Free McDonald's meals at Swindon shopping park

Families visit a festive photobooth and food van set up by McDonald's at the Orbital Shopping Park. <i>(Image: Newsquest)</i>
Families visit a festive photobooth and food van set up by McDonald's at the Orbital Shopping Park. (Image: Newsquest)

DOZENS of surprised shoppers in Swindon had the chance to meet Pudsey Bear and try free festive treats.

McDonald's teamed up with BBC Children in Need to give visitors free personalised Christmas cards and snacks in an outdoor grotto full of decorations, trees, lights and music.

The Reindeer Ready Christmas Card Tour stopped off at the Orbital Shopping Centre for a few hours on Thursday afternoon as part of a national campaign that will also head to Derby, Llandudno, Colchester, and Doncaster.

Excited parents and children picked a festive backdrop to stand in front of so that a professional photographer could capture a Christmassy moment that they could take away on a printed card - after bagging some free festive pies, melted cheese bites, and McNuggets from a food van.

Laura Turnbull picked up her 11-year-old daughter Eryn from football and stumbled up on the

She said: "It was really nice to see something like this in Swindon, we thought it was really good.

"It had a good feel, very Christmassy, amazing. We picked up some free Nuggets - Eryn's favourite - and cards for the grandparents."

Eryn added: "It was exciting to meet Pudsey. They should do this every year."

Before having their photo taken, they could donate to Children in Need as well.

Laura Dermeechi and her two-year-old daughter Mia had a lovely time.

Swindon Advertiser: Laura Dermeechi and her daughter Mia meet Pudsey at the McDonald's Reindeer Ready campaign
Swindon Advertiser: Laura Dermeechi and her daughter Mia meet Pudsey at the McDonald's Reindeer Ready campaign

Laura Dermeechi and her daughter Mia meet Pudsey at the McDonald's Reindeer Ready campaign (Image: Newsquest)

Laura said: "I wondered what was going on at first, then the next moment I was on a stage.

"It was really good fun, very sweet, nice to have in the lead-up to Christmas. We dress up for Children in Need so it was good to see Pudsey."

Swindon Advertiser: Laura Dermeechi and her daughter Mia meet Pudsey at the McDonald's Reindeer Ready campaign
Swindon Advertiser: Laura Dermeechi and her daughter Mia meet Pudsey at the McDonald's Reindeer Ready campaign

Laura Dermeechi and her daughter Mia meet Pudsey at the McDonald's Reindeer Ready campaign (Image: Newsquest)

A spokesman for the restaurant said: “Christmas this year will be hard for a lot of people, so McDonald’s hopes to bring some added merriment and magic.

“Christmas isn’t about the big, expensive, or flashy – it’s the little moments of togetherness which really help you to get into the festive spirit.

“Whether it's family traditions of decorating the tree at home dancing to festive classics or heading out wrapped up to meet Father Christmas himself, McDonald’s understands how important these shared moments are.”

Ben Smith is one of the organisers of the tour. He said: "It's all about bringing some festive cheer with something simple like this, to put a smile on people's faces."

Anyone who could not attend but still wants to take part can visit ReindeerReady.co.uk to create a Christmas e-card.

Swindon Advertiser: The McDonald's Reindeer Ready Christmas Card tour arrives in Swindon
Swindon Advertiser: The McDonald's Reindeer Ready Christmas Card tour arrives in Swindon

The McDonald's Reindeer Ready Christmas Card tour arrives in Swindon (Image: Newsquest)