On January 1st 2022 at around 9am, I did something I’d never done before – booked a Christmas day out for the following Christmas. It was totally on a whim, but it was massively discounted on the Gulliver’s Theme Park mailing list, so I booked it.
On December 3rd 2022, we rocked up at Gulliver’s Land, Milton Keynes for the Christmas event, including breakfast and a show that we’d prebooked as part of the package.
Was it worth the wait? Yes!
Would we do it again? Definitely!
We arrived for the 10am opening and had our tickets checked by the ‘elves’ at the entrance. There was a bit of a queue to get in, but it went down quickly and we were sucked into the Christmas magic as soon as we went through the gates.
The Main Street was beautifully decorated and Gilly was singing on the stage in front of the castle, as fake snow fell over our heads. I’m pretty sure that’s the moment that Lily was instantly captivated by the magic, and the festivities just kept on coming.
There were various timeslots throughout the day to check out the snow and shows on the stage.
Show & Breakfast
Our show timeslot was 10.30, which included breakfast – this was a package that included the separate show and breakfast, you could choose your booking without, however as we were getting the New Year discount, we went for the show and breakfast option.
There was a bit of confusion as to where we should go for this, but a kind member of staff (all of them were dressed as elves and super helpful!), asked over the radio and directed us to the side of the castle.
We gave our name to the lady at the entrance, who then led us to pick up our food. We had breakfast baps with sausage (mine veggie) and hash brown, along with cups for squash, tea or coffee.
We were one of the first in, so took a table at the front of the stage, which was great for Lily to see properly. She wasn’t keen on her sausage, but the show started quickly and it involved Gilly and Gully on stage along with the reindeer and an elf. They encouraged audience participation, but I think most people were munching their sausages!
It was a bit of fun and something very different, and Lily was made up to be asked to help to wrap a present as part of the show and then got to tell a joke.
The show lasted about 20mins – it was odd how at the end the entertainment team whispered to each other on the stage and then said they were saying goodbye, but we can’t complain at all as it was fun and lighthearted, giving us plenty of time to enjoy the theme park before our Santa timeslot.
We turned up at Santa’s Grotto about 10mins before our timeslot as we weren’t sure if there would be a queue. The grotto was at the back of the castle, which was great to see the views at the top of the castle.
We were instantly let in once they’d checked our name off the list, and followed the forest through the inside of the castle. It was beautifully decorated with famous fairytales, woodland animals, snow and twinkling lights. Lily especially liked the interactive buttons to make the trees talk/sing.
There was a short queue in the castle to visit Santa, but we were greeted by some elves who chatted to us while we waited.
Santa was lovely and had a little chat with Lily, before you could take your own photos or get a group shot done by the camera inside. You were then invited to choose a toy from the elf workshop, as well as purchase your photos if you wished too.
Lily chose a beautiful cuddly reindeer with Gulliver’s logo on its foot to remember the day, but there were the choice of toys or activities for all ages, from magic kits and tie-dye kits to baby toys, dolls and more.
As we left the toy workshop, we wandered out of the castle through the trees and snowy woodland themed area again.
It was lovely and warm inside too, plus nice to be out of the rain!
Mrs Claus’ Kitchen
For an extra £2.50, bookable at the Guest Services area, you could decorate a biscuit in Mrs Claus’ kitchen, close to the entrance. Again, they’d worked hard to decorate the area. Lily was invited in and was given a homemade biscuit from a basket.
There were options to decorate it with silver balls, red and green icing and sprinkles. The whole experience lasted about 5-10 mins and the biscuit was only small for the £2.50 price, but it was a nice festive add-on and the only additional money I spent while there.
Food & Drink
The only place open for food and drink was the indoor coffee shop area near the entrance. You could sit inside to eat and drink, but the queue was absolutely massive.
We were happy to have brought our own drinks and packed lunch, but we had hoped for a coffee and a hot chocolate treat. The queue was too big, so we gave up and went up to the indoor play area to eat the packed lunch, before getting our hot drinks from a drive through on the motorway on the way home! 🙂
Despite the whole of Gulliver’s being less busy than in the summer, the queue was huge for food/drink, so they maybe need to open somewhere else to get hot drinks!
About half the rides were open, as was the indoor play village area. There were hardly any queues for those that were open, except the mine train. The log flume was amazingly still open, but there was no queue at all as it was such a freezing cold day!
For a festive day out, Lily had a brilliant time. She had no idea we were going, until she spotted the sign on the motorway and nearly burst with excitement… and it totally lived up to that excitement for her.
You can add on the option of a Santa Sleepover by staying overnight in one of their dens, but we had a great time just going for the day too – even if Lily always asks if we can stay, as she loves the Adventurer’s Village.
The staff were so friendly in all areas of the park and there were so many staff members (all dressed as elves) making sure all areas were clean too.
We always like a day out at Gulliver’s and find it more affordable than other theme parks, even if it is more basic. There are also covered over areas indoors in case the weather isn’t great.
The park decorations were beautiful, Santa and the elves were lovely and Lily was just buzzing at the shows and falling snow.
Thanks to Gulliver’s for another great day out – we can’t wait to see you again in 2023!