On Saturday 5th March Derby County FC may have been at home but Drayton Manor Park were playing away. We packed up some staff and our mascot and were warmly welcomed to the iPro Stadium to do an Activation Day, giving away lots of Drayton Manor goodies including free tickets, Thomas & Friends Mega Bloks, Ben 10 prizes and so much more. Thousands of lucky DCFC fans have gone away with DMP goody bags and free tickets so we can’t wait to welcome them to the park throughout the 2016 Season.

The day started early for DMP staff leaving the park at 9am with three cars packed to the brim to travel in convoy to the iPro and begin to set up for a fun filled day. With our brand new fully branded inflatable pod, flags, goody bags, toys, sweets, free tickets and lots of enthusiasm, 11 DMP staff were ready and eager to greet DCFC fans.

The lead up to the game was spent happily engaging with fans outside the DCFC shop next door to Rammie and Ewie’s Play Pen and inside the Family Stand concourse. Rory the Lion was in pride of place outside welcoming the young fans, getting lots of hugs and posing for lots of photographs. Lots of families came to visit us and lots of happy children walked away with Drayton Manor Park goodies as well. We really enjoyed chatting to the DCFC fans, people loved sharing memories and past experiences of visiting Drayton Manor Park and it was exciting to hear that DCFC fans would be making a trip to DMP to visit us again soon after hearing of all the new rides and attractions here at DMP.

After quite a few cold hours leading up to the game all DMP staff were eager to get onto the next stage– the Half Time on pitch Competition. The 45 minutes went quickly with an amazing goal for Derby County and then it was time for our half time fun. We were so excited that we all got to go on the pitch, including our mascot Rory the Lion, we wonder if it’s the first time a 6-foot Lion has taken to the half way line at the iPro?

Leading up to the game on the 5th March both ourselves and DCFC held a competition for people to win the opportunity to attend the match and then take part in a half time on the pitch Thomas & Friends related quiz to try and win a Stay & Play package for a family of four at Drayton Manor Park. Entries poured in from avid Thomas fans and two lucky winners were chosen. This meant that the battle was on to see who could name the most Thomas characters. Our victorious winner Leon got every single one right and therefore walked away with a fantastic Stay & Play package for his family to use anytime throughout our 2016 season. However of course we didn’t want anyone to feel left out and our runner up Archie took home a Season Pass to use whenever he wanted throughout the 2016 season as well.

Throughout the day we asked for fans to engage with us on social media and we received lots of #LittleMoments photos from happy DCFC supporters enjoying their day, of course with the added joy that final score meant that Derby County had beaten Huddersfield Town 2-0 as well, which of course we were very pleased about as Derby County fans for the day.

It was such a wonderful day, despite the somewhat chilly wind and the occasional worry that our brand new DMP inflatable pod would go flying off across Derby, with all of the DCFC staff and supporters being brilliant as well.

So If you saw us at the iPro Stadium on Saturday 5th March, took any photos or chatted to a member of our staff, let us know or send us a photo as we’d love to see all the fun that you guys had as well.

From everyone here at Drayton Manor Park, Go You Rams!