I visited here at the end of November with my husband and 3 children aged 10, 9 and 3 for a day to visit the Kingdom of the Elves costing us £100. To say it is the biggest let down is an understatement and their customer care is even worse! My letter of complaint to them is below, I haven't even bothered adding their reply as it took almost 2 weeks for them to email back and they had clearly not bothered to read my complaint properly! Please, save your money and spend it elsewhere!!! Oh, and don't expect the "Elves" to remain in character during your visit, as they mention many times that they are "only following their script"... they say this as if it's a joke but it's really not funny when you have children who are the age that they start to question the existence of Santa! I was really looking forward to going here, but feel really badly let down both by the overall experience and also by the non-existent customer care! If on reading this you wish to see their response to my initial email, please PM me as I would be happy to send it to you.
I am writing to you following our visit to the Kingdom of the Elves yesterday at 5.20pm. Far from being "magical", we found it stressful, upsetting and extremely disappointing.
The "elves" were all extremely miserable, jaded and were more concerned in telling the children not to do things, than staying in character! Luckily on this occasion my children were very attentive and listened, however, on another day they may have behaved differently, especially the youngest, and I found there seemed to be no tolerance from the "elves" should a child even cry! I would like to express at this point that at no point did my children get told off personally by the elves but I saw other people, adults included, being told off on numerous occasions! It made for a very uncomfortable atmosphere indeed!
I myself work for a Health and Safety company so I understand the importance of ensuring your customer's safety, however, you should ensure that the rooms are fit for purpose... the purpose being the entertainment of children of all ages! If certain areas are out of bounds within the rooms, they should be made completely inaccessible, it would solve a lot of problems! Similarly, if you do not want children climbing onto things or picking things up, then firstly you should set an age limit, ensuring your patronage are of an age to understand, and secondly, you should remove such items from view! For example, in the Frozen room, the children walked in to find balls all over the floor, their first reaction was to pick the balls up, obviously! None of them threw the balls, they all simply collected one or two each. My youngest son, only aged 3 had a single ball and everyone was told abruptly to leave the balls alone. My son was really upset by this, and ended up in tears! If you didn't want the children picking up the balls when they entered, then there should be none on the floor in the first place!
I also think that making jokes about getting your "ars@ into gear" and "Viagra making things big" is most inappropriate on a children's activity! Judging by the uncomfortable looks from the other parents, I believe I was not the only one to think so either!
We were very abruptly ushered like sheep around the rooms and from one room to the next, by far the worst room for this was the first one. At one point a little girl became quite distressed as everywhere she seemed to go, the "elf" asked her parents to move her. She can't have been more than 2-3 years old and to be honest, I felt extremely sorry for her parents. Especially when taking into account the comments made by the "elf" when the little girl started crying!
As we were not staying on-site, we paid £20 per person to attend (£100 in total), with the children coming away with an apron, a few small items of stationery and a hat... oh and not to mention a single sweet! The adults also had absolutely nothing, not even a complimentary beverage...please could someone explain to me exactly what the adults paid £20 for? My young son even asked me, at the end, when he would see an elf. We tried to explain to him that the people in each room were elves, but he replied, "no they not, they just growed-ups that was not nice, elves is nice"! That from a 3 year old says it all really!!!
One good note, please could you pass our thanks to the gentleman that worked on the Buggy Hire Centre, he is a real credit to Bluestone and showed much more customer care than we experienced during our entire day with you! Maybe you should think of dressing him up as an elf as he would be much more convincing than those you actually employ to do so!!! Also, your reservations team were all extremely helpful too!
My final word on this is that my eldest daughter is almost 11yrs old, and this is our last year with her being a "believer". We booked The Kingdom of the Elves as we thought it would be nice to have one last family Christmas experience before she became "too cool"! I really feel upset (and have even shed tears) that I chose Bluestone for this, and wish I had spent my hard-earned money elsewhere, somewhere that my children would have come away with happy memories!