’m sure Percy will do a great job – under the watchful eye of the Fat Controller of course!”
Percy is one of 27 characters from the Thomas and Friends stable to be found in the 6, 000 sq. m. area and will now share the job of taking visitors on the journey along a 600m. track from Knapford Station in the centre of Thomas Land to Farmer McColl’s Farm, and the Tidmouth Hault Station. Here guests can see a range of farm animals and sample Spencer’s outdoor play area, Mrs. Kindley’s Kitchen (tea rooms) and the Drayton Manor museum, or continue their walk through the zoo.
Like Thomas, Percy has been supplied by the German ride manufacturer Metallbau Emmeln and will pull four carriages with a total seating capacity of 60 passengers. As with all the new rides in the area, Percy was sourced via ARC bv in The Netherlands.
Created in conjunction with HIT Entertainment, which owns the Thomas and Friends brand rights, Thomas Land is the first of its kind in Europe, the only other such attraction anywhere in the world being the first Thomas Land which opened in Japan in 1998.
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For further information please contact:
Helen Pawley, general manager central services, Drayton Manor Theme Park
Tel. +44 (0) 1827 252400. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Mellor, trade PR and marketing, Drayton Manor Theme Park
Tel. +44 (0) 1743 872200. Email email@example.com
Image: Edward Pawley, general manager park operations at Drayton, with Thomas Land trains Thomas (blue) and Percy (green).