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Event Planning, Fun Story, funfair events, Funfair Rides

Funfair Rides, FAQ’s

12 March 2021
Lunds Fireball waltzer

Another of our series of attempts to answer some of the questions we have happened across on the internet, as well as those we seem to be asked regularly.

Can I Go On Rides When I Am Pregnant

It depends on the ride. Some of the more sedate rides shouldn’t be any more problematic than a trip on a train or bus. We wouldn’t however recommend going on something that turns you upside down or inside out. In short, you need to use that rarest of skills, common sense.

Are Funfair Rides Safe

Well, it depends who you listen to. There was a guy on the go in the 90’s who had set his own safety organisation up. He used to have plenty to say about unsafe fairgrounds. Funnily enough, he never mentioned them, until he formed his safety group and demanded that the funfair industry pay him for inspections. When they refused he went on a campaign against the industry. Demanding amongst other things daily safety inspections by the operators of the rides, and annual inspections by engineers. Weird thing at the time was that we were already doing that.

The Health & Safety inspectorate have long been in charge of overseeing safety at the funfair. Their opinion, is that you are more likely to die from a shark attack, or being struck by lightening, than killed on a funfair ride. In fact they estimate the chance of it happening as 1 in something like 83 million.

How Much Are Funfair Rides

That depends whether you mean to ride on them or to buy one.

Nowadays a typical ride costs between £1 and £2 a ride. Some of the larger fairs or festivals tend to be more expensive. There are also a handful of rides that are fairly unique and as a result tend to command a higher price for a ride.

Danters Air, One Of Only A Handful Of This Type Of Ride

If you mean how much to buy a ride. Then it depends on what you want to buy. A second hand Miami type ride can be picked up for probably £50K. Something like a giant wheel can be upto the £5 million mark. Roller Coasters as much as some small nations annual GDP.

Dodgems, the dodgems and definitely the dodgems. By a huge margin all of our records show that dodgems are the most requested ride. This is true for events such as weddings, as well as corporate events, festivals and parties.

Second are the tamer thrill rides such as Twist and Miami, but they are definitely playing second fiddle.

Carousels occasionally put in an honourable mention, but it tends to be mainly at weddings, where they make a great photo opportunity.

Continental Dodgem Track For Hire
Continental Dodgem Track For Hire

Can I Go On A Fairground Ride If I Am Disabled

There is no real reason you can’t. The problem tends to be access.Legislation was brought in requiring business’s to take reasonable steps to alter their premises to enable disabled access. Unfortunately there aren’t any reasonable steps to alter a funfair ride for this. Any major alterations of this type would require a complete set of engineering drawings and stress calculations drawing up, then a design review by qualified engineers to ensure the alterations are safe. In some cases this could cost more than the ride is actually valued at.

This doesn’t mean you can’t ride them though. Any professional operator will be happy to provide assistance in getting the less abled onto their ride.

How Old Do Kids Have To Be To Go On The Rides

Well, that depends on the ride. For the really little ones, talking toddlers here, you are best sticking to something like the teacups or toytown, the parents can usually ride with the kids so they are kept safe.

When you start getting on to the bigger stuff, they tend to have a height board. Usually your kids will need to be the minimum height to ride. Please, please, please respect this. The amount of arguments we have ended up in over the years, because someone wants their under height kid to be allowed a ride, is ridiculous. Look, we want your money. If we are stopping your kid riding, it isn’t to be a killjoy. It is to ensure they aren’t hurt and our insurance costs don’t go up. Your claim that you will take responsibility if they are killed, doesn’t actually offer us much protection in a court of law.

Teacups Ride Hire
Teacups Ride Hire

Stick to funfair rides like this, if you have little kids. Oh, and accompany them. I well remember one mother trying to jam her 6 month old baby in such a position that it didn’t flop forward and fall off. If the kid isn’t old enough to hold itself up, it isn’t old enough to ride alone.

Can I Join The Fairground If I Buy A Ride

Theoretically you can. Most large funfairs are run by members of the Showmen’s Guild Of Great Britain. To attend them you have to be a member of the organisation. At one time, unless you were either born to existing members, or married one, you weren’t allowed to join. This closed shop was stopped by legislation meaning it is open to anyone to join. If you are interested in becoming a member you can find details here.

However the reality is, that at most events the same families have owned the rights to the individual ride plots for generations. To buy one you need to be in a position to know they are for sale. As quite often this is discussed at social events, ie. down the pub. Unless you are part of the crowd you tend not to be involved. Some newer events the plots are advertised, but again, the operators in charge tend to stick with established family names they are familiar with. So before ponying up a large cash advance to join the Guild, I would think carefully. You are likely to have more success on a roulette wheel, or the local horse races than operating your on funfair rides.

Showmen's Guild Logo
Showmen’s Guild Logo

Are Bumper Cars Different To Dodgems

Nope, they are exactly the same ride. In the North East they tend to be called bumper cars, the rest of the UK prefer dodgems. The actual historic name is dodgems, as in you dodge the other cars.

That lot up in the North East tend to be a hardy lot, so smashing into each other is probably more fun.

If you have any other questions about funfair rides, feel free to add them in the comments and we will try and answer them.

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