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  • Writer's pictureImmersive Rumours

Review: Phantom Peak - Christmas At The Peak (Wintermas 2023)

Phantom Peak concludes the 2023 season with an exceptionally fun set of festive trails in this top-tier Christmas offering.


Immersive Rumours received complimentary tickets to this show and as such, are disclosing this information before our review. They have had no input in the below and all thoughts are our own.

Large crowd in the Old Town Square watch on as Littlefield dances

Photo: Alistair Veryard


Returning for its fourth and final season of 2023, Phantom Peak continues to stand head and shoulders above every other immersive experience in London. Simply put, if you've never visited the platypus-loving mining town located in Canada Water, you're missing out on a truly special one-of-a-kind show.


Our love for this experience is well documented - our initial Phantom Peak review back in August 2022 was glowing. With 16 interconnected storylines that saw guests exploring every corner of the town over five hours, it delivered an experience that had so much to do it was impossible to complete in one visit.


Fifteen months on, Phantom Peak has continued to reinvent itself and grow season after season. There have now been 87 different story trails available across its seven seasons, and the continued evolution of the town has created a loyal fanbase and a huge number of repeat visitors. With whole host of changes around the town with every season, as well as hours' worth of new storylines to experience, Phantom Peak changes at a pace that makes every other immersive show's growth seem glacial.

Cogwright by a Christmas Tree

Photo: Alistair Veryard


The townsfolk of Phantom Peak are on edge this Wintermas season. Demigod Father Platmas has returned and vowed to take down JONACO - the mysterious organisation that controls much of the town's operation. Last year the purple-suited bringer of festive cheer was imprisoned by JONACO in a make-shift jail and is certainly holding a grudge against their previous captures. Mayor Pocket, fresh off being re-elected during the Lunar Festival, has cordoned off a large part of town around Father Platmas' Grotto and a Defence Centre has been erected to keep him at bay.


Elsewhere in town, the usual mix of unexplained goings-on that are part and parcel of Phantom Peak is keeping everyone busy. This season's many storylines include everything from a group of missing teens who were last seen investigating some monstrous sightings (a pitch-perfect parody of Scooby-Doo!), a race against the clock to prevent the town's shopkeeper from spontaneously exploding, and the arrival of an anonymously sent puppet to Mayor Pocket that has minds racing.

Dr Winter in the Father Platmas Defence Centre

Photo: Alistair Veryard


For those unfamiliar with how it works - upon arrival, groups load up the JonAssist website on their phones. Acting as a handheld guide to the town, visitors are assigned one of ten trails to start. Taking anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes to complete if you're dedicated, a typical trail will see you solving puzzles, interacting with numerous townsfolk and learning information from any of the numerous machines scattered around the town - including RoboDoc (a sarcastic digital doctor), Jonavisions (TVs that need to be tuned to a specific channel), Videomatics (keypad operated video players) and Jonagraphs (telegram machines to contact people out of town).


You progress through these stories at your own pace - which allows you to get distracted by any of the numerous other things going on around the town at any one time without losing your place in that storyline. Upon completion of a storyline, you're rewarded with a collectable trail card, which also serves as a memento of your visit.


It combines elements of immersive theatre, escape rooms and video games to form an experience that's completely unique and not being done anywhere else.

Pius talking with guests

Photo: Alistair Veryard


Every trail this season continues to meet the high standard set by past iterations, and the fact that the writers don't appear to be anywhere close to running out of ideas after creating close to 90 individual storylines for Phantom Peak is a testament to how deep and detailed the overall world in which the towns exist is.


Alongside the 10 main storylines on offer, there's plenty else to occupy your time - from the trio of carnival games to the Miramaze (a lengthy obstacle course complete with tunnels, a ball pit, dark corridors and several hundred bungee cords to navigate) and the wide range of food and drinks options which includes some excellent festive cocktails and mulled wine.

Mayor Pocket with a puppet in hand talks to a guest

Photo: Alistair Veryard


An optional add-on experience for the Wintermas season this year is a meet-and-greet with Father Platmas in their grotto. Entering in small groups, guests first have their auras read and are then deemed to be either Naughty or Nice. To break the ice, there are several rounds of festive charades and each visitor is gifted a Polaroid photo of themselves with Father Platmas, and a unique trail card.


While it may not be an essential experience for newer visitors to Phantom Peak, having some one-on-one time with arguably the season's most important character will be of particular enjoyment to regular visitors who are clued up on the lore of the town.

Photos: Alistair Veryard


With the overarching story of Phantom Peak set to continue into 2024, and no end date in sight for its ongoing season updates, it's a show that rewards regular and repeated visits. If you've not yet stepped foot into this immersive open-world, you're missing out. Phantom Peak has delivered the best immersive Christmas experience on offer in London yet again, and we can't recommend it highly enough.


★★★★★

 

Christmas at the Peak: The Beast of Winter runs at Phantom Peak in Canada Water until 30th December. Tickets start at £39.99 for adults, and can be booked via phantompeak.com









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