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“Cheap day out for the kids”
Review of Conkers

Conkers
Reviewed December 31, 2012

A nice day out for the kids with plenty of places to run about and things to climb on. Not the best for prams as paths can be a bit rough.

Thank irish_donkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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940 - 944 of 1,124 reviews

Reviewed December 29, 2012 via mobile

We have visited Conkers for Christmas winter wonderland for the past 3 Decembers and always had a fantastic time which is why we always go back. This year was a huge let down, it's changed a great deal.
When we arrived the dressed up figures in the entrance were talking amongst themselves & didn't even seem to notice us walking in, no friendly polite welcome, everyone seemed really miserable with no festive spirit whatsoever.

We were told to meet an elf 10 minutes before our slot by the Xmas tree. We met with the Elf inside by the photos and he told us to continue outside & wait by the theatre. We joined a few other families waiting and the magician put his music on so we all gathered on the steps expecting him to do a show & then he turned the music off leaving us & our children very confused. I later discovered the show was on a couple of hours later so guess he must have been practicing?

Finally the Elves appeared from inside with a huge stampede of families behind them and told us to join the back of their queue. We had all been under the impression we had been waiting in the right place especially after the very same Elf directed us outside.
We spent the next 15 minutes with our children & some parents stampeding around the lights following directions from the Elves playing so called games. Parents were seperated from their children and pushy parents trying to get to the front. It was a complete shambles and not a nice family experience at all. Preferred previous years where we have walked around looking at the lights leisurely as a family.

As we queued for the grotto people were coming through trying to find their children and the path was thick of mud with the Elf slipping multiple times not entertaining like described. Think the £4000 improvement of snow must have made it exceptionally slippy as I've never seen it so bad before, even the year we had real snow! We visited Xmas eve last year at the same time slot and the number of people with the same time allocation was a lot less, much better! No one wants to wait in freezing December weather in thick mud with their little ones in a 30 minute queue. Not a nice experience.

The train was also lacking this year with no Christmas decorations or anything to look at or christmas music. Really just nothing! The tunnels have been decorated in the past but nothing this year.
The snow queen from previous years to read stories has been taken away from the canteen and replaced with the balloon modeller, she was trying her best but utterly swamped with children queuing waiting for balloons and pushing everywhere.

It's safe to say we will not be returning this year which is a shame as its been our Christmas family tradition every year since our youngest was born and been highly recommended to all our family & friends but sadly not anymore. Huge disappointment.
Would not return for next years even if it was £1 each, I don't mind how much I spend on any event if its good value for money, this is not - don't care how many cookies, mince pies and half full cups of mulled wine they give out. It's lacking and not up to the mark at all. Cannock chase forestry is a similar set up with miles and miles of forest walks, a new adventure play area and a Santa's grotto with drinks & food to purchase. FREE ENTRY!
Don't waste your time and money on Conkers!




Thank KT3BOYS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ConkersAttraction, Customer Experience Manager at Conkers, responded to this reviewResponded January 4, 2013

Hello,

I am sorry to hear that you we didn’t meet you expectations. Winter Wonderland 2012 was our busiest Winter Wonderland season – we generated a lot more bookings than we expected - some 8000 visitors over the 12 days! We will be working closely with the onsite team to ensure that the areas you have mentioned are fully addressed as we want to make the Santa Experience memorable for all of the right reasons.

We did get many positive comments and bookings are already coming in for the 2013 event. Unfortunately the 24th December this year was spoiled somewhat by the awful weather which did not help to liven up the spirits even though our jugglers, balloon modeler and carol singers tried their best

We hope that you come back and see the improvements in 2013.

Best wishes for 2013,

CONKERS

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2012

Throughly enjoyable day out for all the family, especially energetic kids! Mine loved the little train, and the trim trail, lovely place to take a picnic.

Thank KBBP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2012

So well worth the money, we take our children to see 1 santa a year and take a while to decide which one, we decided this year on conkers and we were not disapointed, brilliant value for money, where can you go for £6 each and see a shoe (flip and dippy), have a balloon made for you, have a free mulled wine and cookie and mincepie and then visit santa and meet reindeers, he wasnt just any santa, he looked like the real one. The grotto was so exciting and full of character, you sit in a sleigh and have your picture with reindeers as a family, elves everywhere, fantastic, the afternoon flowed lovely, we arrived and had a warm drink with mincepie, greeted by a balloon modeller and then we went on a train, which the kids loved, and then we played in the outdoor facilities, the had a lovely carvery again great value and the tastiest carvery in a long time, we then walked through the lights and wow they were lovely to santas grotto and visited the reindeers and santa, can back to the centre and played inside and had our free drink and cookie, then the kids slept all the way home and all night from their exciting day, lovely day out by all xxx thanks conkers and your staff for making it so enjoyable and christmassy

2  Thank cordell o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2012

Some people see the Winter Wonderland as a place to burn cash but they simply do not pick the correct time to come. They should book Santa for later in the night as you can see the lights a lot better in the dark, my family loved walking down near the grotto. The reindeer are amazing, they are very child friendly and adds to the winter experience. The staff are very delightful and helpful, when I took a look at the photographs taken in the sleigh unfortunately they were blurry, the gentleman behind the counter said that we could go up to take another picture but we didn't have time. Instead he said he will take the pictures home and edit them on photoshop, and the results were exceptional. I don't know if the photo's are done through a third party company but the fact that they will take their time to individually edit the Christmas Photo was pure A* customer service. A couple years ago we came to get a photo but couldn't have one because of technical issues but this time was very calm and organised and everyone knew what they were doing, obviously learning from past experiences. Well Done! :)

3  Thank Brendan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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