Crow’s EXCITER – worth the wait?


After what feels like a decade of waiting, the new Exciter ride of Dane Crow has made its debut appearance at the Conisbrough Ticklecock Fair.

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Known to the public as “Exciter”, the new ride comes from British manufacturers Tivoli. Tivoli are perhaps most known for their Orbiter and Extreme rides that are slowly beginning to saturate the UK fair scene – so this new innovation is certainly welcome.

New? Are you sure?

Those who are familiar with their funfairs will certainly see some familiarity in the design of the Exciter. Named by Tivoli as the ‘Warp 10’, Exciter is a modernised version of the ‘Force 10’ – or Tip Top – which was originally introduced in 1980.

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Whilst largely similar to the Tip Top, the USP of Exciter comes in the form of its seating. Replacing the enclosed cars of the 80’s are modern ‘dangly-feet’ three-seater cars with a bonus party-trick hidden up their sleeves – the ability to tilt.

When the tilting feature was first rumoured there was quite a lot of excitement in the enthusiast community. People began to visualise a system similar to that of the Air rollercoaster at Alton Towers where riders lie fully on their fronts, creating the illusion of flight. But as the years went by, it became apparent that there was clearly a delay with the construction of Exciter – believed to be due to the implementation of these tilting seats.

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It was therefore somewhat disappointing to find out that the seats actually only tilt about 40 degrees forwards and return to their upright position before the ride accelerates to its full speed. Ah well.

Debut event – Conisbrough Ticklecock Fair

The Exciter finally made its public debut at the Conisbrough Ticklecock Fair on 13th April 2017. So what do we think?

There’s no denying that the ride is presented in an immaculate condition, as is the case of most rides operated by the Crow family. On closer inspection the attention to detail becomes apparent – from the laser-cut designs on the perimeter fencing to the Disco Smash speakers fitted to the back of each of the 12 cars. The LED lighting package is stunning, however has lost some of the impact that it would have had if the ride made its debut when it was originally intended to, due to LED lighting becoming the norm across many of the country’s rides in the past 24 months.

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Was it worth the wait?

To put it simply, not really. Whilst there’s no denying that Exciter is a solid addition to the UK fair industry, it just doesn’t really tick all the boxes for us. At the end of the day the ride experience is essentially spinning in an unbroken circle for 3 minutes, and therefore somewhat nauseating to ride. Whilst the tilting seats are a good idea in theory, at the moment they’re not being utilised very effectively and go largely unnoticed whilst on the ride. Take a look for yourself in the full onride cycle below:

BUT don’t just take our word for it. It seems to be a bit of a generation thing – having read many comments on the internet it would seem that Exciter has gone down a treat with the older generation who have fond memories of the original Tip Top. To this extent, Exciter should be a big success with all ages – the oldies who remember the original and the young’uns who’ve never seen one before and think it’s something new.

It’s worth remembering that it is the Crows that were responsible for the first ‘lifting twist’ (Cyclone), and they do have to be admired for their innovative foresight – even if the final products are a little odd. What next, a tilting carousel?!

We wish the Crows all the best with Exciter and look forward to seeing it over the course of 2017!


National Funfair Extravaganza to take place Saturday 21st January 2017


The National Funfair Extravaganza will take place on 21st January 2017 in Churchdown, Gloucestershire. With over 65 model attractions booked to attend, we have all the details you’ll need if you’re thinking of visiting.

Previously known as the Churchdown Funfair Extravaganza, this year sees the event rebrand to the National Funfair Extravaganza. Whilst model rides and attractions make up a large part of the event, there’s far more for you to enjoy beyond the miniatures!

The 2017 show includes a showman’s transport display, slide shows, sales stands, refreshments and a licensed bar from 12.00 – 17.00.

The Details

Location: Churchdown Community Centre, Parton Road, Churchdown, Gloucester GL3 2JH

Date: Saturday 21st January 2017

Opening times: Show open 10.30 – 17.00, Bar open 12.00 – 17.00

Admission: FREE entry – donations to the Fairground Heritage Trust welcome

Slide shows: Three shows from Steve Perry, Ian Trowell & Stephen Smith. Timings available upon arrival.

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This promises to be a great event with some models never seen before at the show. We look forward to seeing you there!


Munich Looping: World’s largest transportable rollercoaster at London’s Winter Wonderland


It finally happened. After 27 years of operation, the famous Olympia Looping rollercoaster has opened in the UK for the very first time. What a time to be alive.

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Boasting five vertical loops and forces of up to 5.2G, Olympia Looping is the world’s largest transportable roller coaster. And it certainly is huge, occupying a plot of 85 metres wide by 26 metres deep (Just think how many Miamis you could fit in that space!). The coaster is most famous for its annual appearances at the Munich Oktoberfest, where it made its debut on 17th September 1989.

But it isn’t until now, November 2016, that the coaster has ever appeared in the UK. Sporting a temporary new name – Munich Looping – the monstrous ride is here to help celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.

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Olympia Looping pictured at the Munich Oktoberfest 2012

Munich Looping?

Take one look at the ride in London and you’ll notice the lack of Olympic theming and new signs sporting the name “Munich Looping”. The reason for the name change is twofold.

  1. It avoids any potential copyright issues here in the UK. (Even though the loops are still clearly representative of the Olympic rings)
  2. It is believed that the general (non-geeky) public are more likely to recognise the ride as being from Oktoberfest – Olympia Looping doesn’t mean much to your average Joe.

Olympia/Munich Looping is a truly incredible ride. The fact that it all packs up onto trailers (over 50 of them!) and is able to be set up and dismantled in a matter of days really is impressive. Add to that the fact that it can run up to 5 trains at once and you’ve got a world-class coaster when it comes to throughputs.

Whilst in London the Looping is running trains consisting of 5 cars (20 riders per train), however it’s worth noting that when in Munich they add another 2 cars to each train to form five seven car trains. Mental. How many other coasters can you name that can do that?!

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A positive move for the future of the ride

Believe it or not, this time last year the future of Olympia Looping was looking very uncertain. With transport and operational costs rapidly escalating, owner Rudolf Barth was rumoured to stop travelling the ride.

“[In 2013], when we went from the Oktoberbest to the Bremer Freimarkt, the transport alone cost us 80,000 euro. After 16 days, we were left with only 20,000 euro. It’s not worth it anymore”  

– Barth, in an interview with Aachener Zeitung.

So to see it in London is very encouraging news. Don’t miss the opportunity to ride it whilst you still can though – when it’s gone, it’s gone. The chances of seeing anything of this scale ever again on the travelling circuit are exceedingly small. A new Olympia Looping would be worth approximately 25 million Euros – an investment you simply wouldn’t be able to earn back in the current climate.

Take a ride on Munich Looping at Winter Wonderland 2016


First glimpse: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland opens celebrating 10th Anniversary


Bright lights, festive music and the smell of German sausage fill the air as London’s Winter Wonderland returns for its 10th Anniversary. We went along to the preview evening to see what this year’s event has in store.

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Nothing marks the start of Christmas better than the arrival of a festive German market and a bunch of seasonally decorated amusement rides. The Winter Wonderland has taken place in Hyde Park, London for 10 years now. And whilst the event has grown considerably from it’s routes as a Christmas market to the festive theme park of recent years, it has still managed to retain the magical charm that has been accountable for its success.

This year’s theme is strongly focussed on celebrating the tenth year of the event. From the moment you enter the site you’re instantly immersed into a Christmas wonderland that feels comfortably familiar yet strikingly different from the events of preceding years. Take a look around and you’ll notice a variety of new shows to entertain the family, new food and beverage outlets and spectacular new rides.

Never-seen-before Thrilling rides

Thrill seekers are certainly in for a treat at this year’s Winter Wonderland. The Ice Mountain coaster, Star Flyer and The Hangover freefall tower have all returned for 2016 and make up some of the 100 rides and games in attendance. But this year’s show-stopper is undoubtedly the Munich Looping Rollercoaster. Occupying a plot measuring 87 x 39 metres, Munich Looping is the World’s largest transportable rollercoaster and features five vertical loops. It has become famous for its appearances at the Munich Oktoberfest since 1989, however this is the first time the ride has ever opened in the UK.

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Shows for all the family

But maybe thrill rides aren’t your cup of mulled-wine. Well that’s OK, Winter Wonderland has something for you too. If the festive atmosphere and the constant fear of having a pram rammed into your ankles isn’t enough to get you in the mood, Hyde Park is offering a variety of shows to cater for all tastes.

Returning for 2016 are the UK’s largest outdoor Ice Rink, the Ice Kingdom and Zippos Circus. Joining them and new for this year are The Nutcracker on Ice, Cirque Berserk (from 7pm) and The Sooty Christmas show (11am daily). Booking is essential to guarantee entry, prices range from £7 – £18.95 per adult per show. Full details can be found on the official website.

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Something to drink?

What better way to warm up on a cold winter’s night than to head into a bar made of ice?! Bar Ice offers a sub-zero drinking experience where everything you see, from the tables through to the glass you drink out of, are all sculpted from ice. But don’t worry, as well as one free cocktail, the £15 entry fee also gets you a pair of gloves and a cloak to prevent frostbite.

Fans of more traditional methods of eating and drinking will love the Bavarian Village – a huge complex featuring indoor and outdoor seating, german entertainment and Bratwurst aplenty. Also new for 2016, a range of Winter Wonderland merchandise that can be purchased either on-site or online. Items include a cuddly polar bear and a branded wooly-hat.

2016 is set to be a fantastic year for Winter Wonderland. Whilst there are fewer rides than we saw at last year’s event, what we do have this year is of a remarkably high quality. The layout has again been tweaked and removes some of the dead-ends and bottle-necks of yesteryear. But don’t just take our word for it, check it out for yourself by watching our video!

VIDEO: First glimpse at Winter Wonderland 2016

The nitty-gritty

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland runs from 18th November to 2nd January 2017. It’s open 10am – 10pm every day except Christmas day. Entry is free, no ticket required. You will however need a ticket for Ice Skating, The Magical Ice Kingdom, Nutcracker on Ice, Zippos Christmas Circus, Cirque Berserk, The Sooty Christmas Show, Giant Wheel and Bar Ice.

Ride tickets are all sold separately and available at ticket booths across the site. Contactless payment is available on Munich Looping, Wilde Maus XXL, Ice Mountain, Thriller and the Christmas Coaster.

The best way to get to the event is using Public Transport, the nearest tube stops are Bond Street, Green Park, Knightsbridge, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner.

More information can be found on the official website.


Winter Wonderland hits Stoke-on-Trent [Construction gallery]


Ice skating, live music, Bavarian food and spectacular rides are set to take over Birch Terrace car park, as Winter Wonderland arrives in Stoke-on-Trent.

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The event, which runs from 17th November through to 2nd January, is the first of it’s kind to appear at this location and promises to be “The Midlands’ Spectacular Christmas Destination”.

And from what we can tell, it certainly does look to be an exciting event. Rides include the 60m tall “Sky Swing”, the Crazy Mouse roller coaster, No Limit Loopfighter and many others.

Having made multiple visits to the site over the past couple of weeks, it’s safe to say that a great deal of effort is being put in to ensure that this actually is a “Winter Wonderland” and not just a funfair on a carpark at Christmas time. The layout is well thought-out and the addition of timber-decked walkways is already beginning to transform the frankly depressing location into something much more magical.

For more information and tickets, be sure to visit the official website.


Winter Wonderland Stoke – Construction Galleries

Be sure to check back regularly as we update this page with the latest construction galleries. Galleries run in reverse-chronological order, with the most recent at the top.

Tuesday 15th November 2016

Sunday 13th November 2016

Friday 11th November 2016

 Wednesday 9th November 2016

Monday 7th November 2016

Friday 4th November 2016

Thursday 3rd November 2016

Wednesday 2nd November 2016

Tuesday 1st November 2016


Pleasure Beach Fountain Show rips woman’s vagina


Now. I’m sure it’s not very amusing for those involved – but this story certainly seems to have brought a smile to many people’s faces. 19 year old Shelby Clarke was on a family trip to Blackpool Pleasure Beach when one of the fountains in the Dancing Water show sprayed up between her legs. Sounds harmless? Think again – these are very powerful jets! Poor Shelby was left needing 2 hours of surgery and 250 stitches.

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The incident was deemed so serious that Shelby has been awarded a 5 figure compensation payout from the park, although it seems this may not be enough, the poor girl insists that her sex life has been completely ruined;

“Having sex was excruciating at first. Even now, I can’t have sex as much as I would like, and so that makes me worry that my boyfriend will lose patience and cheat on me”

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We wish Shelby all the best!


“Europe’s largest Mobile Theme Park” visits Stoke-On-Trent


I know what you’re thinking – the title clearly states that this is a Theme Park, but this post is categorised under “Funfairs”?! Well, that is because this is another one of those events where a funfair tries to disguise itself as something it’s not.

That aside – Stoke On Trent is set to open Europe’s Largest Mobile Theme Park on Thursday 12th March 2015. The event, run by Stanworth’s Fun Fairs, will take place in Fenton (ST3 1HD) next to the KFC.

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Much like a Theme Park, the event will run a Wristband system where visitors can pay one set fee to gain them unlimted access to the rides. This will cost £8.99 for adults and £4.99 for children. We went over to visit the site:

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As you can probably tell, the “Largest Mobile Theme Park” tagline may not be quite apt for the event, but nonetheless there is a good line up of fairground rides to enjoy, including Freak Out, Twist, Superstar, Booster, Waltzer, Dodgems, Miami, Rotor and Gallopers.

The event runs from 12th-22nd March 2015.