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“more of an amusement park than a farm. Not designed for young children.”

Old MacDonald's Farm
Ranked #2 of 32 things to do in Brentwood
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Attraction details
Owner description: Animal attraction with farmyard favourites, exotic animals, rides, slides and unique animated singing chickens and frogs all included in the entry fee. Set on the edge of the M25 and handy for east London as well as Essex and all points north and south, this award winning leisure farm is educational and fun.
Reviewed June 8, 2013

We were quite disappointed with our trip to macdonalds farm with our 2 year old. Expecting something like Marsh Farm we were excited to show our child different animals and to hopefully feed them etc...however on arrival it was evident straight away that this was more of an amusement park for older children. Lots of rides and inflatables. We thought that this might just be an extra part of the place. When we entered the serving staff were obviously under staffed and were not very polite. Getting into the main part of the setting was difficult because there was only one way in and out meaning large amounts of families with prams were trying to use one small doorway. Once we got to the outside area we started looking at the animals. There was only 1 of each animal and a few goats clumped together, this we felt was cruel as they were alone. We felt we had paid alot of money to see animals on a farm and actually it seemed that there was more money spent on amusements then there had been on the animals that they advertise for you to see. All in all a nice place for older children to burn off energy outside but not a place for young children to learn about farm animals.

Thank kristie b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Macdonald F, Owner at Old MacDonald's Farm, responded to this reviewResponded June 12, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to submit a review and I am sorry that you were not fully satisfied. At present there are some days when we are delighted to welcome lots of children in buggies, as we do have lots for small children to do such as the indoor and outdoor play and the adventure bridges, plus of course the animated shows, as well as attractions for bigger kids and their parents too. It can get a bit crowded on peak days but a bit of patience and good humour gets everyone through the day. However once again I must take issue on the animals. We do not have single animals, we have lots of goats, sheep, pigs, geese, pairs of otters and meerkats, and wallabies with babies in the pouch so clearly without the immaculate conception there are males and females, plus Reindeer (plural) and many more. So again I would really ask that if people can focus on factual problems, such as the overcrowding in reception which will be addressed by our redesign next year which is a victim of our popularity, and not on myths about our lonely hearts club for our livestock, then we can see about improving our services to the public. We are an educational and leisure farm park as our advertising says, and do what it says on the tin. So I do regret that the crowds of young children were a problem, but they are one with which we love to cope.

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766 - 770 of 878 reviews

Reviewed June 8, 2013

Having read a few bad reviews on here I feel compelled to add my own 2c worth.

My wife & I took our daughter here today to see Peppa Pig, who was visiting the farm. With the baking hot weather this week and the added attraction of Peppa I knew it would be busy, and having read the reviews I was fearing the worst, but I was pleasantly surprised.

There's no hiding from the fact that the prices are high compared to most farm experiences. My daughter is at the lovely age (Just under 2) where she's old enough to enjoy it and young enough to not have to pay, but my niece got charged near enough full whack at 2 years old and there's no half-day prices on special event days. Having said that, there is plenty to do & see here, and I thought it was well worth the money for a day's entertainment for children that age.

All of the rides were toddler friendly, with a small charge to take under 2's on them (They don't pay to get in but they do take a paying customer's place on rides so I don't mind paying £3.50 for a wrist band for her). Parents can accompany children on all of the rides we saw, which made it a lot easier for our littlun to enjoy them all.

The animals looked well kept and on a sunny day it's a nice place to have a wander.

My sister's been here before and said how much busier it was this time around, but we didn't really queue long for anything. I also feel inclined to mention that the staff were friendly and tables in the food area were being cleared promptly having just read a recent review that said the opposite, so steps have obviously been taken to address prior complaints.

Downsides - The cafe was chaotic (Poor layout for a busy day) and the food wasn't fantastic (Not outrageously priced though, £15 for 2 hot meals, a cold baguette and 3 drinks). The toilets and baby changing area were dark and smelly.

We spent about 3 & a half hours here and could have spent longer (Certainly didn't see everything or do everything). Having said that, walking two 2-ish year old toddlers around is slow going!

Thank Loughtonbee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Macdonald F, Owner at Old MacDonald's Farm, responded to this reviewResponded June 9, 2013

Thank you for these kind comments and we are delighted you enjoyed the day. Peppa Pig and other character days are everyone's favourites through the year, and good news you can get the afternoon saver (post 2.30 p.m.) if you pay on the door. We note your very constructive criticisms and hope you return, and that next time you feel that we justify 5 stars. Very best wishes to all your family, and by the way we give full credit and many thanks to Peppa and George plus the other special characters who come here who always make these days so memorable for the visitors.

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Reviewed June 3, 2013

Went here yesterday. On the whole a good day, but I felt compelled to write a review as the staff (bar a few exceptions) were pretty awful. We stopped for a cuppa mid afternoon in the sheltered area next to the kitchen. One table had a PILE of rubbish on it. There must have been 6 families rubbish on there. The service was woeful and when I went into order our drinks, I was met with just as much mess inside. There was no queue, but the staff were simply standing around and chatting about their holidays. It seemed my order was simply an inconvenience to them. They also had no intention of clearing up the mess outside. They clearly need some kind of manager there to crack the whip.

Thank REVIEWKING7878
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Macdonald F, Owner at Old MacDonald's Farm, responded to this reviewResponded June 6, 2013

It is such a shame that this visitor found their day, which they describe as otherwise good, spoiled by this problem and it was brought to our attention during the afternoon by one visitor who, having heard why the problem had occurred, appreciated the situation and then we gave a free entry ticket as thanks. On the afternoon of one our busiest days a large special needs group were visiting the farm with their carers, and one unfortunately had an epileptic seizure in our cafe. The cafe manager, a qualified First Aider, went to assist the carers and allocated two of the staff from the surrounds of the café to help the rest of the group so this did not impact on their day. The child recovered after an hour and continued but of course the staff routine was disrupted and given that everywhere else was very busy some tables were not cleared quickly enough. However once the manager was back, and an accomplished whip cracker she certainly is, all was restored. I think in fact the staff discussions in the café at that time were more concern for the child and the rest of the group and perhaps they took their eyes of the ball.
In the days before Trip Adviser people would come directly with their concerns and we could respond, and one customer certainly did this on the day which we welcomed. We are sorry this spoiled an otherwise pleasant day. Do get in touch and we can arrange a return visit as our guests to compensate for this disappointment. Things do not always work like clockwork when delivering services to the public.

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Reviewed June 3, 2013

Whilst my wife was working near London, I took my 5 year old son to the farm as he had seen it from the motorway on 29 May. It was a cold and miserable day which was not improved by the man in the hoodie sweeping the path repeadtidly shouting '10' at us as we approached the entrance. We eventually worked out that the park opened at 10 so we waited for 10 mins with another family who thought it amusing. Once the door did open at 10.05am a sad looking woman said for one adult and one child - £26 which I thought was expensive as we have a similar park (old down farm) near Bristol which is twice the size and excellent and only costs £18 for 2 adults and one child. Once in the park looked very tatty & tired. Some of the activities did not work properly or at all - ball blowers, diggers in sand pit etc and then to charge £1.50 for a small rubber duck to enter the duck race where only 1 of the 4 water pumps were working creating a 1 duck race. My son wanted to go on the train ride until another staff member, also in a hoodie shouted at us not to go though the gate onto the platform until asked. This frightened him so he would not then go on the ride. I did see the moth eaten cat wandering around which seems to sum up the whole McDonalds farm experience - MOTH EATEN & TATTY - Best avoided

Thank loubelou21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Macdonald F, Owner at Old MacDonald's Farm, responded to this reviewResponded June 6, 2013

We are very sorry this gentleman and his child did not enjoy the day, but cannot really criticise the staff member who called out to him at 9.50 that the farm opens at 10 because, to be honest, the farm opens at 10. In fact I would have been furious if our staff allowed someone to wander around without informing them. Also, the staff member who had no choice but to call out a warning as the child had been permitted to wander past a closed sign onto a platform before the train ride was due to open, and was in danger of slipping and tripping. That is why closed signs are in place. Also, the prices are well published and a quick telephone call to us would have given information on the opening times and costs and a bit of pre visit research would have got 2 for 1 entry vouchers or an on line booking discount. So the train, carousel, horses, slides, helter skelter, tractor, roller coaster, indoor and outdoor play areas and of course all the farm yard friends were there including the new Meerkat pair and the piglets and goat kids, and in wet weather as the visitor describes our staff do wear head covers, but wearing a head cover does not make you a hoodie and informing people of the opening time who are clearly bemused seems good practice. The cat is consulting her solicitor....she is lovely.

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Reviewed May 30, 2013

Over priced entrance fee for what there is , nothing about 10 goats in all 2 pigs,6 rabbits,2 stray cats, I don't call that a farm at all seen more animals at pets at home and you get in free there, as for the food well I wouldn't feed it to the pigs you keep there well over priced 10 chips and a so called burger £5.00 and as for the chicken nuggets I can't even find the words to describe what they was like, the children was hungry and couldn't eat them, there was 3 families went in our group today it cost a fortune for absolutely nothing, as for the so called fair rides, well what can I say, RUBBISH, they charge you a £1 a bag for pet food to feed the animals only the goats as there are no others and once you have fed all 10 of them you still have half a bag left,i was wondering wether that would taste better than the slop you serve up in the so called resterant and a squirt of tomato sauce is 40p I bet the owners of this place are loaded, as you are charging working families a ridiculous amount of money to look at NOTHING, if any one wants to throw money away then go to old mc Donald's farm but it is a waste of time, the children wanted to go home after half hour they was bored, children's ages were from 1yr to 8yrs so what does that tell you, the nursery rhythm old mc Donald has more animals than that its a disgrace, from the Purdy, rapson and Collins families

1  Thank Margaret H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Macdonald F, Owner at Old MacDonald's Farm, responded to this reviewResponded June 2, 2013

From time to time on Trip Adviser we are criticised for not responding positively to comments but we do try hard so to do. However then we get this. The reviewer starts off by claiming that the only animals here are about 10 goats, 2 pigs, 6 rabbits and a couple of stray cats. Apart from the legal action initiated by our popular friendly farm cats who resent being described as strays, that is nonsense. From the door of the farm entrance you can look to your left, no need to move, and see 7 pigs in one pen. Within twenty yards of these are other pens with between them 9 more including piglets and our new Micro Pigs. All of these are featured on our website. Other pigs are in the fields by our Pig Pier. Then there are goats. We have two new mothers with their kids and at least 30 others. There are sheep, cattle, ducks, chickens, geese, llamas, alpacas, wallabies, reindeer, ferrets, chinchilla, chipmunks, otters and a new pair, male and female, of Meerkat waiting to start a family of their own. There are owls, lots of varieties, parrots, small birds, tortoises, rabbits and guinea pigs and much more. There are lots of types of animal awaiting your feed. The reviewer claims there was nothing to do and the rides were no good. Does that include the Tractor, the Train, the Carousel, the Pony Ride, the trampolines, the giant slide, the helter skelter, the inflatable barn and the Roller Coaster? What about the indoor and outdoor play areas all around the farm, the construction site, the adventure bridges, the new playground? As for value for money, book on line and a family ticket is less than £8 a head and if you have our brochures then one person gets in for £10 off at the door, great value for money. The comments on the food prices are equally wrong, tomato sauce for 40p; nonsense! As for the 10 chips, they were so inaccurate about the number of animals that I think it would be fair to say this is equally invalid. However these families say they only saw 2 pigs, 10 goats, 6 rabbits and stray cats and there are no other animals, so I issue this Old Macdonald’s challenge to them. If you are right, then come back as our guests and prove it to us. We will pay for your travel and give you a free lunch as well as free entry and we will pay your previous costs either to you or a charity of your choice. If you are wrong and we have more than 2 pigs, 10 goats, 6 rabbits and stray cats then you will pay the cost of your entry on this new visit to one of our chosen charities and will retract this review and apologise. If you are being honest in your review, then you will accept this and I shall see that on Trip Adviser from you. If we hear nothing then we will record that on our next response and people will see that your review says nothing useful about us, but says everything about you.

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