Texas State Fair wants year-round midway to compete with Six Flags

Posted Tuesday, May 19, 2009 10:01 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Officials at the State Fair of Texas said Monday they want to convert the midway into an amusement park to compete with Six Flags Over Texas, though on a smaller scale and with a cheaper price. A roller coaster is planned, as is a ride called the Top of Texas Centennial Tower that will send thrill-seekers 500 feet into the air.

Read more from The Dallas Morning News.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009 10:02 AM
Jeff's avatar

Does anyone going to Six Flags Over Texas really pay the gate price that they're quoting? I think if they're banking on competing by price, they're going to lose.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009 11:21 AM

They'll get the people who don't want to be puked on by all the raging drunks at Six Flags.

So, an 8 million dollar coaster that does a lot of acrobatics and doesn't take up much room. Guesses?

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009 2:09 PM
rollergator's avatar

^GCII. Guess being the opeerative word.

Stopped by the Fairgrounds last year on the Schlitterbahn trip over Memorial Day, the locals thought I was pretty funny - "Big Tex only comes out for the State Fair". So, now I'll have reason to go back to Tejas yet again.

Also, for the historians among us, there once existed at Tx. State Fair a triple John Miller racing coaster: http://www.rcdb.com/id4261.htm

Last edited by rollergator, Tuesday, May 19, 2009 2:09 PM
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009 2:19 PM
Olsor's avatar

^^Good call on the "raging drunks," RGB. I was thinking a Eurofighter, or one of the many variations on that theme done by different companies (Zierer, Mack, etc.). But a GG or GCI certainly wouldn't be out of place, considering the history of the State Fair.

I don't think the State Fair's going to compete with Six Flags by any stretch of the imagination. I know the Cotton Bowl was just renovated, but the Cotton Bowl game itself is relocating to Arlington... across the street from SFOT.

Still, if they've got the money and they want to build a ride, I won't complain.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009 2:52 PM
Jeff's avatar

I think RGB was making a joke about the previous "controversy" over granting the park an alcohol license.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009 3:45 PM

Maybe they'll finally install that Pax shuttle they've been wanting. :)

-Nate

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009 3:59 PM

It would be nice to have a traditional park once again in the Dallas area. Years ago, there was an amusement park on the fairgrounds with a roller coaster and other rides. The only remaining ride from those days is the Dentzel carousel which is very similar to Kennywood';s. The old coaster station also stands but without a ride. One other permanent ride is currently on the fairgrounds, the Texas Star giant Ferris wheel.

Amusement parks on fairgrounds do exist elsewhere including SFKK. The midways of such parks are augmented by additional rides during the fair and the pricing structure is altered during the fair..

I would expect the new coaster to most likely be a wooden one since such rides cannot be moved easily. If this is the case, the price mentioned should be able to build a good one.

.


Arthur Bahl

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009 4:21 PM

RatherGoodBear said:

So, an 8 million dollar coaster that does a lot of acrobatics and doesn't take up much room. Guesses?

Maybe something like this?

http://rcdb.com/ig2722.htm?picture=14


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009 4:46 PM
LostKause's avatar

That was my first thought, Smith.


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Tuesday, May 19, 2009 4:46 PM

Other permanent rides include a log ride, dark ride, and bumper cars. I think an Indiago ride and some kiddie rides also stay on site all year. Permanent rides that have been removed in the last decade or two include an enclosed scrambler, Spider, another dark ride, a walk thru scare house, and possibly a Tilt-A-Whirl.A new sky ride was added a couple of years ago.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009 6:26 PM
phoenixphan :-)'s avatar

Did they not demolish a coaster at the fairgrounds in the last couple decades? Make me wonder if they used to have more attractions, and decided to remove them, what makes them think they can be competative now versus then?


Real men ride wood... coasters that is!
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009 7:29 PM

Paging Robbie Bell

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 12:37 PM

The Comet last operated about 1985. It was a victim of insurance and liability. Efforts were made to raise money to sell it or renovate it. However, it was scrapped.The State Fair operated a summer midway until at least the 1960's. It had a good selection of rides. Some of those rides remained when the summer operation ceased and operated during the fair, but most of them are gone now. Possible reasons for the closing of the summer midway would have been the changing neighborhood and the opening of Six Flags.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 2:04 PM
Olsor's avatar

Jeff said:
I think RGB was making a joke about the previous "controversy" over granting the park an alcohol license.

Oh, I got it all right. That's why I put "raging drunks" in quotes. And of course the State Fair is adjacent to the Smirnoff Arena.

They could name the ride "The Teetotaler."

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 2:11 PM

Jeff said:
I think RGB was making a joke about the previous "controversy" over granting the park an alcohol license.

Yes, I was joking. But you know that at some newspaper somewhere in Texas there are comments gleefully predicting that the new State Fair midway will drive that den of sin (aka Six Flags) out of business.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009 12:47 AM

On a trip to Dallas we visited Fair Park while the fair was not operating. It's a beautiful fairgrounds with plenty to see in the "off season"- a museum, a conservatory, the Cotton Bowl, and the worlds largest living example of art deco architecture, which alone made the visit worthwhile to me. They were in the final phase of a renovation project on those buildings and I thought they were astonishing. Even though the time period is correct, it seems so far away from everything we yankees think of as Texas- it was a real treat.

We thought what was missing was rides. Since the grounds is a year round event center, (the day we were there it was a huge bike show) we wondered why at least the permanent rides, like the Texas Star, didn't operate. Instead the midway area was enclosed by a fence and we couldnt even walk through it. If done right, and with light rail on the horizon, it could be a welcome alternative to the expensive, all day experience that is Six Flags. I know we would've paid to ride that wheel had it been open.

And competion is always a good thing. There's a reason why whenever there's a CVS on one corner, Walgreen's is sure to build on the other corner.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009 12:44 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Light rail is on the horizon?

As a local, I have always found the State Fair overpriced and not very interesting ride-wise (given that I can't really ride spin n' pukes).

I'm not sure why CVS and Walgreens seem to sprout up together, but I suspect it wouldn't help in this case. Orlando might be a more comparable example.


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Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Thursday, May 21, 2009 6:43 PM

From the article:

"But McKoy and others excited about the plans said the State Fair this year may have a trump card – the opening of the $1.8 billion DART Green Line, its art deco-inspired Fair Park station just steps from the park's front gate.

Officials gathered there Monday, celebrating its on-schedule construction. DART opens four stations Sept. 14, and will open another 16 as the full 28-mile Green Line begins service by December 2010"

I'm assuming it's light rail, they mention a train.

No, State Fair midways aren't much unless you're into flats. You might see a big coaster (or two, if you're lucky) but it's never enough to keep a coaster person busy. The 500 foot Space Spiral they have planned sounds cool as hell.

We had an intersection here in Columbus with, I kid you not, a Drug Mart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and CVS occupying each of all four corners. I realize as a population we're all getting older, but really, how much lotion and kleenex are we gonna need?

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Saturday, May 23, 2009 5:47 PM

That is insane! A tower that will send thrill saekers 500 feet in to the air! I want to ride it!


Six Flags Magic Mountain is the best amusement park ever!

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