Wonderland Under Warrior returns at Alabama’s Rickwood Caverns State Park
Alabama State Parks, a division of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, this week announced that one of the state’s unique holiday traditions has returned this year at Rickwood Caverns State Park.
The park’s centerpiece cave system will once again be home to “Wonderland Under Warrior,” a magical experience in which the cave is transformed into a festive underground winter wonderland. Holiday light displays and decorations accentuate the cave’s natural formations.
“Wonderland Under Warrior is one of the top attractions at the park every year, and it’s the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit,” Rickwood Caverns State Park superintendent Chris Bentley said in a statement. “We are extremely pleased to keep this holiday tradition going for all of our guests.”
Wonderland Under Warrior runs through December 30, operating from 2:00 until 8:00 p.m. CT on the days it is open, and the last tickets will be sold each day at 7:30 p.m. The cost is $10 per person.
A complete schedule can be found on the park’s website here.
All regular cave tours are suspended for the duration of “Wonderland Under Warrior” and will resume in 2021.
Cave visitors are required to wear masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and guests are required to maintain a social distance of six feet from anyone not in their household. Capacity restrictions will be enforced by park employees in the cave, nature center and gift shop and must be followed by guests. Hand sanitizing stations are also located throughout the cave, and park staffers reportedly disinfect frequently.
The cave temperature remains at 62 degrees year-round, so visitors should not be dissuaded by cold days. The park’s gift shop will be decorated for the holidays and offer unique gifts, ornaments, snacks and hot cocoa to purchase.
Further, “Wonderland Under Warrior” features an out-and-back self-guided tour, so the 110-step ascent at the end of the normal cave tour is not required. This makes the walk easier for anyone with mobility concerns and small children. The entire walk is about a mile in the cave.
“Wonderland Under Warrior has become one of the top holiday attractions in the entire parks system, and we know many visitors look forward to it every year,” commented Greg Lein, director of the Alabama State Parks System. “The parks system offers unique experiences from the state’s Gulf Coast beaches to the gorgeous scenery in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in northeast Alabama. Diving deep into Rickwood Caverns is a holiday experience unlike any other, and it represents another way to offer our guests something truly adventurous and memorable.”
Rickwood Caverns State Park is located just off Interstate 65 in Warrior, about 30 miles north of downtown Birmingham and about 75 miles south of Huntsville.
You can view a video of Wonderland Under Warrior from last year below:
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn