How bad could it be, I thought, but it was much worse. Rude staff in the muddy car park, tell you to park as far from the entrance as possible and we got shouted at for daring to use the pick up point.
The railway had spend some money on decorating the station in a very gaudy way, which was impressive. They keep you waiting outside in the cold, after suggesting coming in pyjamas, fortunately wasn't raining or snowing....seemed rather pointless and then been hassled when we had the temerity to use the pick up point. Great way to help little tempers fray.
Tuneless singing and over the top American whoo, whoo, whoo, yeah you can do it, managed to knock me out of the Christmas spirit totally and I couldn't help hoping that one member of staff had had a CRB check!
Disappointing that there was nothing for the adults, apart from an insipid hot chocolate and a cheap BISCUIT dumped on the table and generally been ignored. At least a mulled wine and mince pie would have perhaps got us more in the mood.
I guess having diesels didn't matter, as you couldn't see anything anyway, but it took away the romance and smell of how you felt the book should be. The carriages were warm and modern which I suppose was one thing, but not the picture I had from the book.
An embarrassing floor show which was over the top and done poorly might just worked for an American audience but with a tuneless Lancastrian accent and no alcohol, boy, I wish I had brought a book to read.
The concept was good, but execution was poor. The British don't really do the American rah-rah-rah well and it did grate. I am sure they made money given the price of the tickets and the fact it was reasonably full, so suspect it will run again, but it really didn't do anything for me.
The best thing, given all the preparation of the decorations, none of the toilets I tried were working and the one I did find after walking through several carriages, had an unflushed poo and no water in the tank to flush it away. Summed it up a lot of glitter but underneath like the toilet bowl content.
The previous Santa special that we went on the Weardale, although amateurish, had much more charm and would highly recommend something which hasn't been licenced by Warner Bros...and felt although manufactured in China, like the mugs... and an empty façade like a film set, which looks great on the outside.
Go on a railway offering a traditional santa experience rather than this tat.
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