For decades, summer and holiday trips to Edaville Family Theme Park in Carver, Massachusetts, have been a tradition for many.
"When I was a little kid, we went on the train and saw the lights," said Cheryl Manduca. "I went as a kid, and took my kids as kids, and now I'm taking my granddaughter."
Ben Moy was excited to bring his two kids to Edaville for the first time last year.
"They love Thomas the Tank Engine, so we were really excited to take them they were really excited to go," said Moy.
Both Moy and Manduca bought tickets in advance of the park's 2020 summer season, but Edaville never opened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The park posted on its Facebook page that any unused 2020 tickets would be honored in 2021.
But when Edaville didn't open this summer, hundreds of people took to Facebook asking about a reopening and refunds.
"In May was the last time they updated, saying they were opening soon, and now it's September and nobody knows what's going on," said Moy. "The rumor mill was started. I think they are doing themselves a disservice by not communicating with people."
"I messaged them several times through email, I called them several times," said Manduca. "They kept telling me that the lady who was in charge of refunds would call me, but she never did."
NBC10 Boston Responds contacted Edaville, and they told us they plan to reopen later this year.
"As you're aware, Edaville, like other large public venues, was required by the government to shutter during the pandemic," Edaville said in a statement. "We have been working with our regional community bank – Rockland Trust – to reopen the family theme park this winter for the Christmas season and anticipate having an agreement with the bank next week. In conjunction we are waiting for a grant from the Federal Small Business Administration to support the rehiring of employees that have benefited from the federal unemployment assistance that ends this month. It will take over a month to recertify the rides and prepare the park to open this Christmas season for our holiday of lights festival."
The park said it would honor tickets bought last year.
"Regarding your comment that some of your viewers have been left holding season passes they purchased in 2019 before COVID. If they purchased 2019 season passes then they used them during the 2019 season. If they purchased season passes in 2020 or in late 2019 specifically for the 2020 season they are still valid as the 2020 season was closed due to the pandemic and they can use them in 2021 when we open and we will extend them for 12 months once we open," Edaville said. "Again, we are not responsible for the pandemic delay. If a family does not want to have them extended, they should contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and request a refund. Most people understand the world was hit by this pandemic and have agreed to extensions."
Edaville refunded Manduca $635 and Moy $244.
"I'm just grateful. Like I said, we love Edaville, and nobody predicted COVID happening," said Manduca. "I'm grateful that we'll be getting the money back."
"I'm definitely happy to get the money back. I do hope that Edaville opens so that I'll be able to take my kids there. I know they are saying November for Christmas, and if that happens, I'll be able to turn around and give the money back," said Moy.
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