Pay Eden Project a Shit ton of money or let the children down?

(13 Posts)
PavlovtheCat Tue 29-Oct-13 17:15:01

We have annual membership. We went to Halloweden last year, got in at around 4pm, stayed there until almost closing at 9am and had a blast. The children dressed up, we got their faces painted (£3 each) when we got there as they had dressed as cats, then we walked through the rainforest dome in the pitch black, before having spooky stories in the wishing tent, made wands, ate spooky cake and drank hot chocolate, saw bats and it was amazing. we were so busy we didn't have time to go to the disco. It was included in the (expensive) annual membership.

We had such a great time we said we would come again this year and get better costumes as some had made such effort, we said we would go every year. We have bought costumes, DD's friend is coming, we are meeting other friends there. I have raved about it as it was such a good deal and made the expensive cost of the tickets worth it.

This year they are charging an additional £7 per person (that includes adults) to go to the Monsters Ball in the evening. I called to check that we can still access the rest of the event without purchasing these tickets as we are not bothered about the disco.

We were told we will have to leave at 6pm as the evening event is only for those with additional guests and the other activities are only available to those who have paid additionally. We can access the day time stuff with our annual pass.

I am working until mid afternoon. And, to be honest, the whole point of it is ghostly and spooky in the dark.

It will cost us £35 to get in, as well as having to renew our memberships (as it's due to expire this week) (unless we only go to the evening event, after 6pm, but that's not enough time to do much as I can't walk fast, and those things are free before 6pm)

So. should I a) pay the extra £35 for us to access the evening event, even though we won't go to the disco or b) sod the cheeky fuckers?

I really want to tell them to piss off, as if we have to renew our membership that will be over £55 before we even get in and have faces painted etc, BUT, I have promised this for the children for the last year and it's been such a fun thing we have looked forward to over the coming weeks. I feel awful to let them down, and to tell their friend we are not going (she is getting a costume to come with us).

WWYD? swallow it and just go, or not?

dozily Tue 29-Oct-13 17:17:25

It will be dark well before 6pm - can you just go for a.couple of hours?

PeterParkerSays Tue 29-Oct-13 17:19:31

I wouldn't go. you promised your children you'd go to the event with face painting and bats, like you did last year, but that's no longer on offer, or certainly not for the price you paid last year, so it's no longer an option.

PavlovtheCat Tue 29-Oct-13 17:20:29

we have to drive to it and it takes an hour. I won't finish work til mid afternoon and then we have to pick up friend and get there. We will be there for like 2 hours max. And it's huge! It takes a good 20 mins to get into the place from the carpark to queuing up, then 15 mins to get to the domes, it's not just a little place to pop in to. We usually allow ALL day!

Add to this the fact that I am not able to walk fast and need to stop for a rest.

You are right though, we should try to go for a couple of hours, better than nothing. Just feel really cross as the evening spirit is what it's all about, with everyone coming in fancy dress and it's just a fab vibe.

ShatnersEmptyCatacomb Tue 29-Oct-13 17:21:14

Is this Monsters Ball something new? Is it in addition to all of the things you saw last time?

It is quite normal for places with members to charge a bit extra for these 'premium events'. What exactly will you get for the £7?

PavlovtheCat Tue 29-Oct-13 17:21:19

peter just feel gutted as the children have their costumes. I am so glad I didn't spend money on mine due to lack of time!

PavlovtheCat Tue 29-Oct-13 17:26:04

shatners they do the Monsters Ball every year. Last year it was included in the cost of the entry. This year it is £7 on top of that x 4 (5 as we are taking a friend). Had it always been that way I would not be so cross and would not have promised them this.

There is nothing on offer this year that was not on offer last year.

However. This year it is advertised as 'the monsters ball' costing an additional £7, except when looked more closely, it seems that everything shuts at 6pm except for the ice rink and the Monsters Ball. So I checked to see if we get there before 6pm, can we still access it all apart from the ball and the guy said that it all shuts before 6pm and re-opens for those who have paid additional fee.

Maybe we can just get there for 3:30pm or so and see if they kick us out!

Angelik Tue 29-Oct-13 17:28:06

I would pay as you were all looking forward to it but follow up with a strongly worded complaint and see if you can garner support from others too.

It's bloody expensive enough to have a family day out without hidden extras. This kind of extra cost makes this event exclusive. Maybe you can ask them if that is their intention.

I do hope you can reconcile the extra money with yourself, go and have a fantastic time.

ShatnersEmptyCatacomb Tue 29-Oct-13 17:29:37

So it's just a disco, the ball? I wouldn't pay £7 for that, unless they were also throwing in refreshments which you'd need to buy anyway if you're there all evening.

I'd go for a couple of hours, but perhaps extend the evening by stopping somewhere nice for dinner.

PavlovtheCat Tue 29-Oct-13 17:37:49

shatners yes basically, but, if we don't go the disco (in one of the biomes) ie, if we don't buy the disco tickets, we can't access the evening event at all. And no refreshments. If we want facepainting that is £3, ice skating is like £6 (I can't do that due to disability and DH can't do it due to being rubbish grin). Food is pricey but as we felt it was good value we were taking food and treating the children to a hot chocolate and toffee apple or slice of eyeball cake or something ghouly.

I am wondering HOW they anticipate kicking us out at 6pm? I wonder whether we were meant to pay last year but just didn't as we got there before 6pm? Hmm. I have just emailed my friends and asked them if they want to chance it at 3:30pm ish and if we only stay til 6pm then sobeit, but if they don't kick us out then marvelous.

(unless my membership has run out and I won't pay £25 for 2 hours, as that is how much it will cost to get in with no membership)

angelick I have emailed them just that, saying they are pricing out people who would otherwise support their cause, and rather than us paying £35 just for an evening event (on top of our membership), we would not come and would not renew unless they didn't intend it as it states/I was told.

Thing is, IF I paid £35, I would not buy hot chocolate, get faces painted and all those little treats that help to make this event fab.

PavlovtheCat Tue 29-Oct-13 17:38:30

shatners that's a good idea about dinner, we could stop on the way home somewhere for fish and chips

PavlovtheCat Tue 29-Oct-13 17:39:27

Thank you! I needed to get it all out and think about it.

I think, we will go for a couple of hours so the children don't feel let down, and if we get to stay then brilliant, if not, we will stop on the way home somewhere. If it is cloudless we can do some stargazing as I promised the children we will do that soon.

Just wondered how it went in the end?!

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