Funfields, as the name suggests, is just that! It is family fun park situated on a huge property approximately 40km or a 45 minute drive from central Melbourne. When you need time off from the rest of the world, to enjoy a time of excitement and family fun, to share quality time with family and friends, then Funfields is the place for you! Buy a Day Pass for Unlimited Rides All Day on All Our Rides including Toboggans, Go Karts, Waterslides, Bumper Boats, Mini Golf, and the Funfields Kidzone with electric Go Karts, Mini Bikes, Kiddies Train Ride and the Pony Express Kids Carousel. Now isn't that a recipe for family fun!
It's definitely fun and definitely worth a visit but lets start with a few negatives. Firstly, the lack of a reduced fee spectator entrance is a big disappointment since there are already two different wristbands, one for adults and one for children, and it would be easy to provide a third colour wrist band for people who want to come along and have a family outing but not go on the rides. This particularly applies to grandparents - I don't think Pops is going to be interested in thundering down the Typhoon water slide but he is interested in coming along to a family outing at Funfields. Another money grabbing annoyance is the credit card surcharge - paying by credit card is surely an Australian way of life and we don't appreciate getting slugged extra for this. The lockers, which cost $10 for a medium size are also very difficult to open when the sun shines on the control screen in the afternoon since it is impossible to see anything on the screen unless you shade it from the sun with towels.
We went on a 25 degree summer day which was cloudy in the morning and sunny in the afternoon and the queues were reasonable and wait times were around 10-15 minutes. On busy days the queues apparently can be rather horrendous. Our standard modus operandi for any amusement park is to arrive before the official opening time and go on the most popular rides before the crowds build up. You can always do the less popular rides towards the end of the day when crowds thin out again or slot them in when an opportunity arises. The most popular rides with the biggest queues were the Alpine Toboggan Slide, Thunder Dome Go Karts, Typhoon water slide, Blackout water slide and Bumpa Bay.
Thunder Dome Go Karts was not too fast and you don't need a helmet which is nice on a hot day. All the karts are evenly matched and so it is quite difficult to pass people but the track is wide enough if you are good enough. I would suggest making this your second ride after the Alpine Toboggan Slide since if you go as soon as it opens there won't be enough karts operating to have a race against lots of others. The real fun is being in a race situation.
The Alpine Toboggan Slide is nice and long and real fun where you can make it as exciting as you want since the operators ask you how fast you want to go so that they can set an appropriate distance from the previous rider. That's good service.
Blackbeard's Fury, a pirate ship that swings high into the air can be a nauseating (and terrifying) experience - sit in the middle of the boat to lessen the effect and keep breakfast inside.
Burnout, where you are tilted up and down, looks scary but actually is not too fast or scary. The water play park was large and the kids had fun on the three slides. One of our favourite rides was Bumpa Bay the aquatic version of Bumper Cars but with the added attraction of being able to squirt the rest of the family with water. This ride always seemed to have a queue.
The Pony Express and Snakes Alive rides were fairly tame and suited to younger kids. The mini golf course was interesting enough and the course was in good condition. Providing different coloured balls for each player would have made play easier instead of everyone having a white ball. Players are encouraged to give up after a designated number of strokes on each hole which keeps the play moving and means play is not banked up behind Dad who is having an exceptionally bad putting day but is determined not to give up on any hole.
Our favourite water slide was the Typhoon which starts with a long tunnel and then dumps you VERY quickly into a huge bowl and spits you out the bottom. Some Aquatic Centres have a smaller version of the Typhoon but they just don't compare in excitement and speed to this one. The Splash Down water slide which is an open ride which you ride on a mat was not as popular with us since it was a bit tricky to hold the mat and stay upright as you rode down the slide - maybe we're just an uncoordinated family.The Wipeout slide had the least riders since it had higher height restrictions than the Blackout slide but since the queue for the Wipeout and Blackout slides were combined that was a bit irrelevant. After going down both slides, it was hard to understand why the Wipeout had these extra restrictions since they seemed similar even though Wipeout is steeper and faster at the exit.
There was a fairly good selection of food which was a touch expensive but no more than you would expect. There are heaps of shelters with tables if you want to bring your own food. The ice-creams are huge but be wary of the bubblegum ice-cream. It has an intense green colouring and your kids will be screaming the following day, Mummy, I've got green pee. You can also buy BBQ tokens.
If the weather is cold and the water activities are not utilized then it would be difficult to justify the entrance price based on the remaining rides.
A visit to the park can be an exercise in mental gymnastics trying to work out who can do what with all the height restrictions but don't go along thinking that the staff will be lenient about height restrictions - they won't be.