A couple of days ago we went on the Santa Train at The Vale of Rheidol Narrow Gauge Railway. We had such a lovely time and were so impressed I just had to write a review. **Present spoiler at the end!**
The best thing about the whole experience most definitely has to be the staff. Everyone was festively dressed and so cheerful and friendly. They really played their parts and the children got utterly swept up in the magic. Tickets included a large mince pie, (which I want to say was homemade but I’m not certain!) and a hot or cold drink, which we sat down and had before the train ride. There was a magician wandering around amazing the children it didn’t feel too crowded or busy as some of these events can be.
The children were invited up by the driver to see the engine, (which made their day!) before being shown to our carriage which was lovely and warm, beautifully decorated with Christmas songs playing. We had our own section, with plenty of space for the 5 of us and all of our coats etc and there were a few other groups in there which added to the excited atmosphere for the children.
Santa, or Sion Corn as he is in Wales, went past the window waving and the kids were just so excited to see him, Even more excitingly for my little girl was a glimpse of Mrs Claus, as we never see her usually, with her kitten Tinsel, a little puppet that the children could stroke. We named her Sian Corn. 🙂 Unfortunately the weather was pretty poor, very misty and drizzly so we didn’t get the full benefit of the stunning views the line is famous for, this didn’t matter though, as the children were very busy looking out the window to see when Santa was coming to them.
The level of excitement when he boarded our carriage was high, he started at the far end and worked his way through, taking time to speak to all the children, sitting down and chatting with them for a good 10 minutes and getting everyone organised for photos with him which the two elves happily took for everyone on their own phones and cameras. He then gave the children their presents and told them they could open them if they promised to go to bed by 8 on Christmas Eve, that was a win for us! The presents were spot on, the best presents we’ve had from an experience like this, (and trust me, we’ve been on a few over the years in a quest to find ‘The Perfect Santa’!), a Bob the Builder magic sand kit with a vehicle that you can press the sand into all over and make tools etc for my 5 year old son and a very good quality Disney Princess glitter jigsaw for my 7 year old which she has already done three times!
On the way back, Mrs Claus came into our carriage and read the children a lovely story, remembering all their names and getting them involved. It was lovely to have them kept entertained the whole time, previously they have got a bit restless after Santa had left the carriage but they were kept happy and occupied until we arrived back at the station. Tickets cost £15.50 for adults, £13.00 for children and £5.00 for under 2s. All child tickets include a present. Possibly not the cheapest Santa experience but in my opinion, one of the best we have done, and one of the nicest Santa train rides we’ve taken.
*This is not a paid review and we didn’t receive free tickets to attend.*