This is the second time I have been to Winter Wonderland, the first time was two years ago and I’ve noticed a few changes.
The Observation Wheel only went round once this year, I’m sure I went round at least twice, maybe three times when I went on it last. The queue is different now as well, it’s a lot longer and it is now inside which is great if it is raining or cold. We were in the queue for about 40 minutes and although the views are amazing, you really can see for miles, I don’t think it was worth the price or the time we were in the queue.
I loved all the different smells from the food stalls, there is so much to choose from. It is all very pricy but some of it is not food that you would get everyday and there is food for everyone, I saw at least 3 stalls that were just for vegans and plenty of other stalls had vegetarian and vegan options. There is German sausages, pretzels as big as your head, Swedish meatballs, sweets, candyfloss, burgers, sweet potato fries and heaven knows what else.
We had hot chocolates that were amazing from one of the Winter Wonderland stalls near the entrance, my sister’s one was made with proper milk chocolate and mine was with Nutella. We both had whipped cream and marshmallows on top, they were so lovely.
There are lots of rides to go on but I didn’t have the stomach or the money for a lot of them. You have to buy tokens for rides which are £1 each but then some of the rides are 5 tokens for adults, some I saw were 9. You definitely need a lot of money if you want to go on the rides.
I would suggest pre-booking things that you want to do, you can pre-book the Observation Wheel, Circus, Ice Skating, the Magical Ice Kingdom, Bar Ice, Cirque Berserk, the Sooty Christmas Show, Cinderella On Ice Show and Bar Hutte.
- The Ice Rink is from 10am to 9pm for an hour.
- The Magical Ice Kingdom you pick a slot from 10am to 9:30pm in blocks of 15 minutes each, this is to stagger out people going in.
- Bar Ice is from 11am to 9:20pm, you get about 20 minutes in there.
- Cirque Berserk is only on at 7pm, 8pm and 9pm.
- The Sooty Christmas show is only on at 11am.
- Cinderella On Ice is on at 2pm, 4pm and 7:30pm.
- The Bar hutte is for one hour and you can choose times from 10am to 9pm and it is up to 10 people in a hut and you get a drink and karaoke included. There are upgrades for the Huts for blankets and hot water bottles, they give you props for fancy dress and bottles of champagne but you have to pay extra for those.
You can book everything at the same time through the website. There is a bit of a discount when booking online and it means that you can plan your day. You can buy tokens on the day to get into the attractions but they are just a little bit more than what you would pay online. If you are looking to go in the evening or on a weekend I would suggest booking fast track tickets on any of the attractions that you can as the queues will be very long and it gives you more time to do other things.
The earlier you go the better, unless you want to see the place in the dark with all the Christmas lights on. Last time we went we got there for 9am and there was hardly any queues until about 12pm. This time we got there for 2pm and it was packed, we were in the queue for about 25 minutes just to get in.
The best part of the whole day was the circus, well worth the money and the wait, we had the most amazing time. It says on the tickets to arrive 20 minutes before the show time but we got there an hour before the show and they let us start queuing. We were soon followed by other people and there was two full queues on either side of the entrance within half an hour. We got in first and picked front row seats but to be honest, there was no bad seats, you could clearly see the middle where the performances were happening from any seat. I was just being a big kid wanting to go to the front hahaha. There was great music, acts like the acrobats who were so brilliant, the Italian with his big metal device that he rotated through the air jumping all over it and sliding, he was even skipping on it at one point. There was a magician, I love watching to see if I can spot the “tricks” to the act but I couldn’t see any until his water tank trick which just took too long, the assistants that he had was holding up the screens for too long so it was obvious that he was up to something that we shouldn’t see.
Be prepared to do a lot of walking to get there from the train stations, we were told to avoid Hyde Park Corner because of how many people were expected to be arriving. It’s about a 20 minute walk from any of the nearer train stations and make sure that you listen for announcements by staff with megaphones as you leave as they will be giving people updates. We left at about 6pm and they had closed Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge and Lancaster Gate so keep checking for updates on the way there and when you are leaving.
One last thing I need to point out, you are not allowed to take in your own food and drink, they search your bag as you go in so they will take them off you if they find them.
To book your tickets or get more information, click the link.
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