Day out with Thomas 2011–Leader of the Track Tour

Posted by Liz McCoy Friday, June 10, 2011

I know you all know how much my kiddo LOVES Thomas the Tank Engine and everything that surrounds the brand.  So when I was given an opportunity for 4 tickets to the Day out with Thomas 2011 tour I JUMPED!! Even better I got to pick any location.  We had been to the Cordele, GA event two years ago and Bryson City last year, this year I wanted to try a new place.  Based on a dates and proximity I chose the Blowing Rock, NC location. The event was held at the Tweetsie Railroad.




I had no idea how much fun this location would make the event, it definitely the best Day Out with Thomas we’ve experienced.


Tweetsie is about 6 hours away from home so we left the night before right after Ken got home from work. We brought the baby, my younger sister, and my mom along with us. We made it to Hickory, NC for the night and stayed a great hotel about 45 minutes from the event. We had no idea what time our train tickets were for so I checked the schedule on Tweetsie’s website and saw that the earliest rides still had plenty of space we knew we wanted to get there early to make the 9 am ride.  We got up early and out the door just to make it in time for the 9am ride.  We walked through the ticketing and right onto the train.




What a fun train ride!! Since Thomas is not a real steamy and couldn’t handle 3 passenger cars they had paired the 190 with Thomas to pull the cars. We all agreed that the 190 (the Yukon Queen) looked a lot like Emily.



The Tweetsie Railroad has a great little loop that the train goes around and it is a beautiful ride lots trees and in the middle they have a little cowboy and indian show, however it was scaled back with no firing of the guns for the DOWT event. I definitely am interested in going back some time to ride again and see the whole show.




At the end of our ride the park was starting to get busy. Which never seemed too busy as there were lots of activities and space to spread the people out. I’m not a crowd person and I never once felt like it was crowded.




DOWT always has, story telling, videos to watch, coloring pages, temporary tatoos, train tables for playing with different styles of the Thomas & Friends Brand, and of course the gift shop. I absolutely loved that most of these activities were indoors with air conditioning! Tweetsie also had train tables set up through out the facility so there seemed to be places to play everywhere we went.


The first thing on the kid’s agenda was playing trains. We hit up the play station first and he could have spent all day playing with the Track Master train set up.  Track Master, or “battery trains” as my kid calls them, are his new favorite and we’re slowing accumulating a collection of that series now too.




They had all together the temporary tattoos, coloring pages, and videos near each other so we did all that around the same time.




The kiddo got a temporary Diesel 10 tattoo while I was nursing the little one he was so funny and told me

“Mom, I got a tattoo! And it didn’t hurt at all.”


That had me cracking up. I’m not sure where he learned tattoos hurt but now he knows that temporary ones don’t. He later told us that he was never going to wash it off and got upset that it started to peel after swimming in the pool.


Each location generally makes the event their own by adding extra activities. Tweetsie had a Thomas inflatable for the kids to jump and play. We didn’t have the opportunity to play this time.




We made our way over to the carnival area of the park and rode a bunch of carnival rides. HOW FUN! All were included in the admission, which was even better!




Next up we took the chair lift up to the top of the mountain to see what Tweetsie had to offer.




The kiddo did great on the chair lift and told me it wasn’t as bad as he thought! It really was lots of fun! I enjoyed the ride talking with him.


First thing at the top of the mountain was the playground! And it had a cranking bridge, just like in Thomas he was super excited to play.  By this point it was getting hotter and most of us were ready to eat.



We decided to hold on lunch until after we rode the little train to the mouse mines.  This was our LONGEST wait for any activity, about 30 minutes. There was shade while waiting and we chatted with a family who comes each year from Ashville with their son.




It was time for baby to eat so I fed her while we rode the train. The ride was breezy and nice the mouse mine was cute (and cheesy LOL), and was the location where I lost my sun glasses.




By the time we got off the train we were all starving.  We had read reviews that the food was pricey, and we had no clue you could bring in your own food. So we went with a large pizza and 4 sodas (in cans) for $20 and we didn’t have to wait in line! That wasn’t bad to us for all 5 of us to eat. The kids were treated with Dip ‘n Dots, my kiddo’s first interaction with them. He thought they were cool!



After lunch we made our way back down the mountain, this time Grandma and Aunt J walked down with the baby and the stroller while the three of us rode down the chair lift. We made our way towards the gift shop and stopped off at the taller kids rides.


We stopped to take a photo at the Tweetsie TeePee, with Sir Topham Hatt, and rode a horse.



Then we hit up the shop and loaded the kiddo down with his new Thomas goodies, we were a bit disappointed that they didn’t have Belle & Den the newest trains we were looking for. Sadly we had pretty much everything they were selling in the Wooden Railway series.  We did get a DOWT magnet and a bookbag and a pennant.



On our way to pick up our photos and leave the park I put the family in Jail and the kids rode a horse, it was a super busy day and so very much fun.




We had a blast at Tweetsie Railroad at the Day out with Thomas 2011 Leader of the Track Tour definitely our favorite DOWT so far.  If you have a Thomas or train fan we could not recommend this location and event any more it is a fun filled day!  Our Thomas fan is already talking about going back next year!

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