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Review: Drayton Manor Resort's Magical Christmas continues to delight families

Forget the first day of December.

Drayton Manor's Magical Christmas, with Thomas in festive mood
Drayton Manor's Magical Christmas, with Thomas in festive mood

Thoughts of Christmas start to enter your head a lot earlier than the beginning of advent.

It might be the launch of festive products in stores up and down the country, which seems to get earlier each year.

Or you might have an eager and excited child whose countdown to Christmas begins at the end of the summer and they become a human Google doodle, informing you of the events of various days in the run-up.

The other way excitement builds is through the various events put on by attractions in the region.

And amongst the most popular every year is Drayton Manor Resort's Magical Christmas.

A snowman

Once again, the Staffordshire-based attraction, which started on Saturday and runs until Christmas Eve, has delivered on festive fun for the family.

The highlight, of course, is a visit to see Santa at the Castle of Dreams. The beauty of this part of the day is it's about far more than seeing everyone's favourite jovial, red-suited, bearded fellow.

Youngsters also get a chance to write a special letter which they can send to the North Pole and you also get to join Mrs. Claus for a magical story time.

Plus, at the end of the experience, children choose a toy from Father Christmas’ Toy Shop and adults who have ben good this year also get a hot drink.

Eleanor Panter at a spot of one of the many picture locations

A new element of 2022 is that visitors get the chance to show off their decorating skills in a Gingerbread Decorating Workshop at Mrs Kyndley’s Tea Room. This is included in the Grotto Experience tickets and proved a big hit with youngsters. I'm not sure what they enjoyed most – the decorating or the chance to taste their work afterwards!

Another festive highlight is Santa’s House Party, which takes place at the resort’s cinema. This was great fun, a show with Father Christmas and a loyal elf sidekick as they bake a surprise cake for Mrs. Claus. This involved some singing and lots of laughter during a 20-minute performance which ended with the whole audience leaving with smiles on their faces.

The play is very popular

Of course, Thomas fans can also enjoy a host of festive entertainment in the Island of Sodor, with live shows from Sir Topham Hatt and his mischievous sidekicks, Rusty and Dusty, as well as the chance to meet and greet the playful characters after each show.

But what's most special about Drayton Manor is the way it totally encapsulates Christmas, particularly as darkness descends and you catch all the festive lights – the 35ft musical Christmas tree in the park– and the snowfall in Thomas Land.

There's also a magical sing-a-long with Father Christmas, Mrs. Claus and the elves.

There are some beautiful sights

And, on top of all that, you can enjoy the 15-acre zoo, Thor, Sleipnir, Bounty Pirate Ship, Accelerator, an amusement arcade and a great deal more.

Victoria Lynn, Managing Director at Drayton Manor Resort, recently said: “Christmas truly is the most wonderful time of the year at Drayton Manor."

It's hard not to disagree.

Tickets for Magical Christmas are on sale at

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