Whether you love it or aren’t so keen, there’s no denying that Winter Wonderland is a sacred part of London’s events calendar. The annual fair in Hyde Park is the destination for many a festive get-together and brings 200 theme-park rides, ice skating, alpine market stalls, hot toddies and rosy-cheeked merriment to central London each year. You’ve probably been at least once in your life – you might go every year without fail. Either way, this will be a glum note on your very early advent calendar: organisers have just confirmed that Winter Wonderland 2020 won’t be going ahead.
The festive event has been cancelled for winter 2020, much like many of London’s biggest and best summer events. And just when we needed some Christmas cheer the most. The event’s team says it could find no ‘responsible’ way to go ahead with the seasonal extravaganza this year.
‘In light of ongoing health concerns, travel restrictions and uncertainty surrounding Covid-19, and considering the size and scale of this event, we just couldn’t find a way to do that without sacrificing the very thing that makes the event so special: bringing friends and family together in a fun, safe and interactive environment to celebrate the festive season,’ said a spokesperson for Winter Wonderland.
The team looked at reducing the event’s capacity, introducing a digital queuing system and changing the whole way it does ticketing, but it feared the experience would be compromised for visitors. It also had concerns over how it would bring in its authentic European market stalls given current travel restrictions in the UK.
Organisers say they hope to welcome back guests again to Winter Wonderland 2021. Aside from panto, it’s the first major Christmas postponement to hit London. We’ll keep you updated as soon as we know more on how the festive calendar is shaping up for the rest of the city.
Don’t worry, you can still find some festive cheer in our guide to Christmas in London.