Funderworld T.R. - Norwich Showground 27/05/08
For those not in the know, Funderworld is a large travelling fair ground that advertises itself as a mobile theme park. It has roughly a dozen big rides and a selection of small rides as well. Most of the rides you would see at any good fair but there are a few at Funderworld that you would not, such as a rapids, a tower ride that's 138 ft tall and a spinning mouse coaster.
The family and I missed going last year but this year we managed it and as we are connected to cub/scouts/guides, we were allocated some tickets for £1 each, as tonight was a charity night for those causes. Considering the walk in price for thrill seekers is £11, that is pretty darned good. (The normal entrance fee is decided by which wrist band you purchase with height being the deciding factor.)
Upon entry, there was a large queue to get in but it moved quickly as there were lanes for cash only and staff ushering you into lanes to keep things moving swiftly. This was important as the park only opens for a few hours a night. Considering the kids are off school this week, it seemed odd not to extend the opening hours. We did not arrive until late so we only managed a couple of hours but here is the count:
Big Ben Tower x 2 – A unique tower ride. You are blasted up the 138 ft tower and after some bouncing, pulled back to the top. After nearly a minute’s wait, you are blasted back down. It’s not quite a free fall ride but it’s darned quick and a hugely enjoyable ride.
High Roller – A modern Waltzer type ride that tilts up. When we first started spinning, I banged my head on the side of the restraint; the padding was too low to protect your head. Oddly enough, it didn’t spin much for us after that.
Magic Mouse – A spinning mouse coaster. A bit bumpy and run by cavemen but it quite possibly spun the most than any other mouse coaster of this type, that I have ridden. Great fun and I couldn’t stop laughing all the way round.
Space Roller – A smaller version of Bling but this one seemed taller than Samurai. I did not have a good experience with this. In the queue for it, there was a group of lads directly behind me. I’m guessing 14/15 yrs old. One of them was bragging that he had a knife on him. Now I should stress that there was a security guard at the entrance with a hand held metal detector but somehow, he had missed this gang. I felt scared for the rest of the wait for the ride and when let on, there weren’t enough seats for me to ride as well. Instead of returning to the front of the queue, I got off and waited for my step son. I wasn’t thinking straight I guess, after overhearing the gang behind me. Not good. My step son enjoyed it though and said it was exactly the same as Samurai.
We managed another ride that was nameless but it was like a twister with cars that held 2 people each and tilted up on their side. I used to like it a lot in the early 90’s.
So, the highlights:
Magic Mouse and Big Ben Tower being thoroughly excellent experiences.
The sheer number of teen chavs.
Despite getting in for almost nothing, I would probably decline going again. All Funderworld staff had a uniform but at the end of the day you can only call it for what it is: A fun fair with big rides and very dodgy operators.
Chris, your review sounds almost exactly how I experienced Funderworld in 2004!
> Magic Mouse – A spinning mouse coaster. A bit bumpy and
> run by cavemen but it quite possibly spun the most than any
> other mouse coaster of this type, that I have ridden. Great
> fun and I couldn’t stop laughing all the way round.
Yes, this is exactly what happened with me - I couldn't stop laughing! I was very impressed with the operation of this ride though, with the amount of cars, operators and a mobile control panel.
> Space Roller – A smaller version of Bling but this one
> seemed taller than Samurai.
Yep, Space Roller and Samurai (and Top Buzz and The Beast at F.I.) are Mondial Top Scans. Bling is a Zierer StarShape.
> We managed another ride that was nameless but it was like a
> twister with cars that held 2 people each and tilted up on
> their side. I used to like it a lot in the early 90’s.
Anyway Chris, a very fair review of what it's like to visit Funderworld. I too got in for nothing as I found a tenner beforehand. Thankfully I didn't hear anyone talk about knives.
When I went there was a Fabbri Frisbee (ride-ops were smoking!), and my personal highlight was the River Rapids slide.
Thats the second year now its come to Norwich, I always get excited when I know its coming, yet I always regret going afterwards.
On paper, its good, but in reality, its not, I wasn't there more than 40mins!
And my god it is full of Chavs, Norwich is a safe place when Funderworld is here, all the thugs are there trying to pull at the little chavvy girls!lol!
And I also share the same views about the Magic Mouse, it is very bumpy, feels unsafe, yet always seems to spin like crazy!
Oh and it also has THE worst Ghost train ever, it was the most painful waste of 3 minutes of my life!
So in all, I always like to o, yet I always regret it. I have more fun at fair when you pay for each ride.
I went to the Boston fair at the beggining of May, and I paid to go on all the rides that were going to be at Funderworld (Magic Mouse, Big ben, Rapids, Space roller), yet I didn't go on them all when they were free!