It’s that magical time of year again when everyone begins to get more festive and it’s acceptable to drink mulled wine. You must know what that means? Obviously it means that Hyde park is taken over by bright lights and the smell of roasted chestnuts fills the air. Yes, Winter Wonderland opens its doors for the 11th year today…
Last night I was able to have a nosey around before the general public attend in their thousands at the charity preview evening thanks to the Grosvenor House Hotel (all proceeds go to charity so it’s an amazing cause). It was a perfect night, all the rides and attractions are included so you only have to fork out your hard earned money for the necessary food and drink! As there were only a limited number of wristbands available, it also meant that it wasn’t as crowded as every time I’ve been before which was a blessing. (ALSO – very sorry for the state of my photos, my phone has been having a very tough time this week, wishing it a very speedy recovery)
We entered winter wonderland through the marble arch entrance and automatically the Christmas mood hit us like a ton of bricks, with Michael Buble on repeat and the amazing smell of warm waffles and doughnuts filling our nostrils.
We made an A-line for the Ice Kingdom, I’ve never been inside this attraction before but it was amazing. The theme seemed to be under the sea and there were phenomenal ice sculptures (over 250 in total) lining the walkway as you ventured around the tent. Really quite breathtaking. We saw ice mermaids, turtles and even Piranhas. I can’t imagine how long it would’ve taken to carve all of these intricate pieces. Towards the end there are some ice thrones to sit on (beware, you will get a very wet bum) and an ice slide to embarrass yourself on!
As well as the Ice Kingdom there are a number of attractions that are suitable for the entire family such as Zippo’s Circus, Cinderella on Ice and Santa Land, so round up the troops and hit Hyde Park for a lovely festive day out!
We came out of the kingdom and headed to the Ferris wheel, it went round twice and was a great way of seeing the entire park, I never realised just how massive this winter attraction is. It looks so pretty from above where you can see all of the lights twinkling so I would definitely recommend going up here, especially after dark.
Next it was time for some rides, we hopped on to the Star Flyer in which you sit with a friend on swinging seats and spin round (it’s not too fast) as the ride levitates and you get to see the whole park whizzing past (although it was quite cold up there). We then went on the breakdance ride which was quite vigorous and my friend very nearly vomitted half way through. Nice. We wanted to go on some of the bigger roller coasters but the queues were so long that we decided against it in order to make the most of the limited time we had.
We decided to try out the ice skating rink which is the largest outside UK rink and was lovely as it wasn’t too busy. (I’m like Bambi on ice so this was probably a good thing for everyone). It looked so pretty under the lights that you forgot how uncomfortable the plastic skates were. PLUS, I didn’t fall over so all in all it was a job well done in my opinion
We wondered around a little more, seeing the likes of Sinitta, Fearne Cotton, Jonathan Ross and Jason Donnovan all enjoying the fun of the fair before the wafting smell of bratwurst entered into our brains and we found ourself munching on one. It was delicious and not too expensive either. Plus the ketchup came from a weird contraption which reminded me of a cow’s udder. So keep an eye out for those…
To end our evening we headed to Thor Bar, where there were fire pits and furry blankets to keep you warm under the teepee style tent. Here we had a hot cider which was delicious as we warmed up from the chilly night we’d had before heading home.
Thank you so much to Grosvenor House Hotel for the tickets!
To find out more about Winter Wonderland or to book tickets for various attractions click HERE – i’m returning next weekend to one of the Hutte bars for an afternoon on Karaoke so i’ll keep you updated with the goings on of that!