At the weekend, we drove over to Drayton Manor to enjoy their Magical Christmas event. I had heard lots of wonderful things about the event and couldn’t wait to see how the theme parked looked with all the Christmas decorations up, the twinkly lights glowing and the magical snowfall.
When you walk into Thomas Land, the decorations are just wonderful. There’s lots of Christmas trees with beautiful big red, gold and silver baubles hanging from the branches, there’s wonderful festive wreaths, big gold bows and presents dotted around the park. It looked absolutely brilliant and it certainly put us all into a festive mood.
One of the first things we spotted once we were through the gates of Thomas Land was one of our favourite engines was at Knapford Station and there was a bit of a difference; Thomas had antlers and a red shiny nose especially for the Christmas season. He looked absolutely fantastic and Olly was delighted to see Thomas with his festive decorations on.
We had a walk around Thomas Land and loved to see the twinkly lights around the park. Olly went on a couple of rides and the were very few queues which we loved. Because the park is mainly closed to larger rides, the park isn’t overly busy which we liked. It had lots of families with young children and it all felt very calm and relaxed.
Olly wanted to ride on the train so we joined the small queue at Knapford Station and joined Percy and the carriages to take us to Tidmouth Halt.
Olly loves riding on the train and we all loved the decorations and the (fake) snow as the train made it’s way along the track.
We got off the train and we headed for the model railway. It’s one of Olly’s favourite things to see in Thomas Land and we always spend a good ten minutes in there watching the trains go round the track.
We walked through the Zoo and saw some of our favourite animals. I was delighted to catch sight of the Tiger out and about in his pen. We’ve never seen him outside before and he was just beautiful.
We also spotted some of Father Christmas’ reindeer and Olly was amazed to see them up so close. They looked very relaxed and getting all the rest they could ahead of their worldwide trek on Christmas Eve in a few short weeks.
After lunch it was time to go and visit Father Christmas in his Grotto. As Season Pass Plus Ticket Holders we were entitled to one free visit to see Father Christmas in the Castle of Dreams. When booking, you get given a time on your ticket and this is the time to join the queue. Luckily our wait wasn’t too long and after fifteen minutes we were being whisked into the Castle by the Elves ready to meet Father Christmas.
Father Christmas was engaging and Olly loved meeting him. Father Christmas asked Olly lots of questions, asking him what he would like for Christmas and reminded him he needed to be good between now and Christmas Eve to remain on the Good List. At the end of the visit, Father Christmas invited Olly to have his photograph taken and gave him a little gift bag which contained a chocolate coin and a cuddly toy Elf which Olly was very pleased with.
The photograph is available to buy in the Castle of Dreams, we bought a £20 bundle which included a printed colour photograph in a frame, two plastic snowflake baubles with photographs in and a digital download.
It was getting cold and dark so we headed to Knapford Station where on the hour the Fat Controller and the fungineers meet up on the balcony and entertain the crowds. I had also heard that it snows on the hour here too so we found a spot and waited for the fun to begin.
The Fat Controller and his friends came out and they began to sing. They mentioned it would be a dream come true for it to snow in Sodor and if by magic, the snow began to fall. It was fantastic as Thomas arrived back into the Station and it was just picture perfect.
There’s lots more to see at Drayton Manor during their Magical Christmas event. You can watch the Polar Express in 4D or step out onto the Ice Rink at the indoor Slide and Glide. There’s a light parade and fireworks over the lake later in the early evening which unfortunately we didn’t get to see, it was too cold for us to stay any later and Olly was getting tired. It’s a shame because I bet they would have been brilliant to watch.
We’d highly recommend visiting Drayton Manor for the Magical Christmas event, it was a really lovely afternoon and we had a great time. It’s certainly made us feel even more excited for Christmas this year.
You can find out more and book your tickets for Drayton Manor’s Magical Christmas here.
Disclosure: We are Drayton Manor’s Family Blogger Ambassadors