Edaville U.S.A. Featuring Thomas Land

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    Thomas the Tank Engine Is the Star

    Thomas the Tank Engine at Edaville U.S.A.
    ••• © Arthur Levine.

    New for 2016

    Following its huge expansion in 2015, which featured the opening of Thomas Land, Edaville U.S.A. is planning on opening bumper boats and go-karts for the 2016 season. Other attractions it has in the pipeline (which may open in 2016 or later) include a water coaster called Kersplash, a swinging pirate ship ride, and an interactive pirate-themed dark ride. Edaville is also building a Christmas-themed village which will allow the park to celebrate the holidays year-round.

    Park Overview

    There are many things that make Edaville U.S.A. unique among theme parks. Chief among them is that it is the only 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...MORE 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.

    The Lands and Rides

    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.

    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.)

    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.

    Holiday Event

    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.

    Tickets and Admission Info

    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.

    Location

    Carver, Massachusetts. Next to Plymouth. About 75 minutes from Boston and 20 minutes from Cape Cod. The address is 5 Pine Street.

    Accommodations

    Official Site

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    Welcome to Thomas Land

    Entrance to Thomas Land at Edaville U.S.A.
    ••• Edaville U.S.A. and Mattel

    Visitors enter Thomas Land through Knapford Station. Themed to the popular PBS series, Thomas & Friends, the land is filled with train-themed rides.

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    All Aboard

    Thomas Land rides at Edaville U.S.A.
    ••• Edaville U.S.A. and Mattel

    Among the themed rides in Thomas Land is Sodor's Cranberry Carousel. It is a nod to the land's train focus, its Thomas theme, and the park's cranberry farm heritage.

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    Young Kids Have Good Training

    Edaville U.S.A. is for families with young children.
    ••• Edaville U.S.A. and Mattel

    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.

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    The Troublesome Trucks Shouldn't Trouble Children

    Troublesome Trucks Runaway Coaster at Edaville
    ••• Edaville U.S.A. and Mattel

    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.

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    Who Says Dinosaurs Are Extinct?

    Dinoasur at Edaville U.S.A.
    ••• © Arthur Levine.

    There are a number of dinosaurs on display in Dinoland. The animated creatures include some limited movement and vocalizations.

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    Big Wheel

    Ferris wheel at Edaville U.S.A.
    ••• © Arthur Levine.

    Among the vintage rides is a classic Ferris wheel.

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    S'no Problem

    Edaville U.S.A. train at Christmas
    ••• Edaville U.S.A.

    Edaville remains open to celebrate the holidays. The train operates, even during light snow.

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    A Joyful Place

    Edaville U.S.A. at Christmas
    ••• Edaville U.S.A.

    As part of its annual holiday celebration, the park is filled with festive light displays.

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    Riding through the Snow

    Edaville U.S.A. in the winter
    ••• Edaville U.S.A.

    Most of Edaville's outdoor rides are available during its holiday celebration.