Our Day Out With Thomas
This past Sunday we were fortunate enough to attend a “Day Out With Thomas” at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum with Jed and also my mom. We knew we had to snag some tickets and take Jed as soon as we heard he was coming to town. Jed’s been obsessed with trains since late last year, especially with Thomas! I, of course, took lots of pictures and video to document the special day and be able to show these memories to Jed for years to come. This is why I love photography and capturing moments so much! It really is a meaningful hobby to me.
Since Thomas has just about begun his tour, I figured it would be helpful to share our experience on here in case he’s coming to a city near you and you were thinking about going. This is an unsponsored and unpaid post. These are totally my opinions and my own thoughts from my personal experience.
I think the easiest way to avoid this being a novel (per my usual rants) is for us to dive in immediately into the things we loved and the things we felt needed improvement at the event.
1. Thomas. Thomas. Thomas.
Forget everything else in this blog because this is reason enough to pay the money and take your kids. If they love Thomas, just seeing their faces light up when they see him, life-sized and up-close and personal, is 100% worth it. He is really awesome and completely accurate and on-point. He does not look cheap nor poorly made but instead is an exact replica of the toy we all know and love.
2. The train ride.
Yes, it’s short at only 20 minutes, but for my 2 year old, that was the perfect amount of time. He loved looking out the window and seeing the train move. He was definitely excited to be riding with Thomas. Also, at the end of the ride each child was given a Junior Engineer Certificate to commemorate the ride with Thomas.
3. The Imagination Station.
This was basically a play area with tracks, trains and blocks for the kids to have fun with. This area was great to kill time, stay out of the heat and let the kids play with the trains they love so much.
THE NOT SO GOOD
1. The interior of the train.
I wished there was more going on. It was an old cabin with nothing but a small decorative banner hanging inside. There were no activities on board and no commentary of any sort. I would’ve loved if there would have been someone on the P.A. telling some sort of story about Thomas or about the railroad. The only thing to do was literally look out the window. This is okay, but for smaller kids, that only goes so far. We bought Jed an activity book with some crayons at the gift shop and this helped entertain him.
2. The photography company.
You get an amazing photo opportunity in the perfect spot with Thomas in the background, but that’s all you get– an opportunity. Unfortunately, the company they have taking the photos does not provide professional quality. The pictures were some of the worst quality ones I have seen at any event, especially if we take into account how much they charge for them. It was clearly evident that the “photographers” weren’t actual photographers. You are better off using your own phone and taking your own pics. Thankfully, I always have my camera on me! Here’s a comparison of a picture I took for my friends vs the one that was taken for them.
3. Food and play options.
They needed more of this. The food options were very limited and not good. The play areas were very small and didn’t provide much variety. There was one bounce house, as an example, and about 30 kids trying to squeeze in it. Also, as much as we loved the Imagination Station, there were only 4 tables for the kids to play in with about 5 trains they were all trying to share. It just created problems as the kids were frustrated and kept trying to take trains from each other– there just wasn’t anywhere near enough trains or other toys to play with.
In a nutshell, there is a lot of room for improvement.
I personally think the organizers need to think on a grander scale and improve the quality of the activities, entertainment, food and photos. But do I think the event is worth going to? Absolutely. If your child loves Thomas, this is an incredibly unique experience for them to see him live and up-close. I would pay the same cost of admission in a heartbeat again next time he rolls into Miami. Just the smile on Jed’s face was worth every penny. See for yourself in the video below!
Did you visit Thomas? Are you planning on attending one in your hometown? Let me know below!