There is something magical about this time of year. Away from the horrors of Halloween season, it is a time of giving, pretty lights and the happiness from children that Christmas is just around the corner… Unless you are still stuck doing your Christmas shopping then I don’t envy you. The one thing I do love seeing is how theme parks enjoy the Christmas season every year. I know the UK theme parks are pretty much shut but you can’t deny that there are some pretty good events you can visit during the Christmas season in the UK as well as abroad.
UK Theme Parks
When you think about it, there are quite a few Christmas events to choose from in the UK parks, including Chessington’s Winters Tail, Paultons Park’s Christmas Season, Drayton’s Magical Christmas, Santa Sleepovers at Alton Towers, Christmas at Sundown Adventureland and more! Add a few Christmassy decorations, some lights, Elves and Father Christmas and you are well on your way to having a decent Christmas event. Personally, I have only ever visited Chessington for their Winters Tail Christmas event and truth be told it is mainly aimed at children. Along with getting a chance to meet Father Christmas, a small selection of rides are open and a good opportunity to wander around the zoo. This year the collection of rides open include Gruffalo River Adventure, Adventure Tree Carousel, Tiny Truckers and Hocus Pocus Hall.
Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park
I think everyone has heard of Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, London. I’ve visited Winter Wonderland every year since 2010 and it has massively grown. It is great to visit however due to the popularity, it can be incredibly busy, and VERY expensive. If you want to do a big selection of the rides and coasters there, prepare to fork out a good wodge of cash because you are going to need it. Most coasters are between £5 to £9, depending on what you fancy riding. Obviously, the main attraction that arrived in the UK last year was Munich Looping, or Olympia Looping as known to us geeks. What was a pretty rare cred is now easily obtainable, and certainly worth the money to get the +1. It isn’t just the rides there that bring people in, there are Christmas markets, an ice rink, an ice bar, lots of eateries and more. It is worth it if it is your first visit or if you are a regular attendee, just prepare yourself for the big crowds!
I really want to visit Phantasialand during their Winter Season because the pictures I have seen online do not do it justice. It looks incredible at night, and they have a massive ice rink in the Berlin square by the Wave Swinger. Although that probably isn’t what makes us geeks want to visit. I’m probably biased as Phantasialand is my number one park, but I don’t think I’m the only one that loves seeing all the Winter season photos of Phantasialand – yes, this includes all the snow pictures. I’ve had so many of my friends visit which makes me incredibly envious! I wish I was there, riding Taron at night with that epic red lighting under the launch, and seeing the whole park at night. Maybe next year for my birthday I will make a weekend visit to Phantasialand.
Europa Park Magical Winter Season
There is no denying that Europa Park is great when it comes to the seasonal events. I couldn’t really fault the park when I went to visit during their Halloween event in 2014. I had a fab time and I’m sure visiting the park during their Magical Winter Season event would be just as awesome. Due to the extreme cold temperatures, a good selection of rides are shut including my fave, Blue Fire. But that doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying the park, grab a Mulled Wine or Beer and wander around the park. There are Christmas markets and an ice rink in the Scandinavia area of the park, as well as their fantastic ice show and fireworks. I would definitely love to visit Europa Park for the Christmas event and see how the park compares to Halloween.
Disney’s Enchanted Christmas at Disneyland Paris
Being a huge Disney fan and having Disneyland Paris only a short plane/train ride away, it would be unheard of if I haven’t visited for the Christmas season. The park is dressed head to toe with Christmas decorations, the main characters are in their Christmas outfits (Mickey and Minnie look adorable!) and the massive Christmas tree at the main entrance of Main Street USA. There is a Christmas parade every day, where you might see Santa in his sleigh, and if you can, see Mickey and Minnie switch on the lights of the Christmas tree. Honestly, it is worth the visit for a short weekend break as most rides are open (unless refurbs are in progress) and it gives you a chance to see the park dressed up for Christmas. I’m a sucker for Christmas lights.
Now this isn’t exclusive to Disneyland Paris. All the Disney parks celebrate Christmas around the world with their own event. In Walt Disney World, they have the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Holidays at Disneyland Resort California, Christmas Fantasy at Tokyo Disneyland, A Disney Christmas at Hong Kong Disneyland, Christmas Wishes at Tokyo DisneySea and more!
I’m pretty sure there are more that I haven’t mentioned on this post – if I did, this post would become more of an essay! But this is just a simple selection that I can talk about off the top of my head. If you have visited a theme park during their Christmas/Winter season, what do you think? Have you been lucky enough to go abroad for Christmas? Despite closed season being in full swing, we can still enjoy theme parks during the winter season, even if the weather is freezing and some rides may be closed for their winter maintenance.
That’s all for now.