LaplandUK, the winter wonderland theme park, is enjoying a healthy start to the new season as a 30 percent reduction in ticket prices has led to a surge in bookings.
The multi-million pound interactive theatrical production recreates Father Christmas’ Arctic homeland in the heart of Kent, and since it first opened four seasons ago has grown into the essential destination for families seeking the most authentic Father Christmas experience this side of the Arctic Circle.
Occupying a ten-acre area of woodland south of Tunbridge Wells, LaplandUK is more of a journey than a visit to a theme park – elves greet you and your little ones at the entrance before taking you on a four-hour journey through Father Christmas’s winter wonderland.
(Meeting the mystical Sami people)
Santa’s little helpers
First stop is the toy factory where the kids help Santa make gifts for Christmas, followed by a visit to the kitchen of Mother Christmas where they get to decorate gingerbread men.
After tucking into some hearty authentic Scandinavian cuisine, parents and children get to send a postcard from the North Pole Post Office, then go skating on a magical ice-rink that forms the centrepiece of LaplandUK.
(The toy factory)
The park buzzes with the excitement and expectation of children as they are about to meet Father Christmas, yet it never feels overcrowded. There are elves always on hand to tend to your every need, making it feel like a cross between being a five-star hotel and a dreamy winter wonderland.
(Ice-skating - an essential part of the LaplandUK experience)
The climax of the journey, meeting Santa, is beautifully done. The children wait in a tepee-style Sami tent and are then called one-by-one. An elf leads them through an enchanted forest to Santa’s grotto – a fairytale wooden hut, decorated with wooden skis, snow shoes, Sami rugs and a Christmas tree.
Santa himself is amazing, and it’s here the true magic of Christmas dawns on both the parents and children alike.
(The secret path to Santa’s grotto)
Because parents or guardians have already provided Father Christmas with all the information he needs (via the website), he “magically” knows everything about his little guests and presents every child a beautiful high quality gift.
Santa exudes an otherworldliness, spends time with your child, and makes them feel the most important being in the world.
Today’s children can be mighty tough crowd to please but those that had met Santa were all open-mouthed in awe after their trip to his enchanted kingdom.
(Meeting Father Christmas captures hearts young and old)
Tickets are priced from £44.50 to £62.50, an average 30 percent cheaper than last year. Bookings must be completed in advance and can be made on-line at http://www.laplanduk.co.uk or by calling 0871 620 7063.
Included in the ticket price is the opportunity for every child to decorate gingerbread in Mother Christmas’ kitchen, go “ice-skating”, meet husky dogs, see reindeer, send a postcard from Father Christmas’ working North Pole Post Office, work with the elves making world famous Pelham Puppets in Father Christmas’ toy factory, meet the mystical Sami people, as well as the grand finale – a personalised visit to Father Christmas himself in his snowy forest home.
LaplandUK is open until 24 December 2010