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Review: Drayton Manor Park’s Magical Christmas 2017

Time flies when you’re having fun – that might explain why it was a bit of a surprise to hear that Drayton Manor Park is already celebrating a tenth Magical Christmas event.

For families like ours, the chance to enjoy a festive treat on the doorstep has always been welcome and it’s been interesting to see the event – and the park as a whole – grow over the past decade as our children have too.

The 2017 fun kicked off at the weekend with ThomasLand…sorry, Sodor…looking every bit as festive as you might imagine. Even the main man himself, Thomas the Tank Engine, has been given a Christmas makeover complete with red nose and antlers.

Although the rides are as they are the rest of the year, Drayton Manor still manage to create a feeling that the magic dust has been sprinkled, with ‘snow’ showers and festive music playing throughout the day.

Our little thrill seekers loved the usual favourites such as Cranky the Crane’s drop and the Troublesome Trucks miniature rollercoaster, but the big appeal of the day was definitely an appointment with Santa himself.

As parents, seeing the jolly man in the red suit can be a minefield. We’ve all had experiences with awful would-be Father Christmas figures who fail to create the festive magic. But thankfully Drayton Manor have put in a call to the North Pole to get the real deal, with our nine and six-year-olds both enjoying a bit of ‘banter with Santa’, who made them laugh before making sure they had a word with his reindeers on the way out.

But after seeing the big guy, it was back to the thrills with Accelerator (previously the Ben 10 ride) always a guaranteed winner. Then it was the 4D cinema which was unfortunately not in full 3D swing, but there were still plenty of surprises with the special Ice Age movie.

With darkness drawing in earlier at this time of year, ThomasLand really sparkled as the Christmas lights came on and the rides took on that extra special feeling for junior riders.

Sodor Airport shone as the big finale loomed and a procession moved through the par before a fireworks finale provided a fitting end to a fabulous family day out.

After ten years, Drayton Manor might be forgiven for thinking they’ve got Christmas all wrapped up – but on this showing, there’s no evidence that they’re forgetting that it’s the Magic of Christmas that really puts a smile on the faces of little ones and their parents.

For more details on Drayton’s Magical Christmas and to book tickets, visit the Drayton Manor Park website.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.