Milton Keynes Winter Wonderland - an absolute shambles Watch

username91207
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I'm not sure if you will have heard about this yet, but you will tomorrow - it's been picked up by most national newspapers!

Basically there was a "Winter Wonderland" set up here in MK, to rival the one in Hyde Park. It was due to be open from 14th-22nd Dec... But it's closed down already.

Why? Because it was bloody awful.

(Original post by BBC News)
A Winter Wonderland event in Milton Keynes has been cancelled on its second day after complaints from visitors.

The attraction at Campbell Park, which included paid-for events such as ice skating, opened on Saturday.

But its Facebook page was deluged by people angry at what was on offer. Santa's Grotto was said to be staffed by young, thin men and an ice rink was described as "a few plastic sheets".

Wonderland organiser Lorenzo Franco claimed 200 people had been refunded.

'Outfits from Poundland'

Mr Franco said he was sorry if anyone was "disappointed in any way", adding that it was the firm's "first event".

He told BBC Look East: "I am very sorry to disappoint people. It was not my intention. It was meant to be family fun event."

Mr Franco claimed he had cancelled the event due to the weather and said those who had bought tickets would have their money refunded.

Following a barrage of criticism from parents, the Winter Wonderland MK Facebook page was taken down on Saturday.

Those who had paid £6 to take their children to Santa's Grotto found it was closed for much of the day and, when it did open, the Santas were described as being young, thin men in Santa suits.

Visitors also complained that the advertising suggested more than two reindeer would be at the site.

Grandmother Lesley Keys, from Bedford, took her seven-year-old grandson on Saturday.

She had paid in £65 in advance for various attractions including a visit to Santa's Grotto.

"When we arrived we were told Santa wouldn't be there until after 4pm. We were told we could walk through the woodland, which turned out to be a tent with some statues," she said.

"We saw some husky dogs but there were no rides [on dog-drawn sleighs].

"The fairground rides were poor and the ice rink was a few plastic sheets. My grandson was very disappointed."


Visitors to the Wonderland criticised the synthetic ice rink provided
One mother writing on a parents' blog site said her family had paid £42 to book tickets only to find "men dressed in Santa outfits from Poundland".

"This was definitely no Wonderland," she wrote.

Following the criticism the charity partner of the event, the Papworth Trust, said in a statement: "As the benefiting charity associated with the Winter Wonderland MK event, we have been concerned to hear about the issues on the opening day.

"We are sorry to hear about people's experiences of the day. After consulting with our volunteers and listening to the public's feedback, we have sadly decided to withdraw our volunteers and our association with the event.

"We were hoping that this event would raise money for our work helping older and disabled people with essential support and care."

'Very disappointing'

Milton Keynes South MP Iain Stewart, who was due to attend the attraction in support of the Papworth Trust, said he hoped refunds would be provided and would help any constituents get redress from the organisers.

"I am always happy to support the charity (the Papworth Trust) and it is very disappointing that this event has ended up like this," he said.



A spokesman from the Parks Trust, which looks after Campbell Park, said: "We are very sorry to hear that some people have had such a disappointing experience at Winter Wonderland MK.

"Winter Wonderland MK have told us that they will be contacting all the customers on their database to arrange refunds.

"Before the Parks Trust hires out any sites out to third parties we do ensure that organisers have robust health and safety policies, are fully insured and have a detailed event management plan in place.

"We are saddened that Winter Wonderland MK did not meet some customers' expectations."
Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england...herts-25390071

It's been picked up by all the local papers, our local BBC 3 Counties Radio are doing a massive piece on it tomorrow, and it's even made national news - we've had reporters from The Sun come down to take photos, and people from The Guardian, Mirror, Independent and Daily Mail are known to be covering it. It's even made the Huffington Post.

I suppose the only good to come from this is that of us in MK are organising a "replacement" event, using only volunteers and donated resources, to try and give some magic back to the kids who missed out. I've offered to help as an elf at this event, and I think it would be lovely if we could do it. I really hope our community can pull together and sort something out for the children!

It's still pretty shambolic though. An absolute disgrace. Lorenzo Franco should be ashamed of himself.
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PythianLegume
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I helpfully corrected your title for you.
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Shabalala
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I am struggling to see why this minor non event is worthy of making national news.
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Mackay
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Had a friend who went and she said it was like a scene from a sitcom.
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Oliver Queen
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This is why I prefer to stay in - to avoid such commotion.
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sr90
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Reminds me of Lapland New Forest a few years back. Shocking.

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username91207
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(Original post by Shabalala)
I am struggling to see why this minor non event is worthy of making national news.
Well the national papers got in contact with the Facebook page for disgruntled visitors, and said they wanted to do a story on it, so... :dontknow:

You should see how shocking some of the photos are - particularly the one of "Santa", some skinny little man in a Poundland Santa suit with a beard so fake you could see the elastic going around! You could even see his normal clothes beneath the suit!

(Original post by PythianLegume)
I helpfully corrected your title for you.
Ah yes. Hilarious. :p:
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Captain Haddock
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Has anything good ever come out of or even occurred within Milton Keynes?


(Original post by sr90)
Reminds me of Lapland New Forest a few years back. Shocking.

I had to look this up. I can't stop laughing. Not at the mistreated huskies though. That sucks.
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username91207
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(Original post by Captain Haddock)
Has anything good ever come out of or even occurred within Milton Keynes?
Greg Rutherford? Olympic gold medallist?

And of course me
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Quady
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(Original post by Captain Haddock)
Has anything good ever come out of or even occurred within Milton Keynes?
F1 teams mainly.
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Boromir
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Not the first soulless thing to happen in MK. Look at their football 'club'.
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the mezzil
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(Original post by snowyowl)
I'm not sure if you will have heard about this yet, but you will tomorrow - it's been picked up by most national newspapers!

Basically there was a "Winter Wonderland" set up here in MK, to rival the one in Hyde Park. It was due to be open from 14th-22nd Dec... But it's closed down already.

Why? Because it was bloody awful.


Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england...herts-25390071

It's been picked up by all the local papers, our local BBC 3 Counties Radio are doing a massive piece on it tomorrow, and it's even made national news - we've had reporters from The Sun come down to take photos, and people from The Guardian, Mirror, Independent and Daily Mail are known to be covering it. It's even made the Huffington Post.

I suppose the only good to come from this is that of us in MK are organising a "replacement" event, using only volunteers and donated resources, to try and give some magic back to the kids who missed out. I've offered to help as an elf at this event, and I think it would be lovely if we could do it. I really hope our community can pull together and sort something out for the children!

It's still pretty shambolic though. An absolute disgrace. Lorenzo Franco should be ashamed of himself.
What do you expect? Milton Keynes is a 60s **** hole.

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Creat0r
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(Original post by sr90)
Reminds me of Lapland New Forest a few years back. Shocking.

I thought of this when I seen the Winter Wonderland story, definitely worth it just for laughs
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username91207
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Have you seen the picture of "Santa"?

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barnetlad
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(Original post by Boromir)
Not the first soulless thing to happen in MK. Look at their football 'club'.
At least the Winter Wonderland wasn't stolen from south London.
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Mackay
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(Original post by snowyowl)
Have you seen the picture of "Santa"?

Hahaha no way.
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455409
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I feel bad for the guy dressed as santa - he's probably just trying to earn some money to buy his kids presents (since i'm guessing he doesn't have a full time job) and he was probably provided the santa outfit by the company.
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curtis871
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(Original post by snowyowl)
Have you seen the picture of "Santa"?

:lol: If anyone can convince a child he's Santa looking like that he deserves an award
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Kezza Wilson
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(Original post by snowyowl)
Have you seen the picture of "Santa"?

wow! lol
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Solemn Rain
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(Original post by snowyowl)
Have you seen the picture of "Santa"?

:rofl:

What a fail.
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