We've been looking forward to this year's Reindeer Romp for several months now . . . so you can imagine how disappointing it was for this year's event to be filled with flaws. Hosted by the Orlando Museum of Art, the Reindeer Romp offers a kid-friendly version of their well-known Festival of Trees by adding face painting, magic & puppet shows, a craft area, scavenger hunt and of course, a chance to visit Santa.
So let's start with the good . . . the trees - each donated by a local company or organization - are so fun to see, with each being decorated in a certain theme. The Disney, NASA and Paris trees were among our favorites. There's also a display of phenomenal gingerbread houses and some other unique "trees" like this chocolate tree (pictured above). The kids' events are fantastic, and mine enjoyed all that they were able to do.
Sounds great, right? I guess the problem started when I was unable to order tickets on their website and got sent to voicemail twice when calling the museum directly. That's way harder than I'm willing to work to give someone my money, so I decided to wait and buy them that evening. When we arrived, a little past the starting time of 6:30), we were informed that the event ended at 8:30 - which seemed very short, especially considering the tickets are $12/person with no reduced price for kids.
Last year, we made the mistake of waiting in line to see Santa, which took up the majority of our time (we never even got the see the trees, which are pretty hard to missed scattered throughout the galleries). This time, we stopped for face painting then went right for the trees. We were able to see most of them, but felt too rushed to really stop and enjoy them.
The kids wanted to see the magic and puppet shows, but we knew it would take up too much time. I didn't like having to miss things they wanted to see, but there wasn't anywhere close to enough time to do it all. The rushing (rushing with two kids in tow, no less) was very stressful and just didn't make for a great experience. Add to it poor customer service from the volunteers and museum guards (I definitely didn't feel like a welcome and appreciated guest), and I'm not sure it's an experience I'll want to repeat next year (though I'm sure the kids would miss it).
Just when I started to wonder if I was just in a cranky mood, I learned that we weren't the only ones who felt the same way. I overheard numerous comments about the event not being long enough and even a few complaints about the ticket prices for kids. Our friends that joined us went to the balloon animal station in the lobby, and were stopped at the door when they tried to rejoin us in the gallery. It was 8:15, and they were not permitted back in because the event was closing down!
Bottom line, the Reindeer Romp has lots of holiday fun to offer . . . if you don't mind moving at warp speed (while being glared at by the museum guards)!