Enjoy a magical Christmas at Drayton Manor
Christmas has returned to Drayton Manor and the festive experience has been given a revamp.
Magical Christmas is now running at the theme park near Tamworth until December 31, although Father Christmas will only be in his castle-based grotto until Christmas Eve.
Designed for young children, most thrill rides are shut, but the zoo, Thomas Land and a few of the park’s other rides are open as normal – with added occasional snowfall, masses of decorations and festive music piping from every corner.
Visitors can choose to buy tickets for just the theme park, or pay extra to include a visit to Santa.
The grotto experience for 2021 is more than just a quick chat with the man in red, families are welcomed into the castle by an excitable elf who takes them to Mrs Claus for a warm welcome and a group storytime.
After that, children are encouraged to make bags of reindeer food for Christmas Eve with some added magic sprinkled into each bag by the elf on duty.
A trip to Santa then follows, with each family getting a private meeting.
The experience does not feel rushed and Santa takes time to chat to each child, before posing for a photo which can be purchased as an extra.
Instead of giving out the usual present, he gives each child a magical token to spend in his toy shop on their way out of the grotto.
This means children can choose something they like from a selection of goodies and if you have more than one child, they won’t all end up with the same generic gift.
One nice touch was that every adult was also given a magic token which they could exchange for a hot chocolate and a mince pie in several cafés around the park.
Magical Christmas is not just about seeing Santa though, there is also a show performed throughout the day called A Christmas Wish.
Both Santa and Jingles the elf get the audience singing and dancing, but beware if you sit near the front of the theatre – you may get wet.
Throughout the theme park, there are meet-and-greets with festive characters, while a 35-feet symphony tree is a striking Christmas centrepiece.
Each day ends with a Christmas singalong and a fireworks display over the lake.