Every year we travel up to Carver, Massachusetts to visit our favorite theme park Thomas Land at Edaville USA. If your children are anything like my train enthused boys, you won’t want to miss out on taking them to Thomas Land! This ultimate guide to planning the perfect trip to Thomas Land is sure to make you grander than Gordon:
The moment you step foot through the Edaville archway your little engineers will started to get excited about this traintastic park. Whether you look left or right, up or down the theme of trains surrounds you with signals, crossings, railroad signs and tracks. One of the neatest things about Edaville is that it is the home of three adventures. So your ticket includes admission to Edaville Proper, Thomas Land and Dino Land. We learned after visiting Edaville the first time that it started off as a actual train station. For that reason you will find the theme of trains runs throughout the park.
One of the first things you are welcomed by is a beautiful view of the pond and scenic backdrop. The pond has live fish which you can catch and release with fishing poles the park provides.
As you continue to further walk along the path that leads you to Edaville Proper, you will see an adorable small English village store fronts, an antique carousel, ferris wheel and train station.
My boys love starting the day off with a train ride around the park. The train station is where you will find Thomas who is busy working away at carrying passengers on tours around the park. You can catch a ride on Thomas which embarks on a journey around the park on the hour. I recommend arriving about 10 minutes before departure to grab a seat in the caboose. There is an awesome seating area for 2-4 little ones to sit in an upper deck section for extra fun and optimal views. The train ride is the perfect length for little ones and will keep their attention so you can sit back and relax for twenty minutes. It will take you around the entire property and allow you to see all the rides, cranberry bog, and animals.
Once the train has returned to the station, be sure to exit off the train and walk down to the engine where you can meet Thomas. Your little ones are sure to get a kick out of watching Thomas light up with animation as he moves his eyes, makes facial expressions and talks. You can also take a picture with Thomas or have a professional picture taken by staff for purchase.
Next we ventured through Edaville Proper because we knew once the boys were in the Thomas land section we would have trouble prying them out. This section has midway style rides that you would find at a carnival. There are so many cool rides to choose from.
Just past Edaville Proper is Thomas Land, as you get closer you will be greeted by cheerful Thomas and Friends songs. Watch as the magical island of Sodor unfolds before your eyes. Thomas Land is so well planned and detailed that you really feel like you have stepped into a story book.
Now to share the rides….
Hint: Behind the Bertie’s Bus Tour ride is his garage. Not too many people know about it but it was pretty cool to walk through.
CRANKY’S CRANE DROP & ROCKING BULSTRODE
Cranky Crane Drop is an awesome ride for adults and older children. It takes a group of riders up to the top and then drops and catches them repeatedly. Our children were a little too small to ride, but it seemed to really entertain the bigger kids within the park. My oldest and I had a rocking time on Rocking Bulstrode, which is also meant for older kids.
You feel like you are in Diesel Works. The boys rode this ride over and over again each time sat on a different engine; Diesel, Salty, Mavis, Iron Bert, Rusty, etc. This is one of the many rides designed to accommodate both kids and parents as the back seats in the ride are larger and provide more leg room.
Your littlest one can drive Flynn around a track while the bigger kids get to be real life firefighters and put out a fire with the water cannons on the back.
These two rides are like good ole fashion carnival rides with a Thomas and Friends twist. Harold’s is noteworthy because again the backseats provide more space for parents.
It’s so smart to have an indoor section for hot days or if sudden bad weather strikes. Even if the weather is perfect outside I highly recommend checking it out because it’s the coolest indoor play zone I’ve ever seen. The play structure is over 2 stories high and provides areas for climbing, obstacle courses, a ball pit, and even a pneumatic tube to send the balls throughout the zone. And no playground would be complete without a giant slide to help you back down to the ground!
SODOR’S CRANBERRY CAROUSEL
I found it fun that all the characters featured on this ride are narrow gauge engines. The designers really put thought into all the rides and it shows their attention to detail that they refused to slip in a standard gauge favorite into this fun ride with Millie, Skarloey and friends.
Be ready to get dizzy; Toby will lift off and spin you around for a whirl of a time.
TROUBLESOME TRUCK RUNAWAY COASTER
My four year old was able to ride the roller coaster this year! Eating all his vegetables to grow paid off.
This skyline provides you a great way to start you day in Thomas Land. You can see all the rides in the park and plan how you want to get to them all. It can also be used to give your kids a bit of a cool down period as the ride is leisurely paced. I think this was our family’s favorite ride because all four of us could fit in one car.
It’s was fun to visit the shed where you will find Percy, Emily, James and Gordon. this is another example of the great planning done in this park. You will notice that Thomas is missing, but he is already on a “special” transporting guests around the park, so there is no way he could be resting at the shed with his pals. You can climb into Percy and play with buttons, gizmos and gadgets.
Be sure to catch one of the shows. It’s fun to watch the trains animation and voices; as well as meet Sir Topham Hatt. An interactive experience awaits the attendees as everyone is necessary to help the engines prepare for the jubilee. The boys enjoyed snack time (craisins) while watching the Cranberry Jubilee. My oldest even got to help be a part of the show and help decorate Percy!
The Dockside Diner is a lot of fun to eat at. I was impressed by the healthy food otions offered such as; fresh fruit cups, yogurt and salads. They had a lot of options that kids would like; PBJ, personal pizza and grilled cheese. I recommend getting the chicken salad wrap, it had cranberries in that made it heavenly. We ate a light lunch so we could splurge and get a train shaped chocolate lollipop at the sweets shop at the end of the day. You can also pack a lunch and eat at the tree covered picnic area in Thomas Land.
Another section that is fun to visit is Dino Land. This section was pretty cool. I was delightfully surprised to find that the dinosaurs make sounds, move and steam rises from the ground. The signs around the pathway are hilarious. Each dinosaur is also accompanied by a plaque that provides educational information about the species including the name, it’s derivation, and size compared to an adult human.
Don’t forget to explore the indoor options. You will definitely want to check out Cran-central Station located in the middle of Edaville Proper. This section is really cool and I have never seen anything like it at a theme park before. On the first floor there is a gift shop, arcade, bumper cars and train tables; as well as restrooms, family bathroom stalls and a nursing room. The nursing room was amazing, equipped with rocking chairs and play tables for older siblings. The beautifully hand painted murals made the space warm and inviting, the perfect place for feeding and napping baby if you need a quiet place to go.
On the second floor to the right is a room with a small museum about farming, cranberry bogs and trains; with antique equipment and tractors. An awesome model train set up is on display too! To the left is a room that could host birthday parties.
There are a few small rides; carousel, truck ride and giant cranberry ball pit. I also found the old fashioned mini pedal carousel to be adorable.
Park Information & Tips
Location: Edaville USA, 5 Pine Street Carver, MA 02330
Hours: 10am-6pm daily July through August 2016. Hours vary through fall and spring season. Check the parks webpage prior to visiting (www.edaville.com).
Admission: Tickets are cheaper online than at the gate. Online prices- $34 Adult admission and $29 ages 2 & 3/Seniors. Under two are free! Tickets include free parking and admission to the entire Edaville amusement park including Thomas Land and Dinoland.
Strollers: Strollers are allowed throughout the park; there are plenty of safe places to park your stroller.
Height Restrictions: Be sure to check your child’s height when entering the park. The rides are color coded and will help you plan out which rides they can go on and if they can go independently or with adult supervision.
Photos: Be sure to visit the Sodor Post Office where you can pick up the professional pictures taken; there are train tables and lego’s for kids to play with while you wait for your pictures to print.
***Thank you Edaville for inviting us to your park… it truly was an unforgettable train-tastic experience!***