Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light Review

by Anisa // 0 Comments
the candyland section of the thursford enchanted journey of light featuring a life-sized gingerbread house

Imagine this: Our excitement levels were already through the roof for the Christmas Spectacular at Thursford. Little did we know that an additional dose of holiday magic awaited us with an invite to the Enchanted Journey of Light. Get ready for the inside scoop in this review of the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light, where the holiday spirit soared to new heights!

Note: We were invited to visit the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light so that we could share the experience with our readers.

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santa's toy workshop inside Fantasyland at Thursford
Get a glimpse at the toys being prepared for Christmas inside Fantasyland at Thursford.

What is the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light?

The Thursford Journey of Light is a magical experience that takes visitors on an enchanting adventure through a world of fantasy and wonder. The journey begins in the Fantasyland Building, where you walk through charming scenes with adorable animatronic penguins, polar bears, and giant teddy bears. You’ll venture behind the scenes of Santa’s workshop, where industrious elves load Santa’s sleigh and craft toys using a wondrous wrapping machine.

colourful fish at the Lantern Light Trail at Thursford
The Light Trail takes you on a journey through different themed areas.

The adventure doesn’t end indoors; it also includes the Lantern Light Extravaganza which is outside. Here, guests are treated to a huge display of luminous sculptures that bring fantasy to life. From a fantasy underwater world to the wilds of the North Pole via the plains of Africa, the outdoor exhibit showcases a dazzling array of creatures and scenes that captivate the imagination.

RELATED: Thursford Christmas Spectacular Review

Our Experience at the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light

While the primary reason for our visit to Thursford was the Christmas Spectacular, we were also invited to explore the Enchanted Journey of Light, and it turned out to be a delightful addition to our festive experience.

king's guard and household cavalry figurines at Thursford
We were welcomed to Thursford by the King’s Guard and Household Cavalry.

When we arrived at Thursford, we were greeted by the Queen’s Guard and Household Cavalry (well, life-sized figurines).  I was impressed with how realistic they looked.

the king'sguard and household cavalry figurines lit up at night at Thursford
Once the sun set, the figurines became more vibrant.

Entering Fantasyland, we stepped into a realm of animated displays that captivated us with meticulous attention to detail. Surrounded by bustling activity, we found ourselves almost missing some of the action taking place above us.

character hanging from the ceiling inside Fantasyland at Thursford
Don’t forget to look up when you are inside Fantasyland, some action takes place above you.

The festive winter landscapes skilfully integrated steam engines, while animatronic penguins, polar bears, and a Teddy Bear family enhanced the overall charm.

snowmen inside Fantasyland at Thursford
We loved watching the snowmen have a snowball fight.

A highlight was the snowmen joyfully engaging in a snowball fight, infusing the atmosphere with playfulness. After a bit we found ourselves at the North Pole, where we witnessed busy elves preparing for the big day, accompanied by Rudolph and other reindeer poised to pull Santa’s sleigh.

Rudolph and another reindeer inside Fantasyland at Thursford
You can easily pick out Rudolph with his red nose.

After soaking up the wonders inside Fantasyland, it was time to take the excitement outdoors. The Light Trail lured us with its dazzling path of lights, guiding us to an awe-inspiring surprise waiting in the top meadow.

walkway with toy soldiers at the beginning lined with colourful lights and there is a sign that says light trail
The outdoor portion of the experience starts at this colourful walkway.

The captivating play between the darkness and the vibrant hues of the illuminated displays left us spellbound. I was amazed at the sheer variety of figurines and lights that awaited.

The lantern light trail kicked off with a journey through Candyland with larger-than-life sweets and a charming gingerbread house. It felt like stepping into a living version of a fairy tale, like Hansel and Gretel.

gingerbread man
The sweet section was only the beginning of the magic you see on the Lantern Light Trail

Continuing on, the next section felt like we had entered a zoo. Our path was adorned with a diverse array of animals, and among our favourites were the majestic snow leopard, the impressive rhinoceros, and the charming Madagascar penguins. Since it is the holiday season there were a few reindeer too.

the Madagascar penguins peeking out through the ice
It was nice to see the loveable Madagascar Penguins as part of the Thursford Journey of Light.

Next, the trail led us into an Asian-inspired scene, where vibrant reds and intricate Chinese characters added a cultural touch.

red chinese animal that is part of the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light
The Asian-themed section was magical with the intense red against the darkness.

The final section transported us under the sea, where lively displays of colourful fish, a colossal conch shell, delicate sea plants, jellyfish, and an enchanting seahorse awaited our exploration.

close up of seahorse's head from Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light
The seahorse was probably my favourite thing at the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light

Each section of the Enchanted Journey of Light presented a unique and mesmerizing world, and the overall experience left us in awe. It truly is a one-of-a-kind adventure, more vibrant and magical than any other light trail we’ve encountered. Although we had seen photos before, we didn’t really have an idea of the scale, variety or impact of the Enchanted Journey of Light.

reindeer made up of white lights at the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light
It was a nice mix of themes and displays at the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light

Review of Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light

I knew Thursford fully embraces the spirit of Christmas, but the Enchanted Journey of Light surprised us with the sheer volume and quality of displays. Everywhere I turned, there were picture-perfect moments, showcasing not only a multitude of scenes but with many tiny and thoughtful details that made it interesting for all ages. The effort and creativity invested in its development must have been immense.

the exterior of the fantasyland building at Thursford
Inside the Fantasyland building, the winter and holiday scenes are wonderful for all ages.

Fantasyland proved to be a delightful spectacle, with its adorable displays evoking smiles effortlessly. Children would undoubtedly revel in the charming characters and animals, while adults could appreciate the artistic qualities and the quirky whimsical scenes. Let’s be honest – everyone’s still a child at heart.

Check out video highlights of Fantasyland here.

elephant at the light trail at Thursford
The outdoor section of the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light was filled with so many colourful displays.

The Lantern Light Trail was a sensory feast, boasting vibrant colours and accompanying music that transported us into various animated worlds. The magic of the journey was so deep that it felt like entering a world of imagination and fantasy.

Check out video highlights of the Lantern Light Trail here.

The entire attraction was impeccably organized, allowing us to enjoy the experience at our own pace without ever feeling rushed. It was a magical journey through light and fantasy, leaving us with lasting memories of a truly extraordinary adventure.

Other Things to See and Do at Thursford at Christmas

Thursford offers more than just the Enchanted Journey of Light during the holiday season. The Thursford Spectacular, a mesmerizing 3-hour variety show, is a must-see to truly believe. There is also a funfair on select nights that can be visited along with the Enchanted Journey of Light (rides are an additional fee).

exterior of Thursford Pavilion restaurant
You can grab food inside on of Thursford’s eateries, like the Pavilion Restaurant.

Additionally, there’s the Pavilion Restaurant, a cosy cafe within Fantasyland, and the Barn Cafe. Don’t forget to explore the shops, where you can discover special gifts for your loved ones.

toy store at Thursford
You will want to save some time to browse the shops at Thursford.

For a festive visit with the kids to meet Father Christmas, you need to book Santa’s Magical Journey, which also includes the Enchanted Journey of Light.

Is Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light Worth It?

Absolutely! Dive into a world of enchantment, where animated displays, festive winter scenes, and magical surprises await. Whether you’re captivated by whimsical snowmen, the hustle and bustle of Santa’s workshop, or the dazzling Lantern Light Extravaganza, this journey promises a unique holiday experience. The attention to detail, vibrant colours, and diverse themes cater to all ages, ensuring a memorable and enchanting adventure.

selfie of Russell and Anisa at the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light in front of illuminated flowers
We both thoroughly enjoyed Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light

Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light FAQs

When is the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light?

Most evenings 19 November – 24 December 2023. you can refer to the opening schedule available here for specific timings.

Is the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light included with your ticket to the Thursford Christmas Spectacular?

No, but Christmas Spectacular ticket holders can enjoy discounted entry to the Enchanted Journey of Light before their scheduled show (between 12:00 -13:00 for matinees and between 17:00 – 18:00 for evening performances).
Please note that the special rate cannot be pre-booked and is payable on the day at the Fantasy Land entrance, upon presentation of your Spectacular ticket/s. This exclusive offer is also open to Spectacular ticket holders on days when it’s not available for general public booking.
Do keep in mind that these tickets are subject to availability, and entry is not guaranteed.

How much is the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light?

For 2023, ticket prices are £22 for both adults and children, and children aged 2 and under get in for free.entrance to the displays in Fantasyland at Thursford

Is the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light good for kids?

Absolutely, the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light caters to all ages. Kids will be spellbound by the charming characters, delightful animals, and the vibrant display of lights and colours. If you need more ideas for family-friendly activities, check out our recommendations for the best things to do in Norfolk with kids.

Does the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light include a visit with Father Christmas?

No. If you want to see Father Christmas, you need to book Santa’s Magical Journey here, which also includes entrance to the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light.

Do I need to book the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light in advance?

To ensure you don’t miss the enchanting experience of the Enchanted Journey of Light, it’s highly recommended to secure your full-price tickets in advance through online booking. While discounted tickets for Christmas Spectacular ticket holders are available for purchase in person at Fantasyland on the day of your visit, please note that entry is not guaranteed.cute monkey from the lantern light trail at Thursford

What happens to the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light in the event of bad weather?

The Enchanted Journey of Light will not be cancelled due to rain or snow. The only circumstances that may lead to a cancellation or suspension are high winds, posing potential safety concerns for both employees and customers navigating the outside section of the experience. In the event of Yellow+ warnings for high winds in Norfolk, please check the Thursford website for real-time updates.

How long does it take to do the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light?

You are free to explore at your own pace, so I suggest budgeting around 1 to 2 hours to fully experience the entire attraction.penguins inside Fantasyland at Thursford

Is it possible to see the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light and the Thursford Christmas Spectacular on the same day?

Absolutely! There’s ample time to experience both the Christmas Spectacular and the Enchanted Journey of Light. For the best experience, we suggest exploring the Enchanted Journey of Light after the matinee or before the evening show, as the light trail truly shines in the dark.
rhinoceros at thursford enchanted journey of light

Are photos allowed in the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light?

Yes, you can take photos inside Fantasyland and on the Lantern Light Trail.

Is food and drink available for purchase at the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light?

You have the option to buy food and drinks at the Pavilion Restaurant, the cafe inside Fantasyland, and the Barn Cafe.pies from the Thursford Pavilion Restaurant.

Is the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light wheelchair accessible?


Where is the Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light?

The Thursford Enchanted Journey of Light takes place at the Thursford Collection. Use the postcode NR21 0AS in your GPS, and once you get in the area, it is well sign posted.

Where can you park for the Enchanted Journey of Light?

There is a large car park (with some disabled parking spaces) on site that is free to use.

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