Hello Kitty switched on the spectacular Christmas light display at Drusillas Park and declared the Winter Wonderland officially open for 2014.
Hundreds of revellers witnessed the spectacle during a ceremony held at 4.30pm in the Events Arena at the award-winning family attraction in East Sussex.
Visitor Services Manager, Caroline Steer, said a few words to mark the occasion before handing over to the ever popular Hello Kitty for the ceremonial countdown and Grand Switch On.
The spectacular illuminations are set within an ice-capped kingdom and feature an animal themed light show synchronised to music.
Between 60–70,000 LED lights were used to create the impressive display specifically chosen for their low energy consumption and environmental benefits.
Revellers enjoyed the host of magical creatures including penguins, polar bears and reindeer; the Winter Wonderland Illuminations will now run until Sunday 4th January lighting up at 3.30pm daily with the official Light Show at 4.30pm.
Also dashing in for the occasion, Father Christmas made a welcome return to the zoo.
He will be in his cosy Cottage every weekend, then daily from 13th – 23rd December inclusive; for a small additional charge of £6 children can meet Santa and receive an early Christmas gift.
For the first time at Drusillas, Father Christmas bought two of his reindeer with him to the zoo.
Tinsel and Twinkle met visitors in the Events Arena throughout the day and will remain at the Park until December 23, building up their strength before making their deliveries on Christmas Eve.
Plus visitors also had the opportunity to Hug a Husky.
The two cuddly canines met guests between 1pm and 5pm in the Ice Cave.
They will return to Drusillas each weekend, then daily from December 19 to 23.
Caroline said, “It’s been a wonderful afternoon and I think the Illuminations are better than ever this year.
“It is great to see the look on the children’s faces as the display lights up and it’s almost impossible not to dance.
“We are sure this year’s display will prove popular once again with any donations going to our Charity of the Year for 2014, Fun in Action for Children.”