Yorkshire Wildlife Park unveils Christmas magic as spectacular light and lantern festival commences

A spectacular light and lantern festival created some dazzling Christmas magic as the award-winning Yorkshire Wildlife Park unveiled the Winter Illuminations trail today.

A million lights bulbs and LED lights transformed the park for the first time ever into a Winter wonderland featuring 42 different displays with 1,000 individual lanterns. 

The immersive light installations and interactive exhibits is the largest in Yorkshire and will amaze visitors along a 2,400 metre trail at the innovative park.

“We are incredibly excited to have the delight of hosting Winter Illuminations this year” said John Minion, CEO of the park at Branton, near Doncaster. “Visitors will be overwhelmed by these giant displays. They truly are breathtaking and we are delighted that we have been able to host the Illuminations in accordance with the most recent Government guidelines."

“The displays will install the magic of Christmas for our visitors here at the park and we can’t wait for everyone to see it over the coming weeks.”

The spectacular light show, created by Lightopia which has exhibited in the US and venues around the world, includes giant lanterns depicting some of the 400 animals that live at the 150-acre park. The majority of the lanterns were shipped to Doncaster from their most recent show in New York.

The amazing light show features a series of giant dinosaur lanterns, light-up animals, step-on light pads, immersive rainbow lights and many other light creations. 

The enchanting routes have been designed with the safety of friends and family in mind with advanced booking only and limited numbers of people on site with 15-minute timed entry slots to maintain social distancing. Stewards will enforce a strict and well sign posted one way system as children and adults enjoy a kaleidoscope of colour with magical sculptures and tunnels of light as they stroll around 2.4 km of trails that have been designed to ensure a magical and safe experience.

It has taken a team of 20 experts and 40 days to create the magical atmosphere at the park. Families will be able to keep warm with food and hot drinks available from takeaway outlets around the route.

The evening festivities are open to the public from 4.00pm until 9.00pm on 44 selected dates from December through Christmas and into early January. The light and lantern trail is expected to take approximately 60- 90 minutes to complete.

The park’s animals will not be on view during the evening lantern trail but YWP will be offering daytime bundled tickets to allow visitors to enjoy both a day with the animals and the chance to explore the illuminated trail later on.

John continued, “Everyone needs something to look forward to at the moment. With our 150-acre outdoor site and established Covid precautions, we are determined to give Yorkshire a safe alternative to traditional Christmas trips to a Santa’s Grotto or the pantomime."