When we took on the role of Drayton Manor Blogger Ambassador there was one particular experience I was looking forward to the most – visiting at Christmas. I had seen photographs of Drayton’s Magical Christmas from previous years and it looked amazing. Despite having extremely high expectations of the day I am pleased to say that Drayton Manor exceeded those expectation. The day was a magical as I had hoped it would be.
Our day started very early as we set off at 5.30am. With a quick stop for breakfast, we arrived at Drayton Manor at 9.15am to pick up our Press Passes and board the train at Knapford Station. At Tidmouth Hault we were met by Father Christmas before watching the Elves feed the reindeer.
We popped into the cafe where Adam enjoyed a melting snowman biscuit whilst he wrote his letter to Father Christmas. The letters packs can be purchased in the Thomas Land shop. (Updated to add: Adam received a letter in the post from Father Christmas a week later).
We then spent the rest of the day enjoying the zoo and Adam’s favourite Thomas Land rides. We had experienced several queues during our last visit so Adam was extremely happy that the park was relatively quiet. He was able to go on Ben 10 Ultimate Mission Rollercoaster and Troublesome Trucks Runaway Rollercoaster time and time again.
Regular readers will know how much I love The Polar Express. In the past we have even created a Polar Express Train Track in our living room. I couldn’t wait to watch The Polar Express 4-D Experience. Situated in the cinema across from the Ben 10 Rollercoaster, the show lasts for 15 minutes and is a good summary of the film. However, watching the film at home shall never be the same again. I wish I could watch the entire film in 4-D!
As dusk fell it was time for us to visit the Castle Of Dreams to meet Father Christmas. After a short walk along the wooden decking we were greeted by an Elf who chatted away to Adam. When it was our turn we entered a small room and was greeted by Father Christmas.
I held my breath to see Adams reaction. During previous Father Christmas experiences Adam has screamed. However, the magical experience at Drayton Manor put Adam at ease and he was able to talk to Father Christmas and ask for Lego Star Wars.
You can watch Adam’s Father Christmas experience here:
Adam was asked to close his eyes, say some magic words and a small gift appeared. I loved Drayton Manor’s idea of placing the present in a paper bag as this made it easy to carry around for the rest of the day. Inside Adam received a toy Elf, a large chocolate coin and a golden ticket to return for free next year. Adam has fallen in love with the Drayton Manor Elf and it has been taken everywhere with him since.
After visiting Father Christmas we were able to spend time inside the Castle Of Dreams. There were several games available for children to play with including archery and skittles. Before visiting the Christmas themed gift shop, Adam had his face painted as a reindeer.
After visiting Father Christmas there was just enough time to go on a last few rides of Ben 10 Rollercoaster before returning to Thomas Land to watch the Parade. The short show started at the Band Stand and led its way to the large Christmas Tree. Although we were able to hear the story through the loud speakers, it was very busy. Adam sat on Daddy’s shoulders in order to view the action.
At 6pm the children’s Christmas wishes were fired into the sky in the form of fireworks. We were able to watch the reflection of the fireworks in the lake. This added to the already magical day and was a wonderful finale.
Despite not stopping all day there were still several things we didn’t get a chance to experience. There was an indoor “Slide And Glide” ice rink where you can ice state at no extra cost. We also managed to miss the hourly Thomas Land Balcony Show, the Christmas Arts and Crafts in the Education Centre and the Animal Feeding sessions. It was truly a magical day and put us in the festive mood for the month ahead. It was certainly a highlight of our Blogger Ambassador role.
Drayton’s Magical Christmas is open on selected dates between 19th November until 31st December. There is an additional fee to meet Father Christmas. You can find out more information here.
Disclaimer: We are Blogger Ambassadors for Drayton Manor Theme Park. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
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