The Life and Times
What better way could there be to experience the sights and sounds of a real life farmyard than on board your very own majestic tractor. Situated right at the front of the farmyard, Old MacDonald's Tractor Ride was hard to miss as it brought a whole new meaning to shake, rattle and roll.
Never one to be behind the time, one of the first things Old MacDonald did when he took over the Farmyard in 1995 was buy a fleet of brightly coloured tractors to transport guests around the front paddocks, which had previously been used only to house animals.
Despite being visible all the way from Towers Street, the entrance to the attraction was located in the middle of the area, drawing guests through the rustic entrance structure and right into the Farmyard itself, where guests could climb aboard their vehicle from beneath a thatched hayloft.
Each of the tractors has its own name and distinctive colour and could accommodate a maximum of either two adults and one child or three children. The two steering wheels and a horn in the front of each tractor allowed young guests to feel like they were really driving the tractors as they trundled around the course, though magically the tractors never strayed from the track.
What Happened Next...
Old MacDonald's Tractor Ride may have opened in 1995 but 1996 saw major changes for the tractors, as The Squirrel Nutty Ride snaked overhead and Storybook Land wrapped around the perimeter of the ride. This gave the Tractor Ride the familiar feels that it retained for the rest of it's life in the park.
Always a family favourite, for a brief period during the 2000s the tractor ride even offered an on-ride photograph opportunity, though this addition to the ride experience was only short-lived. As with all the attractions of Old MacDonald's Farmyard, the Tractor Ride closed at the end of 2013 to make way for CBeebies Land. However, unlike almost all of the other attractions, Old MacDonald's Tractor Ride is one of the few rides to be entirely removed as part of the development, with the entire ride system being taken out to make way for Postman Pat's Parcel Post.
But the story didn't end there... and despite Postman Pat's Parcel Post being a whole new ride system, the route followed by the vans may be rather familiar to fans of the Tractor Ride, utilising almost exactly the same course as the attraction it replaced. Indeed many of the structures found around the track will also be familiar, such as Mrs Goggin's Post Office, which is part of the former entrance structure to Old MacDonald's Farmyard.
As for the ride's vehicles, having left Alton Towers the fleet of brightly coloured tractors made their way across the country to Cheshire, where Shakey, Huffy, Buster and co. can now be found residing in the picnic area of The Ice Cream Farm