Thomas Land Theme Park: A Magical Day on the Island of Sodor
The kids and I had the pleasure of being invited back to Thomas Land for opening day of this summer. For those who already know Edaville, this brand new section of the theme park is absolutely worth a trip back. Twelve years in the making, Thomas Land – right in our backyard in Carver, MA – is the only one in the United States. The other park is in England, and ours is bigger!
Thomas Land is a treat for the young and the young at heart; the creators have done a great job of making the park fun for all ages. Here are some newly scouted highlights, plus a few tips along the way. All aboard!
Thomas Land is set over 11 acres overlooking a beautiful, lush cranberry bog and lake. It's easy to believe you are on the Island of Sodor itself. I suggest starting with the 20-minute train ride, which gives a great overview of the day to come. Sit on the left side, and if you have a child under the age of three, make sure not to sit near an open window. (I could picture my spirited two-year-old trying to climb over in a heartbeat.) The true-to-life detailing in the buildings, structures, and train is second to none. Don't miss Thomas blinking and smiling at you from the front of the train!
Featuring eleven rides in total, Thomas Land offers a good selection for little children, braver kids, and adults:
My five-year-old and I rode the "Troublesome Trucks" runaway roller coaster for the first time, and it was just the right amount of thrill for her—and me! Beware: it goes fast and twists around. I suggest you watch it a couple of times to make sure your child is comfortable with it before taking the plunge.
My two-year-old really enjoyed the view from the Sodor Windmill, but it takes awhile to load and unload and only goes around twice.
Don't miss Harry The Helicopter. Sit back as your kids steer the plane themselves: Pull on the lever and the plane goes up. Do nothing and you stay down low, but kids can still turn the wheel.
Cranky's Crane Drop is not for the faint of heart. There was no way we were going to attempt that one (the ride up looks smooth, but it bounces down fast and hard). Get shaken up by Toby's tilting tracks instead. Or choose to simply watch as I did!
The monorail skyline is brand new and a beautiful addition to the park. The line is long but worth the wait for a spectacular ride in the sky.
Firefighting Flynn was a lot of fun. Kids get in a "basket" and tried to shoot flames out with a water gun. The button is hard for younger kids to push, so make sure they have an older sibling or parent with them. You get a little wet on this ride, but the spraying felt great in 90 degree weather.
Speaking of 90 degree weather, don't miss the Knapford Gift Co. gift shop. It's right at the beginning of the Thomas Land entrance and a welcome breath of fresh air (conditioning!) Plus it features everything and anything you could ever want and more, complete with a toy train track to keep the kids busy while you shop. The Sodor Balloon station is a must-see, too (don't forget to check the model train scene inside).
Admission to Thomas Land is included in all daily admission tickets to Edaville USA (including season passes). It will remain open through January 1, and then close for Edaville's winter season. Bring the whole family, and get ready to roll!
Bonus Insider Tips
- Your GPS is wrong; it's the 2nd left off Pine Street.
- Don't miss the countless photo opportunities in Thomas Land like the spinning water wheel and the miniature Edaville characters in the entranceway.
- The bathrooms by the lunch area are very clean and kid-friendly, with low sinks, soap for toddlers, and a nice big changing area.
- There is stroller parking by the start of the train, but I did not notice an area for strollers in Thomas Land. (We ended up parking ours on a grassy knoll, and it was fine for the day.)
- There is a cafeteria and plenty of places for snacks (and treats!).
- Watch the show or read a Thomas book before you go to get them excited about the park.
- Surprise your significant other with this fun fact: Edaville predates Disneyland. In fact, Walt took a walk around Edaville for inspiration!
- Parking is free and accessible.
Thomas Land, Edaville USA | 5 Pine Street, Carver, MA 02330 | 508-866-8190
All photos by the author.