Gwinnett County, GA Fair - 9/13/03

Associated parks:
None

Sunday, September 14, 2003 10:24 AM
I headed over to the Gwinnett County Fair to check out the scene, and to get some rides in. Here's what they had (from what I can remember):

Crazy Mouse, KMG Afterburner (Fireball), Zipper, Banzai, Waveswinger, Flying Bobs, Tilt-a-whirl, Tornado, Pirate (or same type of ride), Gravitron, Touchdown, Kite Flyer, Ferris Wheel, Wacky Worm, Crazy Dance, Music Express, Scrambler, Cafe Fear dark ride, 3 or 4 funhouses, everything you could imagine on a stick, and many missing teeth.

Tickets were .75 each, 20 for $15 (which is the SAME price as buying individually), or 56 for $40 (a 4 cent discount per ticket). Each ride took anywhere from 4-6 tickets, so we didn't ride too many things, but we did get some GREAT rides.

Crazy Mouse - 6 tickets: This was my first spinning mouse, and it was a lot of fun! It wasn't spinning in the first half, and it was very crowded so I didn't want to deal with asking them to release the pin early. They were loading VERY quickly, and the mice continuously moved through the station. We got some REALLY fast spinning around the turns, but then it kind of fizzled out. Everybody there seemed to be enjoying this ride.

Zipper - 4 tickets: OH MY GOD! Everytime I go to a fair, the Zipper is always my favorite, and tonight it did NOT disappoint! While in line, we noticed the ride time was fairly short, and they only ran the ride in one direction. I asked before boarding if they could run it in both directions, and the guy said "not tonight". I was kind of upset, but then the blonde guy got on the controls! WHOA! We ran forwards for a while, they stopped and let someone off, then ran forwards again, and then ran it backwards! It was a REALLY long cycle. We got off and told the ride op how much we enjoyed our ride and gave him a tip. He said to come back again and he'd give us a "spinny car". Needless to say, we returned later - keep reading...

KMG Afterburner - 5 tickets: The last time I rode one of these was in FL with Strates Shows and it had a long ride cycle, which included spinning in both directions and 2 times of swinging all the way to the top. This program only spun in one direction, then slowed down when it got to the maximum height, then sped up again before stopping. It wasn't nearly as intense as the last time I rode, which was a ride that lasted more than twice as long.

We took a break from riding and went on a search for fried candy bars, which we'd only heard about. This Snickers was SO good! We aso had some lemonade that was basically a lot of sugar and some water mixed together with a lemon wedge in it.

Bonzai - 4 tickets: After my traumatic experience on the never-ending Kamikazee several years ago, I swore off these rides. This one was a newer model with open feet and all, so I decided to give it a try. The restraint system was HORRIBLE! My arm got caught in it twice, and I think I'm going to have a BAD bruise from it. The cycle was really short, and the loading time was really bad. The other ride ops were booking it to get their rides running, and this crew didn't seem to care. Whatever time they lost loading, they just took off the ride cycle time.

Touchdown - 5 tickets: This ride was a complete letdown. I expect a GOOD ride for 5 tickets, and this was a waste. First, the ops were totally rude, and then they made us balance our car out. Originally my friend Jason & I were on one side, with 2 small girls on the other. This would have made for a more interesting ride. Instead, they put Jason & on the outside, and the ride was lame. I;d never seen this ride before, and would not recommend riding it. I've been on more intense Waveswingers!

Zipper - again - 4 tickets + tip: Well, we told the guy if this ride was as good as the last we'd make it worth his while. I guess we got one of the "spinny" cars he was talking about, because I have NEVER experienced a Zipper like this one. Our first trip around the end of the boom, we flipped forwards, and continued flipping for about 30+ rotations! When it stopped flipping, I had NO idea what was going on, my vision was completely blurred, and it wasn't even half over. You know the ride is good when you can't even tell when you are snapping over the edge of the boom becuase it's so out of control. Then we started going backwards. It was actually kind of lame for the first several trips around, and then the flipping started. It was the SAME thing in reverse. The ride ended with us at the bottom being the first ones off, but we were still flipping so fast it took forever for them to let us out. We got about 10 flips in after the ride had ended. We lived up to our word and the ride ops seemed happy.

Side note: while in line for the Zipper we talked 2 younger girls into riding, and they got off jumping up and down with joy! It's amazing how this ride that has been around for more than 30 years still provides one of the most unique, and biggest thrills around.

So what did I learn about the fair today? TIP THE RIDE OPS ON THE ZIPPER!!! It's WELL worth the extra money, especially tonight. For only a couple bucks more (less than the cost of an additional ride for 2 people), we got a ride cycle about 3 times longer, and nearly 50 times more intense.

The only problem I had with this fair was the price for ride tickets. Each weeknight of the fair they offer a POP wristband, and I think they offset this cost with an increase in ticket costs for Fri-Sun guests. Normally I wouldn't complain, but if they are charging more on the non-POP nights, they should at least give good cycles on all the rides. The short Afterburner cycle was a real disappointment.

I'm heading to the N GA Fair sometime in the next 2 weeks, and it seems like their ticket prices are lower (80 tickets for $50). They only have one POP night and one $1 ride night, plus their website says rides are 1-3 tickets each, not this 4-6 ticket per ride ripoff.

------------------
-Matt

...still going through Dragster withdrawl after 4 months...

+0
Sunday, September 14, 2003 6:22 PM
I really enjoy going to the GCF every year. Last year, we tipped the Zipper ride-ops, and the guy actually spun our car before the cycle began. We were spinning so dang fast that my eyes were nearly rolling around into the back of my head. An extreme rush (that probably killed a lot of brain cells) haha

+0
Monday, September 15, 2003 7:55 AM
I like Zipper's and all, but that sounds sick. I don't think I would've made it off the ride.
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