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“Second review - one year on” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Reindeer Centre

The Reindeer Centre
Capralama Farm | Pluckley Road, Bethersden TN26 3EQ, England
01233 820545
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Attraction details
Faversham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Second review - one year on”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

As I mentioned on my last review 'sons birthday treat' - 1 star. At that time I could not write a true review as we did not get past the queues into the centre. We tried again for my sons third birthday. I took a days holiday from work and went on Tuesday - 11.12.12. (his actual birthday). This time there was approx. 50 people there, no queues and plenty of parking in the main car park with the overflow unused. I feel that Santas grotto was quite well done, and on the plus side, my son enjoyed himself on the bouncy 'bungalow', ride on toy horses and little sit on bikes . I thought that the hut full of reindeer pelts was in poor taste and I don't think my son needs to know the realities of the food chain at 3 years old. The animals seemed happy enough, and with the low numbers of visitors, they did not seem stressed. It was nice to be able to feed the reindeer carrotts. On the down side, it was expensive at £10.00 per adult and £12.50 per child and catering consisted of a burger van where it was impossible to purchase a healthy meal for children. I feel that a reasonable day out can be had if you :-
a, Avoid the centre like the plague at weekends during the Christmas period. (I realise this is not easy when most of us still have to earn a living during the week).
b, Take childrens meals with you as you will not be able to buy them healthy meals there, and
c, Wrap up warm as adults may be standing around a fair bit.
I hope this review was fair and may be useful to anybody who may be considering a visit.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Maidstone, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“This was our 3rd year to visit Father Christmas”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

We have visited this centre three times for Father Christmas and once for Easter our 2 grandaughters never want to go anywhere else. Its a farm so expect a bit of mud and straw. The gifts were very good and the grotto was very pretty. We had the free mince pies and we thought coffee
prices compared with other venues £1.50 is not overpriced.
We went early so did not queue too long, and the girls loved all the animals and found enough to occupy them for the morning
We will be going again

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Good trip out but go prepared”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2012

After reading the reviews on trip advisor we were in two minds whether to visit. We went and had a good trip and this would be our advice on how to have the best time. Firstly wear wellies and wrap up warm you will mostly be outside even though you are under cover. Secondly arrive just before ten am, one person get out and buy the tickets the other park the car and join the santa que. Yes you will have to que but at this time only for 20 mins or so, arrive later and expect to que for a couple of hours. Enjoy the visit with santa, (he gives very good presents by the way). Then let the children burn off some energy in the play barn. Please remember this is a working farm so it is not glamourous but it is a place the children seem to really enjoy. There is only a burger van for food, tea and coffee so if this does not take your fancy you can leave about 12/1pm and to the village pub. The average trip lasts two to three hours (depending on how long you want to que for santa). My main criticism would be that the parking attendents would benifit from some training and should wear high vis jackets. Overall a good trip out which my 5 year old daughter thoroughly enjoyed.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitstable
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Tacky and expensive”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

I know we've had some rain and mud is inevitable but with the promise of everything happening inside we still visited this weekend. However after being told the queues to get tickets were an hour long, then another hour to visit Santa we decided to go into Tenderden for lunch and come back in the afternoon. Tenderden lunch was good but wish we hadn't bothered to call back to this tacky and expensive attraction. Our 3 year old grandson did seem to enjoy himself on the bouncy reindeers and castle, and his present was good but boy had we paid for it!. We were concerned at how sad the reindeers and donkeys looked and there seemed to be no theme or fantasy to the whole thing - just a shed filled with a bouncy castle, children running riot, and various animals who must have been scared stiff by the noise. The refreshments consisted of a burger van and tables inside the smelly shed with all the animals, straw etc.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lydd, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Queues, emus and muddy shoes”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

We arrived at about 11am this morning only to be turned away before we reached the car park - it was full up and maybe we'd like to return a bit later and try our luck then. Not a great start to the day - maybe some form of online booking would be worth considering in future years?

If it weren't for the 3 expectant children sitting in the back of the car we'd have given up there and then - which in retrospect would have probably been for the best. But we did return after an early lunch and did manage to squeeze into the car park after a relatively short wait. Relative, that is, to the waiting that was to follow thereafter!

So we parked the car and set off across the horribly muddy car park towards the ticket office. Another queue followed - we waited the best part of half an hour to buy our entrance tickets from the one person available to serve the long line of increasingly impatient visitors. Surely on a busy Sunday they could have a few more staff allocated to this task?

Finally, tickets in hand we could actually go in to see the animals. At this point we noticed that there was a huge queue for Santa's Grotto, so decided we'd return to that a bit later. As for the animals - as somebody else has mentioned it's rather a bizarre mix - as well as the reindeer there are llamas, pigs, donkeys, meerkats, rabbits, wallabies, goats, guinea pigs, chickens and even a couple of emus. It all felt strangely unfestive. The animal pens weren't exactly spacious or interesting for the animals - left me feeling rather sorry for them to be honest, though apparently those aren't their permanent homes.

The enclosures were interspersed with play activity areas - a fake snow area, a large straw bale ball pit, a small bouncy castle and a smaller ball pit. All these were very busy, largely unsupervised, and dominated by out-of-control older kids, which made them unsuitable and even dangerous for the younger children for whom they were actually intended. Our 3-year-old would have been knocked over in no time flat if we'd let her loose in any of these play areas, but would have thoroughly enjoyed them under less hazardous conditions.

We then decided to have a break and get our 'free' mince pies and drink. Guess what? Yes - long queues even for this - about another 20 minutes. And they'd run out of hot chocolate. And the 'free' Christmas mugs mentioned on the website weren't free with tea or coffee option - which were £1.50!!! No thank you!

So back to Santa's grotto - the supposed highlight of the day for the kids - and the queue was even longer than before! Reluctantly we joined the end of the queue - which, incidentally, was outside in the freezing cold - and progress was painfully slow. We enquired how long the wait was likely to be - well over an hour was the reply. By this stage we had 3 cold, tired children who frankly couldn't bear to wait in that line a minute longer. When we finally gave up long, long before we were anywhere near Santa they were more relieved than disappointed - but it was still a gutting decision to have to make on their behalf. We asked a member of staff if we could just have the presents and go (without seeing the big man) and she helpfully sorted some out for us. The presents themselves were surprisingly good and rescued an extra rating point over and above the minimum our day actually deserved.

Not an experience we'll be repeating next year - or ever!

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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