AD (Press Trip) | Liverpool’s Indoor Funfair

Today we had the chance to go to the opening morning of the Liverpool Indoor Funfair, which houses a selection of rides and entertainment which will be familiar to those like us, who enjoy visiting theme parks and fairs. Billed as suitable for ages, I couldn’t wait to go with the whole family — me, Mike, Baby Button, Megan and Tristan.

We got to Liverpool Exhibition Centre just as it was opening, and the lines were already colossal, winding around the lobby. That said, the staff outside were all very jolly and were great with the families waiting, getting people through as quickly as possible. As you can imagine, children could already hear the pulsing music coming from the room where the funfair was — it was very exciting!

I’m going to break this review into two sections. A section for me and Baby Button (fifteen months) and a section for Mike, Megan and Tristan.

Although the funfair is billed for ‘all ages’, I do feel that could be a little bit of a stretch. Baby Button went on one ride, and it was teacups — the ride was very fast, and very long. Not really suitable for a fifteen month old, unlike some of the other events he’s experienced at his tender age. This was trying to cater for a huge chunk of age groups at one time, and it’s a difficult balance.

Baby Button did go on the helter-skelter with his Dad, but as someone on her own with a toddler when we separated into two groups it would have been difficult for me to do this. The helter-skelter was in the middle of the fair and I had the pram. Not really something I could leave unattended with all our things hanging from it!

I spent most of the morning walking up and down the Exhibition Centre corridors, as Baby Button explored the water front in his own little way. I wish that the fair had been a little more baby friendly. Click To Tweet

A little area where the rides and ride cycles were geared towards the babies would have made all the difference, not just to people like me who had little ones but to the older people who encountered toddlers on things such as the funhouse.

Now, I asked Mike for his input here. He works in the theme park industry, he’s been a fan of said industry for years — he knows his stuff and it’s time he earned his keep! Here are his thoughts:

The Jump and Smile (aka Jumping Jack) opened with a fantastic cycle, but then immediately went into a short timed cycle (with little to no queue). This was the best ride at the attraction. Click To Tweet

On arrival the placed seemed to have everything expected, music was pumping and light blazing in all directions. Being a ride enthusiast I was looking forward to revisiting a few of my favourite travelling rides. The Jump and smile opened with a great cycle and the day seemed to kick off into full swing. When these ride travel at fairs, they usually are only run on the medium settings, not too long or short but nothing amazing. At a fair when they make no more money for a short cycle I full expected everything to be on the longest and most extreme.

Then the whole day fell off the map, a Miami was advertised which would have been a second decent addition… Only the mini Miami (which was also advertised) was there. We quickly moved to what could have been a fab second ride, a childhood staple — the Waltzer. Two operators usually means things will get dizzy. I was so wrong, the whole ride lasted 2 minutes with only one interaction with a human lining the car up. No spins from the operators during the ride at all. The layout and speed seemed less than impressive so none of the cars got into any natural rhythm

I pretty much gave up after this. The Twister was running slow, the 3D ‘experience’ was just a fun house with 1980’s cardboard glasses that you usually got from a cereal box. The lady on this ride was a good operator however, smiling and actually helping guests towards the entrance. The Energiser Course could have been alright, it was a decent length but being herded into 30+ groups with a mixture of toddlers (no really) to adults came close to demolition derby. Maybe just letting small number in would have been easier, especially with the whole run less than a minute long (by an unfit 35 year old).

Onto 2 of the worst travelling rides I have ever seen. The Ghost House was a figure of 8 — up, turn, dip, turn, down. That was it. A projected ghost and buzzer are the only 2 things that I remember coming close to standing out. Then the Fun House, wow. Just wow. Half, of the elements turned off or broken, piles of little toddlers gathered in areas throughout doing things that toddlers do. It was basically a walk through with no theming or fun!

I finished on the Helter-Skelter, no operator at the bottom was a worry but at least at the top had staff presence.

While we didn’t pay for tickets, I’m glad that Mike and the two older children experienced the buzz of an opening day. But I’d begrudge paying the £10 for a ticket — heck, I’d begrudge spending £2 on a spectator ticket! If you want to experience the funfair yourself, visit the website to book tickets and please let me know if it was a case of first day jitters!

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    • Considering she saw me get in the cup with him and settle him down, the ride was far too fast and far too long. I don’t think it was the operators fault — but the whole fair had been billed as suitable for all, so she had to please all of the ages that went on the cups.

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