By: Connor Lenahan
Earlier this summer I wrote an article about Thomas the Tank Engine which served as a tribute to the defining show of my childhood. I was exceedingly thankful that I was able to share the love for the little blue engine with the world. This allowed me to connect to more people that had been personally changed by Sodor Island than ever. I also was envious of those same people.
For years there have been two Thomas the Tank Engine themed amusement parks – Thomas Land – in both Japan and England. I have not been able to visit either, despite my willingness to pay any and all travel cost out of pocket. These attractions looked amazing. There were life sized recreations of the same locations I grew up in. I realize this sounds silly to many, but think of it alternatively – If there was a life size recreation of Spongebob’s house or the Krusty Krab then almost all of my friends would be buying tickets to go. Thomas Land follows the same principle for me.
Given that I live in Boston it appeared as though I would not get to visit Thomas Land. Or so I thought. Yesterday news broke that Thomas Land would be opening a location in the United States. This news alone would cause me to have a heart attack. The physical location caused me to giggle like a schoolgirl. Thomas Land USA will be built in Carver, MA – 50 south of Boston. This is when the tears came rolling down my face and screams of joy/excitement escaped my lungs. I will, in the near future, be heading out to explore the land I always dreamed of getting to be a part of. Again, this is admittedly nerdy, but so are all amusement park attractions when you think about it. Disney World allows people to interact with their childhood heroes. LegoLand allows child engineers to imagine a more rectangular world. Thomas Land allows me to walk around a magical world where bad things happen and no one gets hurt. Given that this is never the case for me, I would very much like a couple of hours living free in that world. Just to be with the engines that made me feel safe when things went wrong. The fact that I very easily will be able to is enough to bring a tear to my eye all over again.