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Theme Parks In Ireland: A Huffington Post Travel Guide

12/13/2011 12:59 pm ET | Updated Dec 13, 2011

Theme parks in Ireland offer some of the biggest thrills in Europe. If you're not in the right place at the right time, you may miss its traveling Funderland theme park completely. But don't fret! There are plenty of other parks to entertain adults, kids and everyone in between. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on family-fun parks, here is our guide to all the key information visitors need to know about Ireland's theme parks.

Funtasia


Funtasia is 20 minutes north of Dublin in the seaside resort of Bettystown. It features three levels of rides, including Ireland's only rooftop roller coaster. It has plenty of kid-friendly fare, as well as cosmic bowling, a 3-D motion theater, pool tables and a casino for older visitors. There is also a nearby water park.

Signature Ride

Funtasia's Rooftop Rides feature a kid-friendly roller coaster, as well as 70-Foot Drop Zone, which shoots riders up 70 feet and drops them back down to the roof. A ride called Skyglider swings riders up and over 360 degrees on a vertical axis. There are panoramic views from the balloon ride and lifesize Galloping Horses.

Other Attractions

There are plenty of kid-friendly rides on Funtasia's ground and first floors, as well as plenty to keep adults entertained. Kid-friendly rides include a miniature Big Wheel, Mini Bumper Cars, Flying Cars, the Convoy Ride and Train Mono Rail. Older kids will enjoy pool tables and video games. There are also rides for adventurous adults. Funtasia has the Giro Loop, which subjects riders to weightlessness and extreme g-forces while being spun upside down 17 feet off the ground, as well as other more daring rides.

Food

Funtasia has a fast food restaurant with burgers, fries, pizza, chicken nuggets and desserts. Its sit-down Carousel restaurant has hand-painted gold-leaf horses. It features a carvery with roasted meats as well as soups, chicken wings, fajitas, chicken cordon bleu, fish and chips and a variety of desserts.

Safety Record

Our research revealed no notable news reports of accidents or safety issues at Funtasia.

Address: Funtasia, Bettystown, County Meath, Ireland
Phone: 041-982-83-01
Hours: The park is open 10 a.m. to midnight daily.
Price: Visitors who book online can get a Family Fun Deal for $50, plus $13.50 for each additional child. It includes bowling and 3-D Motion Theater passes for four, play area for two, eight ride tokens, two kid meals and two quarter-pounder meals. A Mega Multi Fun Pass is $128 for two days. In addition to the features listed above, it includes a day at the water park for four people or Sky Climb and Crazy Golf for four people. Each additional child is $28.

Funderland

If your timing and geography are right, you may want to include a visit to Funderland. Founded in 1975, this traveling theme park's aim has always been to provide "top-class entertainment for the people of Ireland at an affordable cost." It visits Dublin, Cork, Belfast, Limerick and Galway each year with rides and attractions from all over the world. That includes five roller coasters, two giant Ferris wheels and as many as 15 other carefully selected attractions.

Signature Ride

Attractions vary by year and location, but can include the Jubilee Giant Wheel, Jungle River Roller Coaster, Take Off, Waltzer, Snow Jet, Avalanche Miami, Dodgems, Kiddie Rides, Hollywood Walk-Through and Wild Mouse Roller Coaster. Monday through Thursday is the best time to visit if you want to avoid long lines.

Other Attractions

Other potential rides include: Water Guns, Hully Cranes, Mardi Gras Gallopers, Gold Mine Junior Roller Coaster, Eurorally Juvenile, Mirror Maze, Energy Frog Jumper, Rotor Sticky Wall, Drop Zone Tower, Toyland Kiddie Ride and Bounce World. Children's attractions include car ride EuroRallye and a carousel. Additional family-friendly rides include the Hollywood fun house; a haunted house, Roller Ghoster and the Scrambler.

Food

Foods comes from mobile caterers that provide hot dogs, burgers, fries, cotton candy and popcorn.

Safety Record

Our research revealed no notable news reports of accidents or safety issues at Funderland.

Address: RDS Simmonscourt, D1 Dublin, Ireland
Phone: 01-2838188
Hours: Locations in Galway, Cork and Limerick are open mid-April to mid-June. Funderland in Belfast takes place Oct. 20 to Nov. 7. Funderland in Dublin takes place Dec. 26 to Jan. 9
Price: Regular Wristbands for people over 1.1 meters are $28; junior wristbands are $18; family wristbands for two adults and two children are $85; groups 12 or more are $25. You can also pay as you go or purchase an unlimited wristband for three hours of rides.

What is your family's favorite theme park in Ireland?

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