Winter Wonderland event labelled a sham after disastrous opening

editorial image
Share this article

A Winter Wonderland turned into a Christmas nightmare, closing down after just one day.

The event was due to run until December 22, but after opening on Saturday morning and receiving a number of complaints on their Facebook page, the event was shut down before being officially cancelled the following day.

Hundreds of parents have vented their anger on all aspects of the event, including the ice skating rink, described by many as plastic sheeting, huskies kept in small cages, and Santas wearing costumes that showed off their everyday clothes.

One parent, Julie Damon, spent £75 on the event for her family of five.

She said: “I am really disappointed to hear that the Winter Wonderland in Milton Keynes is a complete sham. I cannot believe that I have spent £75 on this event only to hear that Santa wasn’t even there yesterday, there are no stalls, only two Husky dogs, no Reindeer and the Ice Skating Rink is just plastic sheets put together - what a complete misdescription this event is.

“As a family of five, money is tight, especially during these times and during the festive period. I have booked something in good faith expecting to take my children on a wonderful Christmas experience and I feel completely let down and frankly just ripped off.”

Winter Wonderland organiser Lorenzo Franco claimed 200 people had been refunded.

He said: “I am very sorry to disappoint people. It was not my intention. It was meant to be a family fun event.”

A spokesman for The Papworth Trust, the charity which was to benefit from the event, said: “As the benefiting charity associated with the Winter Wonderland MK event, we have been concerned to hear about the issues on the opening day.

“We are sorry to hear about people’s experiences of the day. After consulting with our volunteers and listening to the public’s feedback, we have sadly decided to withdraw our volunteers and our association with the event. We were hoping that this event would raise money for our work helping older and disabled people with essential support and care.

“We are not the organisers of the event, and we encourage everyone who would like to give specific feedback about their experience to email the organisers on”