Review: The Four Realms at Christmas, Westfield London

We were given tickets to the latest pop up in Westfield London’s Atrium based off of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. The Atrium is super easy to find – its located by the ‘main’ entrance. There’s a buggy park located to the left of the pop up next to the booking office. I passed it quite a few times during the day and there was always someone staffing it. During the experience you’ll usually be accompanied by others and in small groups (including my son and I there were five adults and two children).
After queueing up for about five minutes a tall man dressed in a red jacket introduced himself as The Nutcracker and invited us through the magic secret door hidden behind a Christmas tree and into the time travel machine. It’s here that the magic box filled with ‘the heart of the four realms’ is given to us and we’re told that we have to keep it safe on our journey through the four realms, returning it to the lost realm. We’re also warned that it could be dangerous, after all a war had broken out.
Having been to the Snowflake grotto in previous years I was expecting more from the ‘time travel’ section (the grotto used a lot more special effects). We simply walked through a door into a mirror maze and through another door and we were in the first realm – the Snowflake Realm.

Land of Snowflakes

The Snow Queen popped up on a small screen and interacted with The Nutcracker for a few minutes – informing her of our mission. She wished us well and we all had to touch a giant sized daffodil in order for the door to the next realm to open. Beyond the snowy décor this room didn’t have much to offer. You can catch a glimpse of the Land of Snowflakes in the video at the bottom... 

Land of Flowers

As we stepped in the Flower Realm I was in awe! The attention to detail, the interactivity and role playing was… wow. There’s a bubble machine that spits out sweet flavoured bubbles, two trampolines that activates a sweet smell by jumping on it and a photo booth. This was definitely the room with the most to offer and I was sad that we didn’t get to spend more time in here. This room was sponsored by Glade and was intended to promote their new  limited-edition Sugarplum Fantasies fragrance.

Land of Sweets

The Sugar Plum Fairy, who had been in the flower room with us, waved us farewell and The Nutcracker led us into the next room – the Candy Realm. In here we had to dive into two giant ball pits to try and find the key to the lost realm – after taking our shoes off of course. This room fell a bit flat to be honest – we just waddled about aimlessly in the ball pits until the characters (The Nutcracker and Sprinkles) basically told us where the key was.

The Fourth Realm

This room had a dark and mysterious circus theme. Midway through the actors speech a mechanical soldier burst in. Remembering the warning at the start of the journey that if we ever saw a mechanical soldier we had to freeze on the spot so he couldn’t see us we all stood still like statues until he was gone. When he left we were able to safely return ‘the heart of the four realms’ box to the last realm and once opened we were given a magical surprise.
All in all my son and I really enjoyed the experience. It didn’t feel rushed but I’d have liked to have spent more time in each room – the Flower Realm especially. I’d say it’s definitely worth the money, especially if you’re already in the area and wanted to unwind after shopping.

The pop up runs from the 11th – 31st Dec.

Entry for children is free but admission is £5 per adult. You can book your tickets here

Ariel Way, London W12 7GF

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