Today we went to spend a day out with Thomas the Tank Engine. It was less specatcular than I expected it to be. And, I think Jayden was less than impressed also. He was AWED by the life-sized Thomas engine that they had on the track, but the train ride was not as much fun as I think it should have or could have been. It just pulled us on the track backwards for 10-15 minutes, then turned around and pulled us back over the same path to the "depot". The "depot" was wet and muddy, and there were no pretty SODOR decorations to give the Thomas feel.
The exhibits were not wonderful either. There were no exhibits there that showed HOW trains worked or let the kids play with real train parts or stuff like that. The exhibits that they did have were face painting (which was free and for good reason); temporary tatoos (also free); a display of all the Thomas tracks and roads and train parts you could purchase inside the store (as long as supplies last); and a big inflated Thomas that you could look at and touch but it didn't DO anything. They had the Opera house filled with Thomas stuff that you could buy at full non-discounted prices. And yes, we bought. They had the food stations open with limited, over-priced, stomach-churning foods. And, yet, I fought off a bee who repeatedly dove in for a bite of my burger.
All in all, I was less than impressed. But, I am not a huge fan of the Thomas craze to begin with. The stories tell of unpleasant, competitive, snide, arrogant engines who each think they are better than the other. They are always fighting or complaining, and they get told they really useful if they bully to get "it" done faster or better. No...I don't like the underlying messages in the stories at all. Never-the-less, we had a good day. We did everything there was to do. I think the highlight of the day was the puppet show/magic act that was there because of the Thomas event, but not at all related to Thomas. Jayden got to participate and was totally enraptured by the magic. Definately the highlight!
Will I go again?.....Ask me next year. It depends on how into trains and Thomas the kids are.