Disappointed customers who queued for 90 minutes to visit Woburn Abbey’s Christmas event will be fully refunded.
Organisers of Luminaries Woburnensis today blamed “inadequate” contingency plans - and bad weather - for the problematic event that sparked severe criticism from visitors online.
In a statement released this afternoon, a spokesman for Woburn Abbey said: “Despite preparation to accommodate the expected increase in visitor numbers we found that much of our preparation proved fruitless when faced with the inclement weather.
“We are aware that better organisation was required, and were disappointed to find that many of our contingency plans, particularly those in place for car parking and traffic control, were not adequate.”
Thousands of people turned out for the event on Saturday expecting to see spectacular lights, fire and award-winning ice sculptures.
Instead they paid £10.50 for “melted ice” and a “wheelchair being set on fire”.
Some families have demanded refunds, while others are calling for a public apology from organisers who they claim “badly let down” their customers.
The organiser’s statement continued: “We are very disappointed that all of the hard work that our staff did put into this event resulted in such an unrewarding experience for visitors.
“We are committed to reviewing our procedures for car parking and traffic management for the future. We would
like to sincerely apologise to all of our visitors and will be offering a full refund for the event.”
Everyone who has already contacted Woburn Abbey about getting a refund will be responded to individually by the end of Wednesday.