Is it worth visiting Hyde Parks Winter Wonderland?

I’m inclined to straight up just say no, in answer to my own question (and title). However, logic prevails. I believe in always giving everything a fair try, and I’ve now given Winter Wonderland three tries in my lifetime; and I cannot help but feel the same disappointment every time.

It’s a commercialised version of a German Christmas market; essentially this is what the concept of Winter Wonderland originates from. The allure of Christmas markets have long been popular, the idea of sauntering along on a bitter cold night with spicy mulled wine and a loved one in tow is a romanticised idea. It’s cute, I get it.

*Image courtesy of Instagram

Winter Wonderland has capitalised on this idea to its maximum potential. ‘Imported authentic German sausages’, an entire Bavarian village (complete with frightening giant man that looks like an extra from Disney’s Pinocchio), a giant funfair, and various stalls with magnificent winter treats like churros and hot chocolate. And of course there’s the alcohol, beer and mulled wine galore.

There are also more family orientated activities available at Winter Wonderland, but many of these must be pre booked. And I dread to think what they cost. You’d need a mortgage for a small family.

I’m not a sceptic, I’m not even anti capitalism. There are many capitalistic concepts that I am a fan of, and consumer culture is everywhere. I don’t want to be a complete grinch, but this place leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Perhaps it’s the fact the food and drinks are extortionately over priced? (I paid £12 for a bratwurst and chips). Or the appropriating of German culture? The cheesy music in the tents? The crowds of people pushing past?

Don’t get me wrong it’s not an awful place. On the third and last visit, I was unfortunate enough to have consistent downpour of rain, so this probably did not help sway my opinion at all.

But after paying £12 for a mediocre sausage and chips, not having anywhere to sit down and eat whilst drunk people jump up and down screaming Christmas songs – just isn’t my idea of fun. I am in danger here of sounding frightfully old and sensible, but I feel this event is overrated. I think everyone should go once for the experience, but just be prepared. You’ll need cash, as many of the stalls do not accept card. You’ll need an umbrella, with a dash of unlimited patience and an abundance of money. Enjoy.

4 Comments

  1. Michael Wood
    December 16, 2018 / 3:43 pm

    I’m not sure that a traditional Weihnachtsmärkte “Travels.” I lived in Germany for many years and although people sold stuff there was always an amateur feeling just like village fests, It’s what made them fun – cosy in fact. From what I’ve seen and experienced when they move outside Germany they become a Disneyfied vulgar version of the original.

    Christmas in Germany is magical. Christmas in England is magical too if we stick to our own traditions.

    • December 17, 2018 / 9:59 pm

      I couldn’t have put it better myself Michael! Especially when a traditional event is turnt into one which exploits people hugely? I mean £12 for a sausage and chips? And this is before Brexit? 😂

  2. December 17, 2018 / 9:18 pm

    I also think that it isn’t worth it 🤣 but it is more about being silly with friends than the market, right?

    • December 17, 2018 / 9:22 pm

      Yes it is! But my issue is that inevitably I will get hungry and end up spending way more money than planned 😂🙃 #ForeverHungry

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