A new generation Funworld


James Seah
Seah, James

In 1920s and 1930s, amusement parks were introduced to Malaya, offering a mix of eastern and western entertainment to the masses. Singapore had three amusement parks - New World , Great World , and Happy World (later renamed Gay World).

After the demise of the "Three World" Amusement Parks which were blogged at "Blog to Express" a new generation of children who grew up in Singapore, what new generation of "funworlds" to be developed by enterprising businessmen cater to the needs of these children and to fill up the vacuum created by the loss of the "three worlds of amusement parks" to entertain and amuse our young children in the 1980s.

The children today could not imagine the amusement parks visited by their parents and grandparents. How to describe these amusement parks in the 1920s and 1930s, what types of kiddie rides, carousals, the "Ghost Trains", the experience of their childhood playthings during their era.

Children who grew up in different eras at different places are the same recreational needs to enjoy with their toys, children games to play and their enjoyment and to give them emotional space to grow and develop. With friends and children of their same age group for sharing happiness of laughter, games to be excited at their funland to play.

Lets share with our children how we enjoyed our childhood days catching spieders and watching fireworks, the "vanishing games" kids play during my bygone days. Simple stuff compared to the high-tech virtual computer games they play today.

The joyful moments of a child is not time-specific.

Today, virtual games have gone mobile anytime, anywhere...iPhone, smartphone, PSP, iPad and what you have on the road, in the train and even in the loos, mesmerised in their own game world on their hands.

Is there any difference in the joyful glints of the child's eyes now when he gets an ice-cream and a child, say, who was 50 years ago.

In the world of the child, the first taste of ice-cream or candy for that moment is a heavenly experience, an undescribable heavenly joy.

I cannot assume that all the children love the same things everywhere in the world, but we make a general assumption that ice-cream and candy love all children. 

From a personal parenting experience, I discovered that the best growing up years when my children were very young, their joy is our joy.

In the mid-1980s, my elder daughter and younger son had a family outing ("kai kai" in children lingo) almost every Sundays.

The "new generation funland" wasn't "New World, Great World or Happy World" amusement parks in my young days.

I did not realise that these candid photos were taken 20 years ago could be retrived as my "memory aids" of my kids at the new generation amusement parks on this blog. 

It was an innovative amusement park for kids in an air-conditioned and safe, children-friendly environment with the latest kiddie machines for exciting games and rides. The kids loved spending the whole day there and reluctant when it was time to go home. There were too many games and kiddie rides at Uncle Kenny Funworld for them to play until they got tired, for them to enjoy this favorite place.

The new generation funworld are very different from my childhood three "worlds" of amusement parks...but memories of our child enjoyment and experience are the same. A different form and void; same growing up years until they found different hobbies in school activities and events with school friends and the community centres.

Uncle Kenny was created by Ken-Air Travel Agency and the first indoor amusement park concept. 

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