LaplandUK Review 2015

Spoiler alert….Don’t show this to other little people or Elves as I might get in trouble for spilling the beans before Christmas!!

Dear mummy, thank you. You’ve opened up my eyes to the wonder of Christmas. See at only 2 years-old I didn’t really know what Christmas was….until now.

LaplandUK snow

My folks took me to LaplandUK, a theatrical experience that recreates Father Christmas’ arctic homeland. This magical adventure helps encourage and celebrate a child’s belief in Father Christmas. As a newcomer to this “Christmas thing” I was in wonderment the whole day. Right from the start when my mummy handed me a personalised invitation to come and meet Father Christmas in his winter home.

LaplandUK Invite
My personalised invitation to join Father Christmas

See, I thought I had to board a flight to Lapland to meet the man in the big red suit but apparently not. Father Christmas’s magic is so strong he brought his home and toy factory to us. I had visions of him shrinking his house and putting it on the back of his sleigh. I was intrigued when my mummy read out his invitation. I waited patiently for 2 weeks until the day had arrived and bundled into our car, along with Grandma and my Daddy on this expedition into the unknown.

LaplandUK Santa
Pathway to Santa’s House

Thankfully we didn’t have to travel far to the North Pole as LaplandUK is staged at Whitmoor Forest, Ascot, Berkshire. LaplandUK is like a film set, using the world leader in artificial snow production who provided the snow effects for blockbuster movies. We knew it would be impressive but nothing could prepare us for the beauty. The temperature had actually dropped, so we were expecting real snow as well!

LaplandUK Elf Village
Elf Village

A short journey down the M3 and LaplandUK was clearly signposted, there is oodles of free parking at Whitmoor Forest. The car parking attendant was very friendly (one even had a long white beard – we thought it was Father Christmas in disguise!) they asked me if I was going to see Father Christmas and I nodded in agreement and with a very suspicious look.

LaplandUK Parking
Heading to the entrance

LaplandUK is open from Saturday 21st November and closes on Christmas Eve 2015. We visited on Sunday the 22nd November at 2pm and there were no queues on the roads or at the entrance. The only slight wait we had was before our tour started, as we arrived at the recommended 30 minutes before the ticket says to make sure we weren’t rushing and had time to collect some Elf Jingles and soak up the atmosphere.

LaplandUK Entrance
LaplandUK Entrance

The entrance tent was beautifully decorated. LaplandUK is a immersive theatrical experience so everyone was expected to turn their frowns upside down and enjoy the show. We exchanged our UK pounds into Elf currency called the Elf Jingle and £1.00 = 1 Elf Jingle. Elf Jingles, credit and debit cards were accepted inside LaplandUK to buy food and gifts.

LaplandUK review
Big folks excitement!

Our visit was a timed experience with a tour departing every 30 minutes throughout the day so if you were late it would jeopardise your experience and you would have to catch up. My folks didn’t want to miss a thing so we hurried to the red curtain doorway when the Elf called our “huskies” tour name. Two tours left at the same time in opposite directions….mysterious.

Each child was issued with an Elf Passport on the day which acted like a little guide-book in which children could get stamps to collect on completion of each task, such as toy making and baking. It also included magic songs and enchanted stories, it made a great little keepsake as well.

LaplandUK passport
My passport to this magical world

As LaplandUK follows a fixed itinerary we were led by an elf tour guide who walked us through a dark, twinkly-lit passageway to the Elf Glade for the first part of this theatre experience.

Elf Glade

A beautiful scene greeted us as we all sat on logs and benches by a small woodland stage, we met some key characters who told us a lot about this enchanted world and LaplandUK.

LaplandUK Female Elf
Elf Glade

It was very snuggly and warm in the Elf Glade, until all of a sudden the doors opened and we were all cast into the white light of the snowy forest, my eyes had to adjust but it was truly breathtaking, even my folks gasped.

LaplandUK woods

We were allowed to stop for some quick pictures before we were rushed back into the warmth of the Toy Factory (a little bit too warm for my mummy’s liking and we all had to strip off our heavy winter coats, scarfs, hats, gloves….)

Toy Factory

A humorous and fun scene was played out in front of us as the elves needed help to make their toys for Father Christmas, they were behind schedule.

LaplandUK Father Christmas
A stressed Master Elf on the phone to Father Christmas

All the children participated in making a soft toy reindeer and a wooden horse and popped them in baskets. Afterwards we handed them back to the elves who stored them away until Christmas Eve. There was a little bit of confusion for us little ones as we all thought we got to keep them!

LaplandUK Toy factory
LaplandUK Toy factory

30 minutes had passed and before we knew it we were rushed back outside and guided along another pathway to find Mother Christmas. We weren’t so quick getting all our winter gear on and nearly lost the tour guide! Opps. It’s a shame really as I wanted to stop and look at all the little houses along the way.

LaplandUK house
Great scenery at LaplandUK

Mother Christmas’ Kitchen

Back inside another little cabin we were transported into Mother Chrismas’s kitchen and it was a hive of activity. First we sat down on logs by her rocking chair and listened to a story and then we all had a go at decorating gingerbread houses. All the children were given aprons and chef hats and asked to help add the sweets with icing sugar to the biscuit, we were even allowed to take them home with us, good thing too as I was licking it and eating all the sweets – I don’t think it would have passed Elf kitchen quality control. This was the highlight of the experience for us all, and it seemed less rushed.

LaplandUK Kitchen
Making Gingerbread Houses with Mother Christmas
LaplandUK baking
Eating the all the sweeties

On completion I was given another stamp in my passport book! I felt very proud.

LaplandUK Mrs Christmas
Mother Christmas

I even managed to get a sneaky photograph with the first lady too and a stamp on my hand!

LaplandUK Meeting Mrs Christmas
Meeting Mother Christmas

Afterwards we had time to get our coats on and were ushered back outside down the long path which lead us to the Elf Village where we had 90 minutes of free time to enjoy the atmosphere of the village square before meeting Father Christmas at 5pm. This was a great time to visit as it was getting dark and the lights were starting to twinkle and add further magic to the place.

LaplandUK Elf Village
LaplandUK Elf Village

Elf Village

We explored the village and walked a giant loop around the Ice Skating rink, we went into the Old Fashioned Sweet Store and I used some of my Elf jingles to buy more Gingerbread and a bag of sweeties.

LaplandUK Sweet Shop
Old Fashioned Sweet Shop in Elf Village

Getting our skates on…

After consuming my bodyweight in sugar it was time to get my skates on and burn off some of the hyperactivity before meeting Father Christmas – I didn’t want him thinking I was a space cadet!

We were free to skate on the real ice rink for as much of our 90 minute interval time as we wished. My mummy was surprised I even wanted to get on the ice but after watching too much Frozen, I just had to try it. My mummy was a nervous wreck but the penguin supports helped me find my feet and were available for young children. It was a great achievement and I was thrilled – my mummy was just relieved when I made it off the ice in one piece!

LaplandUK Skating
Skating at LalplandUK
LaplandUK Ice Skating
A toddler skating at LaplandUK

During our time walking around the Elf Village I also enjoyed meeting the huskies and my favourite was Suzy. I also got to stroke an owl and a hedgehog. We stopped and chatted to the Master Elf Keymaker and I played around the snowy trees. My mummy had run out of Elf Jingles so we headed to see the Elves at the post office to get some more changed up.

North Pole post office

We met some very friendly elves who helped me write and post my letter of thanks to Father Christmas. It was a great activity for children. I spent a good 10 minutes scribbling and then trying to post it through the multitude of quirky letter boxes.

LaplandUK Post Office
LaplandUK Post Office
LaplandUK Writing my letter
Writing my letter to Father Christmas

LaplandUK gift shop and Emporium

Next we headed to the gift shop, which was massive and had a great selection of personalised LaplandUK gifts and tradition toys and books. My mummy could have spent a small fortune in here if it wasn’t for my Daddy dragging her out to get some hot food. We picked up some baubles for our Christmas Tree and some ‘special special’ which my folks couldn’t tell me.

LaplandUK Souvenirs
LaplandUK Souvenirs
LaplandUK Shop
Shopping for Christmas Gifts

Food glorious food!

We headed in to the heated Log Cabin Restaurant and it was quiet and very pretty. We enjoyed Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Sourdough and awesome Swedish Meatballs (Ikea has nothing on these!). Prices were reasonable and the portions were generous.

LaplandUK Restaurant
LaplandUK Restaurant
LaplandUK Hot food
LaplandUK Hot food

Meeting Father Christmas

After our 90 minute interval in the Elf Village it was time for our personalised meeting with Father Christmas. At 5pm (the time that was written at the back of my passport) we all gathered at the exit to the Elf Village. This was the only time we encountered a queue, as everyone on the 2pm Tour had gathered at the same time. It was a bit cold, so Grandma stayed in line while we continued to walk around the village. The queue was face paced though and within 10 minutes we walked down a beautifully lit walkway with the bright moonlight shining down on us and frost in the air. It was stunning. It was like something out of Narnia.

LaplandUK Winter Wonderland

We walked on our own and followed the path, I was so excited that I started to run shouting “Father Christmas where are you?!”. My folks had to run after me. At the end of the path was a little log pile house, where we waited to be called to meet Father Christmas. We don’t want to share too much about what happened next in case you decide to visit, but the little Elf called Conker was such fun and guided us on an adventure we will never forget.

LaplandUK Lights
LaplandUK Lights

Meeting Father Christmas at the end of our LaplandUK experience was magical, my folks were actually convinced it was him!! Again I eyed him up suspiciously. Luckily for me I was on his good list and he even pointed out my name in his large book to prove it. Smiles and giggles all round we left on a high, bypassing the professional photographer print-out queues and leaving with memories of meeting Father Christmas.

LaplandUK Review
Me and my folks before seeing Father Christmas

Ticket price from £45 per person for this 3.5 hour tour of LaplandUK (we were actually there for 4 hours) It may seem expensive but it is worth every penny. We’ve never seen anything like it in the UK and it saves us from flying out to Lapland! You get so much for your money and included in the ticket price is a personalised invitation to LaplandUK, a Christmas Morning Thank You card from Father Christmas to every child by post, entry into Father Christmas’ arctic homeland, an Elf Passport for every child, all activities, ice skating and a beautiful gift.

The memories that we’ll all be taking away with us are priceless.

Thank you LaplandUK for introducing me to Christmas…in spectacular style. Thanks to the many incredible Elves and Eskimo guides who looked after us and immersed us in the experience, it didn’t seem forced or half-hearted and they all genuinely seemed happy to see us!

Love Bella….oh and her folks! xx

P.s – Say I say hi to Conker, he’s got a little buddy for life!

Disclosure: We received press passes in order to write an honest review of Lapland UK and all purchases inside were our own.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

59 thoughts on “LaplandUK Review 2015

  1. What a magical experience and so glad that you all had such a wonderful time. I love the penguin supports for helping with the ice-skating – I think my two would love these. Good to hear that you are on Father Christmas’s nice list Bella and hope that he brings you lots of lovely things on Christmas morning 🙂

  2. Bella this looks fantastic you lucky girl.p! I wish I lived nearer to “Lapland” I would be there like a shot even if my big girls didn’t want to come. Mother Christmas’ kitchen looks lovely and cosy too. I’m glad you had a magical day, not long until he visits you xxxx

  3. OH WOW! It sounds and looks AMAZING! What a magical start to the festive season. I’ve been a bit wary of these type of things in the UK but this looks like the real deal and a lot of fun for all the family. Maybe next year!

  4. wow this is amazing, I’ve never seen anything like this! What a way to be introduced to the world of Christmas #pointshoot

  5. Hello Bella! Olivia said “hi” to you. That looks magical, she saw your photos earlier before she went to bed and I think, she is dreaming of going there too. Let’s see if she’s good enough. 🙂 Tell your mummy, we love all your photos too. xx

  6. Hey there Bella, I’m just wondering if you received the same elf as me who literally made my children’s dreams a reality on the way to meet Father Christmas on Saturday. His name was flurry and he’s Conker brother. Not sure if you got them mixed up as we did find they were really alike and I believe Conker was in the toy factory. Just thought I’d check so he can hopefully get appraised on his talents and making it an everlasting experience. Rosie

  7. Hey there Bella, I’m just wondering if you received the same elf as me who literally made my children’s dreams a reality on the way to meet Father Christmas on Saturday. His name was flurry and he’s Conker brother. Not sure if you got them mixed up as we did find they were really alike and I believe Conker was in the toy factory. Just thought I’d check so he can hopefully get appraised on his talents and making it an everlasting experience. Rosie S

  8. Wow it does look magical and full of fun. It is expensive but all days out are these days and like you say, cheaper than flying to lapland!! Xx

  9. This looks like a great Christmas adventure. Its so close to us, but quite expensive. Does look magical! #whatevertheweather

  10. Wow! It looks amazing! That must be a kids dream place to go and visit santa and take part in all the fun activities. A shame that the reindeer and wooden horse got taken back again, my two wouldn’t have been happy with that either and would want to keep them. The artificial snow really does look real, the best I’ve ever seen, a bit too far away for us to visit, but maybe something similar will open up here in Scotland one day!
    Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

  11. Wow! It looks like an amazing and magical day! I know my two kiddies would love to go to this.. who am I kidding, I would love to go to this as well! Xxx #whatevertheweather

  12. I left a comment but I don’t think it published! 😕

    It basically said that it looks like an amazing place to visit and that I know my two kiddies would adore it too (and so would I! ) #whatevertheweather xxx

  13. Oh my! I think that this is my favourite post of all time! It’s incredible and so magical. I love everything about it. I had no idea that this was in the UK! I am so gutted Evie is slightly too young to go and understand what’s going on still this year. I really hope that they have this next year. I would have be in my element here as a child! All the details that they’ve put into it are incredible. Eeeek! I’m scrolling back up to look at the pictures again, it’s so so magical!!! Thank you so, so much for linking up to #whatevertheweather xx

  14. We visited on Tuesday for their superstar day, it was the second time for us but a totally different experience with a 16 month old who wants to walk everywhere lol. I’m glad you said you thought the Toy Factory was rushed, I had the same feelings this year. I think its because you had to make two toys, last year we just made one. Glad you had a great time x

  15. Looks like a great place to visit although it does sound a bit hectic at points. I think next Christmas we’ll certainly discuss going, especially as I spoke to a colleague who is taking his lad to ‘official’ Lapland for several hundred pounds for less than 24 hours #CountryKids

  16. Wow! Bella, you look like you had an amazing time!!

    Would you (or mummy) like to link up with my daysoutwithatoddler linky? I’d love to see you there! 🙂

  17. Wow! Bella, you look like you had a wonderful time!

    Would you (or mummy) like to link up with my #daysoutwithatoddler linky?

    I’d love to see you there! 🙂

Leave a Reply to Sleepingthroughyet Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.