I was in Shanghai over the National Holiday and while I was there some friends suggested I check out the Shanghai International Carnival. After researching online (http://www.freij.com/news/ecs.aspx) and reading some press releases, I decided to give it a go. Happy Valley in Beijing and Shenzhen, though permanent fixtures, are good fun so logic dictates this carnival couldn’t be that bad.

Ah, logic, I remember you…

The well known cartoon duo "Tom and Garfield"

 

We found almost no signage from the subway station to the front gate. No people queuing outside for tickets. This should have been a clear indication to turn around and head somewhere else, but as we’d already made the journey, we thought ‘what the hell’ and went in anyway.

 

Wrong on so many levels

 

This is Shanghai – a very progressive and modern city boasting last year’s International Expo and some of the world’s tallest buildings. Having checked their website (http://www.freij.com/news/ecs.aspx) and it all happening during a national holiday, one could expect great things from something advertised as:

This mega Carnival will see millions of visitors returning back to the famous, popular site to visit the “Expo Carnival Shanghai 2011”. This mega Carnival will have hundreds of amusement rides and skilled games, thousands of operators and staff, millions of prizes and toys for the Chinese people to enjoy.
Freij Entertainment Shanghai can confirm the MASSIVE; MEGA Carnival is a first time, never seen or done before at such a magnitude scale. DON’T MISS IT!!! (sic)

and

80,000sqm of fun

We felt it fair to expect another huge spectacle and impressive display of China’s ability to show everyone a good time. What we found inside made a Butlins, Pontins or even Skegness seafront look like a Disneyland!

 

Shanghai Minnie likes to sport jeans and a cardigan

 

Once again, we were hit with the total disregard for any of the IPR guidelines set out by the WTO. I’m not the fun police or a killjoy but if this was truly an international event with effort to show the ‘world’ a ‘never seen or done before at such a magnitude’ carnival then why would they use rusty rides and fake Disney prizes? (it’s worth noting that Shanghai is soon to be home to the newest Disneyland)

 

Don't worry, it's all genuine, the tag says so

 

Couple this with lecherous ride assistants who try it on with any female that comes close and a ‘precession’ consisting of a few hired ‘foreigners’ walking about aimlessly in indescribable fancy dress.

 

This is like some disturbing Weight Watchers before and after pic

 

After 10 years in China, what was I really expecting though…

 

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