The Royal Adelaide Show is currently on and is buzzing the sleepy town of Adelaide.
On Wednesday i decided to bite the bullett and take the family, we took advantage of cheaper tickets by saving $8 on the family pass through our RAA membership, so $48 to get in.
We also decided to pre-book Carny Cash, you can buy $100 worth of this through ticketek for just $80! Thats a massive bargain considering you will easily spend that.
My big gripe about the show is the amount everyone spends, for families its getting harder and harder every year to actually find this affordable. When we did the count back yesterday we easily spent between $500 - $600... for a family of four that is a bit excessive...
When we compare what a family ticket at the theme parks in the Gold Coast cost it really is not fair... I understand though that the carny's need to make money as do the show organisers but surely something needs to be done to ensure the survival and viability of the show for future generations.
For example, make it a set amount for entry and rides. So as an example, instead of say $50 to just gain entry for a family, make it $100 or $120 and give everyone unlimited rides. Your guaranteeing that if people then pay less for the entry and rides then they will feel they can spend more on showbags and food and drinks.
The organisers need to sit back and evaluate whether they can continue to justify the high amounts for both entry, car parking, show rides, food and showbags..
Just to park in the City Parklands is now $12, most of the carny side alley games are between $5 & $10, the average price for one ride is $8..
As an example, our family had 3 rides on one we thoroughlly loved. It fits 3 of us at a time so each turn one of us took turns riding with our two children. At $8 each it was $24 per ride.. I don't know how they can justify $72 for 3 rides, simply cannot fathom this.
There was no lineup for this ride, the ride was never full in the time we either were there or walking by...
So my question is, why not increase the entry fee and make all rides free?
The showbags was a mixed bag for me this year, we told the kids that we would buy them an expensive one (approx $20 - $25) then we will get them a couple of cheap ones each.
We were pleasantly suprised by the way they reacted and stuff and in the end they got a few extras.
Had they been bratty and expect alot of stuff we would have enforced the max rule but in fairness they were absolute angels on the day which shocked me, with so much to see and do and spend on they were alot more restrained than i thought they would be.
Its funny, I always think back to stories my mum would tell me as a kid, now im old and wiser these stories make me laugh as they hit hard now.... Mum used to say back in my day (Don't think she said that but as a child we always start our mimic's of them like this...) showbags used to be given to you at the show, not purchased. Companies used to use the show to promote their products or use the show to announce new products to try... These days we get dodgy little bags with bugger all in them where you would be better off buying them at the shop, or, bags full of plastic toys which break on the way home...
Full credit to my wife and kids as we arrived at the show at 11.30am, we finally got home at 7.45pm, spent, but had an awesome time...
So, hopefully an organiser reads this and everyones thoughts over twitter, facebook and the www. something needs to be done, its becoming unaffordable and the danger is families will start going less and won't spend as much. If you sit down properly with the carnies, the food companies and nut out a fair deal for everyone im sure it can work out best for all.
A set price for entry including rides needs to be achieved or we run the risk of either the show not running as long as it currently does or only the rich will go and eventually the show will die off.
The show is a great day, not just for the kids but adults too, lets start promoting it as it should be, a great day, not let it be drawn down as the most expensive thing to do...
Its not just showbags and rides, its about letting the kids learn also, city kids take for granted what happens in the country and how food is processed, its events like this that help the learn and prosper from the experience.