Monday 7 February 2011 by Gary Stanton

Pontins to employ Disney characters to hand out anti-depressants


The new owner of Pontins holiday camps says he plans to bring some “Disney-style” magic back to the UK resorts by allowing guests to receive their high-strength prescription medication courtesy of someone in a Mickey Mouse costume.

The initiative follows an exceptionally poor 2009 season where a wet summer and challenging economic circumstances meant staff lay-offs, which culminated in an incident at the Prestatyn branch where a guest attempted to self-harm in the swimming pool after coming last in a knobbly-knees competition.

Under the new regime, guests arriving at the resort will be met by one of the overly-excited ‘colourful’ Disney characters.

Inside the costume is a fully-trained psychiatric nurse who will give them a big hug before carrying out a thorough psychological assessment before allocating them to a freezing chalet based on the minimalist simplicity of Stalinist Russia’s gulags.

After surveying the confined quarters and soaking up the death-camp ambiance, those who still feel themselves teetering on the edge of an existential abyss will have the opportunity to discuss their problems with someone with massive ears and a high-pitched voice.

Pontins to bring Disney style to UK

Alex Langsam, who bought the struggling company last month for £20m, told reporters, “Anyone harbouring suicidal thoughts just needs to press a button and our twenty-four hour response service will bring one of our Disney-themed entertainers to their room carrying a bucket of lithium.”

“This week I believe Goofy is running the night shift.”

The scheme has been deemed a success by regular visitors to the resort.

Dave Walton who suffered a depressive relapse while spending a fortnight at the Southport resort said, “A potential hostage situation was brought to a successful conclusion after Peter Pan flew into my chalet and offered me enough Prozac to fell a horse.”

“I actually found Wendy was the better listener and it was she that finally persuaded me to hand over the scissors before things turned ugly.”

Today Langsam was upbeat about the resort’s future, adding, “We’re really going to put the “fun” back into ‘fundamental psychological evaluation’.”

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