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View of the Carnival Midway - 2022 Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival Review - Sponsored by Ann Arbor Jaycees

2022 Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival – Details, Walkthrough, & Review

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The 2022 Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival at Pioneer High School opened on Wednesday, June 22 and continues through Sunday, June 26 at Pioneer High School. The Ann Arbor Jaycees hosted us at the Carnival so we could check it out and report back to our readers.

Check out our thoughts and tips for visiting the carnival. Have you been to the Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival this year? Add your thoughts to the comments below or social media.


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2022 Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival Walkthrough

The Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival includes rides, games, food, and other activities. For the fourth consecutive year, Skerbeck Entertainment provides the rides and games. This year featured a number of returning rides plus a couple of new ones.

Check out the Facebook Live Walkthrough video that I made at the Carnival:

Live at the Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival – find details here https://annarborwithkids.com/events/ann-arbor-jaycees-summer-carnival/

Posted by Ann Arbor with Kids on Wednesday, June 22, 2022


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Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival Wristband and Ticket Prices

Ride Wristbands are $30 for any day or any age. After the carnival starts, they can only be purchased with CASH at the ticket booth. Ride Tickets are 4/$5 or 50/$50 with a minimum purchase of $10/person or $20/family. Midway bucks can also be purchased at the gate for use at foods or games.

The chart below can help you decide between a ride wristband, tickets, or a combination of wristbands for kids and tickets for adults to accompany on a few rides.

They only take cash so be sure to stop at the ATM first. They do have an on-site ATM, but its fees will likely be higher than stopping at your own bank

2022 Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival Rides

For 2022, the carnival features several returning rides and some new ones. I enjoyed having Sea Ray, a giant pirate ship. But my daughter missed the big thrill ride – Top Gun. I missed the Arctic Bobs from previous carnivals.

Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival - Sea Ray Pirate Ship

The Carnival has a good mix of rides for both younger kids, families, and thrill seeking tweens and teens. However, my impression is that there were less rides than previous years.


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Height Restrictions & Ticket Requirements

Are you wondering about what your child will be able to ride? Or, if a ride wristband is a good choice for your family? Check out the list of rides with tickets and height requirements. All rides have a 24″ minimum height. When I walked around to gather the information, I missed a couple of rides including the Giant Wheel and Mighty Mac. The height requirements for these are taken from the Skerbeck website, and I have guessed at tickets.

RideHeightTickets
Apple Go Round36″ with adult, 42″ alone3
Giant Wheel36″ with adult, 48″ alone (no single riders)? (probably 4)
Cliff Hanger46″ minimum4
Combination Carousel24″minimum, probably a maximum I didn’t see3
Downdraft46″ with adult, 48″ alone5
Flying Saucer36″ minimum, 56″ maximum3
Jumbo Flying Elephants36″ minimum, 48″ alone4
Kiddie Scrambler24″ minimum, 52″ maximum3
Merry Go Round36″ with adult, 42″ alone3
(usually 0 for standing adult)
Mighty Mac24″ minimum, 48″ maximum? (probably 3)
Orient Express36″ with adult, 48″ alone4
Sea Ray42″ minimum4
The Spinner36″ with adult, 42″ alone3
Super Nova 36055″ minimum6
Tilt a Whirl24″ with adult, 46″ alone4
Wacky Shack36″ with adult, 44″ alone4
Zipper48″, must be 2 riders in car and 2 cars minimum5
Flying Saucer36″ minimum, 48″ maximum3
Big Wheel36″ with adult, 48″ alone – must be 2 riders5
Swinger42″ minimum4
Zipper48″, must be 2 riders in car and 2 cars minimum4


2022 Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival Review

My daughter and I had fun at the Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival even if it was hot and sunny.

I definitely recommend visiting the Carnival earlier in the day since it tends to be less crowded and ride lines are shorter. In past years we have visited on Friday or Saturday night and encountered 20 minute lines for rides. The longest we had to wait for any ride was for the previous ride to end…and most times we skipped to a ride that was loading sooner.

We arrived at the Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival shortly around 4:40p and stayed until 6:15p. With minimal lines, it was the perfect amount of time.

Thrill Rides

At 16, my daughter is able to ride all of the thrill rides, but none of the kiddie rides. And I even joined her on a few.

Super Nova 360

The Super Nova 360 returns, and is again the biggest thrill ride. Check out our video of SuperNova 360 at the 2016 Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival. My daughter enjoyed riding it again in 2022, while I stood at the side – alongside some teens who also opted out and where holding bags and phones for their friends on the ride.


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Zipper

My daughter loves the Zipper, but did not got to ride it since you need a partner and I was not up for it.


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Downdraft

Downdraft is a new thrill ride. Both my daughter and I were expecting to like it, but neither of us were thrilled. The ride rotates in a circle with the arms going up and down. We both felt the spinning force overrode the up and down feeling. We have been on similar rides at amusement parks and enjoyed them more.

Intermediate Rides

There are a few ride options for kids (and adults) who don’t like the super thrill rides.

The Wacky Shack which made its debut in 2018 is back.

2019 Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival - Wacky Shack

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This year, the intermediate rides include: Cliff Hanger, Tilt-a-whirl, Spinner, and the new Sea Ray.

2019 Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival - Cliff Hanger

Jumbo the Flying Elephant also joins the lineup this year.


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Kiddie Rides

The carnival had several kiddie rides. The Merry Go Round is right at the entrance.

Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival - Carousel

In addition to the traditional merry go round, there is also a mini carousel with vehicles that are low to the ground in the kiddie section.

There are also flying UFOs, Mighty Mac Trains, and a kiddie coaster.

Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival - Flying Saucers

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Other Activities

I have to admit that once I buy a ride wristband, we usually focus on the rides and don’t pay for extra experiences like games, the rock wall, or bungee bounce.

The carnival seemed to have a good mix of traditional carnival games. With short ride lines and a non-crowded carnival, there was hardly anyone playing the games while we were there. The game lines are usually longer in the evenings when the ride lines are longer and older kids are there.

Food at Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival

The food available at the Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival is standard carnival food. I know there is an ice cream stand by SuperNova. I also saw Chicken Tenders, French Fries, Hot Dogs, Corn Dogs, Elephant Ears, Cotton Candy, Popcorn, Sno-Cones, etc.

2019 Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival - Food
Photo from past years, but the same stands are back for 2022

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2022 Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival Schedule

The schedule for the 2022 Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival is below:

Wednesday, June 22 – 4:00pm-8:00pm – Ann Arbor Jaycees Summer Carnival
Thursday, June 23 – 4:00pm-8:00pm – Ann Arbor Jaycees Summer Carnival
Friday, June 24 – 4:00pm-8:00pm – Ann Arbor Jaycees Summer Carnival
Saturday, June 25 – 12:00pm-8:00pm – Ann Arbor Jaycees Summer Carnival
Sunday, June 26 – 12:00pm-8:00pm – Ann Arbor Jaycees Summer Carnival

Tips for Visiting the Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival

  • Visit early in the week and early in the day for the least crowds.
  • Bring Cash – They only accept cash for the wristband or tickets. An ATM is available onsite, but I am sure the fees are high.
  • Wear Sunscreen – the Pioneer Parking Lot is very sunny so make sure you are protected
  • Bring Water – We had slings for our water bottles which we were able to take on many rides. Or leave sitting on the edge of the enclosure.
  • Adults may need to ride with kids in intermediate height ranges. Consider either a band for an adult or tickets to split rides with the kids. When my daughter was 4, we had to make a ticket booth run while she was in a long line since she needed someone to ride with her.

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Changes to Carnival for Safety

Over the years, there have been several incidents of fights at the carnival. In 2019, the Carnival had to close early one night after a fight. Skerbeck has made a few changes to the carnival to decrease the likelihood of fights. Personally, we typically go in early afternoon and have not witnessed any issues.

This year, there are restrictions on entering the Jaycees Carnival.

  • Minimum purchase of $10/person or $20/family.
  • To enter you need to go through the ticket lines
  • No re-entry after you leave.
  • Minors must be accompanied by an adult – Note this is listed, but I saw plenty of groups of teens in the carnival. I don’t know if it is only enforced at night, or if they had an adult at entry.

The Carnival hours have also been adjusted. The carnival now ends at 8p each day.


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