Lapland UK Review 2014

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Lapland UK Review 2014

Lapland UK forest

Last year we went to Lapland UK for the first time. You can read my review here. We chose to book again this year as I hadn't had time to look into alternative Santa experiences and quite frankly don't think that you will find a better one in the UK. It is worth noting that we paid for this ourselves. It was not a press trip. It is expensive going to Lapland UK and when I was looking to go for the first time, trying to find reviews for it from anyone that had stumped up their hard earned cash were few and far between.

There were some changes from last year. It was a shame that some of these parts were missing but it did not make a difference to the experience and I am assuming the changes were put in place to make life easier for the elves who work there.

We booked an evening session this year as last year we had gone in the day on opening weekend. The weekday evening slots are cheaper and we have the advantage of living near to the Ascot/Bracknell area where it is based. We arrived around 30 minutes before our allotted tour time of 4.30 and were shown where to park the car. It is worth noting that the car park is really really muddy. Wear boots or flat shoes.

Lapland Uk entrance

On arrival I checked in and we were put into the reindeer group. Basically there are two groups, Reindeers and Huskys. You start the tour together going into the magical forest. Here an elf tells you about the magical path into Lapland UK. He checks that the children received elf passports on their way in. Little man was so keen that his was ok he was trying to get on stage! The door was opened and 2 reindeer herders greet each group. You are then taken off the next part of the tour. There was no "snow" falling this year which was a shame, but at least it made for no questions being asked if one of your children had spotted the snow machine.

We walked through the forest filled with "magic" snow and went into the toy workshop. The children have their own door which they love.

entering the toy factory

Here the tell you that they are behind on their toy making and ask the children to help.

elf toy factory at lapland uk

The activities were different to last year which was good. First was stuffing a reindeer toy. Last year it was a bear.

making a reindeer toy

Then you put together a glockenspiel and even got to test it was working. This was lovely and the tune of jingle bells was written out for the older ones to play.

playing glockenspiel at Lapland UK

We then went through to Mother Christmas' kitchen. On the way were some elf houses which I am sure were a new addition.

elf house

In the kitchen the children get to decorate gingerbread men which my boys loved. The adults are offered a biscuit here too.

decorating gingerbread at Lapland UK

Mother Christmas then tells the childen the story of the gingerbread baby and then you are free to go into the village.

mother christmas

We were told that we just needed to follow the path to see Father Christmas between 7.30 and 8.00pm. It was 6 o'clock and we went to have tea first. The food was much better than last year and I can highly recommend Mother Christmas' Christmas pie. Childrens meals were £4 plus drink and in total we spent £45 on our family of 5, which is reasonable.

We then said hello to some real husky's.

stroking a husky

And a giant Rudolph.


Next we went ice skating. There were lots more penguins than last year which was good. Smaller children have double blades that they attach to their shoes.

ice skating

At around 7.30 we followed the path to see Father Christmas. This path is really beautiful and if your children aren't as over excited as ours were you could get some beautiful pictures. The only problem with going in the dark is that it is harder to take photos due to the lighting.

bridge at lapland uk

We entered a room where I checked in and confirmed the details that I had told Father Christmas about the children at the time of booking. Last year an elf wrote your name on a chalk board when they were ready for you but this year they just come over to you instead.

Then you are taken to Father Christmas' house via a pathway of snow covered trees.

Going to meet Father Christmas at Lapland UK

The children sit on a bench outside whilst an elf checks that Father Christmas is ready. The children (small folk) sit on the bench by Father Christmas and the adults (big folk) stand to the side. Cameras are not to be used inside as it is distracting. We had a lovely Father Christmas who was good with the boys. The were extremely over excited and wouldn't stop talking. He used little of the information that I had given him this year, but it didn't really matter as it was obvious they were believers. He was slightly confused by little man shouting out he wanted a Gup (I'm thinking he hasn't watched much CBeebies) and then screaming "Octonauts to your stations!" He gave each of the boys a soft toy husky and then a photo of the boys was taken and then one of the family. He kindly told the boys that they should try sleeping in until 7 on Christmas Day. I can wish!

meeting father Christmas

We then walked up and saw his reindeer and sleigh before meeting a character husky in the photo shop. The photo's had increased in price this year and the standard photo was £15.

Then exhausted we made our way home.

I have had a lot of people ask me about Lapland UK (and many more searching on my blog about it.) Most people want to see if it is worth the money. Tickets cost from £49.50 - £95.50 per person depending on the time you go. It needs to be viewed in the same way as taking your children to see a West End show as it is a theatrical production. We are lucky in that we live nearby and don't have the added cost of having to stay in a hotel. We have been to a number of Santa experiences and this is by far the best. I think it is key that you go here when the children are the correct age - which I think is between 3 and 6. Little man had a much better idea of what was going on this year and it was lovely to see. It also meant we could spend more time ice skating.

You can buy elf jingles to pay for goods whilst in Lapland UK, but I don't really see the need for this and just used my credit card.

We had a lovely time, I am glad that we chose night to go this time to make it different, and it was nice that the activities had changed slightly. You can read my 2013 review and top tips posts here. One last thing to note is that it is hugely weather dependent. We were lucky this year and last. It didn't rain and although the car park was muddy it wasn't too bad in the village. The weather will undoubtedly have an effect on your experience, and you can't see Father Christmas early.

So now the big question is where do we go next year? Can you recommend anywhere that would be just as good?

 Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Jocelyn (@ReadingRes) said...

It looks absolutely amazing! Plenty to do to engage the children, too. I can see what you mean about the age recommendations, too. I think my 5yo would adore this and do everything, whereas my 2yo wouldn't really make the most of it all. Night time does make it more special, too. Looks like you all enjoyed it x

Louise Fairweather said...

Age makes a huge difference. We went last year as I didn't want to risk big man not believing, but this year was great as we could all enjoy the ice skating more. It was pretty at night but again last year the day was a better option as the boys were younger. Thanks for sharing this post x

jollyjillys said...

Looks lovely and lucky you being near enough to go. I would have loved to have tool mine when they were small. We went to Disneyland when they were 5 and 10 and I will never forget their faces when they saw it!

Coombe Mill (Fiona) said...

It looks like a wonderful place to take little ones, a truly magical place. I think that the evening makes it look more magical. It's great that the 'Elves' take everything so seriously and really get the kids taking part. You were lucky with the weather I think you're right that it wouldn't have been half as good if it had rained. Hope to see this post over on Country Kids. Popping by from Magic Moments.

Louise Fairweather said...

I bet that was fantastic! xx

Louise Fairweather said...

:-) will link up - things have been so hetic! Think this might be the last year of 3 believers so was more than worth it x

Redpeffer said...

I haven't even considered visiting somewhere like this-the cost is quite high and we would need local accommodation too. But I know both children would absolutely love it (even the older one.) Maybe it's something to save for next year. Glad you had such a lovely time.

Kim Carberry said...

What a magical place to visit! It looks like so much fun! x

Louise Fairweather said...

Yes being local means we could take advantage of the lower evening prices which makes a huge difference

Louise Fairweather said...

It was lovely - now just have to find something different for next year

Tas D said...

Looks so much fun, I think i'd love to see the elves workshop and Little Z would probably like the penguins the best!

Louise Fairweather said...

Mine liked the gingerbread - could have saved a fortune just going to Sainsburys ;-)

Tim said...

Looks fun (if a little pricey), but I bet it's worth it for what the kids get out of it. Maybe next year!

Louise Fairweather said...

It is pricey and I personally couldn't justify what they call the more magical times (ie nearer Xmas when they up the price) but done at the right age it is wonderful.

Mum in a Nutshell said...

Looks amazing, I haven't really heard much so it's great you've written this. Thanks for sharing in the #magicmoments

You Baby Me Mummy said...

It looks fabulous, we really want to go, but have not got the spare cash. I am glad you enjoyed it x #magicmoments

Louise Fairweather said...

It definitely needs saving for, but i am glad I did x

Louise Fairweather said...

I suppose it depends where you live, it used to be in kent and I believe it is likely to move the year after next as only has planning for 3 years

Sara (@mumturnedmom) said...

It sounds wonderful, such an amazing experience for the kids. It's somewhere I would have loved to take the kids, if we still lived in the UK :) #MagicMoments

MushroomsMum said...

That looks like an amazing experience, and great idea to go at night! Mushroom thinks that anything we do at night is extra magical...

We haven't had a lot of Santa experiences but our favourite so far is probably his grotto in Westfield Stratford (London). The kids get to play in the grotto (with giant sweets and Santa's sleigh!), then watch a 3D film, in which they will see a present with their face on it (the elves take the photo while you wait), before seeing Father Christmas and receiving a small gift. See: - not exactly a review (we paid for our experience) but says more about it from Mushroom's pov! Last year he got a lovely book as a gift. This year he went with nursery and it looks like he got a dvd! It's under the tree (we are making him wait until Christmas Day to find out this year)! #countrykids

Coombe Mill (Fiona) said...

Thanks for popping across to Country Kids!

Louisa said...

It looks like a wonderful experience but the cost does deter me. Maybe something to save up for an include as part of a weekend away. x #countrykids

Anne said...

Wow, that looks so lovely, what a magical experience. I know it's expensive but I guess it would cost a lot more to go to Lapland! It looks like you get a lot for your money. It's a shame I have more than one child, lol...maybe if I started saving in January!

Emma said...

Thank you, thank you for posting this, I have been looking everywhere for reviews for Lapland UK. We are going on Monday and I cant wait. I am surprised at the lack of reviews on the internet for this popular attraction - and the few I have found have been negative and just moaning about the price. Thank you for the insight and lovely pictures. Glad you had a lovely time and hope we do to. I certainly will be posting a review when we get back.

Louise Fairweather said...

Hope you enjoyed it. It is expensive but it is a huge theatrical production. It cost us half as much to go to the Panto! Personally I think if you can afford it, go as theres only a short time you can do it with the kids - they grow up too fast x

Louise Fairweather said...

We are lucky as it is close by, added extras of travel and hotels would put it out of my price range. I went as a friend of a friend thought it was better than the real Lapland

Louise Fairweather said...

Just a bit - it was coming out at over 2K more expensive for a day trip!

Louise Fairweather said...

I think the best reviews are the ones that you do off your own back. We paid for this. It is more balanced when it's your own money I think x