Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen's Christmas attraction is open once again, after Father Christmas and elves given extra training

Roll up, roll up, the new and improved The Magical Journey  is back

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The Independent Online

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen’s winter wonderland has reopened, after closing due to a deluge in customer complaints.

The Magical Journey first launched last weekend, but promptly shut for improvements, following widespread criticism.

Children allegedly left in tears after a visit to the disappointing attraction at the Belfry Golf Club near Sutton Coldfield. Tickets for the park cost £22.50 each.

Visitor Matt Freeman said on Facebook: “You have used Christmas as an excuse to exploit people and part with hard earned money for what turned out to be a joke.

“I shall take this further and as for Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen he should be ashamed of this because quite honestly I could have cobbled something together better than this in my own back garden for half the cost.”

Ben Harvey also voiced his disappointment: “There is nothing for kids to do, the elf who is meant to be Simon Cowell is completely pointless. The advertised pictures are very different from what you see or do, in the not so magical journey!”

The company cleared up a few myths on its website, asserting rumours of a drinking, smoking Father Christmas was a “joke” made a Facebook user, although it admitted it’s possible that elves could be seen with cigarettes.


It added that presents given to children were left unwrapped so that children could choose which gift they most preferred, although noted that some of their Santa Claus’s hadn’t been briefed properly and gave out the first item they picked up. They have since been given further training.

A reindeer did not bite anyone, despite one claim. Reindeer “are herbivore and lack bottom teeth - they won’t try to bite you because they can’t”, said the statement.

The train carrying children round the attraction did break down due to a fuel shortage, but the problem has now been rectified and there is consequently a back-up train on site.

Interior designer Llewelyn Bowen has remained mysteriously quiet over the debate, but eventually describing it as “Elfgate” on Twitter.

The press were banned from the reopening today in case they created “anxiety for visitors”.

“The Magical Journey team are hugely grateful for the support we have received from broadcast media and regional papers,” a spokesperson commented in a further statement.

“So it is with huge regret that we have decided not to open the event up to press on our reopening day.

“Please understand that everything we have done, we have done in order to create a truly magical journey for the parents and specifically the children visiting.

“And we feel that camera crews, reporters and journalists are only going to take away from that experience and possibly even create anxiety for our visitors.”