Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Visiting Santa At Fota Wonder, Co. Cork ♥

On Thursday evening we were invited along to experience Wonder at Fota - a magical Christmas experience they hold that gets a new name each year. We had gone in previous years when Tyler was small (his first three Christmases I think) and were keen to see what Wonder had to offer.

Our visit to see Santa at Wonder for the four of us, including a picture, would have cost us €102, so we were expecting great things.

On entering the experience you're greeted with elves singing songs and making jokes while you wait for your name to be called. The kids loved interacting with them and joining in with the songs and thankfully we didn't have a long wait until we were called for our visit with Santa.

Passing 'snow' covered pine trees we were led to Santa's cabin where we were met with a sleeping Santa Claus who woke up when the children entered. This was a great touch as they loved the excitement of keeping quiet so as not to wake Santa.

I have to say, the Santa at Wonder was fantastic. He was really friendly and interacted with the boys by commenting on their coats, singing songs, making jokes and even knew their names - the personal touch is always the best.

He made them so at ease that even Beau, who can be a little strange with people, was happy enough to sit beside him for a photo.

Sadly, the only downside of the whole experience for me was the photo. Considering it costs €10 and is a keepsake for families each year, I think the photo has to be spot on and sadly our one and for other people who I've spoken to, was not. It wasn't centered, the 'Wonder 2019' on Santa's chair was cut out of the frame and Tyler was caught mid shot. I wish I had taken my own snap to be honest but I'm not sure it would have been allowed.

The presents the boys were given must have been grouped into age categories. Tyler (6) received a Mega Blocks Minions set to make your own name and he was delighted with this. Beau (3) received a Finding Dory game and we've since played it - trying to teach him to take turns!

Look how happy they are after they received their gifts and were able to walk through the snow covered trees again.

Candy Cane Lane was beautifully done and we stopped for a few pictures before heading into the little post office and then onto Mrs. Claus' lodge. I really did love the fact that we were able to stop and take our own photos along the way. It made for a lovely relaxed and personal experience and it's much better then being grouped into a timed slot.

Mrs. Claus' lodge was stunning, I loved the decor in there. In fact, all of the Wonder experience was so festive and beautifully decorated and the effort made was fabulous! Sadly we arrived in at the end of Mrs. Claus' chat but stopped for a few pictures before heading into the World of Wonder.

The World of Wonder itself was just that - full of wonder. You travel on a travelator to enter it and there's lots of treats on shelves along the way and lots of mirrors too. This took is into a big space with a slide, virtual reality sleighs, a toy testing station, a cart with free ice-cream cones and lots of space for the kids to explore. They could stuff teddy bears and watch them coming out on lines on the ceiling, it was so well done.
Again, you could stay here for as long as you wished and just enjoy the festive atmosphere while the kids had fun. This was great as Beau really made use of the toy testing station! I loved that the whole vibe of Wonder was to just enjoy your time there. There was no rushing, it never felt crowded during our visit - even though we were there during a peak time of 5.30 and the boys had an absolute ball.

As far as Christmases experiences go, Wonder at Fota and all the other named Christmases experiences Fota have each year are on the expensive side, but they offer a whole lot more than just a traditional Santa visit.

Wonder was one of the best we have been too and I'm delighted we got the opportunity to go along and see it for ourselves.
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