So we catch the shuttle bus from the mall across the street to avoid $8 parking, and I forget the stupid coupons to get the $15 wristband option. Luckily I got the lady to stop before we exited the mall parking lot. So, getting back onto another bus, we made our way over. After forking $7 to get in, we entered and lost more time trying to locate a mens room, which you would assume would be right next to the ladies room at the grandstands. Wrong.
As we are waiting in line to get the wristbands, I see a sign that says $15 wristbands, no coupon needed. What the hell? It's bad enough that the link to the radio station with the coupon was bad and that it took a while to find the correct one, but the coupon used a lot of black too. So now I had wasted expensive inkjet ink too.
The first order of the day was to ride Street Fighter, which is made by Technical Park of Italy. Matt said this Afterburner clone was really good, so I was excited. The seating is somewhat different though in that there isn't a lot of elbow room, but that's minor. I was not expecting to be blown away, but I totally was. The high swings lasted very long, and I was totally coming out of my seat on every one due to the harness design. I said "re-ride?", and Matt says he wants to do something a little bit mellower and we ride the Zipper instead:) We were the only two onboard and got quite a long ride. I love it that they run it forwards and backwards. I think it would be awesome if they make an open version with OTSRs, but the claustrophobia is part of its charm.
Walking around the carnival, I counted four different vendors-SMS, Blue Sky Shows, Jolly Shows, and a Musik Express supplied by Strates. I thought it was kind of odd for the amount of rides they had. We then went down one of the slides, but it wasn't that great since it wasn't greased up that well. We then hit Rip Tide, a sideways flying carpet, kind of like a Falling Star or Rainbow. I rode this two years ago, and it did absolutely nothing for me. Well, it was still lame. I don't know what it is, but it kind of feels forceless with no airtime. You do however get a nice view of the fairgrounds. I have no idea who makes it though. The first funhouse we went through was ok, but very short with a few moving parts along the way. Matt then hits the next funhouse, which has a hall of mirrors deal on the first floor. He was not allowed to ride down on the slide from the second floor however.
Running low on time, we get on the Paratrooper instead of the Cliff Hanger, since those can be found at most major carnivals anymore and offer similar motions. We then went back for two more trips on Street Fighter, and here's where I got greedy. Matt and I are both on the same wavelength and both say "Let's take another ride on the Zipper!" Afer another really long cycle, and then having to wait while other people are loaded, I looked down at my watch and said "Oh, crap, I have to be to work by 7pm in Timonium and it's 4:30pm." "Not only that, I still have to drop you off in Millersville (about 20 minutes from SFA)!" This is where all my years of working around the D.C. suburb areas pays off. Taking several roads that avoid 495-the Capitol Beltway-altogether, I manage to get to work 5 minutes late. It was like someone had ordered a national holiday as I never hit any bad traffic in any of the major known trouble spots along the way. Never again will I cut things so tight. Next stop: Maryland State Fair *** *** Edited 8/19/2005 5:12:15 PM UTC by Intamin Fan***
Street Fighter is definitely made by Technical Park, and I also saw the company nameplate. I hear you about trying out one of those sideways flying carpets. There are several companies making models that stay fairly low to the ground, as opposed to the Rainbows high swing. They are usually under manual control, so I bet they're fun.
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