Thomas the Tank Engine Is the Star
There are many things that make Edaville U.S.A. unique among theme parks. Chief among them is that it was the first park in North America to feature a permanent Thomas Land. It is also one of the few parks that is specifically targeted to young children, around 12 and under, and their families (which isn’t surprising given its emphasis on kid favorite, Thomas the Tank Engine). It is one of a handful of parks in northern climes that remains open most of the year. And it is the world’s only park that is built on a working cranberry farm.
Don’t come to Edaville expecting an experience on par with Disneyland or Universal Studios. Instead of whiz-bang attractions loaded with animated characters, immersive media, and special effects, the park mostly offers more basic "flat rides" that spin around. Many are kiddie rides geared to younger visitors. Most of the rides accommodate adults so that parents can ride with their kids.
Don’t come anticipating a Six Flags-like collection of coasters and mega-thrill rides either. There are a few coasters, but they are fairly low-profile and accessible for kids as small as 42 inches. A couple of the rides, such as a Scrambler and a Tilt-A-Whirl, are a bit more thrilling and are designed for older children.
Here’s what you can expect: Youngsters, especially those who have a fondness for trains and Thomas (as en enormously popular brand, the happy tank engine and his friends have loads of fans), will adore the park. Their parents will appreciate its reasonable prices and unhurried, small-park feel. Everyone will enjoy Edaville’s clean grounds, friendly staff, agreeable vibe, and loads of charm.
With the addition of Thomas Land in 2015, the park significantly broadened its scope and reach. But it’s been chugging along for many years. The property has been—and continues to be —a cranberry farm. A narrow gauge railway used to haul the crop to a processing plant. In 1945, the farm’s owners set up Christmas displays and invited the public to ride its train. Through the decades, they added more rides and attractions and extended the operating season.
Thomas Land and Other Attractions at the Park
The signature attraction is a 20-minute train ride that circles the park. Thomas the Tank Engine leads the way, and the ride includes onboard audio featuring Thomas & Friends music and characters. It travels through cranberry bogs.
The 11-acre Thomas Land includes the Troublesome Trucks Runaway Coaster, Winston's Skyline Express, an elevated monorail, Cranky’s Crane Drop, a small drop tower, and a few Thomas-themed spinning rides. Visitors can also take photos with Thomas’ friends such as Percy at the Tidmouth Sheds roundhouse. In 2018, Kennywood, an amusement park near Pittsburgh, opened the nation’s second Thomas Land.
A country fair-like land offers classic amusement park rides such as a Ferris wheel, a carousel, and a Dumbo-style elephant ride. Animated dinosaurs greet guests at Dinoland, which opened in 2014. A large brick building houses bumper cars and other rides, an arcade, and party rooms. It also includes an exhibit about cranberries. (The berry is a major crop in southeastern Massachusetts.)
Things to Know about Edaville U.S.A.
What's to Eat?
The aroma from the Choo-Choo Barbecue is intoxicating. Chicken grilled on open pits is featured. The largest eatery is KC's Cafe which offers pizza, hamburgers, and the ususal park fare. Kettle corn, ice cream, and other treats are also available.
Since it began as a Christmas attraction, it should come as no surprise that Edaville offers an annual Festival of Lights along with Santa- and Polar Express-themed train rides.
Location and Tickets and Admission Info
Carver, Massachusetts. Next to Plymouth. About 75 minutes from Boston and 20 minutes from Cape Cod. The address is 5 Pine Street.
Pay-one-price tickets include all rides. 2 and under are free. Discount for seniors 60+. Season passes are available. Party packages and group rates are available. Parking is free. Check the Edaville U.S.A. official site for current promotions.
Young Kids Have Good Training
Unlike most regional parks, which have a lot of major thrill rides and can be overwhelming for young children, Edaville targets families with small kids.
The Troublesome Trucks Shouldn't Trouble Children
Even the roller coasters, such as the Thomas-themed one, are not too aggressive. They provide just enough thrills to delight smaller kids (and kids of all ages), but not too much to intimidate them.
Who Says Dinosaurs Are Extinct?
There are a number of dinosaurs on display in Dinoland. The animated creatures include some limited movement and vocalizations.
Edaville remains open to celebrate the holidays. The train operates, even during light snow.
A Joyful Place
As part of its annual holiday celebration, the park is filled with festive light displays.
Riding through the Snow
Most of Edaville's outdoor rides are available during its holiday celebration.