What we loved about A Winter’s Tail at Chessington World of Adventures

I always like to book one special Christmas event for the children – one where they can get to meet Father Christmas whilst doing other activities, and generally having a magical day out. This year, we booked tickets for A Winter’s Tail at Chessington World of Adventures. It was our first time visiting Chessington at Christmas and we loved it. Here are some of the things we loved:


A Gruffalo-themed snowman with a Mouse sitting next to it - "What we loved about A Winter's Tail at Chessington World of Adventures"


1) The Gruffalo’s Child story time

The Gruffalo’s Child is a favourite with my girls. They both enjoyed sitting and listening to the story at the start of our day out. I thought at first it was just a straight reading of the story. However, once the staff had finished reading the story, they were great at interacting with the children by getting them to guess the animal footprints and pretend to be various characters from the story. There was an opportunity to meet the Gruffalo and have our photo taken with him after the story had finished.


Two Chessington staff members holding a picture of the Gruffalo's Child and the Owl


Jessica and Sophie meeting the Gruffalo


2) Meeting Father Christmas

We were met by Robin the Elf at the entrance to Santa’s Grotto. He led us through the snowy forest to the hut where Father Christmas was waiting. He greeted the girls, asked them what they wanted for Christmas and reminded them to leave a mince pie and carrot out on Christmas Eve. Jessica and Sophie were so thrilled at getting to see Father Christmas. They also got to choose a gift to take home. Jessica picked out a Gruffalo notebook and Sophie chose a cuddly toy penguin.


Jessica and Sophie are led through the snowy forest by Robin the Elf


I loved the fact that trees hid the other huts in the forest. Hubby and I could see them, but the girls couldn’t. A few of them had been visible as we waited in the queue but they had signs on the back showing that they were the “Elves’ Workshop” or the “Wrapping Room.” Even if the girls had spotted them on their journey through the snowy forest, we would have had no difficulty in convincing them that there was only one hut with Santa waiting!


Jessica and Sophie with Father Christmas in his hut


The only downside to meeting Father Christmas was the long queue to get to the entrance to Santa’s Grotto. Although we had timed tickets, we still queued for around half an hour before we were able to go and see Father Christmas. It would have also been nice if the photo was included in our ticket. That said, we were able to take our own photos so there was less pressure to buy the official one.



3) Decorating a Gruffalo-themed cookie in the Gruffalo’s Kitchen

Decorating a cookie in the Gruffalo’s Kitchen is included in the entry ticket for children. There were several different gingerbread cookies available to choose from – each featuring one of the characters from the Gruffalo. Jessica chose the Gruffalo and Sophie chose the Mouse. We were given coloured icing tubes to decorate them.


Sophie holding up her decorated cookie


I loved the fact that this was very relaxed and unhurried. We found a table in the Gruffalo’s Kitchen and the girls took their time decorating their cookies before eating them. Hubby and I enjoyed a hot chocolate and a snowman gingerbread cookie in the meantime (which was included in the adult entry ticket).



4) Getting to go on rides with minimal queuing

The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure is always a favourite with my girls. It’s quite a popular ride and the queues are often fairly long. However, because the park was much quieter for the Winter’s Tail event, the queues tended to be much shorter. We only waited a couple of minutes before we got to go on the Gruffalo River Ride Adventure. With the exception of the Tiny Truckers ride, which had a 30-minute queue when we went on it, we didn’t queue for longer than five minutes for any ride.


Jessica and Sophie on the Adventure Tree carousel



5) Seeing the animals in the zoo and Sealife Centre

The girls loved the monkey walkthrough where they got to see marmosets and monkeys up close. We also loved seeing meerkats, zebras and ostriches at the Wanyama Village and Reserve as well as getting to see lions, tigers and gorillas at the Trail of the Kings. There were a few animal meet and greets and opportunities to see feeds throughout the day too.


A monkey at Chessington World of Adventures


Two lion cubs relaxing


The girls always enjoy visiting the Sealife Centre too. They loved being able to gently stroke a starfish and always get very excited when they spot “Nemo” and “Dory.”



6) The little details which made it magical

It’s the little details that help make a Christmas event like this magical. I loved the Gruffalo-themed snowman that we spotted on our arrival at Chessington and the helpful elves at Santa’s Grotto and the Gruffalo’s Kitchen. The most magical moment was when it started to “snow” as we waited to meet the Gruffalo after listening to the Gruffalo’s Child story. The girls were absolutely thrilled that It was snowing – and they could see the “snowflakes” settling on their coats and in their hair.


Sophie enjoying the "snow" at Chessington World of Adventures


Thank you, Chessington World of Adventures, for a magical festive family day out. We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.


I am a Chessington Blogger Ambassador, I was given a Chessington Annual Pass to do this review with my family and I was not paid to do this post. If anyone would like to confirm any details in the post, please email press.office@chessington.co.uk


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

15 thoughts on “What we loved about A Winter’s Tail at Chessington World of Adventures

  1. What a great day you all had! I always think of Chessington as being about the big fast rides but this really makes me want to visit with TJ. #countrykids

  2. Living round the corner from Chessington in the past I’m now licking myself for not taking our boys when they were little. Though I dare say what you experienced here is way more than it would have been 15 odd years ago. It looks like a full day out and one that will be hard to better next year. The attention to detail from the park is wonderful and made all the more magical with real snow, I thought it was a snow machine at first! All in a perfect Christmas treat day out.

    On a separate note, I’m delighted to hear how well Jessica is recovering from her latest heart operation, big hugs from us all at Coombe Mill.

  3. We’ve never been to Chessington as its just a bit too far for us to travel, however it looks like you had great fun. The little attention to details at these type of places make a world of difference. I love the idea of the themed Gruffalo cookies! #CountryKids

  4. Oh wow this looks amazing, I am with you I think its the little things that make a big difference. Lovely selection of photos and we love the Gruffalo ride!! #CountryKids

  5. Shame about the queue to see Santa, however we love the look of the Gruffalo themed event, especially the snowmen. We still havent been on the Gruffalo ride yet and its on our bucket list for 2018 x #CountryKids

  6. What a gorgeous day for you guys! It looks like a lovely place to experience Santa and Christmas magic – and lots of other activities too 🙂 will have to keep this in mind for the future! #countrykids

  7. My little lady has just started to spot the gruffalo river ride on the TV. She has even asked to stay in the hotel. I would like to try one of these Christmas events. I’m worried about the queuing side in regards to autism to be honest. I would have to look into it a bit more #CountryKids sorry I’m late

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