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Organizer of Winter WonderFest apologizes to dissatisfied customers

Posted at 10:45 PM, Nov 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-27 11:26:49-05

After a wave of negative online reviews, organizers of Winter WonderFest in Chandler plan to revamp the event. 

The event, which runs Fridays through Sundays at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, touts itself online as "The greatest holiday event in Arizona."

However, soon after it opened this week, dozens of people flooded social media to say that's not the case; complaining about high prices and underwhelming lights and attractions. 

"We were there about 20 to 30 minutes and we decided to finally leave because our kids were begging us to go home," attendee Jamie Beishuizen said.

One of the co-founders told ABC15 this is no scam — as some have claimed online — but he was simply unprepared on opening day. 

"I'm genuinely sorry and it was never my intention for it not to be an enjoyable experience," said co-founder Peter Orr. "It was about creating a really fun experience and we got it a little bit wrong."

Orr told ABC15 he plans to revamp the event and will add more lights. He also says parking is now free and admission will go from $20 down to $10/person going forward. 

"I don't think I got over my head, I just don't think...I didn't prepare as well as I should have," Orr said. "I'm capable of doing it. I'm going to deliver something amazing."

To try and win back customers, Orr says admission, bounce houses and rides are free to everyone from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. this coming Friday, Dec. 1. Any donations will go to Phoenix Children's Hospital. 

While Orr says refunds are not available for dissatisfied customers who came over the weekend, he is offering another free visit for those who contact him. He hopes the revamped park impresses future customers.