Day Out With Thomas 2014 Recap
Initially I wasn’t a fan of Thomas the Train. I grew up on Sesame Street and Mister Roger’s Neighborhood so I never understood the fascination with a talking blue train. However, after attending a few Thomas & Friends events with my son, I changed my opinion. There are some catchy songs, likeable characters, and my son loves his storybooks and clothing. When we got a chance to go to a Day Out With Thomas at the Orange Empire Railway, I was thrilled to head to the Island of Sodor, see Thomas, and Sir Topham Hatt!
It was a cold, windy day in Perris, but that didn’t dampen the spirit of tons of Thomas fans. The little ones showed off their favorite Thomas the Train clothes and accessories.
Our first stop was to get branded, I mean get temporary tatoos of our favorite Thomas the Train characters. As we got acclaimated, I felt like I was in a time warp.
We were surrounded by old trolleys, tractors, and warehouses. All attendees were encouraged to go on a scavenger hunt for a Thomas the Train souvenir.
Our first check point was a video viewing station and play area. Kids could catch up on their favorite Thomas & Friends episodes or play with toys and iPads.
In an adjacent room was the Imagination Station. Little ones could play with Thomas the Train train sets, ride on motorized Thomas the Trains, and pickup Thomas the Train coloring sheets. It felt like a carnival with the food and dessert booths nearby.
We took a short ride on a trolley built in the 40’s. It was fascinating to hear about how the train companies tried to increase ridership by making their cars as comfortable as possible. That’s why it felt like taking a ride on a bus.
We also learned how a couple of college kids preserved these trains and eventually settled on 325 acres in Perris, CA. Most of the facility is run by volunteers. There was another area where attendees could visit Percy. However, we continued on the trolley ride because the heavy wind was kicking up a sand storm.
We capped things off with a photo op with Sir Topham Hatt. Unfortunately since it was so cold, my son was bundled up and his face was half covered. We then took a delightful ride on a ninety year old train with Thomas leading the way. It was very peaceful and hypnotic as we chugged along to the sound of the train engine.
I felt like I was in a time machine as I realized this is how people traveled nearly a century ago. If you haven’t taken an old train ride, I highly recommend it. Forget about all your modern day problems and travel back to yesteryear.
On top of that, make sure to visit a Day Out With Thomas if it makes a stop at a railway near you. They’re two, they’re four, they’re six, they’re eight. Shunting trucks and hauling freight. Thomas and his friends!
For more information, visit a Day Out With Thomas.
For additional information, visit The Thrill of the Ride Tour 2014.
For more information, visit the Orange Empire Railway Museum.