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Lapland New Forest (and Lapland West Midlands) Reviews & Discussion!

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Oh my god!! I cant believe I paid for this TAT! I am cross that I have been pulled into what can only be described as a scam.

I have lodged a complaint with Watchdog and shall be also alerting the RSPCA and local papers.

DO NOT PAY or attend this so called magical experience, my child is soooo disappointed and is left with not a magical experience but a badly run attraction put together to merely make money, not caring who they disappoint in the process.

The experience is supposed to take 4-6 hours what they dont tell you is that is for queuing time. The food looked undercooked so Im glad I didnt waste my money on that, with fear I may be ill.

We arrived at 12.15 left at 2pm only seeing santa in that time, oh sorry I forgot to mention the cardboard nativity scene accross a muddy field, the plastic polar bear, the reindeer hidden in trees, the gingerbread decorating hut where elfs were slapping icing on a biscuit and passing to kids to decorate and as a pet lover I was deeply concerned at the ribs and hips that were clearly showing on most of the husky dogs, I felt sick and surely anybody else would have to agree and find it distasteful.

I wholey recommend Lapland in Kent its fabulous and would rather paid twice the amount because that was Magical compared to this what can only be described as a fair ground attraction with Snow!

I would not have gone if I had known, what a start to XMas, these people should be brought to justice I am currently attempting to get my money back as paid via credit card but feel deeply for those who didnt.
After reading a couple of the comments on Saturday, I was rather hoping it was a case of opening day problems. However, following all these awful comments and those pics, it obviously isn't.

My problem now is how I go about trying to get my money back-we are due to go on the 14th. I paid via debit card, so have probably lost that money. If anyone else knows what I can do-please message me!!!!

Many thanks thou to a wonderful forum-I have browsed many times before, but this thread made me join.
we had tickets for today but at 9:30 this morning we made the decision not to go....the £100 wasted was in no way worth shattering the illusions of our children

we had told them last night they were going and they were VERY excited. but after google'ing and posting last night to know what people had thought of the first 2 days we were gutted and frantically had to search for an alternativley which we thankfully found and visited today

the photos say it all - how is this possible?, who decided to grant a licence to this outfit
Hi everyone, I too have been scouting around the many forums on the internet warning people of this total SCAM!

I contacted Trading Standards last night and The News (Portsmouth) and The Echo. I've not heard back from The News yet, but The Echo phoned me this morning for an interview which they said they will be putting in the paper tomorrow. I'm going to contact Watchdog as some of you have suggested.

Donna Rose's and Solly777's pics sum it up. Glad you guys managed to take some pics of that awful place! If you can, i'd recommend sending them to The Echo newspaper as they are after some pictures of the place.

Everything about that whole place was just not right. From the scarily skinny Huskys to the extremely overpriced food (£5 for some greasy baguette!)

I really hope we all get our money back, and it's such a shame that it's put a damper on the Christmas Spirit. :cry:
we have just returned from lapland new forest having paid £100.00 for our tickets,what a con and falsely advertised. half the stuff was not there ie no elf to greet you ,no toy making no dolls house making no rocking chair making, no sleigh rides , the face painting is a reindeer 2 red cheeks and a red nose, 1/2 hour wait, never even got to see the real santa as queue was nearly 2 hours long in rain , ended up opening a shed not log cabin and putting a little skinny man in the corner for children to see if they did not want to wait, the tunnel is none existant apparently u can peer through the windows to see the polar bears well the tunnel i went down was some trees covered in snow with a row of fairy lightss above your head and a polar bear stuck in a muddy puddle near to a nativity scene that was a board with a painting on it held up by scafolding at the back of a muddy field.con con con have asked the sun newspaper to look into this scam and will be phoning local papers and reporting to trading standards first thing in morning. please save your money. we had some very upset children and 4-6 hours please ,one hour if you are lucky.x
I took my whole family to lapland newforest today, 7 adults and 3 babies! and we were soooo disappointed! i
it was clearing a scam by travelers,nothing thing like what it is advertised as! there is no Tunnel of light, no polar post office,(just a postbox! no elves to greet you at the car park ! all a con!
it was a forest with a few trees cover in fake snow, there was snow dogs tied up with chains :(
the seasonal food was a few burger vans!
The 30 or 25 pounds you pay is JUST to get into the park, everything else, eg food ,fair ground rides all 5 of them! you have to pay to use.
and to top it off the we never got to see santa! :( the line to wait was over 3 hours long!

LEAVE WELL ALONE, we lost £210 which is tons esp at this time of year!
I felt I had join the forum to add my weight to this thread as It seems to be the main forum for discussing Lapland new forest. My wife bought six tickets (family and grandparents) for this 'spectacular' a couple of weeks ago after hearing that Lapland UK in Kent was very well run and an excellent day out. So all week out two children have been getting more and more excited. This morning we set off on the 70 mile journey to visit Santa to find that it is nothing more than a TOTAL SCAM combined with animal cruelty and exploitation. Almost every sentence in the advertisement is a complete lie. I have never in my life seen so many disgruntled people returning to the car park. Needless to say my children were more than disappointed, we never even got to see Santa. (the queue was by my estimations at least two hours long.).... and the food, don't even get me started on the 'various delicious Seasonal Foods' I wouldn't even feed that much to a starving dog.

I shall spend tomorrow contacting Watchdog, trading standards and Visa and Dorset district council. This SCAM should be stopped, especially in times like these when money is scarce.
Below is a copy of what we've just sent to a national paper, Watchdog and The Evening Echo. We've also telephoned 2CR to ask them to suspend the advertising for this mockery. Tomorrow we intend to speak with the Council (who on earth granted a licence for this? Should there be some kind of quality assurance?), Trading Standards, the local Tourist Office (the experience is also being offered by Travel Agents as a 'packagae' and people are forking out for travel and accomodation on top of the entry fee), and we'll even speak to the local MP - ANYTHING to get some support and awareness. This scam is not fair to the children and their families. I IMPLORE people to do the same. The more we speak up the more likely something can be done. Here it is:

I write in the hope that you can help to investigate and ultimately help stop a most cruel seasonal scam.

Particularly cruel in the current economic climate, where everyone is feeling the pinch, but even more so because it's a scam that preys on children and shatters their hopes and dreams.

I'm referring to 'Lapland New Forest' at Matchams (nr Ringwood in Dorset), billing themselves as 'the seasonal themed event to see in the South East of England'. The website and advertising looks great. A winter wonderland brought to the UK, where those of us who can't afford the real Lapland get to experience the next best thing... From snow covered authentic log cabins, to sled dog running, from ginger-bread making to seasonal food, a bustling Xmas market, a fantastic outdoor ice-rink, a tunnel of light and the North Pole Post Office. Oh, and did I mention the magic dust for the envelopes to help make the childrens' dreams come true, and the welcoming elves who escort you on your journey... Could it get any better? No we thought. And like so many other families, stretched ourselves to the whopping £25 per head (5 of us, so total of £125). But not bad, conisdering this 'amazing frozen world of Lapland Village' was only an hour and a half drive from here, and was infinately more affordable than the real thing. Besides, from the description and photographs, and the fact that 'the attention to detail will WOW you' it sounded almost as good, especially as they recommend we should allow a good 4-6 hours to take it all in!

How wrong could we be? And where do we start? OK, so having looked at the website again, we now notice the disclaimers relating to the photography - that it's for illustrative purposes only (although it's not illustrating anything remotely resembling what we saw), however, it does also state that 'they are certain the live show will far exceed these representations'.

So, to recall, we arrived at Matchams at just gone mid-day, parked and joined the huge queue that stretched away from the entrance. Alarm bells immediately started ringing...we had understood there were only a limited number of tickets issued each day. It was then we noticed all the caravans and trailers - was this a travelling Lapland? After a 40 minute wait, we entered through a tree lined path where the firs were covered in fake snow - not a bad start. The path led to the Nativity Scene, where any hopes for a truly magical Lapland experience were immediately quashed. There, behind a five-bar gate, set back in a sandy pit, was a painted board, propped up by some kind of scaffolding. And that was it. Our eyes darted round the field hoping to find more - but to no avail. All the parents looked at each other frantically. Were we missing something or, as people started to point out, was this just the start of something terribly tatty, over-sold, totally mis-represented and utterly disappointing?

As we continued along the path we entered the village. On one side 2 chained reindeer (sleeping) behind a large fence and on the other, a group of seemingly underweight chained huskies also behind heavy fencing. We walked a little further and spotted several pens containing geese, a pig and some donkeys. We then saw the sheds, oops I mean log cabins - which were nothing more than cheap sheds/cabins from the likes of B&Q - with nothing in them! The ginger-bread making shed had run out of ginger-bread (1 hour after opening on the second day of the event).

Ah, the spectacular tunnel of lights - nothing more than a 50ft string of fairly lights strung between the fir trees covering the walkway - and they weren't even on!

The outdoor ice rink? Not actually really outdoors or even in the village. It was situated in the adjacent fair-ground, and was under-cover. And to top that off, it wasn't even working!

What next? How about the friendly elves that meet and greet and escort you on the magical journey. Well, we weren't met, or greeted, but we did see between 4-6 'elves' sporting ill fitting and ill made costumes (2 part set - top and trousers, no hat or shoes or similar). They were being worn by guys probably aged between 18-24, who were more accustomed to manning the waltzer that they were asking small children what they wanted for Xmas or whether they had written Santa a letter. We didn't see a single 'elf' interact with a single child. And frankly, it was quite a relief.

Then there's the Seasonal Fodder. Of course, there's nothing more seasonal or festive than a greasy undercooked burger. To be fair, I think we did spot a mulled wine hut, nestling between 8-10 fairground fast-food counters on wheels. I heard lots of people complaining about the price of the food, so we gave it a miss (that, and the fact that as I'm pregnant, Listeria is high on my list of avoidables).

And what of Santa? As we joined the queue we were advised there would be between a 1.5 to 2hour wait. Were they kidding? Again, they made a point of stressing on their advertising that there were a limited number of tickets for each day. But in reality it was heaving and I can't see there was any restriction - the more the merrier...or the more the richer the organisers! What was particularly disgusting though was the fact that, unless you were prepared to pay £10 to have a photograph with Santa, we were advised our children were not allowed to approach Santa but could simply wave from a distance as we passed through the grotto. You were not allowed to take photos yourself, and were given a token to exchange in one of the two gift huts. As was now expected, you take your pick from the lavish plastic tat on offer. We didn't bother, and left without seeing Santa

Snow was limited. It certainly wasn't anything like the scenes from Narnia that the advertising had inferred. The only snow was on the trees, and not a drop under-foot. Good job the kids wore their snow boots, or they'd never have made it across the authentic tarmac!!

As for the enternainment...there simply wasn't any. Not unless you wanted to pop next door to the fair-ground where the entertainment was an additional £1.50-£2.50 a go.

Don't even get me started on the 'bustling Xmas Market'.

All in all, it took us no more than 20 minutes to take in the 'Winter Wonderland' and half of that was spent queing. It was the most hideous, blatant rip-off I've ever had the misfortune of experiencing. My children were gutted and completely bewildered. I have never seen so many unhappy children or parents, and as we left the event we spoke to numerous people who felt exactly the same way.

You will probably sense a certain flippancy in my tone, and I don't mean to make light of this situation because we feel nothing but disappointment, anger and complete contempt - but it's the only way I can express these feelings without being abusive.

I would implore you to investigate this further. It should not be allowed to continue, and those responsible should be held to account. Unfortunately, unless people act fast, I have a nasty suspicion that the whole event is an extension of the fairground (and thus run by the same - i.e. travellers?) and will move-on without a trace when they've well and truly cleaned up (and I'm not talking about the mess). Please, please expose this for what it is. Thousands of people will be stretching themselves to take their children to this event and it's not fair. I've read on the internet about many families who have have travelled great distances and have forked out on hotels - spending between £300-£600 on this event, and are left utterly dismayed. In fact, it quite literally makes me cry to think of those families who would have made many sacrifices or saved hard to take their children to this event, and it will no doubt be the only one they can afford this year. We're fortunate, we can weather the loss, and we'll take our children somewhere else to compensate, but there are many others who can't. And what about the poor children who whose expectations and dreams are just shattered? Let's get this thing shut down - NOW!
'Snow business' are advertised to have been doing the snow scenes, however from what I have heard and seen this does not seem the case.

If Snow business had done the snow effects for the 'attraction', then it would be to the quality of the films such as Narnia. I believe what may have happened, is that Snow business fell out/departed from Lapland New Forest, and they have had to use backup snow machines (someone previously mentioned a snow machine being used)?. No snow machines should be used if the snow is done by the Snow business as it stays in place for weeks.

Just my thought..
oh no its seems alot of people arent happy. I hope someone can get in contact with the local paper and warn others as its not right for people to spend this amount of money expecially with the credit crunch and for it to be ... well crap!

I hope you all get atleast some money back :hugs:
Look what you caused :rofl:


Have to admit really didnt think it would turn out like this :lol:!
I do have a feeling by everyones posts that it may be the 'travellers' as some say.
I mean you say you pay to get in , but then you cant see santa , rides , food everything costs. So your left with nothing just to walk past the gate into the park costs you £25-£30! Disgusting! I hope you all get your money back and bring Newforest Laplan down!
Got this info from a facebook group!

The BBC are investigating this story. please take the time to send and stories/comments/photos/videos etc to [email protected] The more people that contact them the better and hopefully we'll be able to get some money back! Thanks
Yeah, simply put, it was a travelling fairground tarted up a bit for Christmas.

It was like they done everything last minute! I'm so annoyed by it all, most of all because I was really looking forward to seeing my Nephew's faces when they got there... But they were as confused and disappointed as I were.
Infact, the highlight of their day was pulling the fake paper snow off the trees throwing it at each other! Atleast they managed to amuse themselves :)
I was called at 10am this morning by friend/neighbour to come round for a coffee, I was rather confused by their sudden invite. They had been to Lapland New Forest yesterday and wanted to worn me how bad it was, as we are supposed to be going on the 19th. I thought my friend was joking, but when I saw the look on her face I knew it was no joke. She showed me footage of the park.....what a disgrace. My friend had not slept all night because of the upset and worring about telling me. Her little girl was crying, her mum had dragged herself out of bed with flu to go and they were faced with no more than a fair ground.
I am so upset....It took me ages to convince my husband to part with £100 that we can't really afford and we won't even have the memories now!

Tried phoning to get our money back (well you've got to try!) to be told the manager will phone you back.
If anyone has any advice on getting money back from credit card...would be great.
Thinking of you all.
Images and videos currently displayed on this website and our other advertising campaigns are for illustrative purposes only. We are certain the live show will far exceed these representations.

I recently attended "Santa's amazing snow-covered Lapland village, near Bournemouth", with my girlfriend having been assured my the lovely receptionist on the phone that this wasn't just an experience for children, although I expected the opposite. Never the less we went along on a drizzly sunday expecting to have a nice day, I ordered tickets online (a confusing process on this occasion) at the bargain price of £60 for the two of us, it was my treat because im nice like that ; )

What we encountered when we arrived was the most tacky, embarrasingly cheap array of circus equipment, hotdog vans etc accompanied by fluorescent hi-vis jacket wearing security staff freezing their collective nuts off. Despite this, I thought, no..give it a chance, were here now it might get better, besides weve come all the way from Weymouth and it looked really good on the website!

So on we optimistically plodded through the muddy, rubbish strewn track overhearing the damning comments of parents who had quite frankly been fleeced by someone who obviously has no problem ripping people off in this, the season of good will.

I would've been so dissapointed if i had taken children there, they could've had a better time in a pub playpark. We stayed for an hour and then got fed up and made our way out on the pottholed road almost wrecking my car. whoever put this together should be ashamed of themselves and my advice to anyone thinking of going is to save up an extra couple of hundred quid and go somewhere with real snow.

good luck :hug:
sure...my husband has gone for the camera now. Hopefully will be on soon.

My husband and I, spent the money that we would have spent on each other for christmas on Lapland New Forest. Happy Christmas hubby!!!! wish I had a bottle of perfume now!
Wow, its serious then. Can't believe how tacky it looks. Poor kids, must be so disappointed. Hope you guys get some kinda refund!

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