14/05/2009
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We enjoy a day out at Drayton Manor Theme Park

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IF experiencing the latest developments in cinema technology sounds appealing then you’d best get yourselves along to Drayton Manor Theme Park in Staffordshire.

Recently opened at the attraction, based a stone's throw from Tamworth in Staffordshire, is a new 4D cinema that allows the audience to watch a movie in 3D while wearing special glasses. The 4D element comes courtesy of specially designed chairs which react to scenes in the film by moving up and down and even releasing sprays of water, air, bubbles and smells!

And after a visit to the theme park with my partner Fee and nine-year-old daughter Mia (pictured below with me outside the haunted house) I can vouch that the cinema experience is absolutely brilliant - no matter what your age!

Drayton Manor - which has its own camping and caravanning site - boasts ample rides and attractions to keep the average family happy for a day. We started our visit enjoying the more gentler attractions such as the cable cars that gives you a bird's eye view of the park.

The very young will be kept amused in Thomas Land, which opened last year, while a range of thrilling rides will cater for the more adventurous family members. There are also river boat rides, dodgems, a pirate ship, crazy golf ... the list goes on.

Drayton manor park haunted house imageFortunately, at over 1.4 metres, Mia was tall enough to go on any ride she chose to and from initial “There’s no way I’m going on that” comments at the start of the day her bravery grew to such an extent that she was ready to tackle the excitingly-named GForce roller coaster by mid-afternoon.

And from the very moment it set off on its white-knuckle journey through 385 meters of rolls, tight camelbacks, high backed curves and loops at over 70 kph she was hooked!

With her adrenalin pumping, Mia then decided she was ready to brave Shockwave, billed as Europe’s only stand up roller coaster. Another huge hit. I had to draw the line on her trying the Apocalypse, which The Sunday Times once named as Britain's scariest ride. It takes riders to a height of 54 metres and tilts them forward at a 15 degree angle as they are hoisted skyward on a half ton launch shuttle. Then they drop at the mercy of gravity at over 4Gs.

It wasn’t because I didn’t think she would enjoy it because I’m sure she would have, it was because there was not a cat in hell’s chance that I was going on it with her, certainly not so soon after lunch anyway.

On that note, there various themed cafes dotted around the park. I’ve never been a fan of fast food at attractions like this and a portion of burger and chips in the Buccaneer Burger Bar did nothing to convince me otherwise I’m afraid.

All in all, a trip to Drayton Manor Park is an enjoyable one - and you simply have to experience the new 4D cinema to believe it. Mia's verdict: "When can we go again dad?"

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