We’ve compiled some answers to frequently asked questions
1. General Information
2. Ticketing and Concessions
3. Families and Children
4. Group, School & Bespoke Party Bookings
5. Visitors with Disabilities
6. Parking Facilities
7. Safety at Winter Wonderland
8. Filming & photography at Winter Wonderland
9. Sustainability Policy
1. GENERAL INFORMATION
DO I HAVE TO PAY TO GET INTO WINTER WONDERLAND?
No! Winter Wonderland has no admission fee – you simply turn up and pay to do whatever takes your fancy. Certain attractions get fully booked during peak times, so we recommend that you check availability on the website. You will need tokens for the rides, available from the Token Booths on site. These cannot be purchased in advance.
BUT WHAT ABOUT ICE SKATING, THE MAGICAL ICE KINGDOM, CIRCUS SHOWS AND THE GIANT OBSERVATION WHEEL?
You can buy tickets in advance for Ice Skating, The Magical Ice Kingdom, the Giant Observation Wheel, Zippos Christmas Circus and Cirque Berserk, to ensure you get the time and date you want. The Ice Rink usually sells out well in advance and the Circus shows are also very popular. However, please remember tickets are not exchangeable. See Ticketing and Concessions (below) for further details.
Please arrive 20 minutes before your ticketed time for Ice Skating and Circus shows.
Skate Hire is included in the Ice Skating ticket price.
Ice Rink spectator areas are free to access.
HOW LONG DO THEY LAST FOR?
- Ice Skating sessions are 1 hour long (please arrive 20 minutes in advance to get your skates on!).
- The Magical Ice Kingdom is a walk-through attraction which you can walk around at your leisure. The normal duration is 15 minutes.
- A ride on the Giant Wheel lasts for 12 to 15 minutes (the last flight is at 9.45pm)
- Zippos Christmas Circus and Cirque Berserk shows are approximately 45 minutes in length. Please arrive 20 minutes before the show starts.
IS THERE A CLOAKROOM AT THE ICE RINK?
There is a cloakroom for bags and items not permitted onto the ice. The cost is £1 per item.
CAN I USE THE CLOAKROOM IF I’M NOT ICE SKATING?
No, the cloakroom facility is for ice skaters only.
HOW COLD IS THE MAGICAL ICE KINGDOM?
To give you a true ‘arctic experience’, The Magical Ice Kingdom is very cold with the temperature set at -8°c. Please wrap up warm!
HOW DO I GET ON THE OTHER RIDES AND ATTRACTIONS?
They are accessed by Winter Wonderland tokens, available at the Token Booths dotted around the Winter Wonderland site. Be sure to arrive with plenty of time to get on your favourite rides before 10pm.
HOW MUCH DO THE TOKENS COST?
Each token costs £1. Children’s rides start at £2 and other rides start at £3. Everyone who rides needs a token (even parents riding with children) and we try to keep the prices at a reasonable level to allow for this. Please remember, tokens can only be used on the day of purchase – they are not exchangeable or refundable.
WHAT ABOUT FOOD, DRINK AND SHOPPING?
All of the dozens of bars, cafes, restaurants and shops accept cash and some accept cards. Food and drink prices vary depending on whether it’s a table service indoor restaurant or take-away chalet, but we hope we have provided for all tastes and budgets – from Bavarian-style food and drink to traditional cafes and bars. The Christmas markets feature over 150 stalls from arts and crafts to luxury gifts, for all your Christmas shopping needs!
WHAT TIME IS WINTER WONDERLAND OPEN?
Winter Wonderland opens on Friday 23rd November 2012 at 5pm then from 24th November to 6th January 2013 at 10am to 10pm (excluding Christmas Day), rain or shine! We are open on Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day for normal opening hours.
Father Christmas resides in Santa Land from 10am to 6pm throughout the whole event.
HOW CAN WE GET TO WINTER WONDERLAND?
Winter Wonderland is located in Hyde Park, London W2 2UH
You can walk to Winter Wonderland from the following London Underground stations:
Green Park (Victoria, Jubilee and Piccadilly lines)
Marble Arch (Central line)
Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly line)
Victoria (Victoria line and National Rail)
Knightsbridge (Piccadilly line)
Please note that Green Park is a step-free station with lift access so those with children or with mobility impairments may find it easier using this station.
For all transport links and travel information, see our Travel page
DOES WINTER WONDERLAND HAVE A CHARITY?
Yes, Winter Wonderland always has an official charity. Previously the event has raised over £30,000 for Help A London Child, a project set up for London’s most disadvantaged kids. For 2012 once again, our charitable partnership is The Royal Parks Foundation. For further information, please go to www.royalparksfoundation.org.. Please also visit the Royal Parks Foundation website if you would like to purchase a ticket for unlimited rides on our amazing Preview Night on Thursday 22nd November, 5pm to 9pm.
For all lost property queries, please email email@example.com
CAN I TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS ON THE ICE RINK?
For safety reasons, you are not allowed to take photographs whilst on the ice rink. However, spectators can take photos of you from the viewing platforms around the rink. There will also be a professional photographer available on the ice if you would like to purchase a photo of you and your group.
CAN I TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS AT THE MAGICAL ICE KINGDOM?
Yes. You’re free to take as many as you like and there will be many photo opportunities! There will also be a professional photographer at hand, should you wish for a special souvenir photo.
I HAD MY PHOTO TAKEN BUT DIDN’T PURCHASE A PRINT ON THE DAY. CAN I PURCHASE IT NOW?
For all photo queries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note: We cannot guarantee we will be able to produce a photo after the event.
CAN I BRING MY DOG?
Yes! Dogs are permitted at Winter Wonderland, but must be on a leash and controlled at ALL TIMES. Please Note: Winter Wonderland can be very busy, especially at weekends, and may not be a suitable environment for dogs.
2. TICKETING AND CONCESSIONS
HOW CAN I PURCHASE A TICKET?
We recommend that you buy tickets in advance from the Winter Wonderland website for the Ice Skating, The Magical Ice Kingdom, Giant Observation Wheel and Circus Shows, subject to availability and booking fees. For time slots and prices go to our Tickets page. There are no time slots for The Giant Observation Wheel which works on a queueing basis only, although you will need to have purchased a ticket first (online or from a Box Office on site), before joining the queue to ride. Observation Wheel pods are loaded 4 at a time, maximum 6 people per pod. Ice Rink sessions, Magical Ice Kingdom and Circus Shows must be booked for a designated time slot or show time. Be sure to arrive with plenty of time to ride the Giant Wheel before 10pm.
CAN I BUY A TICKET ON THE DAY AT THE BOX OFFICE?
Yes, there are four Box Offices onsite where you can buy tickets for the Ice Rink, The Magical Ice Kingdom, the Giant Observation Wheel, Zippos Christmas Circus and Cirque Berserk. Please be aware that these are subject to availability and we strongly recommend buying your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment – your chances of getting the show time or skating slot you want is less likely than if you book in advance. Please arrive in plenty of time if choosing this option. There are also numerous Token Booths to purchase your tickets for the rides around the site. Ride tokens cannot be purchased in advance and all ride tokens must be used on the same day.
CAN I EXCHANGE MY TICKETS?
Tickets are non-exchangeable, non-transferrable and non-refundable.
HOW DO I GET MY TICKETS?
All tickets are E-tickets and can be printed at the point of booking or emailed to you. Please check your Spam Folder in case it is placed there.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVEN’T RECEIVED MY E-TICKETS?
If you have booked tickets for Winter Wonderland through the official Winter Wonderland website but have not received or cannot print your e-ticket confirmation, please see a member of the box office team upon arrival where they can assist you further. Please allow extra time for assistance at the Box Office as queues are likely. If you bought your tickets from another ticket agent, please contact them directly.
WHAT IF THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH MY TICKET?
If you purchased your ticket from the Winter Wonderland website please contact email@example.com
If you bought your ticket from another agent, please contact them directly. Remember, you must bring your ticket with you in order to join your session or show time.
PLEASE NOTE: WE DO NOT OFFER EXCHANGES OR REFUNDS AFTER PURCHASE. TICKETS ARE NON-TRANSFERRABLE
WHAT DO YOU CLASS AS A CONCESSION?
Concessions, carrying the ID listed, are:
Full-time students (with valid NUS card)
Over 60s (Bus Pass/Drivers Licence/Passport/ID Card)
The Royal Parks employees (Staff Pass)
WHAT IS AN OFF-PEAK TICKET?
There is a discounted rate on Off-Peak Tickets ALL DAY on the following dates:
26th Nov, 27th Nov, 28th Nov, 29th Nov, 2nd Jan and 3rd Jan
ARE THERE DISCOUNTS FOR GROUP BOOKINGS?
Yes. A 10% group discount is available to groups of 20 people or more. You can make your group booking online where your discount will automatically be applied.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ‘PRIVATE POD’ AND THE ‘VIP POD’ ON THE GIANT OBSERVATION WHEEL?
Booking a Private Pod means you get exclusive use of a pod, without having to share, which you may otherwise have to do during peak times. This will seat 6 people. The price listed is per pod, not per person. (£40/£45)
There is one luxury VIP Pod on the Giant Observation Wheel, exclusive for 4 adults in plush decor with privacy glass, leather seating, and an audio-visual system. Again the VIP Pod price is per pod, not per person. (£55/£60)
Please note, those with a booking for a Private Pod or VIP Pod should make themselves known to the Wheel staff on arrival.
PLEASE NOTE: WE DO NOT OFFER EXCHANGES OR REFUNDS AFTER PURCHASE
3. FAMILIES AND CHILDREN
WHAT IS A FAMILY TICKET?
A Family Ticket is available for family groups consisting of either:
- 2 Adults / Teens and 2 Children
- 1 Adult / Teen and 3 Children
WHAT ABOUT CHILDREN?
At Winter Wonderland we class a child as 12 years and under. Whilst the site is suitable for children of all ages, children must be accompanied at all times by a person of 16 years or over. Please note that some rides and attractions have height and weight restrictions.
A Child Ticket must be purchased on the Ice Rink for all children aged 12 and under.
Children of 2 years and under will NOT need a ticket for The Magical Ice Kingdom, the Circus or Giant Observation Wheel if they do not occupy a seat (where they sit on an adults’ lap). Should your little one prefer a seat, this will need to be purchased at the child price.
There is no minimum age for children at the Ice Rink, Magical Ice Kingdom, Circus Shows or Giant Observation Wheel.
The minimum skate size on the rink is a children’s size 9 and maximum is an adult size 13. Skate Hire is included in the Ice Skating ticket price but you are also welcome to bring your own skates, subject to suitability checks (note – speed skates are NOT allowed).
I HAVE A CHILD UNDER 3 YEARS. DO THEY NEED A TICKET?
If your child is 2 years or under and will be sitting on a lap for the CIRCUS and on the OBSERVATION WHEEL you will not need to purchase a ticket. However, you WILL need to purchase a Child Ticket for the ICE RINK, and tokens for the RIDES.
ARE THERE ANY SKATING AIDS FOR CHILDREN (PENGUINS)?
We do not provide any skating aids for children. We do provide doubled-bladed skates for the tiniest of feet, but these are on a ‘first-come first-served’ basis.
WHAT AGE IS WINTER WONDERLAND AIMED AT?
Winter Wonderland is for everyone. We often welcome three generations of families together for a day out! There are rides and attractions for children as young as 2, with more thrilling rides for the older ones – and both young and old love to see Father Christmas! In addition, we have live music with entertainment ranging from pop to disco to rockabilly to German oompah bands, creating a perfect atmosphere for after-work gatherings.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO SEE FATHER CHRISTMAS?
Nothing! Santa Claus and his Elves welcome children to his grotto every day from 10am to 6pm – except Christmas Day. He returns on Boxing Day right through to 6th January from 10am to 6pm – ready to receive all those thank you letters! He meets children of all ages on a first-come first-served basis, and the VERY good children receive a small gift. Visitors are welcome to take their own photographs but an official photographer will be on hand to take special souvenir shots, available for purchase on the day.
WHAT FACILITIES DO YOU HAVE FOR BABIES?
Most of Winter Wonderland is flat and level for buggies, with only gentle inclines – we have even built a level crossing at the Santa Express! There are also baby changing facilities at various disabled toilets situated around the Winter Wonderland site.
4. GROUP, SCHOOL & PARTY PACKAGES
Winter Wonderland is ideal for Christmas parties and corporate hire.
A 10% group discount is available to groups of 20 people or more. You can make your group booking online where your discount will automatically be applied.
This year we’ve put together a selection of Christmas Party Packages to offer something for everyone, including some private hire options. Click here for Party Packages.
5. VISITORS WITH DISABILITIES
Disabled Tickets can be purchased for those who are registered disabled. A registered disabled guest is entitled to one free carer ticket when purchasing a disabled ticket, by producing documentation on arrival (e.g. Blue Badge, Attendance Allowance book etc).
VISITORS WITH LIMITED MOBILITY
WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE SUITABLE FOR ME?
We have tried to make the walkways of Winter Wonderland as even as possible, with ramps to bars and cafes where we can. Wheelchairs are welcome on the Ice Rink, there are pods in the Giant Wheel and spaces in the Circus shows designed to accommodate wheelchairs. The Magical Ice Kingdom is wheelchair accessible, with the exception of the Ice Castle.
There is no ride-wide policy for the suitability of the fairground (token) rides for those with disabilities. This is due to variant conditions – e.g. unfavourable weather, the type of ride – and the nature of the disability, as some rides will require more support than others. The individual ride operator on the day will determine whether the ride is suitable, for safety reasons, and how they will grant admission.
IS THERE DISABLED PARKING?
Pay and display parking is available at Grosvenor Gate, Cumberland Gate and Alexandra Gate. This is free for Blue Badge holders for 4 hours (unlimited at off-peak times). Full details and location of street Blue Badge parking bays can be found on the City Of Westminster website at www.westminster.gov.uk or call them on 020 7641 6000.
See the Royal Parks website for more information. www.royalparks.org.uk or call them on 020 7298 2000.
WHAT ABOUT TOILET FACILITIES?
A number of disabled toilet facilities are available around the site.
6. PARKING FACILITIES
We recommend that visitors avoid coming by car where possible. However, for those who do travel by car we recommend Q-Park which is a large and secure car park, fitted with extensive CCTV systems and manned 24/7 by parking hosts who conduct regular patrols. It has entrances at Park Lane and Marble Arch, ideal for visitors to Winter Wonderland.
Q-Park Park Lane
(Tel: 020 7402 7259)
Q-Park is offering a special parking rate to all customers who pre-book online.
The discounted rates are:
Daytime: 9am- 4pm – £20
Evening: 4pm—12am – £20
24 Hours (from arrival): – £24
Weekend: Fri 12pm- Mon 12pm – £72
For more info or to book, click here.
Pay and Display parking is available on West Carriage Drive.
Further information, including parking bay and blue badge parking locations, call 020 7641 6000 or click here.
7. SAFETY AT WINTER WONDERLAND
CAN CHILDREN BE UNACCOMPANIED?
At Winter Wonderland a child is classed as 12 years and under. No children will be admitted to the event unless accompanied by a person aged 16 years or over. Children must remain under the supervision of such person at all times and the site and attraction managers reserve the right to determine the ratio of adults in relation to children required for adequate supervision. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more details.
WHAT IF THE WEATHER IS TOO WINTERY AT WINTER WONDERLAND?
Winter Wonderland is an outdoor event so make sure you dress appropriately as we open in rain, snow or shine! There are over 1,000 covered seats in multiple seating areas across the site, providing warmth and shelter in varying degrees of enclosure – some of which are heated. There are also many benches throughout the site for you to rest your legs whilst soaking up the festive spirit!
The Ice Rink operates in all weather conditions and no refunds will be given due to inclement weather. In the unlikely event that ticketed events are closed, alternative sessions will be offered subject to availability. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more details.
ICE RINK ADVISORY?
Ice skating can be hazardous. The use of the Ice Rink is entirely at your own risk. Winter Wonderland is not responsible for any injuries arising from your use of the Ice Rink. Skaters must follow the instructions of the marshals at all times. The Rink Manager reserves the right to remove those deemed as a risk to the safety of others.
The Ice Rink operates in all conditions – please bring suitable clothing as no refunds will be given due to inclement weather.
Each child of 12 years or under must remain under the control or supervision of a person of 16 years or over at all times and the Rink Manager reserves the right to determine the ratio of adults in relation to children required for adequate supervision. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more details.
MAGICAL ICE KINGDOM ADVISORY?
To give you a true ‘arctic experience’, The Magical Ice Kingdom is very cold with the temperature set at -8°c. Please wear appropriately warm clothing.
8. PHOTOGRAPHY & FILMING AT WINTER WONDERLAND
Photography and filming on site is only allowed for personal use. If you have any commercial or editorial photography or filming requests, please contact our press office to request accreditation in advance of arriving on: firstname.lastname@example.org . All amateur photographer groups must also request photography accreditation in advance of arriving on site. We thank you for your co-operation.
9. SUSTAINABILITY POLICY
Visitors are strongly encouraged to travel to Winter Wonderland on foot, bike or by public transport. Please see our Travel page for details on how to find us.
Winter Wonderland will provide suitable facilities for visitors, traders and operators to recycle their waste and all site waste will be sorted off site to divide out recyclable and non-recyclable materials. Cooking oil will be recycled as bio-fuel. Power, lighting and water usage is kept to a minimum by careful planning.
Traders and operators will be encouraged to procure products from sustainable sources where possible and the vast majority of the Winter Wonderland infrastructure is permanent or is re-used year after year.
Winter Wonderland uses local staff and crew where possible and encourages traders and operators to do the same.
IS FATHER CHRISTMAS AT WINTER WONDERLAND REAL?!
Why not come and ask him yourself! And don’t forget to say hello to all his magical elves too. We hope you’ve been very VERY good this year…