With the holidays coming up I know all you Alice-heads and Looking-Glass-lovers are shopping around for the perfect thing for those who love all things Wonderland. I’m not going to give that to you. Things are temporary, but memories, those are forever. Wait, what lasts longer again, memories or plastic? Whatever the case, I’m going to give you five perfect Alice in Wonderland experiences that you and your loved ones can enjoy over the holidays. These experiences take place all over the world, so, if you take a vacation (or go on holiday as our friends over the pond say) in the December months, why not make the trip down the rabbit hole to where these things take place.
That’s Wunderland pronounced voon-der-lund. Close your eyes, now open them because I realized you can’t read what I’m typing. I want you to Imagine the perfect holiday vacation. In your mind’s eye, what do you imagine? Do you imagine beautiful landscapes? I’m sure you do. What about fantastic chocolate? Of course, you are. How about some of the best banks and bankers in the world? Well if those three things are on your list, Zurich is the place for you. Now that you’re there on your holiday vacation, you’re probably searching high and low for something Alice related to do. I’ve got the thing just for you, just pop on over to Oppernhaus in Zurich where they are showing an Alice in Wonderland opera by Pierangelo Valtinoni. If you haven’t been to an opera before you are in for a real treat, the costumes are amazing and the music is fantastic. I’m particularly fond of the Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum costumes. This event is running now till January 19th and would make a perfect addition to any holiday vacation.
The 1951 Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland is arguably the most famous version of Lewis Carroll’s novels so it would make sense that they would use the IP in their many different parks. With rides that take you through the story of Alice in Wonderland, a labyrinth, and even the medieval torture device that is the Mad Hatters Teacups, Alice fans will have a ride to fit their fancy. During the holiday seasons, the Disney parks get all made up with amazing decorations which is honestly a sight to see. Including a Christmas parade where Alice can be seen waving on a float. Why not bring the whole family and feel like Alice yourself.
If you’d rather a fried chicken dinner than a turkey, get over to Japan for Christmas. While you’re there you should stop over at Alice on Wednesday. What is it? Well the poor google translation that I had of the website had me thinking that it was a sweet shop, but as I dug deeper, I saw photos of a “dining room” made up to look like the Red Queens, then I kept digging and saw Alice themed nick nacks. So I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t fully know what it is, but I can tell you this, it looks amazing. Take a chance and see where your journey down the rabbit hole leads you. For those who are more cautious, allow me to reassure you. Having been to Japan before, I can say with confidence, everything lives up to the hype, and experiences are as good or better than the photos on their websites. Except for the owl cafes, I’d skip those.
Ok, I dug a bit more on their website, I think it’s a store, but it’s three floors and intricately designed around Alice characters. Definitely worth stopping by. I do not know what Wednesday has to do with the store or Alice nor have I been able to find an answer. What I can tell you is this would be a perfect place to take an Alice-obsessed loved one for a shopping spree that they will never forget.
After spending a couple of minutes looking up how to pronounce Llandudno, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not pronounceable. That’s not important, what is important though is the history of this town. Llandudno was the location of the holiday home of Alice Liddell AKA Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland AKA Princess Alyss. I can’t think of a better way to spend the holidays with your loved ones than in the place Alice spent her holidays! On top of that, where the holiday home was located has been turned into a hotel, you can literally see what Alice saw! If that isn’t Alice enough for you, you’re in luck, there is an interactive self-guided tour that can be downloaded on your phone that will lead you to the favorite spots of the Lidells. This tour is more than just a mere map, no, this app actually uses AR technology to allow you to interact with the Wonderlanders themselves as you wander through this beautiful town. Anyone who goes to this please let me know how to pronounce Llandudno I keep pronouncing it with a y sound as if it were Spanish but I think that’s incorrect.
While on the hunt for the thing to put on this list to bring it all home, I realized that none of them were free and that isn’t fair. The holidays are expensive and maybe you want something to do that will only cost you as much as it takes to get there. I had a vague memory of Christmas lights being set up to display Alice characters and was wondering if I was grasping at straws or if it was real. Well, it turns out I was right, if your neighborhood has some of those crazy Christmas light people or if your city puts on a free Christmas light show, I promise you will find an Alice character hidden somewhere in there. This is a fun hunt to do with your family and is something I will be doing with my family this coming season. Bring hot coco for extra points.
Well, that’s all I have for you today. I wish all of you a happy, healthy, and stress-free holiday. And if you don’t celebrate the holidays, have a happy un-birthday!
Jared Hoffman graduated from the American Film Institute with a degree in screenwriting. A Los Angeles native, his brand of comedy is satire stemming from the many different personalities and ego’s he has encountered throughout his life. As a lover of all things comedy, Jared is always working out new material and trying to make those around him laugh. His therapist claims this is a coping mechanism, but what does she know?