Review: Chessington World of Adventures Father Christmas Sleepover & Winter’s Tail

Recently, for Christmas and birthday presents, we’ve been getting Lily days out or experiences.

The Winter's Tail event at Chessington World of Adventures
The Winter’s Tail event at Chessington World of Adventures

After how excited she was doing the giraffe feeding experience and Explorer Glamping at Chessington World of Adventures for her birthday this year, she has not stopped asking to go back, so for this year’s (2021) Christmas present, we booked her onto the Santa Sleepover and Winter’s Tail experience.

Welcome to the Santa Sleepover at Chessington World of Adventures
Welcome to the Santa Sleepover at Chessington World of Adventures (onesie: Kids Onesies)

Spoiler alert: It was absolutely brilliant, and we can’t recommend it enough. Here’s why.

What is the Father Christmas Sleepover?

Our tickets for the Santa Sleepover at Chessington World of Adventures allowed us two days in the theme park to the Winter’s Tail festive event, as well as access to the Sea Life Centre, Chessington Zoo, breakfast and a night in the Safari Resort Hotel.

The Safari Resort Hotel at Chessington World of Adventures
The Safari Resort Hotel at Chessington World of Adventures

Review: Safari Resort Hotel

The hotel was even better than we could have imagined. We are used to camping and glamping, so any hotel would seem luxury for us, but WOW, we were just blown away.

The hotel entrance
The hotel entrance

Our room was meant to be ready by 3pm, but we had a text after virtually checking in, saying our room was ready for us at about 1pm – it was busier in the reception area at 4.30pm when we returned, so we were happy we could pick up our keys a bit earlier too.

Our room (standard room) at the Safari resort hotel
Our room (standard room) at the Safari resort hotel

The themed decorations across the hotel were just beautiful, every little detail had been thought of.

From the hot air balloon and giraffe in the lift to the stunning festive decorations around the entrance, it was stunning!

The hotel staff (and elves!) were brilliant

We had a basic room package rather than the themed rooms (you can get Gruffalo or Room on the Broom themed rooms too), but even that was just stunning and everything was so clean too.

There were bunk beds and a double bed, chairs, tea making facilities, hairdryer, iron (if needed!) and more.

Christmas fun at Chessington

Lily was in her element and was so excited to sleep in the top bunk, with the bottom bunk being a toy den!

Lily and her friends at the hotel!
Lily and her friends at the hotel!

We were in a room near the front of the hotel, but rooms at the back of the hotel as well as views from the corridor were across the beautiful animals outside – it was like you were on safari!

What’s more, the staff were just so friendly and always so welcoming.

She loved the giraffe in the lift!
She loved the giraffe in the lift!

Entertainment in the hotel

In the entrance to the hotel, there was a small comfy area to watch a movie, and there are animal meetings for those staying in the hotel too.

The bush baby at the pyjama party
The bush baby at the pyjama party

You can book timeslots in the Savannah Splash Pool during your stay (some packages have this as an extra cost), and enjoy evening entertainment – Lily loved the pyjama party, where they met a mascot bushbaby and played games.

Dancing at the pyjama party

They also wrote a letter to Santa, before receiving a reply the next morning through the room door, which was very special too.

The hotel was just beautiful!
The hotel was just beautiful!

If that’s not enough, there’s also games areas in the hotels too and other evening entertainment.

The team were always fantastic and really made the stay special.

VIP Add-ons

As it was Lily’s Christmas present, we booked some add-ons.

The festive package upgrade
The festive package upgrade

We booked the festive upgrade, so she was greeted in the room with a beautiful Chessington sloth cuddly toy, a walking balloon, stocking and stick of rock. It was lovely!

We also gave in to the Elf Wake Up Call upgrade, where an elf came and knocked on her door at a set time, and had a fun, personalised 1-2-1 doorstep visit with her, singing Christmas songs and bringing her a little gift.

The elf wake up call was so much fun!
The elf wake up call was so much fun!

The elf was brilliant and she was amazed he knew some fun facts about her – the little bush baby toy was really cute too!

Food & drink in the hotel

We did the dinner add-on when we booked, so were able to eat in the restaurant in the Azteca hotel. The food was fabulous! It was an unlimited carvery buffet, complete with hot and cold options, vegetarian options and desserts.

We ate in the Temple Restaurant in the Azteca hotel
We ate in the Temple Restaurant in the Azteca hotel

The food was freshly cooked and was absolutely delicious.

During dinner in the themed restaurant, which was beautifully decorated, there were sound and light shows ever 10/15mins around the centre temple. Lily was absolutely mesmerised – though I would warn small children in advance or those who are sensitive to sound or light.

The food was delicious and there was so much to choose from
The food was delicious and there was so much to choose from

We also had breakfast as part of the package. Again, it was a buffet, with choice of hot or cold options, pastries, fruit, cereal and more. Everything was fresh and very delicious.

If you want to relax with a drink, you can also enjoy the various themed bar areas.

We had a lovely time in the themed restaurant
We had a lovely time in the themed restaurant

I can’t comment on how they are with allergies, but the first thing they asked about was if either of us had allergies, so I hope these would be catered for.

What can you expect at the Chessington World of Adventures Winter’s Tail?

The Winter’s Tail festive event at Chessington World of Adventures is a reduced offering of the usual fun at Chessington, with an added festive touch!

Father Christmas' Golden Ticket
Father Christmas’ Golden Ticket

Even with just 10 rides operating, there was more than enough to do over the two days.

Rides were really easy to walk straight on, with queues mostly of about 5 minutes each (we lapped her favourite Vampire Ride three times before other people came on!), and there was a variety of fast and slow rides to enjoy, including Gruffalo Ride, Elmer, Treetop Hoppers and Blue Barnacle.

So much fun on the Vampire ride
So much fun on the Vampire ride

Our favourite is definitely the Vampire Ride – I’m reliving the fun too, 30 years after first going on it!

There were 10 rides open at the Winter's Tail event
There were 10 rides open at the Winter’s Tail event

There is Mrs Claus’ kitchen where you follow a few little spells along the way through the decorated area, and kids get a cookie at the end – I was also amazed that adults received a free hot drink (£1 upgrade for a Costa!) and mince pie too, available at different areas around the park.

Enjoying the festive kitchen
Enjoying the festive kitchen

You also have a timeslot to meet Father Christmas. The queue took about 25minutes, around a dedicated area, so I’d suggest popping to the toilet first with small kids, or taking a hot drink with you!

The decorations along the way were lovely and you’re greeted by an elf at your turn, who leads you through the twinkly snow-covered trees to a wooden cabin to meet Father Christmas.

Following the elf to the grotto
Following the elf to the grotto

The Father Christmas himself wasn’t as great as the elf who took us there was, but he was friendly and you were able to get a professional photo if you wanted, before taking the golden ticket to the Toy Workshop.

We had a 3.15pm timeslot and there were no people queuing for the Toy Workshop when we arrived, although there seemed to be the next day, so if you have an earlier timeslot, you may want to visit the Toy Workshop a bit later.

Chessington World of Adventures - the Gruffalo
Chessington World of Adventures – the Gruffalo

You had the chance here to choose a cuddly penguin or husky, both which were beautiful eco-friendly soft toys, the Keel brand, one of Lily’s favourite brand of soft toys made of recycled plastic!

Elmer ride happiness
Elmer ride happiness

All through the park, there were lovely seasonal decorations, areas to eat some festive treats from market cabins, such as brownies, hot chocolate and Bratwurst, as well as a few shops and cafes.

Loving all the snow!
Loving all the snow!

There were stages throughout too, so you could also enjoy the panto on the Mane Stage as well as carols and singing, and a meet-and-greet with Elmer.

Rainbows with Elmer
Rainbows with Elmer

As if that wasn’t enough, we were able to explore the zoo, including penguins, seals, reindeer, tigers, lions and more, and the Sea Life area too.

The decorations were just beautiful around the park
The decorations were just beautiful around the park

You can enjoy animal talks at various times through the day, including the reindeer – even the sea lions had their own stocking!

The Sea Life centre
The Sea Life centre at Chessington World of Adventures

There really was so much included in the tickets.

Conclusion

Will we be back? YES! We could have easily done another day there, and I really can’t recommend the whole experience enough, it was just brilliant.

Visiting the penguins at Chessington Zoo
Visiting the penguins at Chessington Zoo

Every little detail was thought of, and even with the reduced offering for the event, there was more than enough to do and we enjoyed it even more than the summer, with less queues and so much entertainment.

The tigers were beautiful at Chessington Zoo
The tigers were beautiful at Chessington Zoo

The time in the zoo and Sea Life was just the cherry on the top of an already great stay, not to mention the incredible hotel experience too – it really was so special.

The Treetop Hoppers ride
The Treetop Hoppers ride

Lily said this was the BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER and how much she loved being there together, so for me to see the joy and awe on her face, it meant so much – that’s what Christmas is all about.

To find out more about the Winter’s Tail event and short festive breaks at Chessington World of Adventures, click here

Thank you for such a beautiful festive experience
Thank you for such a beautiful festive experience
Visiting the Sea Life centre
Visiting the Sea Life centre

Click here to check out our review of the Explorer Glamping at Chessington World of Adventures

Click here to check out our review of the giraffe feeding experience at Chessington World of Adventures

Click here to check out our recipe for making eco-friendly reindeer food

If you’re looking for other theme park stays, check out our review here of Gulliver’s Theme Parks.

Tiger Crossing at Chessington World of Adventures
Tiger Crossing at Chessington World of Adventures
Enjoying some festive fun at Chessington
Enjoying some festive fun at Chessington
All the smiles on the Gruffalo ride
All the smiles on the Gruffalo ride

One Comment Add yours

  1. OMg this looks so awesome. I need to take my youngest here 😍

    Like

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