Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Aerial Antics: Drayton Manor Theme Park

Did you know that Drayton Manor, Staffordshire, England, celebrated it's 60th anniversary in 2009? Me neither! But to help celebrate, let's take a look at the park in this week's Aerial Antics.

The theme park, set amid some rather pretty green rolling fields, has quite an interesting selection of rides and attractions. Above we find Stormforce 10, added in 1999, a splash boat ride themed to the "drama of a lifeboat rescue in storm tossed seas." Quite a theme, right? It has a backwards drop, too.

G Force is hard to describe. It looks like a dysfunctional twisted mess of steel, but in our world I suppose that's a good thing. The Maurer Sohne coaster takes rides up the lift 180 degrees and then sends them off through the ride's course.

If you used to watch "World's Greatest Roller Coaster Thrills" on VHS all the time like I did, then you'll remember the above ride as the 7-Up Shockwave. Now just Shockwave, this Intamin stand-up ride was quite the big deal when it first opened and really helped Drayton Manor make a name for itself.

This section of Drayton Manor is no longer as it appears in this image. That's because it's transformed into Thomas Land! Now it looks something more like this:

And while I commend Six Flags for heading back to themed environments with their Thomas Town additions, they really can't hold a candle to Drayton Manor's similar area! Seriously, google it. I dare you.

And we'll end with a 2-Fer. Thought I wasn't going to use it this week, didn't ya? The park is home to a powered Zamperla ride, the Buffalo Mountain Coaster. Here you can see how it takes riders out for a spin over the lake that the park hugs.

That goodness of a freefall tower is Apocalypse, which lets riders choose the seating style of their ride. Yes, you can go on an average sit down car, or a stand up one, or really take it up a notch with a floorless stand up car. I'll take a ride on all three!

If you want to see the aerials for yourself, here's a link.