Daily Mail

MUDDY XMAS!

Par­ents blast dis­mal ‘wonderland’ where Santa’s beard kept fall­ing off

- By James Tozer Good News · Santa Claus · Mold

THEY had taken their chil­dren to what was billed as an ‘en­chant­ing’ Christ­mas ex­pe­ri­ence at a ‘stun­ning’ lo­ca­tion. In­stead, fam­i­lies who spent nearly £60 to meet Santa at Rein­deer Lodge said they were met with a sea of mud sur­round­ing a ‘dis­mal’ grotto – and a Fa­ther Christ­mas whose beard kept fall­ing off. Ad­verts for the attraction on a farm near Mold, Flintshire, had shown a win­ter wonderland, while its web­site promised ‘en­chanted wood­land walks’, an ‘adorable rein­deer herd’, a ‘fun elf stage show’ and an ‘amaz­ing Santa’s Grotto’. The re­al­ity, how­ever, be­gan with a ‘wood­land walk’ that one visi­tor called ‘a dan­ger­ously steep hard­core path with bits of old ma­sonry and tree stumps next to it’. Par­ents com­plained that they were then faced with a site de­scribed by one, An­thony Lit­tler, as ‘mud with some more mud, rub­ble, wires and dig­gers’. He said the elf show was ‘so bad it was funny’, while Santa’s beard fell off in front of his chil­dren. Rachel Shan­non said the ‘amaz­ing’ grotto was ‘a cold dark room’ with no dec­o­ra­tions apart from a Christ­mas tree, while Tom Starkie’s fam­ily also found Santa’s beard wouldn’t stay on – which made for a ‘very awk­ward con­ver­sa­tion’ with a five-year-old. Some fam­i­lies said that at £15.95 for a child ticket and £12.95 for an adult they had been ripped off. Rein­deer Lodge man­ager Ed Bris­bourne said there were ‘a few things we didn’t get right’ but the site would be spruced up be­fore re­open­ing on Satur­day. He said that out of ‘thou­sands’ of vis­i­tors only 34 fam­i­lies com­plained, and that the rub­ble-strewn ac­cess track had been fixed, turf laid over the quag­mire and gar­lands added to the grotto. ‘All our paths are im­mac­u­late,’ he added.

 ??  ?? More grotty than grotto: The wet and muddy sight that greeted fam­i­lies at the Rein­deer Lodge attraction near Mold
More grotty than grotto: The wet and muddy sight that greeted fam­i­lies at the Rein­deer Lodge attraction near Mold
 ??  ?? Meet­ing a rein­deer: In front of a photo back­drop of a snowy scene
Meet­ing a rein­deer: In front of a photo back­drop of a snowy scene

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