21-22nd April 2007

Paultons (Romsey, England)
Funland Amusement Park (Hayling Island, England)


Andy Wright
I started early as this was my first time to this park. The day was nice and sunny a little chilly. There was not that many turned up. I think this was down to the fact of it being more of a small park and for younger children. For them that reason applys, you missed a great day. The ERS was on there coaster Cobra. Not a huge coaster but big enough for this park. I think anything larger and it would spoil the park. I like this ride but I do think it could have done with a little more speed. Like the one at Tripsdrill in Germany called G’sengte Sau. It is also laid out in the same design with out the castle and log flume. It was a little better in the afternoon when I rode again.

The rest of the rides were for kids so Thomas was happy with this and now has his coaster count up to 12. I think I was taken back by this park as I was not sure what to expect. I think they need to add some new stuff alot is being done around the park. I think it will change more in the future and for the better as some of the rides were looking a little tired. Log Flume comes to mind.

The last thing I wish to add and that was the lunch. It was the best buffet I have ever had the pleasure of eating on a club trip. The staff were great and it made the whole day enjoyable for somewhere to sit and relax.

I wish to thank all who made this trip as good as they did and for organizing it. It was great to meet up with so many friends. I look foward to the next trip and I hope that those who missed out on this park will go and ride Cobra.

Malcolm Marr
I finally arrived to Paulton’s at 10.30 missing the ERS, I can blame Tiesto for that (no regrets whatsoever!!) The park was busy but not overpopulated, just lots of families enjoying the weather and using open spaces for picnics.

All rides were near walk-ons, with Cobra obviously being the best attraction in the park. People had commented that it was running faster in the afternoon than in the morning; bonus!! The maze was pretty good too, and a nice way to kill some time, although the clock in the centre gave the impression more time had been killed that you’d thought; not intentional apparently. Played a round of golf

I had expected to see lots of club members at the park but there must have been only two dozen or so. Still didn’t detract from a nice half day. The park appears to be popular but there’s no reason why it can’t be even more so. I could see a little kiddy wooden coaster being built here soon, its that kind of park.

After tales of a family death (good tactic to avoid paying the late notice cancellation at hotel) it was off to the hotel near Clarence Pier or should that be Clarence Jetty to ride the Skyways coaster. In RCT I only seem able to design coasters that go up and then helix down, and this is exactly what we had here, and it was surprisingly good to ride.

After that we headed over to the Spinnaker Tower (via the scenic route I might add), a big tower sail-looking tower that looks like it belongs in Dubai, not on Portsmouth Waterfront. Some good views from the top, just a show the external lift has never been finished. The tower has one of those glass floors to scare people with heights (who in all honesty wouldn’t be up there to begin with). According to the rules you weren’t allowed to wear shoes when walking over it. No problem with dropping sticky lollipops though, and one guy clearly flaunted the rules by going over it in his wheelchair.

After that with one of us having been up for close to 40 hours and another suffering from Dollywood induced Jet Lag (or was that Dolly induced?) we had a very early night.

After a very impressive breakfast it was off to Hayling Island, and there aren’t many club trips where you’re greeted with “So, who wants to climb the tower?” but that was exactly what we got. So half a dozen of the fittest members, and Justin, took the top for a photo opportunity and an exclusive view of the park. Clearly loving the workout Justin then decided to climb in amongst the Klondike coaster ride to take pictures of us during the ERS on that ride. There are warning signs that the ride is vigorous, its just a shame they’re only visible as the ride exits the station. Actually the ride is no worse than when it was at Drayton and unfortunately for our taller members, the lack of legroom is still there. After that it was over to ERS part 2, on the tower ride. Actually its not too bad, it lacks the close passing structures that it had at the Trocadero, and which made it really good but the park realises that and will be addressing it soon hopefully. From there it was a park approved takeover on the Afterburner type ride. Requests of “can you put it on a good program” were met with a positive response that had us all experiencing “TopThrillDragster” face. In fact the ride system realised we were having so much fine that it decided to shut itself down, but it was soon back up and running.

The takeover tour then found its way to the Zoolander coaster (no left turns) and then the log flume, a word to the wise – if you want to remain dry you must ride in the front. heh heh!! From there we basically took over every attraction in the park, with the exception of the very kiddy rides which may be having a reshuffle soon. If anyone fancies a “who can spin the teapots the most”, the two guys from Paulton’s are up for the challenge. However they’re not interested in the “walking in a straight line” challenge that might follow.

After a brief respite in the 50s bar (nice milkshakes!) and a chance to present the best bits of the AGM to those that couldn’t make Southport, it was time to explore the site of the next ride that the park owner has planned and there’s a lot of potential to be had. If my suggestion is taken up then I’ve agreed to waive the consultancy fees. Some members were also fortunate to be allowed the opportunity to sit in the park owners secret pet restoration project, unavailable to the public and which has the potential to be faster than Kingda Ka. You heard it here first!

After that myself, Owen and Justin said good bye to the rest and headed home stopping along the way at a secret Legoland project, which was extremely impressive. Linz, you’d love it here. Its just a shame I can’t reveal where it is. Actually we’re trying to sort something out!!

All in all a very good, if tiring weekend. Its just a shame there weren’t more members there. If Delia Smith was the club chairperson I’m sure she’d be on here giving her “Where are ya!” speech. I hope the low turnout doesn’t stop the monkeys from arranging trips to parks like these. They’re really good and friendly and it has to be said are bucking the trend of parks up north, and thriving. A big difference from my trip to Rhyl last weekend.

Martin Porter
I think it’s more refreshing to try out some of the more “hidden park” gems anyway sometimes, especially when places like Paultons Park seem to be really trying their best to upgrade their facilities. That park really impressed me; nothing like I had dreamed it would have been. Unlike other comments I actually found Cobra to be running quite violently, especially on those zig-zag bends (it could have been contributed to me pulling my back that morning in the bathroom I suppose), otherwise I am becoming a bit more of a wimp! It was flying down the bunny hills later in the afternoon though I thought. It was the first coaster of this type I’d ridden and I must say it impressed me quite a bit, with a great near-hand chopping “shed” to fly under on the last dip. Pleasant, helpful operators too.

I thought Hayling Island’s Funland was again quite a surprise for a park which looked pretty small at first glance. Marshall, the manager, was very hands-on it seemed and found time out to give us all a good incite and history to the park across the years, with a great “secret viewing” of their former upstairs go cart circuit that was earmarked for a future dark ride etc. I declined the first-thing morning drop tower climb, especially as only around five people were requested to partake. We even got a substantial discount on the separately run seaside miniature railway; another budget conscious booster! – well done Funland and all concerned. Great weather too! – couldn’t have asked for much more really.

The only down side to the weekend was that I seemed to somewhat be the butt of a few of Justin’s quips – I don’t think he could really get over my arrivals before him at both parks! – I wasn’t offended anyhow just for the record (and I reckon my hotel roomy aided our early arrival times!)


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