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By Tristan Harris Sunday 25 November 2012 Updated: 26/11 00:08
THEME parks are usually associated with warm weather and the summer holidays, but Drayton Manor has changed all that this year with its seasonal spectacular A Knight Before Christmas.
The popular venue officially launched the event on November 16 to provide some festive magic in the run-up to Christmas and afterwards, until January 7.
When you enter the park, it has a totally different atmosphere to it and does feel extremely festive. The decorations, with their twinkling lights, illuminate the park beautifully and the playing of Christmas classics through the venue's speakers add to the magic and festive feel.
Thomas Land gives you a taste of Christmases gone by - it has traditional steam engines and snow machines, which produce festive flurries three times a day, it is wonderfully decorated and there are live performances by the popular characters.
There is also the park's zoo, the carousel, Jolly Buccanners still open and, for the thrill-seekers, the Ben 10 ride (weather pending).
The food stands sell bratwursts and gluhwein, which have become synonymous with the season over the last few years, and there are other hot snacks and drinks to help keep out the cold.
But, there is a lot more festive fun to be had at Drayton Manor's Knight Before Christmas than that - the concept comes into its own with the Excalibur ride and the 4D cinema.
The 4D cinema sees the Polar Express movie, which, complete with shaky chair, water sprayer, snow machine and more, is quite an exhillirating experience.
The Excalibur section at Drayton Manor has always had enchanted elements about it, but A Knight Before Christmas has taken it to a new level. Rather than the usually ride on the boats, which is probably not very appealing in this season's wintry weather, the castle building has been transformed into a Santa's grotto.
And, as well as getting the chance to meet elves, and speak to Father Christmas, good girls and boys receive a magic bell and book, explaining the Knight Before Christmas tale and, also, see a live show involving jesters and a friendly dragon.
Add to all that a breath-taking firework display and Drayton Manor really does have something fun for all the family this festive season.
The Knight Before Christmas runs every weekend (Friday to Monday) in the run up to Christmas.
After closing on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, it will re-open daily until January 7.
Current online prices are £15 for adults, £10 for children and free for under 4s.
Tickets can be bought online at http://www.draytonmanor.co.uk or by calling 0844 472 1960.
You can also follow Drayton Manor on Twitter www.twitter.com/Draytonmanor and Facebook www.facebook.com/Draytonmanor for regular updates and news.
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