We absolutely loved Drayton’s Magical Christmas last year, so were looking forward to attending again this year on the opening weekend. Now in its tenth year, the Magical Christmas event is the perfect family day out and is a great way to kick-start the festive celebrations.
Last year Taylor wasn’t really old enough to understand Christmas (she was terrified of Santa!). But as she’s nearly three she’s so excited about Christmas this year and was literally mesmerised by the whole experience.
Christmas has landed at Thomas Land…
Drayton’s Magical Christmas takes place primarily in Thomas Land, which has been transformed into a magical winter wonderland for selected dates in November and December with snow, fairy lights, festive music and live entertainment.
All of the rides in Thomas Land were operating, so once we got into the park we wasted no time in jumping on them. I love how most of the rides in Thomas Land are suitable for all ages – the little ones just have to be accompanied by an adult on some. We were with a friend and her son, who is a year younger than Taylor and it was great that they could both go on the rides together.
After the rides, we were lucky enough to catch a live show with the Fat Controller and his Fungineer friends. Merriment and singing abound, the kids were in their element jigging and clapping along to the show which takes place on the balcony above the Thomas Engine Tours ride.
We then headed to the Burger Kitchen for lunch to refuel (and for a welcome break from the cold!)
If you’re heading to the event, do make sure that you wrap up warm and don’t forget your bobble hat as it does get pretty chilly being outside all day! Thankfully, there are also a couple of indoor activities if you want to take cover from the cold, including a 15 minute 4D movie experience of Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas.
Christmas trees, fairy lights and snow showers
The park is beautifully decorated with festive wreaths, fairy lights, giant Christmas trees and baubles galore. There are even snow showers, which are guaranteed three times a day. We managed to catch one and I’m so glad we did as it was such a novelty for the little ones, especially since they’ve never seen ‘real’ snow before!
The park gets really pretty after 3pm as it starts to get darker and the fairy lights really come into their own.
Our visit to Father Christmas
When it was time for our visit to Father Christmas, we headed to the Castle of Dreams to wait in line. The elves are really engaging and chatted to the children about meeting Santa and if they were on the ‘good list’, which helped to prepare them for meeting the man himself!
When it was Taylor’s turn, Father Christmas was great at getting her to chat and not be shy. She managed to tell him what she wants for Christmas (paints apparently – how mean do I seem!?) She was literally beaming when she came out! Especially when she discovered the reindeers just by the exit.
Father Christmas gave each of the kids a bag, which included a golden ticket to return to the park in 2018, and a book entitled ‘My visit to Father Christmas at Drayton Manor’. The book is all about the magic of Christmas from meeting Santa and writing a list, to Santa delivering presents on Christmas Eve. It really has helped Taylor to understand Christmas and get super excited about it. She wants to read the book every night before bed and it’s the first thing she asks for when she wakes up in the morning!
As part of the Magical Christmas event, there’s also a fireworks display at 6pm over the lake. However the kids were pretty tired come 4pm, so unfortunately we had to give this part a miss this year.
All in all, we had a truly magical day and the event really does bring the magic of Christmas alive for the little ones. We’re already looking forward to returning to Thomas Land again next year!
Are you in the Christmas spirit yet? Have you ever been to Magical Christmas at Drayton Manor?
Disclaimer: We were invited along to Drayton’s Magical Christmas in return for an honest review. All opinions as always are 100% my own.