Essex Christmas Wonderland slated as "overpriced" by visitors – Echo

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Essex Christmas Wonderland – Garon Park.
“OVER-PRICED” “Not as advertised” and “Appalling.”
Those are three of the reviews of the Essex Christmas Wonderland, which opened at Garon Park over the weekend.
According to the event website, the Wonderland includes fairground rides, a ‘Jingle All The Way Christmas show’, ice skating, Christmas market, street food, and a Santa experience .
Kerry Collett, 41, from Westcliff, said she paid £57 to see the Jingle All The Way show on Saturday, didn’t even get to see it live.
“Our show was booked for 2pm, when we arrived, we were told it was cancelled due to technical issues. I was so angry as I had paid for myself, partner, mum, and daughter to go to a show that we couldn’t even watch.
“There was a 3pm show they offered for us instead – not a refund – but we couldn’t go due to work commitments.
“Our friends who went to the 3pm show said they would record it for us, and after watching that, quite frankly I’m glad we didn’t waste an hour of our lives.
“Elsa from Frozen was advertised but it was a dark-haired girl in a Santa dress. There was also no snow, no Santa, nothing in a Christmas show.
“It was appalling, not as advertised.”
Essex Christmas Wonderland has not responded to requests for comment, and organisers appear to have removed the review option on their Facebook page.
However, one comment from a residents who visited on Saturday read: “I paid £20 to see Santa with my son, and when I arrived, nobody was there, the tent was dark and then an elf popped out to say the generator had packed up.
“They all then disappeared, I still waiting until the end of my slot and heard nothing more. I eventually left and have since tried to get a refund, it felt like it was run by Del Boy and Rodney.”
A resident from Southend, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Echo: “The rides were really expensive, the same as the food, all overpriced.
“When we went in the kids were extremely disappointed with Santa, and even said to me that the Santa is fake and that isn’t Santa.”
The listing for the Essex Christmas Wonderland event was also removed yesterday from the VisitSouthend tourism site, which is run by the council. However, it has now been placed back online, with the additional information of “Please note we do not organise this event, for any enquires please visit”
Note: ‘In the Park Concerts’ who hold events at Garon Park throughout the summer, have absolutely nothing to do with Essex Christmas Wonderland either.
The Essex Christmas Wonderland is open until December 31.
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