Here are 10 tips to ensure you make the most of your trip to the magical Christmas attraction Winter Wonderland.
1. Buy tickets in advance
Winter Wonderland is free to enter but certain attractions become fully booked during peak periods. Buy tickets in advance for ice skating, The Magical Ice Kingdom, Bar Ice, the Giant Observation Wheel, Zippos Christmas Circus, Cinderella on Ice, Bar Hütte and Cirque Berserk.
2. When to visit
The festival is busiest during weekends and evenings, so be prepared to queue to get in and to get onto rides during these peak times. If you want to escape the crowds, visit on a weekday morning. Experience a fabulously festive atmosphere during the evening as the attraction's bars and restaurants spring to life with live music, DJs and twinkling lights.
3. Bring cash
All the shops, restaurants, bars and cafes at Winter Wonderland accept cash, while only some take cards. The on-site ATM cash machines charge a fee each time you withdraw money, so it’s a good idea to bring cash with you to avoid paying extra. Rides and attractions are accessed by tokens, which are available at the token booths dotted around the site and cannot be bought in advance.
4. Take the kids
This family-friendly attraction has rides galore to keep children of all ages happy. There are gentle rides and attractions for children as young as two, with more thrilling rides like the Haunted House and rollercoaster for teens. Most of the festival site is buggy-friendly and there are baby-changing facilities at various disabled toilets. Ice skating, Zippo's Circus, and The Magical Ice Kingdom are all popular with little ones.
5. Wrap up warm
It can get pretty chilly in the winter months and since the festival is an open-air event, we'd recommend wearing a hat, scarf, gloves and a warm coat. This is especially important if you're visiting Bar Ice or The Magical Ice Kingdom, chilled to a frosty -10°C (14°F). Brrr! This year’s Bar Ice is inspired by Ancient Greek mythology, with temple-style interiors and marvellous ice sculptures of Medusa’s head and other magical creatures. If you're feeling cold, you're never far away from a mulled wine or a hot chocolate.
6. Spot famous faces
As one of London's most popular Christmas attractions, Winter Wonderland also attracts stars from the worlds of music, fashion, film and more, as well as members of the Royal Family. Top celebrity spots over the years have included the Duchess of Cambridge with Prince George, members of One Direction, Cara Delevingne, Naomi Campbell, Chris Martin, Rod Stewart, Tom Cruise and Tim Burton. So make sure to keep your eyes peeled on your next visit!
7. Live the high life
Take a flight on Winter Wonderland's Giant Observation Wheel and soar 60m (200ft) above the ground in a comfy pod, while gazing across the London skyline. To make the 15-minute experience extra special, order a bottle of bubbly or hire a private pod, which holds up to six people.
8. Enjoy a taste of Bavaria
Soak up the party atmosphere in the Bavarian Great Hall and the Famous Bavarian Village where you can tuck into bratwurst, sup a stein of German beer and watch live oompah bands perform.
9. Be dazzled by a top show
Experience beloved festive tales with one of Winter Wonderland's shows. In 2017, Cinderella On Ice arrived, telling Cinderella’s story through amazing skating and acrobatics, elegant lifts and throws, astonishing special effects and magical scenery.
10. Meet Santa
See Father Christmas and his magical elves in his Santa Land grotto, which is usually open every day except Christmas Day. Meeting Santa is free and children receive a small gift. An official photographer will be taking souvenir shots that are available to buy on the day, but you can also take your own photos if you prefer.