How we transform our villages for Winter Forest Lights

4 February 2022

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Whether you’re strolling through the enchanted forest, admiring the sparkling winter lights or cosying up to watch the animated story on your lodge TV, our brand-new experience Winter Forest Lights keeps the magic alive after Christmas, banishing the winter blues on the cold and dark January and February nights.

 

Discover the story of Luminessa the light-catcher, who catches children’s wishes and brightens up the forest in the dark winter months. The Wishlight Village, featuring beautiful decorations and twinkly light displays, captures little imaginations with plenty of enchanting things to do and see. Read more about what you can find on a Winter Forest Lights break here.

 

With every child’s wish comes a lot of preparation! Planning begins over a year in advance, just like with Winter Wonderland. It takes a huge number of people to design and create our extraordinary enchanted forest, but the hands-on work starts at the beginning of January, when we transform the village from a magical Winter Wonderland into a twinkling Winter Forest Lights experience - in just one week!

 

Paul Stewart, Elveden’s Deputy Village Director explains his role in the preparation for The Winter Forest Lights:

“The Winter Forest Lights experience is a very exciting time for all of us! As Deputy Village Directors we started discussing how we could extend our Winter Wonderland offer - as so many guests enjoy the decorations and the lights that illuminate the village in the darker longer nights - and identified exclusive decorations that would help bring our Winter Forest Lights experience to life.

As we continued to work on the programme during the village closure, the Head Office Seasonal Team developed the activities, characters, and The Wishlight Village that we were able to put in place for 2022. The story of Luminessa and the idea of capturing children’s wishes to create light in the dark forest was born. Our leisure team worked on activities that fit the theme and the decorations team planned little extras that would enhance the story, from lanterns in the forest to the Wishing Tree and the pixie washing line. We worked with our suppliers to develop the Toadstool Cabins that the animatronic pixies could easily be put into them and the Toadstool Cabins redecorated.”

 

Our team in the Leisure Department ensure the village is filled with lots of magical activities such as the Winter Treasure Trail, Woodland Pixie and fairy Adventure and Winter Lantern Workshop. Guests are able to explore The Wishlight Village and Enchanted Light Trail for free, make a wish at the Wishing Tree, find Luminessa’s trail of lanterns throughout the woods and stop by the Forest Fayre for a tasty treat and a hot drink to warm up. Don’t forget to watch out for your wish dancing in the trees! Leisure managers also prepare for the pixies arriving on the village, making sure they have their outfits ready. Our pixies receive special training to help them create an extra magical experience when interacting with our guests.

 

The Events Managers also work hard to prepare entertainment on village throughout this period. Firstly, they had to learn and understand the story of The Winter Forest Lights and how this concept would be brought to life. They then research, contact and book entertainment which takes place around the village throughout this time. They also make sure everything is up to a high standard as decorations are designed, delivered, installed and maintained.

 

Did you know Elveden alone purchased 600 sets of blue lights this year – with a total of 6000 metres of lights twinkling throughout the village and around 60,000 single LEDS on top of countless cool white LEDS!

 

Although the installation of Winter Forest lights may seem quick and unnoticeable to guests, there is a lot of preparation that goes into it. The Marketing teams along with Technical Services help make sure all the decorations and signs are and fitted correctly in just a week as we remove Winter Wonderland and create our Winter Forest Lights experience. Weather conditions can certainly make this a difficult task but with the Center Parcs spirit - and a sprinkle of pixie dust - the work gets completed and the end result is something you definitely don’t want to miss.

 

Have you and your family been on a Winter Forest Lights break? Don’t forget to share your snaps with us using the hashtag #mycp

Olivia Sutton smiling at camera

Olivia Sutton

Working in Marketing at Center Parcs is always exciting with every day being different. I love working on village as it allows me to experience everything first-hand with the best part being able to see guests faces light up as they explore the village.