So, if it hasn’t been clear yet, my child is obsessed with Thomas the train. He’s two and it’s pretty insane the number of trains he owns. It’s the one thing he consistently plays with. There are trains in my living room, the basement, I find them on the fridge handles, under bathroom counters, in bedrooms. They are in my car, in my purse, in the diaper bag. His second birthday was Thomas themed. I know the lyrics to the theme song, and to every song in Misty Island Rescue, Hero of the Rails, Blue Mountain Mystery (his favorite) and also all the songs on the All Star Tracks. My Youtube history is saturated with Thomas videos. So when I say obsessed, I’m talking borderline crazy.
Now, add to this the fact that my mom lives 30 minutes away from Carver Massachusetts. Carver. The Home of Edaville Railroad… and the new Thomasland.
So you can guess where we went last week while on vacation at my parent’s house.
That’s right. Thomasland!
I grew up on the south shore in eastern Massachusetts. I have recollections of riding the train at Edaville during the holidays but I had not been there in a very long time. So long, that this was like a whole new experience.
Edaville has undergone a major makeover since I had been there. Thomasland is brand new and only opened last year. Dinoland is also a new addition, built in 2013. On top of that, they are currently expanding and adding a Dickens Village and a water park. It is becoming quite the amusement park!
We went on a Friday during summer. The weather was originally calling for rain but it ended up being a cooler day, with a little humidity and some drops of rain here and there. As a result, the park was empty. Which meant we did not have to wait in hardly any lines. It was great!
My mom purchased the tickets ahead on the Edaville website since it saved money by buying ahead. When you buy ahead, in order to get a discounted price, you have to either have your date picked out or buy them the day of. The discount for tickets only works if you know when you are going. Planning ahead and knowing your date will actually save you up to $4 a person.
Since we were only a little familiar with the area, we decided to follow the GPS once we got off the highway (495). And it took us the strangest way, through some residential neighborhoods. I must have had some avoidance enabled. But we eventually found our way! Edaville does seem out of place in its location. Right across the street from it are people’s houses. You don’t expect that and it does make you think you are in the wrong place, but alas, you’re not!
They have free parking and the lot is huge. We had no problem finding a spot near the entrance gate.
When you first enter the park, and cross the train tracks, you’ll enter the soon to be Dickens Village. This will be home to many shops and attractions. Currently, you can find guest relations in one of the first buildings when you enter the park. Guest relations has stroller rentals available and there are also restrooms located in this area.
Since we already had our tickets, we were able to quickly pass through the gates. We had important things to do!
I did take a minute to check out the prices though, and as I already knew, it was definitely a better deal to buy ahead online. My mom and I saved on our tickets (I was a regular adult, she was a senior, and my boy was free!). The ticket includes admission to all the attractions, including Thomasland and Dinoland. Also noted on the sign is the last train departure. We had arrived just around 2 p.m. so we had PLENTY of time!
Also, make sure to grab a park map. Although it seems like a small place, there is a lot going on and you don’t want to miss things (like we did- I’ll explain that later).
The first things you’ll notice when you walk past the ticket booths is the big lake and the carousel. At the lake, they have picnic tables for lunch. There is also fishing available for an additional cost, however that is a seasonal activity.
We decided to save the carousel for last. We headed straight into Edaville instead. We passed by the ferris wheel, Big Eli, which unfortunately my boy was a hair too short for (by just an inch but there’s always next year!). We also had to skip a few other rides in Edaville Proper due to his height, but that’s okay, we still had alot of other rides to check out.
Our first order of business, check out the line for the train ride! We arrived at a perfect time, a new train was arriving in just a few minutes. We took a few pictures with Thomas and then boarded the train! The train ride is included with your admission. You can take as many rides as you want. There is no reservation or specific seating, you just hop in line and board when it’s time. The ride circles the entire park, through the woods, around the lake and by the cranberry bogs. The ride took about 20 minutes. Strollers are not allowed on the train so when your children have to sit still on a seat or in your lap, 20 minutes is perfect.
We boarded the train and prepared for departure! My boy was really excited to stare out the window at all the sights of Edaville.
After we departed our train ride, we made a quick stop in the train station for a bathroom break. And of course, took the obligatory family photo.
We headed back to the rides in Edaville Proper. We were able to ride the smaller train, the jolly caterpillar, and at Nana’s insistence, we braved the Tilt a Whirl. A brilliant idea she and I definitely regretted afterwards.
Edaville Proper has a lot more rides but we opted to not put my boy on any rides that he would have to do alone. He just wasn’t ready for that. And a few others, he was just too short for. But that was okay, because we were really here for one reason and one reason alone:
I have to give some major props to Edaville, because they made Thomasland feel like you were on the Island of Sodor. Everything just looked so much like you would imagine. It was pretty incredible.
We first took a ride on Bertie the bus. Bertie was a gentle ride and a nice start to our time in Thomasland. I was able to ride with my boy for this one. We enjoyed going up and around with the friendly red bus.
Now, our next ride was Toby. Toby, the gentle tram engine. Toby was not so gentle here at Thomasland. I think someone confused him with a troublesome truck because this ride was rough. My child thoroughly enjoyed it. Me, not so much. I watched the ride, and saw it was a little bit shakier than I was comfortable with but the attendant assured me it was not too bad.
Lies, I tell you. Lies.
I am really glad I didn’t toss my cookies. Because wow, that was one not so gentle tram ride. Yikes. If you are weak stomached like me, skip this one. Trust me.
After that rough ride, we sought out something gentler and decided to take a ride with Winston.
I loved this ride. I could have gone on it over and over again. It was high up, so if heights are not your thing, you may want to skip but it was slow paced and gentle, and in my opinion, it was great to check out the whole park from above! We even were able to fit all three of us in one car. I took the backseat.
We took a ride with the devious diesels through the Diesel Works next. Boy those diesels sure are smelly!
I haven’t mentioned it yet but one thing you will notice throughout the park are these handy markers that help you determine if you are the right height for a ride. Basically, green means you can ride alone, yellow means you need an adult to ride with you. Red means you cannot ride at all. The rides and their height regulations are also available online so you can plan ahead.
There were only a few rides we could not go on at all in Thomasland: Troublesome Truck Runaway Coaster, Cranky’s Crane Drop and Rockin’ Bulstrode. They also have a Sodor Playzone, which is an indoor playground. It is for ages 4 to 12. It includes a small toddler area; unfortunately, my child was more interested in the area that was just too big for him so we left that pretty quickly.
We took a little break from the rides and decided to check out the engines at Tidmouth Sheds. On our way we spotted Sir Topham Hatt!
Wait, that’s a fountain!
But we did find the real Sir Topham Hatt too! He makes appearances throughout the day at Tidmouth Sheds for pictures. We caught him just in time. He was happy to tell my son how really useful he has been!
We got to say hi to some other engines at this amazing real life Tidmouth Shed!
Hi Gordon! Hi James! Hi Emily!
We stayed and chatted for a while. I loved the little wooden crates in front of the trains, my boy could stand at the same height as the trains as he carried on a conversation.
And of course, let’s not forget our friend who carries the mail, Percy!
They have shows at Tidmouth Sheds, however we did not get to catch one. I hear they are pretty special!
There were still plenty of rides to go on, we were only halfway through!
We took a ride on this miniaturized ferris wheel, the Sodor Mill!
And we helped fight fires with Firefighter Flynn! We were ready and rearing to help! You actually stand and shoot water at the building! This ride was a challenge with a two year old, he did not quite grasp the concept of standing (especially after every ride we had been on, I was telling him to sit down). However, I did find out after the fact that you can actually sit in the front of the fire engine! That’s pretty cool!
We didn’t get to take a ride with Harold…
But we did go for a fun drive around the Blue Mountain Quarry with Skarloey and his friends!
We were reaching the point of exhaustion for my two year old, so after we finished all the rides in Thomasland, we grabbed an ice cream, checked out the gift shop and then headed over to Dino Land for a nice walk (and ride in the stroller).
Dino Land is also a new edition to Edaville Railroad. It has one ride (the Bone Shaker), an arcade game and a fossil dig.
But the real attraction here at Dino Land is the Dino Land Walking Trail. This is a self guided trail with over 20 animatronic dinosaurs!
My favorite part of the walking trail- these hilarious warning signs! They say don’t feed your sister… but what about your children?
We skipped the other activities in Dino Land and headed back to the main gates. On our way back though, we happened to catch a silly monkey on the loose! It was Meet & Greet Day with Curious George! Make sure to check the calendar of activities when you visit Edaville to see if you may get to catch a special character (in the past they have had Hello Kitty and the Berenstein Bears- and I hear they will be having Pete the Cat soon too!)
Now after the fact, I discovered something that I was pretty bummed about. Apparently, there is a building right behind the Ferris Wheel, called Cran Central Junction. My mom and I decided to skip it thinking it was just a gift shop and bathrooms. Boy were we wrong! Inside there are SO many more things to do! There are bumper cars, a mini carousel, train tables, an arcade, an enormous ball pit and other small rides. There is also a gift shop, first aid, an area for nursing mothers and restrooms. DON’T make the same mistake as us! Allow time to check this building out!
Our last stop of the day was the carousel. My mom and I were a little worse for the wear, but all three of us found the energy to enjoy this one special part of Edaville.
And that was the end of our day at Edaville USA and Thomasland. We will definitely be coming back soon! We hope you have a chance to visit this amazing amusement park that is literally right in our backyard! They have so many additional features to offer, many that I could not even cover in this single blog post. Take the time to visit their website, and check it all out! You will absolutely love this place and will be so happy you visited!
This about sums it up…
5 Pine St, Carver, MA 02330
Edaville USA’s 2016 season begins May 28th, 2016 and ends January 1st, 2017. Edaville is a rain or shine park.
Hours vary depending on season. Make sure to check the website when planning your visit.
4 years old and up: $37 ($34 if purchased online for a specific date)
2 & 3 years old and seniors: $32 ($29 if purchased online for a specific date)
Under 2 years old is FREE
See their website for ticketing options and to buy tickets online. Annual passes are also available.
- Stroller accessible (strollers are also available for rent, on a first come first serve basis)
- Geared towards the toddler age to elementary school age
- Large parking lot with plenty of available spaces
- Bathrooms located throughout the park, including changing tables
- Nursing mom areas are available
- Food available for purchase (numerous food vendors and restaurants throughout the park)
A few additional tips:
- Wear comfortable shoes- there is a lot of walking involved!
- Remember your sunblock.
- Definitely plan to stay for a while!
- You can bring in small snacks and beverages for your kids. I brought in a water bottle and sippy cups with no issue.