Funderland Dublin

8th January 2005

A trip to Ireland just to take in Funderland cannot reasonably be described as a good use of money, even for the hardened coaster enthusiast. However, this didn't stop three of my friends from the European Coaster Club from making a weekend trip to Dublin timed to coincide with the fair. I did bring them to the Guinness Brewery in the morning, which passed enough of the day to take us onward to the fair.

Funderland Dublin

After a very light lunch, we took the train out to Funderland, arriving in the early afternoon. I'd already partaken of the ferris wheel for my photos, but the rest of the group had not done so, so we did it again. The weather, though bitterly cold, was bright and clear, providing ideal conditions for good pictures. Andrew, my brother, was waiting for us on disembarking. He'd already met George and Martin last year, and had been looking forward to their return.

We had seen the Wild Mouse shut down a number of times from the wheel, probably due to the cold weather messing up the ride blocking system. With that in mind, we were not expecting much. In order to get the maximum possible spin from the car, Tom and Martin (both of substantial build) climbed into the same side, leaving Andrew on the other. This should have provided ridiculously fast spinning due to a total lack of balance, but it simply wasn't to be. My visit on Thursday was not a fluke; the Wild Mouse simply wasn't running well this year. Hopefully it'll be sorted out for next year.

Entering the main ride building to get out of the cold, four of us boarded the Worm (#377). Tom elected to take photographs instead of riding, he being eminently sensible in his policy of not counting coasters. Worm is a copy of the standard kiddie coaster originally developed by Pinfari, but this model was built by Sartori Rides. It has been improved somewhat, in that the trim brake on the drop is not applied at all that I could tell, providing a better overall ride experience. I'm fairly sure this is the only Sartori Rides coaster I've seen, as the trains have Sartori plastered across the back of them in large print, which I don't think I would have missed!

Andrew had been watching Take/Off (see my previous report) and decided he wanted to give it a try, but not on his own. He melted somewhat when Martin offered to buy him a ticket for it. I don't think he quite realised what he was in for; he looked a little green in one or two of the photographs I managed to snap. He complained afterwards that the seating was a bit hard on the groin, though he did say he'd ride it again in the future.

The visitors all needed the credit on Speed Loop, so we took a circuit on that. Tom remarked that the ride really did go awfully close to the roof (which it does, at the top of the lift hill). I suspect someone taller than me might actually be able to brush their fingers off the roof, but the train is only doing about four miles per hour at that point so there's no danger. There's plenty of clearance on all the occasions the train is moving at a decent speed.

On the way out, we caught a showing of Sensorium. For me, this proved an interesting experiment; having seen it two days before, would I still enjoy it? The answer was yes, but only just; once was probably enough. The show would have more lasting value if it had a couple of different programs and ran a different one every day of the week.