Organisers of a Christmas tourist attraction which was slammed as ‘depressing’ and ‘appalling’ by disappointed parents have pledged to refund disgruntled customers.
The Yorkshire’s Magical Winterland event at the Yorkshire Event Centre shut its doors on Saturday, blaming ‘adverse publicity’ for the decision.
A statement from the organisers said: “We worked very hard to create a family event and have received some positive feedback but also some adverse publicity.
“We plan to refund anyone who bought tickets in advance and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org”
Negative reviews of the festive event hit national headlines after furious parents took to Facebook to mock the shoddy displays and complain about the event.
Despite promising a winter walk, a Frozen singalong and a chance to feed Santa’s reindeer, excited families were faced with a desolate scene of disappointment after paying £20 per ticket.
Efforts were made to reinvigorate the attraction on Friday, but the attraction was the same sorry situation described by parents who had walked out in disgust on Thursday.
Harrogate mum-of-one Becky Numm, 31, said on Friday: “I get the impression that the staff are being a bit more enthusiastic today to make up for how bad it is.
“I came thinking it would be great but my expectations were clearly too high.
“We won’t be coming back again, I think everyone looks a bit let down by the whole thing.
“The area is too big and they haven’t been able to fill it.
“It’s been advertised as a magical place to come and it just isn’t.
“However it has put a smile on my daughter’s face which is a relief given how much it has cost me.”
Inside the enormous warehouse, it was clear where parents frustration stemmed from.
After being inside for a matter of minutes, families were presented with a room of kids’ rides, each costing around £2.
These included a Christmas carousel, a large ‘Avalanche’ inflatable slide, a Christmas sizzler set of Waltzers and a horse racing game.
Mum-of-one Laura Bamforth, from Pontefract, said: “We spent a total of 20 minutes in the building and we were totally appalled with the entire event.
“I would like a refund for all the money I have spent because the treatment is unacceptable.”
Trading Standards say it has received complaints about the event, and urged parents to contact the company directly to seek a refund.
A spokesperson said: “Following the closure of the Yorkshire Magical Winterland at the Harrogate Events Centre, trading standards at North Yorkshire County Council can confirm that we have received a number of complaints which are being investigated.
“The Yorkshire Magical Winterland website states that the company plans to refund anyone who bought an advance ticket, and our advice to consumers who have bought tickets is to contact the company in the first instance to seek a refund.
“Consumers who attended the event and found it did not meet their expectations or anyone experiencing any difficulty in obtaining a refund should contact Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06 for advice about their rights. Citizens Advice will share relevant information with trading standards.”
Did you go? What did you think? Will you be applying for a refund?