Snowland queues leave kids cold

Overwhelming demand for winter-themed events in the city, fuelled by the popularity of Disney movie Frozen, has led to hundreds of children being turned away from the events and the City of Perth changing the way it runs its school holiday activities.

There were queues of more than 100 people in Forrest Chase hours before the first of the free Snowland sessions opened this week, leading to many missing out on the sought-after tickets.

By 11am, children - some dressed up as characters from the immensely popular movie Frozen or singing the theme song Let it Go in the queues - were turned away from the Snowland marquee after all the day's sessions sold out.

More than 500 Facebook users yesterday backed up complaints from parents whose children missed out because of long queues or had to stand outside for hours .

"Travelled two hours from the country to give the kids a day out in the city," one parent posted on Facebook.

"We got there at 8.30 and the line was a mile long. Who in their right mind would think making children stand in a line outside in the cold is a good promotion for your city."

Gillian Taylor said her three grandsons were heartbroken after all the tickets for Snowland were snapped up before they arrived in the city for the activity yesterday morning.

"They've never seen snow and were looking forward to it," she said.

City of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi conceded the city had been "overwhelmed" by the demand for Snowland and would introduce an online ticketing system for the event's final week next week.

"We have made changes in response to the feedback received, including only ticketing children, which has increased the capacity for each session and made changes to the activities on offer," she said.

Ms Scaffidi said the city acknowledged that advertising showing an area filled with snow, slides and a snowman had given children and parents an "unrealistic expectation" of the activities.

Some of those who attended compared the slide to a ramp and complained the snow was limited to small tables. "We recognise the name, image and copy used to promote the event has given many an unrealistic expectation of what is being presented and we apologise for this misunderstanding," Ms Scaffidi said.

"We are addressing this where we can with new copy and images on the website and social media."

Big Bang Productions, organisers of Perth Cultural Centre event Winterland, has also reported a huge response and has added 10 extra ice-rink skating sessions after more than 20,000 visited in the first week.

Booking information for Snowland sessions from Monday is available at www.visitperthcity.com

Miranda Taylor, centre, with her mother, Gilliam Taylor, left, and disappointed children, Archie Annetts, 5, and twin brother Aiden and Angus Annetts, 7. Picture: Bill Hatto/The West Australian

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