The Runaway Mine Train on Hayling Island

Funland Amusement Park

The small amusement park Funland Amusement Park on Hayling Island is great – admittedly not a reason for a longer day trip, but as a complement to the beach visit it’s perfect; because if there is one thing Hayling Island has, it’s a beautiful and very wide crispbread beach. Contrary to the beach promenade on Portsea, there is normally always a little more action on Hayling island, which is why the amusement park is opened much more often than the bigger Clarence Pier. With a view to the Solent, the strait between the English mainland and the Isle of Wight, and the nearby station of the Hayling Seaside Railway, there is the parking lot of the Funland Amusement Park. Interestingly, this parking lot was free this time, otherwise, one gets some ride tokens as equivalent value. So it’s generally not a bad deal to park your car at this place, especially since it paid for the ride on the new roller coaster Runaway Mine Train last time.

Runaway Mine Train

This mouse from L&T Systems came from the Gulliver’s Warrington amusement park and can now be ridden without a child (to the park entrance). The decoration in turn came from the former Pinfari Looper Klondike Gold Mine, which now makes its rounds as a transportable installation in Ireland. For the audience it was an extremely fair exchange, although the ride through the gold mine was really good and thematically suited better to the log flume next door or seemed a little rounder in the overall package. Either way, the Runaway Mine Train is a really great addition.

Neptune’s Fury

The Woody’s Children’s Roller Coaster was replaced this year by the slick Tilt-a-Whirl Neptune’s Fury. It complements the typical English rides with flying colours, but with American accents. Interestingly, the valleys are more pronounced with a Tilt-a-Whirl in comparison to a Waltzer, which provides a good spin right from the start! But unfortunately, the ride lacks the possibility to lock the gondola towards the end of the ride, so getting off the ride requires some attention.


The Extreme Miami, the Twister Cyclone and an enclosed bumper car complete the aforementioned portfolio. The small park also convinces with its selection of rides for children. Above all, the nicely designed children’s roller coaster Super Dragon Roller Coaster or Funlandasaurus, which now makes its rounds in an extremely well-designed children’s area – for this purpose the surrounding rides were given a dinosaur theme last year.

The SBNO Drop Tower

In general, one wonders why the park does so badly with the some enthusiasts – especially since the park still has an ace up its sleeve. The Funland Amusement Park has – at the moment without a gondola and therefore unfortunately SBNO – a great freefall tower made by Intamin. Without a great braking distance, it was a real pleasure to fall down; a drop pleasure par excellence, as one can normally only find it on the Meteor in the Hirakata Park or the Lanzandera in the Parque de Atracciones de Madrid. Either way, the tower structure is still standing, the carrier is still attached, so there is still hope for an early return (editor’s note: the tower was removed from the park for the 2018 season).

Pictures Funland Amusement Park


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Waiting for passengers on the Brighton Pier

Brighton Palace Pier

The Brighton Palace Pier, whose official name is Brighton Marina Palace & Pier, is the only remaining pier in the English seaside resort of Brighton. Around its entrance there are other tourist attractions like the Sealife Center Brighton or the Vekoma Ferris wheel Brighton Wheel. As also the city itself, the Brighton Pier has a certain charm, but it really takes the money out of your wallet. Most of the pier’s turnover is not generated by the rides at the end of the pier, but by the generously designed gambling halls, as also by the nice restaurants and snack bars.

In the front area of the park at the end of the pier you can admire a beautiful horse carousel and a Helter Skelter slide in Roller Coaster Tycoon style. Right next door is the ghost train Horror Hotel, which looks very nice from the outside. Other attractions in this area are a Sartori Techno Jump and a bumper car.

Turbo Coaster

On the right side of the pier the Turbo Coaster stretches towards the sky. Like the Klondike Gold Mine from Funland Amusement Park, this coaster is a Pinfari ZL42, but the differences between the two rides are much bigger than their design. If you want to ride this ride you should be very lucky, because on the one hand the ride only starts when eight people are willing to ride, on the other hand you need people who don’t turn back after three minutes in the queue.  Thereby it can take more than one hour even with a reasonably well-visited pier until enough people have found each other and in addition an employee of the pier was found who finally starts the machine. But when the system is up and running, it gets noticed and the second train load is gathered at a comparatively fast pace.

Where the Turbo Coaster looks quite nice from the front, this changes suddenly when the train leaves the lift. Barely lifted out of the seat during the first drop, the shoulder restraint hooks itself in such a stupid position, so that from now on you can do the rest of the ride firmly clinging to it. The loop was a little more intensive and less smooth than the one at the Funland Amusement Park, the rest of the course is much rougher, so that you get wiped off your shoulder restraints every now and then. While the Klondike Gold Mine is quite rideable and actually a lot of fun, the ride on Brighton Pier lacks any joy of life that could persuade you to take a second ride. Strangely enough one or two of the riders enjoyed the ride and even treated themselves to a second round.

Crazy Mouse

Fortunately, the beautifully positioned Reverchon Crazy Mouse of the same name is right next door. The ride in this mouse featured a quite nice view and was rather tame in the upper part of the ride. After the big drop was done and the rotation was finally released, the mouse started to rotate in best waltz style. Reverchon mice are always worth a ride and in this respect there is a good representative of this kind in Brighton, even if with 4 tokens of 1 pound each one of the probably most expensive of its kind.

Other rides on the pier include a Reverchon log flume called Wild River, a Fabbri Booster and a typical English Waltzer ride. The ride on the Waltzer was very nice and due to a straight section at the back of the ride you were inevitably put into a spin at the next drop.

Pictures Brighton Palace Pier

Conclusion Brighton Palace Pier

In total, the Brighton Palace Pier is a really nice pier, even though the rides are all quite expensive. In fact, one can leave one’s money in the restaurants and snack bars of the pier that is open during the whole year. Those who like gambling and arcades will also be in good hands in this seaside resort.


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Upside down on Hayling Island

Funland Amusement Park

The Funland Amusement Park is located on the beach of Hayling Island and offers a small but fine selection of rides, as well as the typical range of amusement arcades and snack bars. Admission to the park is free, the attractions are paid for according to the Tivoli principle by a certain number of tokens or by a wristband. Especially the second option is ideal during the evening hours, as the wristbands are offered virtually for free. However, people with a weaker stomach, who only visit the park for the three roller coasters, should use the tokens.

Super Dragon

Next to a typical English Helter Skelter slide, which unfortunately does not have a Rct look in this park, you can find a Pinfari roller coaster in the children’s area of the small park. The Super Dragon can be best compared to a Big Apple roller coaster, as both installations share approximately the same height and surface area. But the ride is much more exciting, even if not very spectacular. After climbing the lifthill there is a curve which leads into the first of two drops. After passing under the lifthill, the ride goes up again and after another curve, it enters into the rapid finale of the course. Here, after the drop, a small hill follows, which brings a smile to your face. But some rounds later, one is glad to get out of the former ride of the Drayton Manor Theme Park.

Klondike Gold Mine

At the other end of the park is another ride from Drayton Bassett, the Klondike Gold Mine or Klondike Looping Rollercoaster. The beautifully designed ZL42 from Pinfari has often been described as a physical injury, just like other rides of the same type. Except for the daredevil transitions into the curves, the layout runs very well. The compactness of the layout makes the ascents and descents quite steep, which could have been improved by adding a few more metres to the width of the layout, thus giving a softer ride. The looping is unfortunately not as intensive as comparable Intamin installations do, but it was a nice element during the ride. In general, the Klondike Gold Mine is a real gem, at least when it comes to the overall design of the layout. The ride itself is quite nice and not at all to be rated as most roller coaster fans do.

Woody Rollercoaster

Next to the gold mine roller coaster you can find another children’s roller coaster at Funland Amusement Park. The Woody Rollercoaster actually doesn’t offer any special features apart from its tree-trunk shaped cars, especially since the layout only consists of right turns and can have a helix as the only downhill run. As with the Super Dragon, several laps are made here.

Speed Flip

On the other hand, the Speed Flip is a real highlight in the park, because the rides built by Moser Rides are unfortunately very rare. The ride in the roll-over gondolas, which are mounted on a cantilever that is brought from the horizontal to the vertical, is simply indescribably good and above all very fast. The ride looks quite bizarre from the outside and some of the gondolas only seem to roll over, but inside the machine the ride is well balanced, even if it is quite intense.

Drop Ride

A little inconspicuous is the 30 meter high freefall tower called Drop Ride. The installation once came from the Trocadero Center in London and was equipped there with a two-storied gondola. As the fall lane was anchored to the building at that time, a new tower structure had to be built in the Funland Amusement Park that was simply made as a timbered construction. The fall in this small ride is simply overwhelming, even the slightly higher Fabbri drop towers with their launch downwards do not come close to the distinctive airtime. In addition, the ride offers probably the most intensive braking of all free fall towers, which is probably due to the fact that the weight of the second gondola is missing. The Drop Ride is like Drayton Manors Apocalypse or La Lanzandera from the Parque de Atracciones de Madrid one of the best freefall towers in Europe and shows again that height is a rather negligible factor.

Furthermore, you can get a little soaked with a small log flume and get dry again in the Break Dance, a Magic Dance from Top Fun, if necessary. Outside of the actual park area there is also the Seaside Train, which probably offers some stations along the beach.

Pictures Funland Amusement Park


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