I have always loved Storybook Gardens. As a child we used to drive every summer to Storybook Gardens from Guelph Ontario, about two hours, just to visit what was then really just a small park and petting zoo.
Storybook Gardens has blossomed and I still enjoy this lovely spot in the summer. I also enjoy skating with my family on the path they flood in the winter to make an ice rink. The new splash pad and the massive renovation that took place several years ago now was an excellent investment.
Storybook offers interesting events occasionally and also rides. The pirate climber area and the toddler’s climber were also really smart additions drawing even more families than ever to the funspot. This year a giant sandbox has been added. Every year we visit, cheaply (prices are very good compared to places like Canada’s Wonderland) and this year I have even featured this spot on my blog.
However, this past week when relatives came to town from Kitchener and we decided to meet at Storybook Gardens, it was truly the first time ever that I’ve been disappointed and disheartened.
The greeter/cashier at the start of the visit was flat out rude, first to my sister-in-law and then to me. A coupon offered on line for Thursday visits in August was for family of four. My sister-in-law with three kids made up a family of four and yet was told that she couldn’t have used the offer because the family deal only applied if her husband was with her. Boo! Which made me wonder what they say to same sex couples. Or families who arrived with a grandparent instead of a husband?
When I asked to have my hand stamped so I could leave and go back in with lunch it was simple, but when the children needed stamps later the cashier made them wait 5 to 10 minutes on a day that was not remotely busy at all. Sadly, one of the giant slides had been vandalized and was roped off. It was a quiet day at the park but the ferris wheel also wasn’t working and a couple of animals were being shifted around so that the cages could be cleaned.
Every year, we Londoners read in the paper of the facility losing money and city councillors wondering why. Frankly our poor service this year at Storybook Gardens answered part of that question for us. Sadly, I don’t think my sister-in-law and her out of town family will be rushing back anytime soon.
My Rating –
Thrifty Mommas Tips rating $$$ out of $$$$$.
This local attraction is still fun and inexpensive, but service is hit and miss. That’s hopefully not everyone’s experience, but it was ours this day.