Drayton Manor Park

Favourite Ride
Nemesis
Great pictures. I still have a couple of DMP maps from 2003 and a few from later on too which I’ll have to share.I don't know if I have the wristbands lying around somewhere but I used to collect them too, just before they were removed. My favorite years as a young kid going to Drayton were going on Excalibur when it was new. They had the dragon thrashing its tail in the bubbling water in the queue, and the owl just before you crossed the bridge in to the station. (shame most of it hardly never worked but still). King Arthur persecuting the Dragons and building houses on their land was also a cool spin on the legend instead of him being the classic hero.

The finale with Cantata and the father dragon was the best bit for most people I think, given it was where a chunk of the budget went, and it was great. All timed and synced carefully in to the ride system, with the dragon placed on an undulating rail that moved back and forth as each boat approached and passed. Where Excalibur didn't work was it's reliance on infrared sensors triggering audio scenes and the use of speakers only being on the boat. They were placed on each corner of the boat so there was a good surround sound effect, but I think the ride would of been more atmospheric if certain sections used speakers placed in and around the scenery playing looped ambient tracks (more like pirate adventure). More indoor sections would of been better against weathering too, I suppose.
Something I thought I'd share. Anyone who's been on Excalibur enough times will remember this:
96247086_3041505809206000_8383408310727999488_n.jpg

Interestingly, this helmet is not taken from the ride itself and has never existed or been owned by the theme park. It was actually a prototype design from when the ride was being planned back in its Project Neptune phase, which some of the knight animatronics ended up having for their helmets.
That's a very interesting collectors item Sauron97. How did you manage to get it? Was it at the auction earlier on in the year?
 

Sauron97

TS Member
Does anyone have any info about The Crypt? Bar a couple of photos of the exterior it’s always seemed a bit of an enigma when trying to research it in any detail
I was only about 4 when I went on it, and can't really remember it, but I do have some info on it yeah. Was a tracked funfair ghost train from the 70s with skeleton props, UV lighting, all the kind of bog standard stuff a ghost train had. But in the 1990s, it got a number of makers from larger theme park design studios which involved it having audio made especially for it, new effects, some animatronics moved in from Pirate Adventure in the mid 1990s, and general overhauls.

When Drayton were experimenting becoming a theme park, they launched Pirate Cove as their first themed area in 1992, and part of this involved making the Crypt fit in to the theme. They gave it the same castle style entrance as Pirate Adventure but added a sort of darker dungeon style appearance.
You can see it had the typical old style exterior in its earlier days before Pirate Adventure was built, which was placed just behind it. Great that the vintage cars still exist.
96541001_3043142249042356_4046872418566799360_n.jpg

Fast forward to what it looked like in its last days
96520911_3043160452373869_3610350123197923328_n.jpg

As you can see, the design crossed over with Pirate Adventure and it looked much more like a theme park ride at this stage.
In terms of interior pictures, there's only a few that I currently have.
This was one of the scenes. If anyone has an exceptionally good memory they'll know that this was originally from Pirate Adventure. But was moved out because of complaints about its gory nature.
96761735_3043160789040502_6801037102118076416_n.jpg

And here he is in Pirate Adventure back on the day that the ride was launched in the summer of 1990. He went through a lot of changes himself as you can see, he was moved to the burning town scene of Pirate Adventure a couple of years in, and then moved in to the Crypt a couple of years after that.
96362049_3043176069038974_386306439687176192_n.jpg

That's a very interesting collectors item Sauron97. How did you manage to get it? Was it at the auction earlier on in the year?
It was not from the auction no, but from someone who worked on Excalibur back when it was being built. You'll notice if you look hard enough that many old animatronics across UK theme parks share similar basic designs, which is mostly because they are from the same molds with a few minor tweaks here and there.
 
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I remember the headless pirate been in the 1st section of the ride giving out a warning what lies ahead and laughing. It was replaced by the pirates coming out the barrels. The pirate who kept getting hit by the women was original opposite that area but she sat on the bank with the pirate coming out the water and the women with the lamp was opposite. The headless pirate was put in the crypt just before u exited laughing at you. Can’t really understood why it was removed as it was just a shell of a building to Thomasland came along.
 

DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
I was only about 4 when I went on it, and can't really remember it, but I do have some info on it yeah. Was a tracked funfair ghost train from the 70s with skeleton props, UV lighting, all the kind of bog standard stuff a ghost train had. But in the 1990s, it got a number of makers from larger theme park design studios which involved it having audio made especially for it, new effects, some animatronics moved in from Pirate Adventure in the mid 1990s, and general overhauls.
Here was one of the concept drawings which was done during one of the 90s upgrades.
When Drayton were experimenting becoming a theme park, they launched Pirate Cove as their first themed area in 1992, and part of this involved making the Crypt fit in to the theme. They gave it the same castle style entrance as Pirate Adventure but added a sort of darker dungeon style appearance.
You can see it had the typical old style exterior in its earlier days before Pirate Adventure was built, which was placed just behind it. Great that the vintage cars still exist.
96541001_3043142249042356_4046872418566799360_n.jpg

Fast forward to what it looked like in its last days
96520911_3043160452373869_3610350123197923328_n.jpg

As you can see, the design crossed over with Pirate Adventure and it looked much more like a theme park ride at this stage.
In terms of interior pictures, there's only a few that I currently have.
This was one of the scenes. If anyone has an exceptionally good memory they'll know that this was originally from Pirate Adventure. But was moved out because of complaints about its gory nature.
96761735_3043160789040502_6801037102118076416_n.jpg

And here he is in Pirate Adventure back on the day that the ride was launched in the summer of 1990. He went through a lot of changes himself as you can see, he was moved to the burning town scene of Pirate Adventure a couple of years in, and then moved in to the Crypt a couple of years after that.
96362049_3043176069038974_386306439687176192_n.jpg


It was not from the auction no, but from someone who worked on Excalibur back when it was being built. You'll notice if you look hard enough that many old animatronics across UK theme parks share similar basic designs, which is mostly because they are from the same molds with a few minor tweaks here and there.

I do remember The Crypt. It was basically your classic "laugh in the dark" ghost train. UV painted walls, klaxons, a few props, low ceilings. That sort of thing. I remember the vehicles used to make lould clicking noises as they went around the ride.

One final thing is, the headless man. He was never in the burning town scene. He was moved from the start of the ride, to where the woman hitting the man on the head with a broom sat in the later days of the ride, inside the middle section if the ride with low ceilings. You can see the arched brickwork behind the headless prop in the video below. Making it easy to locate it in the ride. As the brickwork was quite unique to that bit of the ride.

This fantastic video from 1994. Shoes some good shots of the park. Highlights include showing a very new looking Shockwave and Splash Canyon. Including a few construction shots of Shockwave.

It shows a bit of Pirate Adventure, also looking very new at the time. It briefly shows the headless pirate, it is amazing to see Pirate Adventure looking so new and running so fresh as can be seen in the video.

The video actually also shows something else interesting I missed before. Firstly it actually shows the woman hitting the man, when the man is in the water. Something that is rare to see. Rather than into the barrel like he was in later years. It is in a different location to where I and a few other people on here remember it. Suggesting that the prop was moved a few times, before being taken out the water and put into the location the headless pirate was in that I mention above. Then that was moved to Crypt. It appears to be where the jail scene is. Next too it, as that 'window' show scene certainly had the space for bot set pieces. With the jail scene being right next to the headless pirate scene.

Anyway. Enjoy this 7 minute long, step back in time, if you have not seen it before.

 
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Sauron97

TS Member
Good point Andy. I know the pirate used to be in the water before he got hit by the broom as Los Piratas in Belgium had a similar copy of both figures and that was an underwater pirate too. I still don't know what the plans were for that area after the Crypt closed and before Thomas arrived.
It's strange, because while they stripped the ride, they left the Crypt building standing there during the whole of 2002 and 2003. But then, Pirate Adventure and its entire exterior received a gigantic makeover in 2004. They removed the Crypt building and a year later built a large pirate building to replace it, but it was empty.
Obviously, Thomas was a later thing, but at that point they weren't planning for a Thomas area. I think they probably had an idea for some sort of future pirate themed dark ride in that area but never got around to making it.
 
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
Good point Andy. I know the pirate used to be in the water before he got hit by the broom as Los Piratas in Belgium had a similar copy of both figures and that was an underwater pirate too. I still don't know what the plans were for that area after the Crypt closed and before Thomas arrived.
It's strange, because while they stripped the ride, they left the Crypt building standing there during the whole of 2002 and 2003. But then, Pirate Adventure and its entire exterior received a gigantic makeover in 2004. They removed the Crypt building and a year later built a large pirate building to replace it, but it was empty.
Obviously, Thomas was a later thing, but at that point they weren't planning for a Thomas area. I think they probably had an idea for some sort of future pirate themed dark ride in that area but never got around to making it.
Didn't Emily's play adventure eventually replace the crypt or was that the Winston ride?! The crypt I have not much memory about because PA overshadowed it in my opinion. Drayton really need a new ride soon!
 

Maelstrom

TS Member
Good point Andy. I know the pirate used to be in the water before he got hit by the broom as Los Piratas in Belgium had a similar copy of both figures and that was an underwater pirate too. I still don't know what the plans were for that area after the Crypt closed and before Thomas arrived.
It's strange, because while they stripped the ride, they left the Crypt building standing there during the whole of 2002 and 2003. But then, Pirate Adventure and its entire exterior received a gigantic makeover in 2004. They removed the Crypt building and a year later built a large pirate building to replace it, but it was empty.
Obviously, Thomas was a later thing, but at that point they weren't planning for a Thomas area. I think they probably had an idea for some sort of future pirate themed dark ride in that area but never got around to making it.

If I remember correctly the original plan for the new building was a 4D cinema, unsure why it never went ahead at the time.
 
Never heard so much rubbish in my life.

It is basically someone just saying what they would like to see built. With absolutely no shreds of evidence or hints, no matter how small to back his predictions up.

I am so glad someone has called this out. Totally unfounded and simply repeating what is known or rumoured already (esp G force site). Every one of his videos are the same.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Drayton Manor has now joined the list of parks in the UK announcing their reopening plans following the announcement made by Boris Johnson earlier today.

However, they have done it very differently to everyone else, opting for a phased reopening. Thomas Land and other select family attractions will open on 4th July, with the rest of the park following on 18th July.

What an interesting way to do it; I think they might be the first park I’ve seen that isn’t Disney or Universal opt for a phased reopening! I wonder why they went with this strategy?

It is certainly encouraging to see that they still have the financial capability to open this season, however!
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Upon closer inspection of the Drayton Manor website, I have been able to take a look at what will be available when the park reopens.

So, from 4th July-17th July, the following will be available:
  • Thomas Land
  • Carousel
  • Jolly Buccaneer
  • Accelerator
  • Flying Dutchman
  • Zoo
From 18th July, the following will be available:
  • Thomas Land
  • Carousel
  • Jolly Buccaneer
  • Accelerator
  • Flying Dutchman
  • Zoo
  • The Bounty
  • Maelstrom
  • Air Race
  • Shockwave
  • Polperro Express
  • Buffalo Coaster
  • Pandemonium
  • Apocalypse
  • Drunken Barrels
  • Sheriff’s Showdown
The following are closed until further notice due to COVID restrictions:
  • Dodgems
  • The Haunting
  • Emily’s Adventure Play
  • 4D Cinema
  • Bryan’s Museum
  • Thomas Exhibition
  • Spencer’s Outdoor Adventure Play
  • Stormforce 10
  • Terrence’s Driving School
  • Tiny Tots Play in the Zoo Farm
  • Reptile House
  • Zoo Experiences
  • Meerkat House
More info can be found here: https://www.draytonmanor.co.uk/tickets-and-prices/rides-20201
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
How wide are Stormforce 10’s boats? Because I was only thinking; if Stormforce 10 is anything like Wicker Man in terms of how far apart the rows are and how many it seats, then it could in theory run at full capacity under the 1m+ rule!
 
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