If your kids love Thomas the Tank Engine like my girls, then don’t miss a Day out with Thomas at Tweetsie Railroad this week (June 5-14, Sun.-Fri., 9:30am-5pm; Sat., 8:30am-5:30pm). We headed up there this past Saturday. Typical to our household, we decided to go the night before and got online to buy our tickets. There were only two ride times left open, 8:30 and 3:00. We opted to go for the 3:00 knowing that Annie would have to bypass her nap in order for us to go.
The drive up from Charlotte was easy, 85S to 321. It took about two hours. We got there around 12:00 and no surprise on a Saturday, it was pretty packed. But parking was easy and there were stroller paths. I recommend wearing comfortable shoes if you bring a stroller – the hills are steep and I had a hard time in my flip flops pushing the stroller up hill. Our tickets were at Will Call, and we walked right up and got our tickets.
The best part of the day was hearing Annie yell “Thomas” everytime she saw a Thomas sign, balloon and especially when that blue engine came down the track. It was adorable. Getting there three hours before our scheduled ride gave us time to eat lunch, play in the Thomas jumper, ride the merry-go-round three or four times and play some games in the County Fair. I was surprise at how much there was to do for Annie. I assumed the park would be better suited for our four-year-old, but Annie had a blast on the merry-go-round and Thomas jumper. We did miss our chance to meet Sir Topham Hat – he showed up every hour for about twenty minutes, but the line was always pretty long, so we passed.
Finally, it came time to ride Tweetsie, pulled by Thomas. The girls had a blast and giggled in delight the whole time. The even enjoyed the Cowboys and Indians show that took place during our ride.
A couple of suggestions:
-Bring your own lunch, there are plenty of picnic benches, and we spent way too much time in line for expensive and bad food.
-Tickets are pricey, $30 for kids over 13, $22 for kids 3 – 13 but free for kids 2 and under. However, there is a lot to do when you get there between the Thomas attractions, the County Fair rides, a live show and a bus ride to Miner’s Mountain so you can get your money’s worth if you plan your time wisely.
-If you plan to go next weekend, buy tickets now so that you can reserve the exact time slot that you prefer. The train leaves every thirty minutes, starting at 8:30 and lasts 25 minutes. Just go to http://www.tweetsie.com/special_events/ and reserve your tickets.
-The lines for the County Fair rides were pretty short, except for the “lift” so be prepared to wait in line for the popular rides. My kids were too young for the free fall and other rides, but there was a good selection for all ages.
-It seemed like things slowed down around 1:30 (nap time) so afternoons might be a better bet on the weekends if you can make it during that time.
-They sell lots of Thomas stuff, stickers, tattoos, trains and whistles. Prices were definitely more expensive than our local toy store, but not too out of control.
On the way home, Annie fell asleep immediately and Zoe talked about Thomas the whole way back to Charlotte. It was an easy day trip and the girls had a blast. Totally worth it for Thomas fans!