Why did I bother? Ok, the weather was bad, I can’t blame that on the guys that run it. In my opinion it’s very poorly run.
What could have been a lovely day even in the rain was just a day from hell!
I tried to get there a little earlier to use the disabled bays, I think they had three, there really should be a few more.
When you book your seats under 3’s can sit on your lap, so half dragging half walking Z even to meet J and H was a nightmare. I didn’t go in till around 10 past they advise half hour before, I knew he wasn’t going to wait that long. We only waited around 10 minutes before boarding the train. There was a guy here making balloon animals to keep the kids busy!
The seats are small, J and myself had to share a seat, both with toddlers on our laps. Really crammed. Ok it maybe a big sign were over weight but, think even Z and I sharing would be a tight squeeze. You should have a seat for everyone except babies in arms. That means there would actually be less people queuing up in the rain.
Ten to fifteen minutes later we stop, greeted by a Santa ringing his bell, with a smile, he was already rain swept. Off we all get, to find that where you queue to meet Santa, there isn’t enough room for everyone, so mostly the first carriage and second, we’re waiting outside. If it was dry and the kids could run about would be slightly different, but with toddlers it wouldn’t make that much difference. Both J and myself took Z and E back on the train, H waited and said the by the time we got back on she had gone under the shelter. Think we spent around 30 minutes waiting on that train, then decided to go on up
There was still a queue dispite being told there were two Santas! I was giving up, went to pass our token on to H to hand in, and explained that he couldn’t wait, couldn’t deal with the other children screaming, walked away and she called us back, the staff had very kindly let us go to the front. Z had no intention of even looking at Santa, he was at the door waiting to get out. He had his toy train and was gone. We spent the next 30 minutes or more waiting for everyone to go see Santa and board the train.
I was soaked, Z was loosing it even with his IPad. He may have been the only child I saw with his iPad, and I did get a few looks, but I don’t care, if you think that was him bad with it, you wouldn’t have wanted to see him without!
Pulling back into the station, yet another queue. This time people were queuing to get on, whilst we were trying to get off. Again, a man with a puppet greeting you or saying bye, but think was a silly place, by the door when people are both trying to leave and get in from the wet. There really should be an exit straight to the car park.
They have the potential do to so much. Make it so magical, even in the rain, they could put on a train every fifteen or twenty minutes, that way there wouldn’t be as much crowding, or even two carriages and when they are full off they go, if they were taking two full carriages instead of five, think they’d have a better turn around as the train wouldn’t be sitting there for two hours. Even if it was sitting there for thirty minutes, in that time the children wouldn’t have been so bad as they wouldn’t have had to wait: that way parents could have gotten a coffee! Win win in my eyes! At one point if my husband could have drove I would have started walking. There would have been reception at some point in ponsticill and he could have come to get us. If that meant carrying Z for half an hour.
It’s really put me off ever going again. I may try the train ride in the summer, as a dry day would be different.
* I paid for my own tickets for this event, no one knew I was going to ‘review’ it!