TV’s Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen has apologised on Twitter after a barrage of angry parents complained about the family Christmas attraction he helped to create. The Magical Journey attraction at the Belfry Golf Club in the West Midlands, was billed as a “magnificent immersive theatrical version of Santa’s Grotto” but one disgruntled visitor claimed it “ruined the magic of Christmas”.
Many families were left furious by the £22.50-a-ticket experience on Saturday. They claimed that children were in tears following hour-long queues for Father Christmas who handed out unwrapped “squashed” presents. On the attraction’s Facebook page parents also raised concerns over health and safety after spotting elves pushing a train up a hill while others sat around smoking.
“Never mind the ‘rain’, the rude & unhelpful staff, unsafe train, rubbish cheap present that’s given unwrapped, workmen sat around smoking, empty tepees, rooms not being soundproofed, no music or festive decorations, waiting around in a succession of empty rooms, and lack of a baby reindeer are frankly enough for me to digest!!” ranted one post.
“The Father Christmas asked my daughter if she wanted the ripped present or squashed one!!I hope it’s sorted out for the other families but it’s annoying for us having spent over £60 & to have to experience it like this!” said another.
Following the visitors’ feedback, the attraction will now be closed until Wednesday so organisers can “implement changes and improvements to the experience”.
“All customers affected by these closures have been emailed and will be offered either a refund or a new date, based on their preference,” organisers added on The Magical Journey Facebook page. “Customers who have already visited are welcome to contact our support team in order to arrange a refund and a free visit.”
Laurence meanwhile apologised for not responding to all the complaints over the weekend. He tweeted: “Sorry for Radio Silence, just got back from a charity weekend in Scotland to find Elfgate @TMagicalJourney Time for sleeves to be rolled up!”
It’s not the first time a Christmas park attraction has had to close due to irate parents. Last year, an attraction dubbed “Winter Blunderland” shut down after only one day.
Have you ever been disappointed by a visit to a Santa’s grotto? Let us know in the comments below.