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“Unsatisfactory, At Best”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of Tanglewood Park

Tanglewood Park
Ranked #1 of 10 things to do in Clemmons
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: This 1,200-acre park was once the estate of William Neal Reynolds, brother of tobacco businessman R.J. Reynolds. The Reynolds willed the Tanglewood property to the citizens of Forsyth County to share as a public recreational park. The combination of its streams, woodlands, and grassy pastures with the traditions of its architecture, horses, gardening, and wide range of recreational activities make Tanglewood an ideal countryside park to visit over and over again.
Level Contributor
53 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Unsatisfactory, At Best”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 20, 2013

Last Saturday, we ventured to Tanglewood Park for the "festival" of lights, as we had heard that it was a "must-see" attraction. There were several signs on I-40 indicating that spectators should not use the exit indicated on their GPS, but instead take the following exit. We briefly got lost, as there were no visible signs after taking the next exit. We happened to drive up on some cops on a dark road directing traffic, and so we assumed they must have been directing us into Tanglewood. We followed their signals to the right and ended up on a windy path through a wooded area, sparsely lit. The path did not seem long, but it turned out that we waited 1 hour and 25 minutes before we even got to the entrance to pay $15 for our family of 4. (At this point, it is 10:30 p.m. and the kids are nearly asleep. When they say "expect long wait," they should indicate just HOW long you should expect...) When we got through the woods, we discovered that there were THREE entrances of vehicles converging together through the entrance! The price may not sound like much, but we have been through "free" neighborhood displays with as many, if not more, lights...

So we get in and we're driving along--there really are some beautiful displays, though some of the lights were not turned on--and the kids need to go to the restroom. We stop at the red barn toward the exit and take a walk through. It appeared that local artisans had some nice things to sell, but the purpose of this particular trip was not to shop. We find the port-a-pots only to discover that each one is absolutely wretched. Nobody likes to use them anyway, but these were in the worst condition I've ever seen. (In fact, our 5-year-old daughter cried and refused to use it.) We're thinking, if we paid $15 to drive through this place, could we not at least have a decent restroom on-site?

Then we see that there is a short line to see Santa--about 5 kids in front of us--so we take the kids in the tent with their lists. When we get inside the wooden shed, 30 minutes later, Santa starts directing them to do all sorts of poses. He was polite, but we were not there to see Santa for a professional photo shoot. It was well after 11 p.m. at that point. We felt obligated to purchase pictures since they just spent 15 minutes snapping away (another $15 for 3 pictures on a disk--not even a printed picture or a souvenir frame!), but we weren't all that impressed with those, either.

It didn't help that a small child puked in line behind us (nobody offered to clean up the mess) and then a guy rammed our vehicle with his door when we were leaving the barn because parking was so tight, but that's all beside the point...

They also offer hayrides for $135 and carriage rides for $80 with advance reservations. CRAZY prices considering we had the opportunity for a free carriage ride the next day. "Dining" is also non-existent, as they only offer food from a vendor in a truck. Based on the overall experience, I can't say I'd recommend this attraction at all.

Visited December 2013
2 Thank Destination_Fun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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329 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“First Timer Left Feeling Disappointed”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 14, 2013

We expected a long wait time so the 90 mins it took to get to the gate was ok with us. The actual show was missing something? Some of the lights are pretty, albeit not holiday themed.
It did not feel like much of a holiday festival, lots off farm animal themes, birds and forest animals. Some of the areas you can only guess what they are supposed to represent. It was a waste of time. And although it was inexpensive, not worth the money.

Visited December 2013
Thank E T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mooresville, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Terrible Waste of Time”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 13, 2013

The lights were okay, but not worth waiting 3 - plus hours in line to see. You are literally trapped once you turn in from the highway. You can't turn around once you jump in line. There's a very poor system in place managing traffic. We pulled in around 7:00pm last Saturday night and didn't get out until midnight! We had no water or food and were literally miserable. Don't do it!

Visited December 2013
3 Thank Wade C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Horribly run.”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 7, 2013

If you have small children or elderly do not go.... A 4 hour wait in stand still traffic. The police directing the traffic are nasty and on a power trip!!!! Do not put your family through this. Go to the Meadow Lights far better and they treat people with respect.

Visited December 2013
2 Thank KimmyB2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cary, North Carolina
Level Contributor
151 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Love the holiday lights!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 3, 2013

Once again this year Tanglewood put on a great light display. It has become a family tradition since my kids have a gymnastics meet near Clemmons or we pass it on the way home every year. So we stop to see the lights. Our favorite is the one where a snowball is being thrown and it follows you as you drive. And of course the tunnel. Very Cool!! We went the first Saturday night they opened around 9:15. Despite warnings on the website to be prepared for a wait, there was absolutely no line. Cost is minimal and it is a fun experience. We did not stop by the barn to shop this year to shop or see the special visitor but have in the past and that is a lot of fun too! We wanted to get back home before midnight and had a long way to drive still. Maybe next year we'll shop again.

It is very easy to get to from I-40 and there are signs to help you find it. If you have never been - you should go! Fun family outing and fabulous holiday cheer.

Visited November 2013
Thank HattieMags
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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