"It's so sad for the UK, all these people coming from around the world can see how cheap it is"

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The Independent Online

Visitors to what is fast becoming London's most infamous landmark yesterday seemed just as unimpressed with the Dome as some of its New Year's Eve guests.

Visitors to what is fast becoming London's most infamous landmark yesterday seemed just as unimpressed with the Dome as some of its New Year's Eve guests.

Long queues continued to frustrate sightseers, who faced a 40-minute wait before entering the Body Zone for a tour lasting less than 10 minutes. The only consolation was that the queues to get inside the giant human form had shortened from the two-hour lines experienced earlier in the day.

The Dome was 15,000 under full capacity and Dome staff had made special attempts to control the queues, but families still expressed anger and disappointment.

Dr Henry Louria, who is visiting London from the US, had bought his tickets prior to leaving his home in California.

He said yesterday: "We ordered tickets over the phone, but they never arrived. So we phoned them, and they said they were in the mail.

"It took four transatlantic calls before we got them and in the end we were getting pretty worried because it looked like the tickets would only arrive at home after we had left."

His wife Judith Louria, 62, also felt organisers could have put more thought into the logistics of the exhibits.

"I think they could have done things a lot differently. They don't have enough interactive things and they should have people movers, like little cars or a boat or whatever.

"I would also recommend they tell you when you get into a queue how much time it will take you to get through the line. My husband said he would give it a B but I'd only give it a C."

Everett Haughton, 50 who works in marketing, was not impressed either: "You're queuing up for a long time, for perhaps an hour, to look at something on a screen. It's all information you can get in the comfort of your own home.

"It's not that easy to find your way around, as there isn't enough information to find out what's on where."

Organisers claimed they had employed 100 street entertainers to entertain crowds in the Dome yesterday, but, said Mr Haughton, this was not enough.

"In addition to the various exhibits there ought to be something else going on in little mini arenas, so that when you are wandering around or in one of the queues, there's something interesting to see."

Anne Watson 49, wasn't impressed either. "I thought it would be something to start the Year 2000 off with a bang. Something big, something special. Something for the people - but it isn't."

The overall rating she gave to the Dome was "very poor".

"When you think of the millions they've spent in the place, you come in and you can see straight away it's cheap.

"It's so sad for the UK. All these people coming from around the world to look at this and see just how cheap it is, it's sad really."

Mrs Watson said she did not enjoy herself yesterday: "At one point we were told we would be waiting for an hour and a half. I had already stood ten minutes and I thought 'I am not doing that'.

"We've been here two hours now and we are ready to leave. For the money we spent, that's not good."