Fantasy journey a must-see attraction

IT'S a Christmas fantasy land that children dream of and, thanks to a huge investment, Santa's Magical Journey at Thursford looks set to be a must-see attraction.

IT'S a Christmas fantasy land that children dream of and, thanks to a huge investment, Santa's Magical Journey at Thursford looks set to be a must-see attraction.

Conceived by the team behind the Thursford Christmas Spectacular, the walk-through wonderland welcomed 50,000 visitors at the site near Fakenham last year, but with an injection of £250,000 on more animation, lighting and a computer system it is hoped the attraction will become as renowned nationwide as the Spectacular show.

The Journey transports youngsters into an enchanting world where elves, penguins, snowmen and all Santa's other little helpers are hard at work - getting everything ready for Christmas Eve. The latest technology is

combined with a touch of tradition, with magical machines and a present production line, all part of the journey which ends inside Santa's house - with a chat and a present from the big man himself.


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John Cushing, managing director at Thursford, said the team were thrilled with their latest creation.

“There is nothing like it,” he said. “I really wanted it to be a journey to Santa's house and not just a queue up to a grotto. Whereas the Spectacular show has always been for adults and older children, Santa's Magical Journey is a Christmas fantasy, where dreams become reality for small children - and, of course, their parents and grandparents.

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“We have set out to realise the same captivating, Disney-style qualities with our Magical Journey, applying the highest standards and attention to detail to deliver the most memorable and best-value attraction of its kind in the region. We believe it has to be perfect - after all, when it comes to Christmas, children are as discerning an audience as grown-ups!

“Our ultimate aim is to have people visiting Santa's Magical Journey into Christmas from all over the UK, just as they already do for the Spectacular.”

Twenty four of Mr Cushing's father George's engines are incorporated into the walk through and there are also magicians and comedians performing during the day.

Alfie and Ted Cross, aged six and four, were among the first youngsters to cast their expert eyes over the attraction.

“When you walk in there are huge bugs that come to life and make noises,” said Alfie. “And I liked the snowmen because when you walk past they say 'look out for snowballs' and you think they are going to throw one at you.

“You can see all the elves getting presents ready for the children but my favourite bit was seeing Father Christmas and looking at all the toys in his house. I'm hoping to get a train track.”

Ted said: “My favourite bit was the polar bears and I liked the one in a cave. I really liked all the lights, they are in the trees before you go in and so many inside I could not count them all. It made me feel really excited about Christmas.”

As the Magical Journey is on foot, there is easy access for pushchairs and wheelchairs.

It is open every day from today to December 23 and times must be pre-booked by calling 01328 878477 as there are limited numbers for each journey to avoid long queues.

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