Because his facial hair was so awry, Gina Rawlings-Jones told Harley, 12, and Jonah, nine, that it was actually Santa’s brother that visited them on the Telford Steam Railway last week
A mum who forked out £144 for a Polar Express experience with a Santa donning questionable facial hair that made her sons “burst out laughing” said it was the “most expensive laugh we’ve paid for.”
Gina Rawlings-Jones was forced to tell her told children Harley, 12, and Jonah, nine, that it was actually Santa’s brother because his facial hair was so unlike that of the classic Father Christmas.
The family were visited by Santa after boarding at Telford Steam Railway in Shropshire last week.
The company touted the Polar Express experience as “an immersive re-creation inspired by the iconic Polar Express film.”
But the 34-year-old mother said her boys burst out laughing the Santa impersonator began walking down the carriage to hand out bells.
Gina, from Shrewsbury, Shropshire, took to Facebook the following day to tell other parents about her experience.
She wrote: “When you pay £140 to see Santa then have to explain to your child that it must be his brother helping out tonight, as I’ve heard he straightens his tash. Quick thinking mum.”
The post has attracted over 4,400 likes and more than 2,600 comments.
One person said: “Maybe he was being Covid secure, so he couldn’t go to the barbers and maybe Mrs Claus had to stand in as a barber.
“I know my attempts at cutting hair have had some ropey moments.”
Another wrote: “I would have been disappointed with the whole situation as the carriage doesn’t look great either. What a rip off.
“Where was this just so I don’t make the mistake for next year?”
Someone else added: “Their faces. This is the thing; you pay all of this money and then you get someone who is young dressed as someone who is supposed to be old.
“We’re going to end up having kids not believing earlier purely because of how badly dressed the ‘Santas’ are.”
The one-and-half hour experience was filled with reenactments from the Polar Express movie and actors sat in amongst the crowd and danced up and down the walkway.
When Father Christmas arrived “my children burst out laughing” Gina added.
She said: “I turned around and couldn’t believe his moustache. We got back to the station and went home £144 poorer.
“It’s the most expensive laugh we’ve paid for.
“Luckily I’ve always said ‘I wonder if we will see the real-deal Santa tonight, or if it will be a stand-in as he gets busy ‘ – this eliminates too much disappointment.”
The Mirror has contacted Telford Steam Railway for comment.