A Great Day At The Texas State Fair

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Thursday, October 6, 2005 11:33 PM
I was off from school today and so I decided to get my grandpa and head down to the state fair. There were some rides that I really wanted to try, one great coaster, and one bad one (though that changed).

We got there at about 11 and found that the midway hadn't opened yet. So, we walked around seeing what was available. After about an hour, the midway opened. The first thing I was led to was the Space Roller (Mondial Top Scan). This is my favorite ride because of it's absolutely insane intensity and strong forces.

Of course, I sat on the end. The ride was really long and there was a point where the op stopped the ride then started it again. Weird. But it was still it's crazy self. Next, I headed to the Fighter, a Mondial Swinger. I may as well describe this one, as I don't know of anyone else who has ever ridden one.

A Mondial Swinger consists of a square platform with 4 arms coming out of it vertically. There are gondolas at the end of each arm (don't know how many). When the ride starts, the platform rotates, the arms go up and down, and the individual gondolas swing back and forth. The ride is very intense and it pulls some major G's. This year, it was running a lot faster than it was last year (it's first year). Did I mension that all you have as a restraint is a lapbar? Freaking sweet.

I am a huge fan of funhouses, unlike most people I know. Naturally, the King's Circus was my next port of call. This new-for-05 funhouse was 4 stories high and contained more stunts than you could ask for. I can't give you a description of it because it is so huge. It was very odd that they put the rolling barrel in the middle of the house rather than the end. Same thing with the spiral slide. The last thing that you do in that house is a bridge that moves up and down. Another odd thing that I had never seen before was a mirror maze inside a funhouse. What's that about? There are also spinning poles, which are something thatI had never seen before. The goal is to get between the two spinning pylons without getting thrown off the path. However, KC was outstanding and I would recommend that any funhouse freak walk through it. Shame Infernal Combustion wasn't there this year; that is my all-time favorite funhouse, with King's Circus, Bubble House, and Flying Carpet close behind.

Next, we headed to the Chance Inverter. This was a great looping ship ride. It was not as good as the Kamikaze, but is was still very intense. The restraints were a pain in the butt though. I hate that spatula.

Then it was off to one of the new-for-05 spin rides, MegaBounce. This is an A.R.M. Mega Bounce and it is replacing Downdraft. All I will say is that this ride is not like Downdraft. It is very weak. There were no laterals, a lack of airtime on the bounces, and slow spinning. Why, why, why did Downdraft have to go? That ride is better than this piece of trash. On to the next ride please.

Next, it was the KMG Experience. This ride is good for it's spinning, but not for it's flips. The thing doesn't even flip and if it did, I didn't feel it. I've been spoiled by the Top Scan.

Next I headed to get a Fletcher's corn dog, which is the best corn dog I have ever had. After that, I took a ride on one of my favorite rides, Starship 2000. This one was not run very well. It didn't have to be so short. It was only about 1 minute and 30 seconds. I like the ones that last a long time.

Then it was to the Lumalusion dark ride. This is a permanent darkride that is on the grounds year-round. I've been riding it since 1996, when I had just gotten off the Pirate and hated it so they put me on it instead. I've been riding it ever since. I had ridden it earlier in the day and this was my second ride. I can't talk about the experience inside; I can't see at all. I don't even know why I still ride those things.

Then it was off to the Reverchon Crazy Mouse, the first coaster of the day. Just your typical spinning mouse. I rode with another single rider (the first time I had to do that) and we got some insane spins in the second half. After that, I headed to another one of the fair's permanent attractions, Indiago

Indiago is a Mondial Supernova, consisting of a wave-shaped ship suspended between two arms. The arms do complete revolutions, and the ship swings perpendicular to the arms. The ride is insane and unpredictable and you never know what direction you will go in next. The ride was as good as always.

Then it was off to take two cycles on Sparklett's Splash, the Aero log flume that occupies a massive section of the midway. And I got pretty wet in 60-something degree weather. I did it twice, and maybe that has something to do with it.

Then Grandpa took me to the Fabbri Mega Drop. The ride was it's usual self, but it prepared me for what I was about to do. This thing would become the highlight of the day and I was looking forward to it a lot. Back to Mega Drop. I got no air on the free fall. Whaaaaat? How could I not get airtime? I always said that that ride is getting weaker and it's not as intense as it was when I rode it in 2003.

Now onto the highlight of the day. I had always wanted to ride a sling shot. Last year, I rode an Ejection Seat at a place in Dallas and loved it. Now, I would have the chance to ride one of the ones that uses springs to launch the vehicle instead of bungee cords. After buying more coupons, we headed over there and I was helped into the chair. One thing that I noticed right off was taht this thing was a lot comfier than the one I rode last February, which had plastic seats and had uncomfortable harnessing. This one had an OTSR that was tight but comfortable.

I was really scared at first. I was praying as the springs compressed and I tilted back (a very nice touch). Then I took off. The ride was very intense and I enjoyed it immensely. The flipping was smooth and I liked this version better than the bungee cord version. Then when I got back down, I found that they had not recorded the video I wanted. So, I got a free ride so that they could make the video (I had paid them for a video). The second one was as good as the first. That launch is so fast and smooth that you hardly feel it.

Next it was off to the Fabbri Booster across the way. I got it to flip just once this time, which is a first because last year I couldn't even get it to flip. It was only marginally better this year.

Then I headed to the Zillerator, the fair's Pinfari Zyklon. When I rode this 2 years ago, the ride was very rough and I got whiplash from it. However, I decided to try it again so I could see if it had been retracked. And it had! Now the ride provided ejector air on the first two drops and it was brakeless and smooth with only one jolt. Now this is a good coaster. It is still using lapbars; I wish they could just put seatbelts on it.

Next, I headed to the Flight to Mars, a Schwarzkopf ride that came out of Palisades Park and now travels the fairs. It was it's usual self. However, the very loud drumroll that always scared the crap out of me has been taken out so now I can keep my ears uncovered. And why can't they just get rid of the lapbars? Lumalusion doesn't have lapbars; there is no reason why this one shouldn't either. BTW, I don't know if this one came out of Palisades; it may have come from Coney Island. It is one of those two.

Next I headed to the Flying Carpet, a classic funhouse with a rare stunt at the end. Basically, it is an upholstered bench that you sit on. The bench then collapses, sending you tumbling onto a conveyor belt that carries you all the way back down from the top level to the lower level.

After that enjoyable walk and ride, I headed to the fair's third dark ride, Ghost Pirates. Once again, this ride had totally unnecessary lapbars. It moves so slowly that they aren't needed. Why the crap did they do this? This one was a short, one-room affair with some streamers that brushed my head and arms, as well as one or two noises. It was very slow and relaxing, though.

Then I headed to a ride that I hadn't tried yet. It had been going there since 2003, but I had not ridden it. It was a Remix called Techno Power. The ride was very intense and there was great spinning producing great G's.

Then, it was off to the second new ride for this year, the Tivoli Scorpion. This ride was good, however there was no padding in the cars and the sides felt like sandpaper. I scraped my arm at one point. But overall, it was a very good ride. They were playing one of my favorite Keith Erban songs, "You're My Better Half,", as I was getting on the Scorpion. When I got on, they just had to stop it and change it to crappy hip-hop music which I hate. And the carnie had Sirius Satellite Radio playing, which is evil to an XM fan like myself. When will rides start pumping out decent music? The Inverter was playing Sarah Evans, which I really liked. Back in January, the Gravitron that I rode blasted out some great country songs. However, most rides dish out pop crap. I hate that. Tivoli rides also have the most uncomfortable seats I have ever sat in. However, Tivoli is not the only manufacturer with bad seats. Tivoli, KMG, and A.R.M. have the worst ride seats I have ever sat in.

Them, Grandpa and I decided to go on the giant slide together. I had never ridden a giant slide and I was kind of apprehensive. However, once I got going, I started having fun. This slide had six humps and was pretty comfortable to slide down thanks to the mat I was on. Now I'm a fan of giant slides. They are great and you can pick up a lot of speed going down, maybe getting some airtime on the humps.

Finally, I went back for a free ride on the Mondial Top Scan to end the trip. The ops had given me a free ride because they knew me, and I wanted to ride it again. The ride was still intense, but the cycle was a lot shorter. aAfter that, we headed to buy some saltwater taffy then we hightailed it out of there.

Overall, this was a very good trip. This is the last one of my ridding season, and it signifies the closing of another season of theme park and carnival visits, however I only took one other trip this year, back in January, and that was to another carnival. It also means that the end of the year is here in two months, and man is time flying. The fair simply brings everything to a close for me. There are some trips that I will take in November and December, and I may go to another carnival or two later this month. However, I consider the state fair my final big trip of the year because the rest of it will be carnivals that are so small that nobody knows about them. This was a great trip as always, and I really look forward to January and my 2006 season kickoff at the Fort Worth Stock Show carnival.

Thanks for reading. *** Edited 10/7/2005 3:39:35 AM UTC by John Moore*** *** Edited 10/7/2005 3:57:08 AM UTC by John Moore***

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