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Your Guide To: AIA's Great European Carnival 2015 | Event Review

The AIA Great European Carnival


Price: Adults $125/$90, $10 per token

I got the chance to check the AIA carnival out and decided to write a review of the experience.

Everyone expected the carnival to be as amazing and as fun as it was a few years back, the last time it was around.

What people didn’t take into account though is exactly how much all that fun comes with a hefty price tag.

Only now as an “adult” do I feel the 2-second hesitation before forking over my hard-earned cash in exchange for a stack of shiny, gold tokens.

If you’re like me and have little to no control over your expenses, then it’ll be easy to burn through a few thousand dollars in one day.

Not including food or rides, I’ve spent close to $1500-2000 in one day at the carnival. Now, maybe that’s because I’m competitive and wasn’t paying just for myself but I’m pretty sure that’s not the craziest amount people have spent there. 

I’m sure most if not all definitely would have preferred to pay for a more expensive ticket with either unlimited rides or just more tokens, if both would be asking too much.

You get either 10 or 7 tokens with your ticket depending on whether you’re there on a weekday or the weekend. Extra tokens can be bought at $10 each.

Most games cost about 2 tokens so you’d be able to get a few games in. Rides (for the older crowd) cost more, though, starting from around 7 tokens ($70) up to 12 ($120). They have cheaper rides for the kids, of course.

As mentioned, I have yet to try the rides out but from what I gather they’re not bad. Maybe a tad bit overpriced, but not bad.

The games, on the other hand, are definitely carnival games. By that I mean most of them are designed to get people to spend. Easy in theory but in the end you either win big or spend $500 and win a tiny stuffed banana. 

I’ve spent so much time and money on those games that I feel I’m able to give you a few tips.

How to win and what to avoid:

  • Skip the ball in a barrel game. No, seriously.  
  • Skip the claw machines. Come on, this isn’t JumpinGym. 
  • Skip the coin tossing games. Unless you can bend the elements into making the damn coins stay on those tables/dishes.
  • Ring toss? Literally just throw the whole bucket of rings. Maybe one of them will almost kinda touch the bottle.
  • Basketball games? Be awkwardly tall and have kickass shooting skills. I recommend hiring a professional ball player to play for you
  • Darts? Throw harder and higher than you would a normal bar dart

Any other games I didn’t mention were fairly standard. I forget what they’re all called, all I know is that we won a bunch of prizes. Games that require you to throw balls or bags are pretty standard and easy if you can aim well.

Overall it was a great time. It was good fun. Pricey, yes but fun. Regardless, I don’t regret spending what I did. In fact, I plan on throwing more money at the games in the hopes of winning a giant toy I probably have no space for. 

Was it all really worth it? Maybe not. But the experience is great. And frustrating, I guess. It’s a great place to hangout and have fun or for a date.

If you do go on a date here, just note: the size of the toys you win do NOT correspond with how much you enjoy your date’s company… unless you win a giant prize in which case that is in fact how much you enjoy their company.

I recommend people to check out the carnival and bring at least $300-500 extra per person to cover a few extra games and maybe a ride or two.

They have more than just rides and games but I really wasn’t up to checking everything out all at once. Plenty of food places and other attractions for everyone. 

Best to go on a weekday to avoid crazy lines.