Sunday, December 16The Voice of London

Winter Wonderland is now open, but it’s not getting any cheaper!

Image: Courtesy of Mariana Husek Maestro

Christmas is just around the corner now and Winter Wonderland is finally here once again.

It will be open from the 23rd of November until the 6th of January from 10am to 10pm – except on Christmas Day! It is free to enter, but once you are inside it is not cheap. They have various attractions such as roller coaster, game stands where you can win prizes, food stands, bars and a Christmas market. What more can you ask for?

The warm taste of the mulled wine will warm you up in the cold nights at Hyde Park; small bonfires have also been set up around the park. You might also find being packed into the massive crowd visiting the park every year a source of heat. Depending on the time of visit, it might take you as long as 30 minutes just to survive the long lines and enter the park (especially during the weekends, in the evening). The park is usually visited by kids during the day, while the night seems to belong to the adults who visit the bars for a couple of beers.

But prices are not getting any cheaper! Bigger rides such as roller coaster average from £6-9, plain hot dogs costing about £7.50 without extra toppings – same goes for the burgers – and alcoholic drinks averaging from five pounds for a half pint.  Walking around the park will allow you to discover the different rides and stands, but don’t be surprised if you find a hole in your wallet at the end of the night.

Walking around and taking pictures of Winter Wonderland can be just as fun – in case you don’t want to spend any money that is! The Christmas decorations and colourful lights make for beautiful pictures. The game stands can also be a great distraction from the cold as you can win massive stuffed toys. This can bring out the competitiveness in anyone. If you’re good at games or depending on your luck, you could leave with a 2kg Toblerone bar or a small bear, or empty handed — completely up to you.

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The park has been running for the past 10 years and in their own words, “The winter festival has become a landmark event for Londoners and tourists alike.”

Words and photography: Mariana Husek Maestro | Subbing: Claire Chung

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