With Lapland UK opening up its doors for this years festivities this weekend, we are lucky enough that my dear friend Valerie West has very kindly agreed to write a post for me to share with you about her family’s visit to Lapland UK last year.
The Lapland UK website states:
‘Lapland UK is an original adaptation of the Father Christmas story and the secret world of the elves brought to life through a 4-hour immersive experience of unprecedented scale and quality.’
It sounds so amazing but when I looked at the price I must admit I was rather put off as I wasn’t sure it was worth the cost. Have a read of Val’s post below and see for yourselves:
‘Lapland UK is a truly magical experience. Though the cost may appear eye watering, you do get what you pay for.
Once you have booked your tickets you receive personalised invitations through the post to the children in your party, where Santa invites them to come along and help in the Elf workshops. The personalisation carries on right through to meeting the big man himself at the end of your visit, where Father Christmas will talk knowledgeably about your child’s interests and recent achievements (you complete this online in advance and ‘check in’ just before meeting Santa, for any last minute corrections – this is cleverly arranged so kids are out of earshot!).
What really makes the visit is that everyone is in character (as Elves) as you go around, so there are no ‘regular staff’ just directing people here and there, they are all Elves, giving you a silly Elf wave (that you will be expected to reciprocate!) and this, in addition to the impressive decoration, really makes you feel like you’ve entered another world.
When you book, you select a specific time slot and your experience lasts approximately 3.5-4 hours altogether. You get there in advance of your allotted time, and are assigned to one of two groups. Each group is around 40-50 people in total. You go with your assigned Elf, and listen to a story tale introduction by Sage in the Enchanted Forest.
You then go on to take part in two workshops. In one of these Mother Christmas reads a story and you decorate a gingerbread man to take home.
In the other workshop you help the Elves construct some toys to be delivered by Santa to girls and boys on Christmas Eve.
You then get an hour or two of free time in the Elven village before going to meet Santa. There are loads of activities to do in the Elven village (and you are no longer assigned to your group). There’s a restaurant (which serves pretty decent food at reasonable prices and is licensed) and a hot dog stand. There’s an ice rink which you can have a go on at no extra cost (with some penguins for less confident skaters to go round with; although they could do with more of these because I would say ‘less confident skaters’ make up about 90% of those on the rink!). There’s a post office where you can mail postcards to family and friends, and of course a shop or two!
The shops even have elf sized doors – very cute!
When it’s your turn to see Santa you walk through a maze of wintery woodland paths, past his reindeer, to his log cabin home in the woods, where the children help him find their names in his ‘good book’ and talk about their interests and achievements this year. They receive a gift which for the last 2 years had been a high quality husky soft toy with its name and the Lapland UK logo embroidered on its feet. You can purchase various outfits for these in the Elven Village shop for around £10 if you wish (see photos below).
Best things about Lapland UK:
- It’s a totally immersive experience – you really do feel part of a magical winter wonderland!
- Not too busy. The timed slots mean there are not hoards of people fighting to do the same thing at the same time, and any queuing is very short and well controlled.
- They offer ‘Superstar Days’ for children and adults with additional needs.
Worst bits about it:
- The price! It is eye wateringly expensive, BUT it should be compared to tickets for a show, rather than a visit to Father Christmas.
Our top tips:
- Book well in advance to get the dates/times you want.
- Plan you visit so that you are in Elven Village around a mealtime. This will be about 90 minutes after the start time.
- When you get to the free time in Elven Village, don’t head straight for the ice rink. It will be the first thing you come across but this leads people to go straight for skating. Go grab a bite to eat or explore the other stuff there first, and then head back to the ice rink once the first batch of people have had a go.
- Take a change of clothes, or waterproof trousers if you’re likely to fall over on the ice rink as it’s quite wet if you do (but balance that with having to cart it round with you the whole way!).
- When it’s your timed slot to queue for meeting Santa, don’t rush to join the queue. Wait until it dies down a bit – you’ll all get seen, and joining the queue to go through earlier won’t hasten it; you’ll just be in a queue for longer. Keep an eye on the queue whilst enjoying everything Elven Village has to offer!
- People go ‘all out’ so do wear your matching Christmas jumpers and Christmas earrings etc!
Thank you to Valerie for your very helpful review. Of course this is based on last years events so this year may be slightly different but I hope this post will at least give you some idea of what to expect. If you have booked to go to Lapland UK then I hope you have an amazing time – do come back to tell us all about it and add your tips in the comments below!
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