We kicked off the festivities, on the 1st December with a visit to 4 Kingdoms.
To those that have visited 4 Kingdoms before, the experience starts at the quad track area, with enormous teddies, one with a walkway straight through it's tummy (Now you're getting the idea of just how big they are!)
We were greeted at "Check-in" and given passports and a boarding pass for the North Pole. Charging on through the walkway, the children were all eager to begin their journey. As we entered the airport we were greeted by an elf, who knew the names of each of the children and some extra details...names of pets, favourite TV shows or football club etc. Then he greeted the adults, and handed over a sticker (meaning you're up for crowd participation)
On through the security check, the alarms sounded. Christmas cheer was the only way to make them stop.
On to the next part of our journey, the 12 'o'clock session had to be split into half, due to being so large and still remained quite large (around 25 people, maybe more) meaning a little squished at times, but staff always ensured that children were at the front and were able to see and participate.
Taking off on our sleigh ride, pulled by 2 reindeer, we set off for the North Pole.
We landed, and throughout our two hour journey experience, we met various characters including elves and yetis. There were a number of workshops, that the children were invited to take part in, they loved stuffing their cuddly bears which they were able to keep, and decorating teddy bear cookies at Bob's Cookie Emporium.
Each area had been thoughtfully constructed and for an adventure park of this size, we were able to appreciate the amount of effort that had been put in, there were a few areas that looked a little unfinished at the start, but this was mainly ceiling areas, away from the eyeline of children.
On our tour, we come across Astoria, the story elf, she read a book in the Enchanted Forest. The crowd participated in a snowball fight with Blizzard and Comic. Adults could enjoy a Hot Chocolate and mince pie in the theatre whilst watching a short show scene and the children were given chocolate coins on the way out. After an incident in the toy factory, the crowd were called upon to help fix the conveyor belt to help restore the toy production quotas.
Along the way, we sat with an oversized magic bunny (robotic) who spoke to each child in the group, who magically knew what the children had on their wishlist for Christmas and other details, personal to them.
Towards the end of our experience, we entered into the departure lounge and waited for our names to appear on the boarding screen. When our names appeared we were called to meet the Big Guy himself, (Now I have seen better dressed Santa') but he did take the time to speak to each of the children about who they were (it was a shame he didn't already know, as so many of the other characters did) what they would like for Christmas and how they had found their day so far. He then gave each child a key and told them that this gave them special permission to choose a gift from his toy shop.
On the shelves in the marquee toyshop, there were games, stationery sets, cuddly toys, vehicles and more. We found this a nice touch as each child had the time to find a gift suitable for themselves, not risking something age restricted or that they already had.
Once our time in the Christmas Experience was over, we were allowed to spend the rest of the day at our leisure, enjoying the animals, soft play, and outside park areas.
Overall, our day was thoroughly enjoyed, and the Christmas Experience was one to remember!