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Royal Melbourne Show 2014: REVIEW

We ventured out to The Royal Melbourne Show on Day 4 of it’s opening.
We travelled in via car, arriving near the Flemington showgrounds around about 11:15am and was parked at about 11:40am. There is the popular parking at the Ascot Vale Primary School (Lang Rd and Victory Pde) near the Aquatic Centre off Epsom Rd that we usually park at each year, this was the worst case I have ever seen the parking situation being that it was banked right up Lang Rd and it was chaos. Luckily we were able to get into the car parking at the school before they reached capacity.

Entry into the show was a short walk up the road.
This year at the entry gates they have taken away those self scanning machines to get yourself in via your purchased ticket – they have staff members using hand held devices to scan you in which I thought was a better way of working the entry gates as it gives them a chance to formally greet you and say ‘Enjoy the show’. I think that earned great brownie points and it was a true ‘the simplest things in life can make you happy’ moment.

This year for me wasn’t about going and loading up on showbags for a change. It was about experiencing the foodie side of things, the lifestyle showings and seeing the animals for my little girl.
For the past few years I had said to myself that showbags weren’t worth the money and you are better off taking that money you would have spent on showbags to the shops as you’d get more but I worked out the maths of some of the showbags that I took interest in and they were a good saving.

Niah got a Peppa Pig show bag #2 which contained:
peppa pig backpack $19.95
peppa pig plate & bowl set $12.95
peppa pig tumbler $3.95
peppa pig sunglasses $6.95
peppa pig inflatable wand $6.95
peppa pig garden set $9.95
peppa pig play ball $4.95
peppa pig hair clips $4.95
Total Value: $70.60
Showbag Price: $25.00
What drew me to this showbag was that I wanted to buy Niah a backpack for when she goes on play dates for the day as she is now older and doesn’t require so many baby items Mummy wants her handbags back instead of carrying around bulky nappy bags so it would be good to grab a backpack which has all her things in and when she starts walking she can wear/carry around too.
I have seen back packs for around $12-$15 in stores.
Next thing was the plate, bowl and tumbler – I adore all the licensed merchandise sets that you can get for the kids so it gives them something to not only encourage but to reveal at the end of eating all their food. These retail in stores for around $15 a set.
Already with just those 2 things listed above that drew me to this show bag would have cost me around the $30 mark so the rest was just a bonus to have in there.
I think this was a fantastic buy and would definitely encourage Mummas & Daddas to purchase if they have a Peppa Pig lover in the family – (says a Mumma that has her little girl currently standing in front of the TV wide eyed watching Peppa now!)

For myself I got the Taste and Super Food Ideas which we $10 each or both for $15 within the food hall. These both had a variety of different foodie related items that you can use in the kitchen. These reminded me very much of the subscription food – Red PawPaw as it gives you lots of different things to use.
It was a great deal with over $120 worth of products (as taken from the website).
I was pretty disappointed that the Super Food Ideas showbag didn’t have what was listed on the website and was missing a fair few things that really made it appeal to me but they did compensate with other products to make up for missing things.

When it came to meal time for us there was just so much to choose from, a huge variety of food stalls were there to entice you. We ended up getting food from the bakery on the corner opposite the fresh Woolworths stall, which was just amazing homemade freshly cooked pastries!
The food pricing was well priced in my opinion with only a few dollars extra difference compared to purchasing at your local food halls within shopping centres.

The Animal Nursery is always a hit with everyone from all ages – getting to pat the animals, take photographs or be a lucky one to feed the babies with milk bottles. Last year when I took Niah she was just a little wee tiny baby who slept through most of it, this year I was so excited to get Niah out of the pram and pat the animals. This area was a little crowded and I think we went in when the animals were all a little tired and due to have their afternoon snoozes as they weren’t so active and were mostly laying down. Niah got to pet some baby goats, see baby ducks and little ponies.

I love that you can get photos taken with a professional camera and printed up in the nursery.
For a single photo it was $15 or for a selection of sizes and multiple prints it was $25. The photographers place your child(ren) in a set up shoot with a baby lamb.

The side show attraction and games have become very expensive I believe. My younger brother badly wanted to win my little Niah a large stuffed animal and tried his luck at several games but unfortunately no luck. One of the games I remember him playing was where you had to shoot the basketball into the ring nets 6 times from a certain line. You get 6 shots in total and need to ace them all. This game cost him $10 – just for 6 shots and to win a stuffed animal, that was ridiculous in my opinion. My younger brother got 4 in total and received something you would pick up for $2 at a cheap shop.
I’m really disappointed in the way that the side show games are heading price wise. It’s really not worth your money anymore, I understand it’s the experience, the thrill and adrenaline that you get from playing to win but you might as well purchase a large stuffed animal from the stalls that are now allowing you to purchase and be a winner with not leaving empty handed or with a petty small stuffed animal.
I also think the rides are heading in the same way too with the price hikes – but if you are attending the show to take part in a lot of the rides, I definitely recommend purchasing the ticket to ride packs with your admission tickets as you will save a lot!

As a sum up here is My Top Show Tips:
Arrive early in the morning for parking before 10:30am or after 2pm.
Purchase tickets online to avoid any queues that may be there on arrival.
Purchase your showbags first thing when you get there and pop them into a locker – it can become chaotic in there.
Do your research online to know what showbags you want to purchase.
Take a look at the daily show planner which is available online so you don’t miss out on the things you want to see and plan your time at the show around that
Sample new things in the food halls because you never know you might just find something you never knew would taste that good
MUST for all wear comfortable shoes!
Wear a short sleeve top underneath a jumper or cardigan to predict all weather and also for those crowded areas or halls where you might get caught up in being all hot and sweaty

For all important information like getting to the show, opening hours etc head to my last post here.

Enjoy the show!!


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