Gina Rawlings-Jones said she paid £144 for an “expensive laugh” after taking her kids on a festive Christmas trip on the The Polar Express™ Train Ride last week.
The mum-of-two said her sons Harley, 12, Jonah, 9, got more than they bargained for when Santa made his way through the carriage as he handed all the children a bell, just like in the movie.
And the 34-year-old had to say that Santa had to get his brother to step in for the event due to how little the character looked like Santa Claus.
Gina’s children burst out laughing Santa began walking down the carriage to hand out bells like in the 2004 movie, The Polar Express.
The shocked mum was mostly taken back by the character’s wiry, straight moustache
and beard which she told her kids had been straightened.
Gina, from Shrewsbury, Shropshire, took to Facebook the following day to tell other parents about her experience, writing: “When you pay £140 to see Santa then have to explain to your child that it must be his brother helping out tonight, as I’ve heard he straightens his tash.
“Quick thinking mum.”
The post has attracted over 4,400 likes and more than 2,600 comments from amused social media users.
One person said: “Maybe he was being Covid secure, so he couldn’t go to the barbers and maybe Mrs Claus had to stand in as a barber.
“I know my attempts at cutting hair have had some ropey moments.”
Another wrote: “I would have been disappointed with the whole situation as the carriage doesn’t look great either.
“What a rip off.
“Where was this just so I don’t make the mistake for next year?”
Someone else added: “Their faces.
“This is the thing; you pay all of this money and then you get someone who is young dressed as someone who is supposed to be old.
“We’re going to end up having kids not believing earlier purely because of how badly dressed the ‘Santas’ are”.
Another member of the group said: “That’s one creepy Santa.
“I’m traumatised for life now.
“I can’t possibly imagine how any of the kids felt when his face met theirs, and at £140 too.
“Literally daylight robbery.”
It appears that Gina’s train ride may have been a one-off as another parent posted an image of the Santa that her children met on another Polar Express train ride, complete with bushy beard.
The rest of the one-and-half hour experience was filled with reenactments from the Polar Express.
Actors sat in amongst the crowd and danced up and down the walkway while customers were served milk and cookies.
Speaking today, Gina said: “We got hot chocolate and cookies, as we went up and down the railway line.
“The actors dressed as cooks and danced up and down the walkway, then Father Christmas arrived and my children burst out laughing.
“I turned around and couldn’t believe his moustache.
“We got back to the station and went home £144 poorer.
“It’s the most expensive laugh we’ve paid for.
“Luckily I’ve always said ‘I wonder if we will see the real-deal Santa tonight, or if it will be a stand-in as he gets busy ‘ – this eliminates too much disappointment.”