Winter Funland ‘s***show’ slammed by parents with kids ‘having more fun sat in car’

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Attendees at Winter Funland at Trafford’s BEC Arena in Manchester say they feel scammed after being promised “a winter wonderland” with “a fabulous indoor funfair”

Anna Fray's unimpressed children Oscar McGovern and Caitlyn Ridgley at Winter Funland Manchester
Anna Fray’s unimpressed children Oscar McGovern and Caitlyn Ridgley at Winter Funland in Manchester

“Furious” parents are demanding their money back after an “extortionate s***show” Winter Funland that was supposed to be a “festive extravaganza,” but actually had “broken rides” and a less-than-impressive Santa.

Guests at Winter Funland at Trafford’s BEC Arena in Manchester say they feel scammed after being promised “a winter wonderland” with “a fabulous indoor funfair with the very best rides from across the UK.”

But one flabbergasted mum said she saw missing parts on some rides, the ferris wheel stopped working with her children inside it and they were left strapped in a roller coaster for close to 10 minutes while the operator went to get a drink.

Some said the Santa who was walking around didn’t have his beard on at times, the circus was “shocking” and food and drink options were limited and “extortionate.”

They say their complaints have been ignored by the organisers and claim comments giving negative feedback on the event have been deleted from the official Winter Funland Facebook page, the Manchester Evening News reports.

Anna’s children on one of the rides. A wheel was missing from a car

But Winter Funland says its social media team “periodically turn comments off when we feel we are being unfairly trolled by a very very small minority of people that have a grievance.”

Anna Fray took her children Oscar Mcgovern, seven, and Caitlyn Ridgley, three, along at the weekend and said it was “a huge disappointment.”

They missed an hour and 40 minutes from their session because of problems with parking and cloakroom queues.

“Where do I even start,” she said. “What a s**t show it was. The whole event from start to finish was a joke, I’m so annoyed.

“The ferris wheel stopped with my children on and the man running it didn’t seem to know how to work it. Some of the rides were visually missing parts. Cars had wheels missing.

A Frozen-themed attraction pictured before the event was scaled back, in 2018
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Image:

Manchester Evening News)

“My children got on a small roller coaster, the man didn’t set it off after strapping them in, he walked off to go and get a drink leaving them strapped in the ride for close to 10 minutes.

“On another ride, the jumping jack, my children was on it and the man set the ride off and left. One of the other children on the ride was very upset crying to get off but the man operating it was nowhere to be found.

“The circus was shocking, I’ve seen better street acts. They had no microphone so we couldn’t hear a thing they was saying.

This year’s attraction was minus the usual grotto and ice rink. Picture from 2018
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Image:

Manchester Evening News)

“There was one side carnival game thing that shoots water, it was leaking all over the floor. My children have been asking me millions of questions as they saw Santa putting his beard back on. Honestly the list is endless, the whole thing was a disgrace. I’ve been left annoyed and very disappointed.”

Fran Neylon spent £91.50 on tickets for herself, her partner, and three children, aged six, 12 and 14, but says they left after 25 minutes as there was very little for the older ones to do.

“The kids had more fun sat in the car than the actual ‘gigantic indoor funfair’,” she said.

“When we were walking in a family was coming out and stopped their car and said we’ll be very disappointed, as they’d lasted 10 minutes and walked out.”

Hayley Gilman took her eight-year-old daughter, 10-year-old son and his friend of the same age and says they left after she complained and was shouted at by a mask-less security supervisor.

Organisers said that due to the location change and a smaller venue, they have had to reduce the scale of Winter Funland. 2018’s event is pictured
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Image:

Manchester Evening News)

Becky Howcroft took her boys, aged six and three and said “the whole event was crap compared to previous years.”

She added that the ferris wheel “had an unsafe and damaged cabin.” Furthermore, she said she paid £49 for four hot dogs and chips and four bottles of water.

“I am furious and disappointed for my two boys and also upset that I recommended this place to friends who have booked and are yet to experience what can only be described as a s**t show,” she added.

Organisers said that due to the location change and a smaller venue, they have had to reduce the scale of Winter Funland.

“All rides at Winter Funland are of the highest standard and regular, rigorous checks are undertaken by our health and safety officers. At no time has a ride been left without an operator during a live session,” a spokesman added.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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