Hyde Park Winter Wonderland has always been one of those places I was desperate to go to but sadly never got the chance. I would eagerly scroll through other peoples beautiful, sparkly photos and dream of the time I could experience it myself. I was pretty excited when we had an invitation to attend a Family Press event at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland with Zippos Circus a few weeks ago.
Although it is very easy to travel by train to Hyde Park, we decided to go by car. The parking is significantly cheaper on a Sunday and we needed to be at Hyde Park by 10 am, so naturally, we would be there by 9 am as that’s how my family roll. There was plenty of spaces at that time.
For those who have never heard of Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, it is a spectacular Christmas destination in London offering an immersive festive atmosphere. It’s free to enter but it’s worth noting that rides require tokens (paid for) and there are bookable activities and shows too. There’s also lots of food and drink stalls to purchase from too.
It was a foggy, frosty morning as we walked through Hyde Park towards the Winter Wonderland. The queue to enter was very small allowing us to swiftly make our way towards the MegaDome which is where we were due to meet the Zippos Circus team. Elsa was under the weather this day, suffering from a bit of high temperature and a cough but we dosed her up with Calpol and hoped she’d still enjoy the day from the comforts of the pushchair.
After collecting our wristbands and some complimentary tokens (3 rides each), we headed for a quick wander to get our bearings on the Winter Wonderland. It was so big! Bigger than I ever imagined actually. The smell was so festive and it truly made me feel like Christmas was around the corner.
There’s also lots of photo opportunities too like a huge gingerbread man, Christmas trees and other festive things. I was in a blogger and Instagram heaven with my camera.
We decided to go and see the first Mr Men and Little Miss show in the circus megadome. I used to love Mr Men as a child, I loved the books and the little episodes on the telly so I was excited to share some of that fun with my girls.
As part of the family press event, we had been kindly offered free hot drinks and water throughout the day so we picked up some hot chocolates before the show began. It was a welcome treat as it was quite a chilly day.
Elsa perked up a little bit for the show which was lovely. The Mr Men & Little Miss show was really cute, it featured hand puppet characters and a lot of laughs for the kids.
Straight from the show, we headed for a classic fairground ride. Freya and Eva had both spotted it and was excited. It’s like the one from the Grease movie when they sing “the one that I want”, an obstacle course with moving or different textured floors and levels. It was great fun! You can see how we did in the video I made from our day out.
After doing one fairground ride, we went straight to the Magical Ice Kingdom. I was so excited when I’d heard about this being at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. Our wristbands allowed us entry to it. It was about noon when we headed in and there was no queue.
The Magical Ice Kingdom is a snow and ice walk-through experience based on the well known A Christmas Carol story. I will warn you, it’s extremely icy cold in the Magical Ice Kingdom as they have to keep the sculptures frozen.
Hubby rushed through with a poorly Elsa, whilst the rest of us took a slower pace looking at every single sculpture. It was spectacular and I have never experienced anything like it. The talent behind every piece of ice was incredible. There are an ice slide and giant ice chairs in there to interact with. I loved it.
Coming out of the Magical Ice Kingdom felt like walking into a tropical environment despite the fact it was a chilly day. It was quite nice and stopped us feeling as cold as we had before.
The next thing for us to do was a ride perfect for Eva and Hubby. They headed on to a rollercoaster that span and had an icy theme to it. They both loved it.
The one thing that I didn’t like about the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland experience was the cost of the tokens and the amount required for each ride. Some were like 5 tokens each, and when they cost £1 each, it was quite expensive. We had to use our gifted rides carefully otherwise the day would have cost our family so much money.
Despite Elsa being rather drained, she perked up when she saw the Cars ride. Freya kindly put herself forward to ride with her and it was nice to see Elsa smile a little bit.
We then headed back to the MegaDome for the Zippos Christmas Circus. Tickets for this show cost £50 for a family. I have been online to find out the cost of a Family Bundle, it is £168 for a family. This includes a show, the Magical Ice Kingdom, The Giant Wheel and a Season Ride Pass worth £50.
The circus was incredible. The girls were all in awe of the talent and the confidence to do some pretty scary stuff up in the skies of the MegaDome. We all had a great time.
Eva then managed to persuade me onto the smaller of the high swing rides. Thankfully she wasn’t brave enough for the biggest one. Whilst on the ride Hubby had to dash off to add more parking to our car, we never expected to be at Hyde Park for over four hours but we were all having a really lovely time so we decided to add more time to the parking.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland has lots of different types of fairground rides suitable for all. There are little carousels perfect for the younger rider, and also rollercoasters too.
I took Freya and Eva on the Haunted Mansion ride which was great fun and then Hubby had fun on a couple of rollercoasters, including a VR one too.
One of the most festive things about Winter Wonderland is all of the festive markets available. Everywhere you turn different stalls are selling a huge variety of foods. I passed a chestnut roasting one, German-style sausages and as you can see, we couldn’t resist a stop at a doughnut stall.
The very last thing we decided to do with our time was to go on the Giant Wheel. I would highly encourage you to do this as early as you can because as the day goes on, the crowds get busy. It was about 5 pm when we joined the rather large queue.
It was Elsa’s suggestion to ride the Giant Wheel and I’m so glad we did. It was dark so we didn’t get a great view of London for example, however, we did get a magical overhead view of the immense Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. The Giant Wheel goes around three times in total.
A little bit of a weird thing to mention, but the toilet facilities I felt were really good. They are portable toilets in a cabin and are dotted around the outside of the Winter Wonderland. I was a little worried they’d be a bit gross but they were clean the entire day. There was staff cleaning and replenishing toilet roll throughout the day.
The very last stop for us all was to pick up some final hot chocolates for our walk back to the car. They were very yummy hot chocolates and kept our hands warm for the walk.
I think that Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is very overpriced. Having said that we had a very unforgettably fun day out as a family. Don’t forget, you can go in free of charge and take in all of the festive atmospheres and spend nothing at all.
You can find out more and make a trip to London yourself by heading to the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland website.