London's Winter Wonderland  by Hemakshi Soni - Dartford Grammar School for Girls

For over 10 years, Winter Wonderland has been the unmissable Christmas event of the year. The event is located in Hyde Park and attracts more than 14 million people per year! This year, it started on Friday 17 November 2017 to Monday 1 January 2018 and claimed the title of one the most visited and biggest attractions the world. This Christmas I had the pleasure of being transported to a world of winter magic and had a full festive experience. With more than 100 rides and attractions, it’s impossible to feel bored. Since 2007 when it opened, it has expanded, developed and grown whilst continuously spreading the Christmas spirit across the whole of London. 

Before being able to experience Christmas in Winter Wonderland, there is usually a long snake-like queue extending from the entrance. People who are desperate and eager to see inside, wait impatiently as security guards surrounded the long line, preventing even the thought of pushing in. When finally the big Winter Wonderland sign is able to be seen, people were asked to show the security guards their bags, for safety reasons. Then after all that trouble and hassle, finally the crowd rushes inside and just stops to stare at all the decorations and rides and flashing colours coming from all directions. All at once everyone feels the Christmas spirit in the cold winter air.

Winter Wonderland offers a wide range of activities and entertainment from live music to rollercoasters the Munich Looping holds to title of the world largest portable roller coaster featuring five vertical loops. there is also a Wilde Maus XXL with is the the worlds largest portable Wild Mouse roller coaster and first portable roller coster to offer a virtual reality option. There is also a 60m giant wheel and a 80m tall view tower which overlooks London and the entire Winter Wonderland take a step away and see it all in birds eye view for the full experience. Other well-known rides include the ice mountain, North pole star flyer, hangover and so much more!

The whole of Winter Wonderland is a fun filled and a family friendly place for all ages with various attractions and facilities to suit everyone, from a toddler to an adult!

Some of the main attractions include their famous ice rink which is UK’s largest temporary outdoor ice rink and brightens everything up with more than 100,000 lights! In addition to this, there is an indoor walk through exhibition of ice sculptures and an ice slide, and if you forget your gloves you can buy them and more things at the Christmas market. There are numerous shops selling gifts, food, drink all around the park. there is also the Bavarian Village which was added in 2008-2010, it is a large German themed food and drink village features a number or bars and live music. there is also a carousal bar which is a rotating bar similar to a carousal ride. there is also Zippo’s mega dome which is a circus tent featuring 3 shows : The sooty Christmas show, hippos Christmas circus and cirque berserk. Not to mention Santa land which is a children’s area featuring smaller rides and Santa’s grotto. 

When I visited Winter Wonderland I watched the 60 minute magical performance of Cinderella on Ice. The storyline was clear to the audience and judging by facial expressions and costumes, the characters were also made clear. Their iceskating was incredible and breathtaking and it was obvious that their well-rehearsed routine had the whole audience on the edge of their seat when watching the countless lifts on the stage. The ice was only a few inches thick and after each performance the cleaners swept the floor to remove all the marks and smooth it out for the next performance. If you ever have the chance to go to Winter Wonderland I strongly recommend seeing this show.

After 22:00 sharp all the rides and shops close however, my family and me stayed for a little longer and I saw how in 10 minutes the whole place was cleared up and almost everyone was gone. There were security guards in neon yellow jackets everywhere throughout the whole evening. they ensured to help anyone who was lost or had lost someone. with everyone working together the task of clearing everything away was efficient and worked so well that I was surprised it took such a short amount of time, seeing as Hyde Park is very large as it covers 350 acres.