If you want a magical experience this Christmas, give Drayton Manor a try!

Thursday, 22nd November 2018

MAGIC, Christmas cheer and smiles all round are what you can expect if you visit Drayton Manor’s Magical Christmas this year.

This year we decided to try out Magical Christmas at Drayton Manor so that we could tell you all about it.

The event opened on Saturday 17 November and so we decided to get in there early, and visited on Sunday 18. We arrived early so that we could spend the whole day there with our four-year-old daughter.

You cannot help but smile and be immersed in the Christmas spirit from the moment you walk through the entrance to the park.  Christmas music plays, snow lines the rooftops and you are greeted by smiling, cheerful staff.

At the entrance to Thomas Land, The Fat Controller, Station Mistress Sally and the Fungineers were all there to greet visitors.

The festive cheer just grows even more inside Thomas Land. Thomas themed Christmas jingles flow through the air and you are surrounded by Christmas decorations and lights.

Christmas decorations and lights fill Thomas Land

Christmas decorations and lights in Thomas Land

All of the rides and attractions within Thomas Land were open, as well as a few of the other rides within the main park.  None of the ‘thrill rides’ were open but that’s not what the Magical Christmas experience is about.

Guests can also sit in the parks 4D Cinema and enjoy Ice Age – A Mammoth Christmas; why just watch a film when you can feel it too!

Santa Visit

Early afternoon we headed to the ‘Castle of Dreams’ to see the big man himself – not the Fat Controller this time, but Father Christmas!  The Castle of Dreams is an amazing setting to see Santa, the magic just continues.

Walking across the wooden walkway and towards the Castle, we were greeted by Santa’s Elves – these were possibly the most cheery people have ever met!  They spoke to us and kept my daughter entertained for what was a very short wait.

The Castle of Dreams

The Castle of Dreams

The door to the Castle of Dreams was opened, and WOW!  It’s that word again, but it is truly Magical!  We were greeted by another Elf who led my daughter to knock on Santa’s door. We were invited into Santa’s living room, complete with fireplace, a tree and decorations.

Father Christmas himself was amazing – he was friendly, chatty and really got us all in the Spirit. Furthermore, he asked our daughter to always listen to Mummy and Daddy – something she has kept up since; so far!

Before leaving Santa to preparing for the big day, our daughter was given a bag which contained a lovely suprise gift.

On leaving Santa we walked out into another section of the Castle, where my daughter had her face painted as a reindeer, complete with a red nose.  That word again, but the Magic was all around.

We then walked through the Zoo to see the animals and take a break from the rides.  The Zoo is home to over 100 animals from all over the world including endangered species.

We then caught Thomas, complete with reindeer antlers and a bright red nose from Tidmouth Hault Station within the Zoo, to Knapford Station in the heart of Thomas Land.

Thomas at Knapford Station.

Thomas at Knapford Station.

Thomas Land show

We arrived back in Thomas Land just in time for one of their shows, which occur on the hour, several times throughout the day.  These are well worth a watch and you can join in with the singing and dancing.  At the end of the show, snow begins to fall from the sky, again, you guessed it… magical!

You can see a video of the show over on our Facebook page here.

The Imagination Parade

At 4.30pm, just as the darkness began to fall, crowds gathered just outside Thomas Land for the start of the ‘Imagination Parade’. Sir Topham (The Fat Controller) was at the centre of the action. A story was told about the magic of Chrismas and how imagination is not lost on this special night.

Excitement filled the air during the story, as more and more characters joined in – including a dancing polar bear and a train carrying Santa!

At this time, I would challenge anyone to not smile – it bought out the child in everyone! Even watching the video of the show back has me beaming with a smile and feeling all tingly! You can watch the start of the show below.

The Parade then made it’s way up towards the Imagination Stage, close to the lake. The show continued and the finale being Children’s Imaginations being sent up to the sky.

This is done using a short fireworks display with quiet fireworks, specially designed for younger ears.

You can see our video of this below.  The video is a little bumpy as it was recorded for Facebook live… It was a little cold by this point!

Drayton Manor Park’s Magical Christmas will take place on the following dates:

  • Friday 23rd – Monday 26th November
  • Friday 30th November – Monday 3rd December
  • Friday 7th – Monday 10th December
  • Friday 14th–Monday 24th December
  • Thursday 27th – Monday 31st December

Santa will not be at the park after 24 December though, he will be having a very busy night and a well deserved rest.

For more information about the park and its magical Christmas visit: www.draytonmanor.co.uk/magical-christmas.

Please note that this article is NOT a paid promotion and is in fact our true review of our day at Drayon Manor.