Getting Festive with Drayton's Magical Christmas | A Review

Tuesday, 28 November 2017
Drayton Manor is one of our favourite places to visit, both of the children love it there. Although we've been there a couple of times, we've never experienced the Magical Christmas event but we've heard so many fantastic things. This year sees the 10th anniversary of the special festive event at Thomas Land and with that its transformed into a magical, festive wonderland. 

Both Jack and Isla loved seeing all the festivities which were happening, from the snow topped buildings, to the massive Christmas trees, garlands and wreaths everywhere you turned you'd be sure to spot something festive. It truly was a magical place. 

During the event all rides within Thomas Land are open as well as a few within the main park. As not much is open, the queues aren't too bad and quickly go down. Throughout the day there are also additional shows going on st the balcony of Knapford Station. Four times throughout the day Sir Topham Hat is joined by some of his colleagues, to sing songs, tell stories as well as a few jokes and mainly just spread the Christmas cheer. At the end of the show snow falls and its such a magical experience. 

Of course, Drayton Manor Zoo was still open and with a few changes from when we last went, they seem to be making improvements. Some of the animals were tucked away but majority were out to play and entertain the crowds, I'm talking about you monkeys. You can of course walk to the zoo or take a ride on a festive Thomas or Percy who are decorated for the festivities. 

If your feeling chilly, there are plenty of places where you can have a warm up including the 4D cinema showing Ice Age Christmas, lasting around 15 minutes. A perfect place to have a little warm up ready for more festive fun. 

Now we can't forget the most festive part of all, entering the Castle of Dreams to see Father Christmas himself. We queued along the walkway, where we got the the elves, who entertained the children until it was our time to go through into the waiting area, which was one family at a time. We then spoke with this elf before going through to Father Christmas. The room in which we went to was magical and beautifully decorated to incorporate many things we associate with Christmas.  Father Christmas was lovely and spent time talking to all of us and not rushing us through, before showing Jack how to do some magic and take our photo, then giving each child a gift.

The gift from Father Christmas was a bag containing a festive book 'My visit to Father Christmas at Drayton Manor Park', a chocolate lolly and a golden ticket to return the following year. 

After finishing our visit with Father Christmas we went through the castle, where we had the opportunity to purchase the photo before entering the middle of the castle where there was face painting, a sleigh and a small gift shop. After leaving we walked around and spotted two reindeer in which the children were amazed by, although asking many questions. 

The Castle of Dreams experience was lovely, but I think I expected something a bit more, especially as its an additional expense. I think more festivities along the way to build up to seeing Father Christmas. 

After our visit we headed back to Thomas Land to go on more of the rides, as the night drew in the lights were turned on and it looked even more magical - there is just something about festive lights. 

At the end of the day, there was a festive parade starting at Sodor Airport making its way through the park to the lake, where later the fireworks would be shown from. We sat and waited by the lake for the parade but could hear it on the announcements and it sounded amazing, I wish we would have followed it. 

Although the middle of November for our visit, it certainly made us feel very festive and begin to feel Christmassy. Seeing the smiles on both of the children's faces made everything worthwhile. They truly enjoyed their day, and I think its somewhere we will continue to visit at Christmas time. 

Drayton's Magical Christmas event is running on selected dates between 18th November and 31st December. You can find out more and book your tickets here.

Please Note: We received complimentary entry into the park and complimentary entrance into the Castle of Dreams to write about our experience however all thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced in anyway.  

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