I had a chance to hit the Puyallup fair for the first time in 2 years (since Chris Baran's last visit), and I have to say that the place just consistently gets better with time. What a wonderful, old-fashioned place, with great food, a rustic oldtime environment (with the exception of Weird Al), and tons of killer flats, and 4 coasters. What other state fair has that?
I arrived early at the North Gate, said a brief hello to another buzzer, NWTPG (Aaron), and waited out for Robocoaster (Rob Bob), his significant other, Brent, and Railshark (Ben).
We met up at the breakfast hangout, after we quickly realized that Brent was going to make our morning hell if he didn't get food, and coffee. We sated Brent's appetite, and met up with Ben at the scone shoppe. It was great to see them all again, and we made our way on a roundabout tour, awaiting the ticket booths to open to snag our day passes (new since last year) that would give us unlimited rides on the flats, their S&S combo tower, and the coasters! Considering what's there, and how cheap it is ($29), there's just no complaining.
Score! Now, onto the fun. :)
We hit the Zipper first. The Zipper is my favorite flat, and it's just killer. This one runs hard, fast, and brutal. I've never had a full face plant for the entire drop before, yet Ben and I got dose after dose of brutality. It was glorious in a sick sort of way, but I could also sense that Rob was quickly getting nervous at his upcoming, virginal ride aboard this terrifying machine. Well, that time came, and Rob climbed aboard the starship heading for the skies. He did surprisingly well for his first trip, although I have to admit that, perhaps fortunately, his inaugural ride was less than intense, and a little on the weak side. Still, I imagine it was enough, as Rob was pretty sure he didn't want to do that again.
On to the Coasters! Coaster:Thrill Ride was running a bit sluggish in the morning, although it would open up significantly in the later, warmer day. Still a fun ride with a few pops of floater air. Still, I say, if you can, wait for the Yellow P&C train. You really can tell the difference. It's not just geek talk. It just tracks better. Faster too!
Wildcat was fun. Same old Schwartzkopf, but a blast to ride. Fast, and smooth. The Monster Mouse was typical as well.
Words to the wise: For all you credit whores, the suggestion is to get to the fair sometime within the next 12 months, as it's quite possible the Monster Mouse will either not exist anymore, and/or will be in rehabilitation/storage for the next decade. You decide. It's worth it, as it's not exactly a common ride.
We also got a quick jump on the weird, yet surprisingly wild water/hybrid coaster they have called Kersplash. You do get two drops, and some decent water dousage after the second drop. Both drops remind me of Tig'rr at Indiana Beach. That hard banked turn in the beginning? Bingo.
The Puyallup has some great barbeque. Great Onion Burgers. Great scones. It's cheap. It's fun. It gives you a headache. It's Puyallup. You should come. You can get totally sick on the rides here. :)
That's it. Period. No more Zipper rides for me (not the carnival ride, anyway) ;). Two is already three times too many. Was it scarier at night? Yes, yes it was.
More coming along the way, when I get my TR finished and posted...
Nasai almost got me on the reverse bungee, but I was just a little too freaked out to try it without him. It was also expensive: $30 per person, $50 for two. The only other ride I can think of that I chickened out on was The Enterprise. There was a sign in front of it reading "No single riders," and another one reading "Maximum weight 340 pounds." I'm 210 by myself, and I'm pretty sure nasai weighs more than 130. I think he put it best when he said, "I just don't feel the need to challenge the manufacturer's specs. At least not today."
My ride on the Monster Mouse was a little unnerving, as the ride-op didn't push the restraint back. She said it would "probably be okay," as she dispatched Robo and me out of the station. The seats on Monster Mouse are tandem, like a log flume. Even though Robo and I were wedged in there so tightly it would be a chore to wriggle back out at the end of the ride, I wasn't taking any chances. I spent the entire trip up the lift struggling to pull it back, managing only to get a nice coating of grease on my hands.
Time for work! I'll write more later. Maybe.
If I'd found a way of getting back to Seattle in the afternoon, I'd have been all over that fair, but a friend from out of town was visiting and I needed to be sure I was around for that.
Did I miss any unique flat rides?
Unique flats? Hrm. Not so much, although Puyallup does seem to have variations on the same ride. There are a number of flats... over 50. There are all the standards, but there were two octopus-type rides. One larger, one smaller. Two rocket/hammer type rides. Two matterhorn-type rides. Etc. Etc. They are interspersed all over the grounds.
There are plenty of spin and pukes. ;)
Get out to the fair. You have 2 days left. :(
I had as much fun on the flats as I did on the coasters. Their Zipper has got to be the most terrifying ride I've ever ridden. It didn't help that Rob described in detail a Zipper fatality from the late 70's, just moments before we borded. The worst part of the ride its apparent condition. Up close, many of the parts look as if they've been rusting away in some field for a decade or two. The cars and structure make sickening creaking sounds that create the impression that the ride is moments away from dropping a car or two.
The Skydiver was almost as scary, but not half as fun. Brent and Robo sat that one out, but told us later that they could hear Rob calling me every name in the book for excessive spinning. It would have been a lot more fun for both of us if we had used the men's room before riding. Fortunately the ride-op overheard us cursing our full bladders (right around the time that padded bar squashed into our bellies, if I remember correctly) and made sure he unloaded our car first, even though we were the last to board. I would have tipped him if I had been able to think about anything besides my need to find the nearest restroom ASAP.
All four of us rode the Wildcat one last time at around eight, just before Rob had to leave. I spent the remaining two hours trying to bribe Rob or Brent into riding the reverse bungee with me, to no avail. I did manage to get Rob to do The Zipper one more time, and all I had to do was ride the Kersplash just before our free passes expired at 10pm. Nothing like getting doused with cold, oily gray water just before a 50-minute drive home. I suppose Robo had it worse, though, as he was sitting in the front and had a 150-minute drive home.
If I didn't have to work tomorrow and Sunday I'd go again in a heartbeat. The scones alone were worth the drive down there. Do it, Maddie! Do it! And bring me a box of scones, please. ;-)
Went to the Puyallup with my kids tonight also. We road Coaster: Thrill Ride at about 7pm. I was in line for the front row EXACTLY when the ops added the Orange train. Well, since I had waited for this time, and the warmed up train, I let two gals pass. I think this was the best choice as turned out that the Yellow train ran great.
I have ridden this coaster over the years. I have NEVER before got a such quality ride on this creation. The ride was smoother, and faster, by a LOT. I bet the ride in the back would have been better, but the front was still filled with air time. The first drops aren't that exiciting. However, this coaster just seems to get better futher on into the ride.
The 2nd turnaround appears to have been completely rebuilt. I think this allows the trains to carry a little more speed into the 2nd half of the ride then before. There were three places I was WAY UP off the seat.
The ending to this coaster is neat as it always seems to me like we are so close to the end there just can't be any more hills before the brakes; yet there are.
I want to repeat that this was the best ride I've ever had on this coaster. I don't know exactly why, but it was a really GOOD ride. The fun factor was cranked up a few notches more.
Warm day, just after sunset, ride the Yellow train.
Glad you had the chance to ride C:TR this year. It's a really fun ride, and having the luxury (because indeed it is) to ride it a few times a year due to our proximity is a blessing. Glad they also pulled out the yellow train for you! I don't know why they don't run it more often, but maybe because it is the only remaining Prior & Church train that it's babied a little (make that a lot) more.
Ben, thanks for contributing to the thread. :) Yes, it was great fun hanging with you, and that damn Skydiver ride just killed. I'll tell anyone reading this thread to steer clear of a Skydiver ride with Ben if you want to keep your lunch in your stomach, or your urine in your bladder. I've never spun for the entire cycle before. The most interesting observation I have is that after half a cycle, I grabbed the wheel, and kept spinning it myself, just to kind of "get back" at him. Like this helped my cause? What the hell was I thinking? Well, regardless, the day was super fun, and although I wish I had brought my sunglasses to keep that oncoming headache at bay, I couldn't have had more fun with 3 great cats called Rob, Brent, and Ben.
Robo, thanks for the tix. You are a godsend. :)
Yesterday I talked to someone who went to the fair last weekend, who swears that the Zipper also had a 340-pound weight limit per car. We might have tested the manufacturer's specs after all! My goal is to make it down to 170 pounds by next year so I can ride both The Zipper and The Enterpirse without being as worried about the car breaking loose and getting hurled into the pavement.
Don't even get me started about sitting on the john... ;)
And Rob, no problemo. Take the clan to see "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" when you get the chance. Now there's a movie Paramount needs to turn into a ride! :)
I haven't heard from either one of you in awhile and I'm glad to hear you still have your sense of humor. =D
It was also nice to find that "the boys" were real guys and not... *the boys*. While they're all essential for a trip to the park, one makes a *much* better riding partner... on coasters! ;)
You guys coming to KW-PFN/PPPPP?? I've heard rumors...
I know Solace's dates have been put up somewhere on Knott's site, so plan on that, and I'll see you there. And meanwhile, I'll scrimp and save and plan on being at PPP in '05. I mean, I have to do the new rocket, ya know.:)
I'm excited that you're finally moving in!! You'll have to keep in touch about how things go.
Btw, I *strongly* agree with you about Sky Captain!! People need to actually go and see it and it needs to make money before Paramount does anything with it though. Right now it looks like it will be a pretty big disappointment for box office and I thought their marketing for it was really good. :(
I went to the Puyallup fair for the first time a few weeks ago. I really had a great time.
The Zipper was insane. I have only ridden three of these but this one was running the best I have seen. My friiend Lisa and myself ended up getting a a few face plants. It was great!
I agree about Coaster's yellow train. At night the yellow train was running and I could tell a huge difference. Then again, it was raining so the trim at the turnaround wasn't exactly trimming. =:^)
I thougth Wildcat was the smoothest version I have ridden. For what looked like a beat up ride, it really was running well, and you have to love that massive WILDCAT sign that sits in front of it.
Monster Mouse was the second monster mouse I have ridden. They were having lots of problems with it running throught the day including having two cars on the lift at one time. I saw this a few times. The ride itself was pretty slow during the first half. At times I thought we were actually going to stop as we barely made it around the first set of curves.
Kersplash was "in the building stages" when we were there the first day the fair opened. However, we left Vancouver early after spending some time at the PNE to see if Kersplash was running. As it turns out, it was and we went back into the fair for a quick ride. We didn't get very wet but those drops were nice.
Oh, and for the cre-hos of the trip, there are 3 kiddie coasters at the fair as well. Only one of them allows adults to ride.
Thanks for the TR!
Did you guys have to pay then to get back into the fair? We considered going back to ride Kerplash on Saturday but didn't want to have to pay the admission price again. We considered it on Sunday as well after Playland but decided to investigate Vancouver some instead. Very nice city, by the way.
Nope, we didn't have to pay to get in again. When we entered the park the first day of the fair, we were told we could keep the admission tickets. I did talk with a couple of people that said their tickets were taken, but most others were allowed to keep them.
We did however have to pay to ride Kersplash. Well, at least I did. I didn't have any tickets left from the first visit.
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