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Last Updated: Tuesday December 02 2008 18:04 GMT

Ricky investigates 'joke' Christmas park

Ricky reporting from outside the park

A Christmas theme park in the south of England has been described as a "joke".

The park, called Lapland New Forest, charges visitors 25 each to go in, but lots of them have said it isn't worth the money after visiting it.

The organiser of the attraction near Southampton said he doesn't believe anyone had been "ripped off".

Newsround's Ricky went to find out more, and to meet one of the kids who'd visited it...


"It was supposed to be a magical weekend with the family.

Jack had a miserable time at the park
Jack
A chance to get into the festive spirit and experience what the real Lapland might be like... But it turned into chaos and a bit of a nightmare.

I met Jack, 8, and his mum Karen in Bournemouth.

They went to the Lapland New Forest Christmas attraction with some friends and family on Saturday.

Jack loves Christmas, and was really looking forward to it.

So was his mum, who had paid 240 for 10 tickets after checking out the attraction on the internet.

Straight away they were sold by the advert on the website which showed beautiful scenes of snow, winter cabins, and of course, Father Christmas.

But when they arrived at the theme park, they said it turned out to be a miserable experience.

Upset

The nativity scene at Lapland New Forest
Pictures taken by previous visitors to Lapland New Forest
Jack told me the nativity scene was just a cardboard painting at the bottom of a muddy field, and some of the other attractions were not as good as they looked on the advert.

He says the attraction has ruined his Christmas and he's still really upset. His mum, Karen, is also angry that she wasted lots of her money.

So then I went to see the Lapland New Forest park for myself.

Complaints

Along with my Newsround team-mate, we went to see what all the fuss was about and why so many people have complained about the attraction.

When we arrived, we were told we couldn't film anything.

They were really strict about what we could and couldn't do, which made it hard to do my report for Newsround.

Husky dogs at the Lapland New Forest
Pictures taken by previous visitors to Lapland New Forest
Eventually one of the bosses took us round the site but he wouldn't let us bring our camera, he wouldn't even let us take pictures for the website!

Snow

He wanted to show us that the park wasn't as bad as most people were saying.

We had a quick walk around the "tunnel of light" surrounded by trees covered in bits of fake snow.

We saw the cardboard nativity scene and some of the animals, but had to cut the walk short to get our report ready in time for the programme."

Ricky