PARENTS have slammed a “s***show” winter wonderland event saying their kids had more fun sitting in the car – and the Santa “didn’t even wear his beard”.
Families who bought tickets for Winter Funland at BEC Arena in Manchester said they feel angry and disappointed after being promised “a fabulous indoor funfair” com “the very best rides from across the UK”.
Families spoke of their shock at seeing the event’s Santa walking around without his beard on at times, claiming the circus was “chocante” and food and drink options were limited and “extortionate”.
They said their complaints have been ignored by the organisers and comments giving negative feedback on the event have been deleted from the official Winter Funland Facebook page.
But Winter Funland said its social media team “periodically turn comments off when we feel we are being unfairly trolled by a very very small minority of people that have a grievance” and suggested that “the correct and best procedure is to email us directly where we will try to sort the matter”.
They have already faced complaints over people being conned into spending £10 for parking on roads outside the event, despite there being a free car park at the Trafford venue.
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Mum Fran Neylon spent £91.50 on tickets for herself, her partner, and three children, aged six, 12 e 14, but said they left after 25 minutes as there was very little for the older ones to do.
“The kids had more fun sat in the car than the actual ‘gigantic indoor funfair’,” ela disse.
“When we were walking in a family was coming out and stopped their car and said we’ll be very disappointed, as they’d lasted 10 minutes and walked out.
“Apart from the dodgems, the only rides there were only suitable for children under six. We were expecting what it was like at the EventCity as it didn’t explain there would be less rides and smaller age range rides.
“We were just shocked how small the event was compared to what we have been used to. Honestly felt like it was such a disorganised event with no thought at all going into it.”
Another mum has since claimed she saw missing parts on some rides, further alleging the ferris wheel stopped working with her children inside it and they were left strapped in a roller coaster for almost 10 minutos.
Anna Fray, who took her two children, seven-year-old Oscar Mcgovern and three-year-old Caitlyn Ridgley along at the weekend, said it was “a huge disappointment” as they missed nearly two hours from their session because of problems with parking and cloakroom queues.
The kids had more fun sat in the car than the actual ‘gigantic indoor funfair’.
“Where do I even start,” ela told Manchester Evening News. “What a s*** show it was. The whole event from start to finish was a joke, I’m so annoyed.”
“O ferris wheel stopped with my children on and the man running it didn’t seem to know how to work it. Some of the rides were visually missing parts. Cars had wheels missing.
“My children got on a small roller coaster, the man didn’t set it off after strapping them in, he walked off to go and get a drink leaving them strapped in the ride for close to 10 minutos.”
Bosses of Winter Funland say all its rides “are of the highest standard with regular rigorous checks by our health and safety officers” e essa “at no time has a ride been left without an operator during a live session”.
Anna said she’d booked tickets for the event having previously attended Winter Funland at EventCity in 2019 but ‘this time was such a let down’.
Ela adicionou: “The circus was shocking, I’ve seen better street acts. They had no microphone so we couldn’t hear a thing they was saying. There was one side carnival game thing that shoots water, it was leaking all over the floor.
“My children have been asking me millions of questions as they saw Santa putting his beard back on. Honestly the list is endless, the whole thing was a disgrace. I’ve been left annoyed and very disappointed.”
Previously organised in Event City, Manchester in 2019, this year’s event returns at a different venue – BEC Arena.
Event director Glen Ramsden said: “Winter Funland is taking place at the BEC Arena rather than EventCity where it has been held previously.
“Due to the location change and a smaller venue, we have had to reduce the scale of Winter Funland. This is clearly explained on our website and we have made it clear that there is no Santa’s Grotto or ice-skating rink this year, the price was reduced by £20 a family to reflect this.
“We have put a huge effort into making the event feel really Christmassy with more decorations, more walkabouts and our resident elves causing mischief and we know this has bought a lot of joy to families.
“Thousands of families are having an amazing festive time so we are sorry to hear some have not enjoyed the event as much as previous years.
“Customer safety is always our number one priority and Covid-19 checks taking place at the entrance will mean a small wait time.”
Ele adicionou: “‘All rides at Winter Funland are of the highest standard and regular, rigorous checks are undertaken by our health and safety officers. At no time has a ride been left without an operator during a live session.”
He urged anyone with complaints to email them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and said: “We have seen thousands of happy faces walking around Winter Funland which is a testament to the hard work of our staff against a difficult backdrop of Covid-19. We hope many more will continue to visit.”