Drayton Manor reopened yesterday resplendent in Christmas finery. We’d been counting down the days (in a super excited style) and can now finally bring you our Drayton Manor’s Magical Christmas review.
We arrived just after lunch and made our way through to Thomas Land. Everywhere you turn there’s snow (the non-melting, permanently fluffy variety) glittery lights and Christmas music.
The kids were particularly excited to try out the indoor ice-rink (called Slide & Glide) and had oodles of fun whizzing (& falling) round the rink. It isn’t a real ‘ice’ rink but one of the plastic gliding kind (I’m not sure if there is a technical name for that kind of rink) but that did nothing to damper their enthusiasm. The ice-rink is one of the few attractions that has an extra charge (£2 per person for 15mins) but it’s certainly a lot of fun.
Thomas the Tank has had a festive makeover and his track has been strewn with snow. Take a trip on his carriages and you might even catch a glimpse of Santa’s reindeer at the farm park!
The 4d cinema is playing a special 15 minute version of the Polar Express complete with snow that splashes you in the face!
Then every half an hour the large Christmas tree at the centre of the park plays a wondrous light show which looks fantastic once the daylight fades (see the vid below).
Of course the main event has to be a trip to see Santa in his Castle of Dreams! We had a bit of a wait but thankfully the queue has overhead heaters and there are TV screens playing Christmas songs to keep you amused.
Once at the head of the queue we were greeted by a jolly elf who gave each of the kids a fabulous medal from Santa. Then we went into the castle to meet the big man himself.
After some very important present talk, Santa took a pic and gave each child a giftbag (I’ll leave the contents a secret!)
After saying our goodbyes (until Christmas Eve) we left to view the pics. Incidentally all photo orders come with a free digital download which I thought was a really nice touch.
Before the exit there’s an area with seats, various props and crafts, there’s even some Princesses sitting on thrones!
But our day wasn’t over yet, we made our way to the lake and waited with anticipation for the festive fireworks. I love the fact that they end every day with this festive display, it really ends your time there with style.
Given that we had high expectations before our visit (which is sometimes a recipe for disaster) we loved our day at Drayton’s Magical Christmas. There’s a fabulous atmosphere in the park and despite the larger rides being closed there’s so much on offer (we missed the snow shows and various performances due to lack of time). See my previous post to get an idea of what else there is to see, I’ve also made a little video which gives you a sneak peek of features like the Christmas tree light show.
The event is on until 31st December For full details and to book tickets visit Drayton’s website.
Helping to launch the Big Bloggers Christmas Giveaway last week has left me feeling remarkably festive and I’m really looking forward to all the upcoming events. One activity in particular has been marked on the calendar in big bold letters and that’s Drayton Manor’s Magical Christmas extravaganza!
The park closed its doors earlier this month with its awe inspiring War of the Worlds firework display. But we only have to wait until Sat 21st November for it to re-open as a magical winter wonderland.
Thomas Land is due to be draped in decorations, fairy lights and Christmas music, there’s even going to be a snow shower three times a day!!
As you might expect the whole theme park will not be open, but there will be over 25 rides and attractions still to enjoy in Thomas Land and beyond. Here are some of the highlights:
The zoo is always a must see for me and I’m told that the Reindeer are already getting excited to help Father Christmas prepare for the big-day ahead.
The Ben 10: Ultimate Mission Coaster is due to run as long as the weather doesn’t drop beneath 5 degrees Celsius.
A wondrous outdoor ice rink (there is a £2 charge for 15 minutes)
30 foot lightshow Christmas tree set to music
The Apocalypse tower drop is being turned into a 54 metre high Christmas tree (with star on top!)
The 4d cinema will be showing a special 15 minute movie experience from the Polar Express
Not forgetting the main event… a visit to the enchanted Castle of Dreams! Cheerful Christmas elves will take visitors through to see Father Christmas and each child will receive a free gift and golden ticket to return for the new season in 2016*
At the end of each day there will be a dazzling firework display bound to leave you bursting with festive cheer.
Drayton Manor recently celebrated winning ‘Best UK Attraction for Children’ award at this year’s Group Leisure Awards – for the eighth time and the second consecutive year! So that alone should be enough reason to visit.
If your children are a little too young or old to visit Santa, you can buy park tickets only, without the Father Christmas visit, with tickets priced at £15 for 12 years and over, and 4 – 11 at £10.
Drayton’s Magical Christmas will be open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays** from Saturday 21st November to Monday 14th December, then every day from Thursday 17th December to Wednesday 23rd December and Sunday 27th December to Thursday 31st December. Pre booking Christmas tickets is essential due to demand.
Please check the website for more information and a complete list of dates and to book your tickets.
* Golden Ticket terms and conditions. The Golden Ticket admits one free child during the 2016 season when accompanied by a paying adult.
**The park will be closed on Monday 23rd November.
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