Jollitown – the too big not so fun event
Jollitown – the too big not so fun event
After our super fun family day at the Blue Bay Walk last weekend, we (my wife and I) got excited when we saw that Jollibee will be having a kids’ event this weekend at SMX in celebration of National Children’s Month. I have to admit I don’t know what Jollitown is, but apparently it’s a kid’s show (I’ll look it up later) and the event is supposed to mimic that ‘town’. While our big mistake was wanting to bring a toddler to a kid’s event, we went for it thinking that we’ll just check it out and maybe our son will have a FUN time at the bouncy inflatables.
There were a lot of kids having the time of their lives, it was not like a Gloomytown or anything but it does take a lot of time to get there. Unfortunately we did not get to have fun at Jollitown it was more like a city than a town. There were long lines at all the booths, snaking around, I mean everywhere you look there was a line. In my experience, long lines and a toddler just don’t mix.
Anyway, I’m sure other people had a big fun time at Jollitown but here is how our trip went:
Jollitown tickets – exclusive to Jollibee Kid’s Club
Jollibee posters and fliers all say that the Jollitown event is exclusive to Jollibee Kid’s Club members which is fine for us even if my son is only a little past one year, so we went to a Jollibee store before the kite flying event at Blue Bay Walk to get membership and purchase tickets. We were relieved to hear from the promo girl that you can actually purchase tickets to the Jollitown event without being a member AND parents would be FREE of charge! Wow! But… “The manager who has the tickets is not in yet, you’ll have to come back later.” We just went back to buy the tickets a day before the event and having seen the posters, we asked the manager this time around. She confirmed, there is no need to be a member, each child can have a free parent/guardian entry. But when we got to the counter, the cashier insists the tickets are per person! So we called a manager and confirmed what the cashier has said. Well, apparently each manager knows a different thing but I think if that’s how they operate, they should just refer you directly to whoever knows what. This should have been the first warning sign.
Getting to Jollitown
The event was scheduled from 10 am to 5 pm, and we got there around 2 pm but there was still a line outside the entrance so my wife and son got into line while I checked out what was happening by the entrance. No one was checking the tickets so anyone can just enter the event area. The line was just to get the loot bags and Jollitown passport so I queued for the lootbags while they went inside the fun events area. When I was halfway through, people in front started moving out of line and I just noticed another line from the other side that was not there before. By the time I got to the front, they were out of loot bags and they are going to get a new batch but they don’t know what time they’ll arrive. So I just got our Jollitown passports.
Taking a tour with Jollitown passport
The passport has a map and you can get a stamp at each of the booths and also a special surprise! I saw some of the booths were giving away toys. If you can get to all the booths, the 65 PHP ticket is probably well worth it but as I’ve mentioned the lines were just too long and too many for us. I guess the organizers were going for a theme park feel, a long wait in line for a couple minutes of fun. However, it still felt oversubscribed because I saw other people actually had colored, nicely printed Jollitown passports while we got this.
They probably ran out of passports so they just had the stamp page photocopied. We did try to at least look at the booths but navigating the crowd was really difficult.
Fun at last – Dome of Bubbles
I lost my wife and son in the crowd, I was so surprised when I saw them inside the dome of bubbles. The booth looked alright, kids can enter a bubble-like dome and make bubbles inside. There’s also a hole at the side and bubbles get to escape out into the hall. They also thought about the giving kids some goggles to protect their eyes, good job! If they plan on doing this again, I just hope that next time they also put in some slip-proof mats because my wife said it was really slippery inside the dome.
Chasing the stars
While we were trying to get to the other booths, I saw large burger and fries heads going for the exit so I grabbed my son and we went after them. I really didn’t want to fall in line just for the toys which are made for the big kids anyway. We caught up with the entire Jollibee mascot gang outside the event area but it seems they were having a photoshoot so we just tried to get some shots in. Man, this guys are popular! Does anyone know what happened to Champ? I forgot to ask them.
Since we were already out, I checked if the loot bags came but unfortunately there were still no loot bags so we just went home.
Overall, the booths really did look like they are big fun, but the long lines were really unappealing. I think the organizers could have made use of the remaining spaces at the side of the hall to space out the booths, or maybe added more crowd control measures. I really hope that they’ll improve for their next event.
A lot of kids went home happy I’m sure, with lots of cool new toys from Jollitown. I also wonder how many kids were not able to get to the booths because of the long lines? Did they eventually get their loot bags? I hope they did, after all this month is for them.