Windsor, UK –
After receiving threats over an event that was supposed to be held on Sunday March 9th, Legoland Windsor officials decided to not only cancel the event, but also shut down the resort along with their Facebook page. According to CNN news, this is the first time since 1996 that the park has canceled an event.
The event was to be held by the Muslim Research and Development Foundation (MRDF) at the resort for a private fun day. The group had even sold more than 4,000 tickets. Park officials decided to cancel the event after they received threats via phone calls and emails that according to the park would put MRDF, employees, and families in danger. Legoland Windsor’s spokeswoman Liz Edwards commented “Sadly, our right-wing extremists took a huge offense to it. It’s the saddest thing.”
The park released the following statement regarding the event. “Sadly, a private event due to take place on Sunday has had to be cancelled due to threats from right-wing groups made against the resort. The whole resort, including the hotel, will be closed for the weekend. We are extremely sorry that we’ve had to cancel any hotel visits for guests booked in to stay over this weekend. We wholeheartedly understand families’ disappointment that they will be unable to attend and appreciate that due to the dynamic nature of this situation we haven’t been able to give them more notification.”
The Thames Valley Police begun the investigation with the offensive messages sent to the park connection to the event. They commented “As there is an ongoing police investigation, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.” The MRDF group did however link groups such as the English Defense League and the Casuals United to the cancellation of the event. “We should not be intimidated by violent threats to our way of life,” commented the group.
On a blog post made by the Casuals United, the group wrote: “We are hardly Nazis, we are British people who are standing up for our country. Call us Nazis all you want, we don’t care. We stop Islamic extremists, we get results. Any venue this group (tries) to book will get the same treatment.”
The English Defense League – describing themselves as a “human rights organization working to protect the inalienable rights of all people to protest against radical Islam’s encroachment into the lives of non-Muslims,” also supposedly accused the MRDF of being led by a “notorious hate-preacher who has made it quite clear that he is opposed to almost every standard of democracy, decency, morality and inclusiveness that we British see as the cornerstone of our culture.” They also commented that they were happy the event was canceled.
Due to the closing of the resort the park gave guests whom had already purchased tickets full refunds. They also gave others vouchers, but some guests were still not happy. “Extremely disappointed that our hotel trip has been cancelled at ridiculously short notice, and angry that this situation has been allowed to happen. Will be speaking to Legoland in the morning,” commented Sara Powell on the park’s Facebook page. The park responded with “Your Safety and security is our number one priority so we’ve made the decision to close the whole Resort, including the Hotel for the weekend.”
Despite the cancellation of the private event, the park was already closed to the public for the season. The park will resume normal operations once again at the start of the new season on March 14th.