Guest contributor Shannon Hall shares how her family experienced Thomas The Tank
at EnterTRAINment Junction. Thanks, Shannon!
Be sure to see the “Meet Shannon” box at the bottom of the page.
Do you have a train loving, rail-riding engineer in your midst? Are you, yourself a train enthusiast? If so, EnterTRAINment Junction is the place for you. With the World’s Largest Train Display, Railroad Museum and large play space for children, we were excited to see what was in store. We didn’t tell our 2 and 4 year old boys where we were going for the day. As we pulled into the parking lot, the 4 year old, wide eyed with wonder exclaimed, “I see a railroad crossing!” And so it begins.
We have a long lineage of train fanatics in our household. My grandmother used to take me to visit the old-school locomotives just a few short decades ago. My husband can remember lying on the floor, early Saturday mornings, playing trains with his brothers. When our oldest son expressed an interest in trains, the flood gates opened. Father and son researched the different types of trains, railways and routes. Diesel trains and steam engines, monorails and the like. Then it happened. He stumbled across Thomas the Tank Engine. Our lives have never been the same.
” At EnterTRAINment Junction, you can Marvel at the
world’s largest indoor train display (that’s 25,000 sq. ft.
of model trains on an enormous train layout), slide, climb
and crawl in a spectacular children’s play area, discover
at our imaginative railroading museum, and from
Memorial Day thru Labor Day you can engineer your own
locomotive around a track in a hand-cranked railroad car
or ride our narrow gauge train ride. While you are here
enjoy the greatest funhouse on earth.
It’s like an theme park and it’s all indoors!”
As we entered the front doors at EnterTRAINment Junction, we were greeted with the hubbub of families milling about. Parents chasing toddlers through the main foyer as they squeal in delight. We saw Thomas and his best buddy, Percy, hanging from the ceiling. As we prepared to get our wristbands, a friendly face greeted us with a smile and a handshake. Bill Mefford of EnterTRAINment Junction, gave us the rundown of the facility. First up, a two page flyer filled with many characters from Thomas and Friends! Turns out, we were going on a scavenger hunt. Thomas the Tank Engine and many of his friends, were hidden throughout the main train displays. It takes a very keen eye to spot some of these guys. Toby, we had to go through two times to find him!
So, with pamphlet in hand and his little brother in tow, the four year old set off on his quest. The adventure begins in the Early Period where there are plenty of trains running along the tracks. Many displays are eye level but if you look above, you will catch many of the locomotives racing along track to their next destination. Amid the display, there are many interactive buttons that control both lights and sounds. We saw an electric Thomas, pulling his coaches to their destination. There are questions along the way to enhance your experience. We especially enjoyed the “Can You Find” questions. As we progressed through the display, we came upon trains crossing bridges and large displays with houses and people, waterfalls and Imagination Junction!
Imagination Junction is where we spent the bulk of our time. The boys were able to catch a Thomas and Friends movie, control the engines as they traveled around The Island of Sodor and drive trains around the plethora of train tables. They sat and colored in the booklets they had available. The boys worked in an activity booklet donned with Sir Topham Hatt and coloring books with Thomas and all of the other Really Useful Engines. Plenty of parents were able to have a seat while their children were engaged in multiple activities. Perhaps the most amazing activity in this space was the enormous enclosed climbing structure. There are several entrances, rock walls, tube slides etc for all to enjoy! And if your kid is not really into that sort of thing, like mine, there is the absolute cutest steam engine for the kids to play on. You can scoop coal, play on the activity wall and climb from one car to the next. The two year old liked this, especially. Wielding his shovel and scooping coal, this kid has a bright future.
We made our way toward the Amaze-N-Funhouse. We checked out a huge circus tent display and the kids found a carpeted area to play with chunky trains. My husband and I made our way through beautiful, bright colored displays. The boys made headway in the funhouses, even if they had to be rescued a time or two. There are vintage carnival games and my absolute favorite, Zoltar! There is such a nice feeling of family togetherness in this space.
As we approached lunch time, we became concerned about food options within the facility. Absolutely no need to worry! There were plenty of kid friendly options and the prices were very affordable. After a quick lunch, we made our way toward the ride-on Thomas. Typically, Thomas resides outside but because it’s winter, he was brought indoors. My boys were so excited to board Annie and Claribel (Thomas’ coaches for those who don’t eat, sleep and breathe trains ) and be pulled by Thomas! Thomas chugged around the track with my happy boys waving to their dad and beaming beautiful smiles. It was the absolute best ending to our trip.
If you’re a family of long time train aficionados or just getting your feet wet, there is certainly something for everyone. Though our children regularly play with trains, they were able to experience some things on a much more intricate level by visiting EnterTRAINment Junction. In the words of our 4 year-old, “We’ll be back to see ya soon!”
BUY YOUR TICKETS TO Everything Thomas at EnterTRAINment Junction HERE!
Disclaimer: This writer & site received media passes for review purposes. As always, all opinions expressed are those of the writer and in no way influenced by companies or products mentioned within. EnterTRAINment Junction, along with all characters, logos and are owned by them and used with permission. Post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for clicking through them! It helps keep this site here for you
Thomas The Tank At EnterTRAINment Junction