A FAMILY were left ‘gutted’ after the princess party they booked for their 8-year-old daughter at Gulliver’s World turned out to be anything but the ‘enchanting experience’ they were promised.
Stockton Heath resident, Darren Jones, forked out £175 for his daughter Ruby-Mai and her 11 friends to have an exclusive princess bash at her favourite theme park, only to find a room with two birthday banners and not a princess in sight.
Advertised on the Gulliver’s website as ‘a fairy-tale-themed party with a sprinkling of unicorn magic’ and the ‘perfect treat for any little princess’, when the group arrived at 3pm, they were guided to an open room available to all theme park attendees and the hot chicken nugget and chips had instead been replaced with a ‘sandwich and a bag of crisps’.
Darren said: “When we arrived there, we said to the host, where is the princess party and she replied, ‘we do not do that party anymore’.”
No music was playing until Darren had to request for some background music to be put on.
“Our kids were just sat on a table, left to their own entertainment. There was a show before our party, but that was also for anyone who wanted to go as it was in the theatre open for everyone,” he added.
When the family requested to speak to a manager about the situation they were told ‘they were busy’.
As the room was not blocked off exclusively for a party, many families were able to enter and leave and the character show which was said to be exclusively for the party was actually enjoyed by everyone but Darren, his daughter Ruby-Mai and her friends, as they were told they were ‘too late’ and had ‘missed the show’ which started at 3pm, with the family arriving at 3.10pm.
“The room was left open the whole time. It was not closed off for the party at all and people were wandering in and out the whole time.
“It was described on the website as a truly enchanting experience, it was definitely something.”
Darren said the party was a waste of money and meant the children lost valuable time actually enjoying the theme park.
He explained that if they had just booked for theme park tickets, they would have been able to experience the rides from 10am to the time the park shut at 5pm.
Instead, because they booked the party, that only included entry to the park from 1pm onwards and so by the time the children left the princess party at 4pm they only had an hour left to enjoy the rides.
“We felt more upset for Ruby,” he said. “She brought her friends for this party; we could have done a better job at home. It is shocking.”
“We just do not want this to happen again to another child.”
At the time of publication, the party experience was still advertised on the Gulliver’s website.
Craig Clews, resort director at Gulliver’s World said: “We are sorry to hear the family were disappointed with a recent party booking and are already in direct contact with them to look into the issues raised.”