Park News - (5/22/17) The latest update regarding the death of an 11-year-old girl at Drayton Manor reports that after she fell into the water, she was trying to get out when she was stuck by another boat on the ride, and the cause of death from the coroner's report is "blunt force chest trauma", which would match up if she became crushed between the boat that hit her and whatever object she was trying to climb out of the water from. For now the investigation continues however.
(5/10/17) Terrible news from Drayton Manor as an 11-year old girl on a school trip to the park somehow fell out of one of the Splash Canyon rafts. She was airlifted to a nearby hospital but was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
The attraction has since been closed and it is not yet known how or why she fell from the rapids raft for sure but a second updated article posted by The Sun claims that she was seen standing up to switch seats in mid-ride to avoid getting wet when she fell out of the raft as it passed through a turbulent section of water.
(3/30/17) Drayton Manor will host a very special "bedtime story" live on Facebook on Friday, March 31st at 6:30pm (local UK time I assume), to be read by the "Fat Controller" of Thomas Land. Since the grand opening of the new James and the Red Balloon ride will open the next day (Sat, April 1st) chances are the story will have some kind of tie-in to the new attraction. Look for it here.
(3/8/17) According to a report at ThemeParks-UK, Drayton Manor is re-naming the former Ben 10: Ultimate Mission family coaster as Accelerator starting this season.
(2/8/17) According to a news release from Drayton Manor, the park, "will be opening its much loved Thomas Land attraction and other selected rides for families to enjoy throughout Half Term. With over 25 rides and attractions, the magical Island of Sodor has plenty to offer where fans of the little blue engine can get up close and personal with their favourite characters from the hugely popular Thomas & Friends series.
What’s more, visitors can save up to 50% off their tickets when pre-booked online. Tickets cost just £15 for those aged 12-59, £10 for those aged 4-11 and 60+, £5 for those aged 2-3 and little ones under two go free, plus there are no booking fees or car parking charges."
The park will also open on select weekends in March for special Thomas & Friends weekends: March 4,5,11,12,18,19 and 25.
2017 - James and the Red Balloon - (1/23/17) Thomas Land at Drayton Manor will add a new ride for 2017 called James and the Red Balloon. Look for the new ride to open on April 1st. As previously mentioned this is a new flat ride from Zamperla that appears to be one of their Samba Balloon rides.
(1/8/17) Drayton Manor have posted a teaser video of a new attraction coming in 2017 to their Thomas Land. It will be a new flat ride from Zamperla, though I'm not exactly sure what kind yet.
2018 - New Attraction - Rumor - (9/23/16) According to a rumor sent my way Drayton Manor may be planning on adding some kind of new family coaster to the park for the 2018 season. Anyone know more?
???? - Hotel Hamilton - Planning - (7/5/13) According to this article, Drayton Manor is planning a new 85 room hotel to be called the Hotel Hamilton, named after their founder, George Herbert Hamilton Bryan. Construction may start as early as 2015 and will have a Spanish style architecture.