If you’ve got kids, chances are you’ve at least heard of Thomas & Friends. Maybe not even the friends, but probably Thomas the Tank Engine. And if your kids love Thomas, and even if they don’t, and you live within a few hour drive of Carver, Massachusetts, treat your kids to an awesome day at an amusement park catering to them – Thomas Land at Edaville USA.
We made the two-hour drive the other day to fulfill my mother-in-law’s birthday gift to Graham. The temperature was hovering around 90 and the humidity was roughly 100%, but that didn’t stop us from having a great time. And by us I mean all of us, not just the kids.
Nolan had the best time because he was able to go on every ride and a few he was able to do by himself. Graham loved it as well despite being completely exhausted after the six-plus hours we spent there. Hell, we all were. Austin was his usually chill self and didn’t really get fussy even though he spent a lot of time being pushed around in a stroller, sweating his backside off.
The village we passed upon entering was still being finished (the park opened last year) but by the looks of it, there’ll be plenty of food and shops in the not-to-distant future. They’re also making a Pirate Adventure towards the front of the park which is scheduled to open in 2017 and by the looks of it, a waterpark section as well, with bumper boats and a flume (I think).
The first thing you pass after entering is a carousel followed by a fishing pond with sticks and string complete with bait. On our way out we witnessed a kid catch a turtle. (The fishing employee was humanely getting the bait out of the tiny snapping turtle’s mouth).
After passing these, you get to the railroad, with Thomas at the helm! The cars are open-air so the extreme temperatures and slow-moving train didn’t provide much breeze, but the park did supply plenty of ice-cold water in five gallon jugs. So if you go, instead of shelling out $4 for a 20 oz. bottle of water, all you needed was a cup (which they provided) and your own water bottles (which we had). Or maybe they were out because of the heat. If so, thanks Edaville!
There were also section of non-Thomas themed rides (I think this is Edaville) before you make the walk to Thomas Land. There’s also Dino Land, which is basically a loop allowing you a chance to learn a little about twenty-something dinosaurs while enjoying some shade. There are motion sensors as you walk by each dinosaur, promptimg them to move and make noise. I initially saw a ride (Bone Shaker) and figured it’d have a few more rides, but nope, just one.
Then you get to the giant arch leading into the promised land, errrr, Thomas Land. And they covered everything Thomas & Friends and the Island of Sodor have to offer.
There are locations that are air-conditioned and inside, like the Sodor Play Zone. Problem was it smelled like a lot of sweaty people and their young children who may or may not need a new diaper. But that’s a product of the high temps (or so I’d like to think). There are NO parents allowed inside the play area though, so if you’ve got an adventurous young one (like Graham) who insists on climbing towards the top of the play zone, you will get scolded by an employee that parents are not allowed. That’s what the employees are for, if you can get their attention as parents are yelling for/at their kids at the top of their lungs. Luckily, Nolan did a good job helping pull Graham out of the ball pit, help him climb the corner ladders, etc.
You’ve got a Troublesome Trucks Runaway Coaster that Nolan loved but Graham couldn’t go on; a monorail of sorts in Winston’s Skyline Express that everyone enjoyed; Toby’s Tilting Tracks (who’s tilting and spinning made me nauseous); Cranky’s Crane Drop, which was basically a freefall-type ride that Nolan loved; a Firefighting Flynn, a water ride where you trigger a “fire gun”to help put out a fire. Overall there’s 11 Thomas-themed rides along with Tidmouth Sheds, basically a show allowing you to sit for 25 minutes and enjoy talking trains.
Graham loved getting up close to the show-off Gordon. Nolan got to place the first balloon, also in front of the fastest engine on the Island of Sodor, Gordon. clearly he wasn’t too excited.
There’s a few places to get some food (we went to the Dockside Diner) for $6 mini pizzas and an $8.50 chicken salad wrap. I get you’re at the mercy of their prices and I’m not sure the outside food policy, but there were people walking around with coolers in wagons/under strollers, so next time we know. Two candy shops, a BBQ joint, a popcorn wagon also allow you options to eat.
The gift shop in Thomas Land was air conditioned and filled with ready-to-use tracks along with plenty of wooden trains. If you’re into collecting the Thomas & Friends trains, you’ll find every one here, including a Thomas Land exclusive, Thomas’ Cranberry Spill. We passed on dropping $15 on a wooden train car.
All in all, the place was a rousing success, the boys had a blast, and then we went to Ericksons Ice Cream Cafe a mile-and-a-half away for some damn good ice cream. I had the coffee Oreo, Nolan enjoyed bubble gum, but they also offered a blueberry pie ice cream, Grape Nuts, and 30 other flavors.
Then we said goodbye to Nolan for at least a week, as he headed back to Martha’s Vineyard with my inlaws, not even caring that he was leaving us for a week. So far, in less than two days away, he’s gotten the brass ring on the Flying Horses, had cotton candy ice cream for lunch at Ben and Bill’s, gone to the beach, been buried in sand up to his neck, and noodled his way in the ocean. He’s really got a tough life.
Problem is, he’s still operating on summer hours and school starts in like two weeks. It’ll be a rough go but he’ll be alright. As for my, personally, I’m staying home (for now with Graham and Austin until Nolan gets back) and couldn’t be happier. I am working Saturdays slinging cupcakes in the Lil’ NoRA cupcake rig.
Austin is waking up, gotta jet. Go to Thomas Land, I swear you’re kids will love it! And eat cupcakes.