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Belfast Santa's Winter Wonderland labelled a 'dive' by angry customers

By Claire Cromie

Published 02/12/2015

The Santa winter wonderland in Belfast (Photo by Kevin Scott )
The Santa winter wonderland in Belfast (Photo by Kevin Scott )
The Santa winter wonderland in Belfast (Photo by Kevin Scott )
The Santa winter wonderland in Belfast (Photo by Kevin Scott )
The Santa winter wonderland in Belfast (Photo by Kevin Scott )

Furious customers have lambasted a "Santa's Winter Wonderland" in Belfast as a "dive" and a "hellhole".

The Christmas grotto in Anne Street has been put on by Crumlin Road Gaol, encouraging families to "step inside a magical walk".

But disappointed customers have taken to the event's Facebook page to blast the event as a "shambles".

"A damp musty warehouse covered in white dust sheets with a few bits of tinsel does not constitute a Winter Wonderland," said one mother.

"Dirty old floor coverings held together with black insulating tape doesn't constitute a Winter wonderland.

"Three stiff adults dressed as penguin and snowman who had as much movement as the Belfast museum's mummy, does NOT constitute a Winter wonderland."

She also criticised elves who "did not interact with children" and "cheap" selection boxes given from Santa as gifts.

One Belfast gran wrote: "I attended the event on Sunday with my husband and three grandchildren. We were literally in a state of shock at the abysmal display.

"I've had no contact at all regarding a refund, how do I go about getting refunded and will you offer refunds to those who have yet to attend ?

"I doubt I've ever felt let down as much as I have been on this occasion, the look on my grandchildren faces was heartbreaking, esp the two year old who was handed an advent calendar as his gift from Santa."

The Santa winter wonderland in Belfast (Photo by Kevin Scott )
The Santa winter wonderland in Belfast (Photo by Kevin Scott )

The attraction costs £12.50 per child and £5 per adult.

The organisers have issued an apology, blaming "logistical problems" for props and material not arriving on time for the opening.

"We took a decision to carry on with the opening rather than disappoint the children and cancel the event which in hindsight was a mistake and we fully apologies (sic) for this."

They said unhappy customers were in the process of being refunded.

"Our aim was to create something positive from a disused city centre warehouse and we hope that this will be fully realised for this weekend’s customers. We are in no way trying to diminish the Christmas spirit.

"This is our inaugural event at Christmas and we were aspiring to build it to something that that could be positive about Belfast."

They added: "As a gesture of good will we will be giving the children a free photograph with Santa and we hope that this will reflect the spirit in which we see the event."

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