TR: Fort Worth Stock SHow (another carnival)

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TR: Fort Worth Stock Show Carnival

Date: 2-2-09

Weather: Cool

Crowds: Extremely light

It's that time of year again. Time to kick off the new riding season with a trip to the Fort Worth Exposition and LIvestock Show to ride carnival rides. I know a few carnies there, so it would be a chance to say hi again. Well, as usual, my companion/escort would be my grandfather, who happened to work at the exhibits.

He comes to pick me up around 4 and we head for the show. The first stop is at his booth so he could ask about sales of his products and also drop my grandmother off. Then it was off to the midway. First was our usual walking tour. Only notable in that I thought I heard him say that a Wisdom Tornado was there. It appeared there wasn't one.

We went out and bought ride coupons before starting to ride things. So, first it was off to the good old Celner Tilt-a-Whirl. The guy who runs this always runs it pretty good, and because I was the only person riding, I got a 5-6 minute ride. I like the older Tilts better than the G5 models. They spin better, and I just like the feel of the older ones a lot more. The new ones just feel too controlled. I got some pretty good spins on this one. Of course, I had my new Zoom H2 recorder with me to record all the rides and I held it on this one.

After the Tilt, it was off to something I hadn't ridden in a couple of years, the Wisdom Avalanche. Some of you may know this as the Gee-Wizz. It's Wisdom's version of the Falling Star-type ride where the platform swings in complete circles. This one is infinitely better than most. It's a lot faster and provides some strong lateral and positive G's, along with minor airtime. It also seems to get to speed a lot faster. Fun ride. There was, I think, one other rider on this, maybe two.

Next, it was of to something else I hadn't ridden in a while, the Zamperla Power Surge. The last time I rode one of these, it wasn't run very well, and I hardly got any flips. I decided to give it another try. My conclusion is that if the king of the carnival, Space Roller, isn't at a fair near you and a POwer Surge is, ride Power Surge. It makes a good substitute. It's a poor man's Mondial Top Scan. I had read on a tr a while back that this ride was great if you were a single rider. Well, I was the only one on the entire ride, and I happened to be facing backward. It was absolutely demented fun. It was flinging me every way but loose. One thing that I noticed about this ride, and this whole carnival for that matter, was the lack of loud music. There was music on some rides, but it wasn't loud. And, later on, you'll hear about a very big surprise I got when a ride I expected to have music didn't have it. I think rides are enhanced with music. All POwer Surge had was a siren.

After that crazy ride, I went to ride the Wisdom Storm. Still good fun. It had a lot of spinning and strong laterals. They had satellite radio on this one, which I"m a huge fan of. On to the next ride please.

Those of you who have read my reports in the past know that I"m a huge fan of motion simulators because of my blindness. I feel they are the movies I can really enjoy as the moving seats or cabins enhance it for me. Well, I had heard there was something called Deep Space there. Well, I thought, it's just the name of a Wisdom Astroliner. I decided to check it out anyway. Grandpa had to ride this one as they couldn't take single riders. Well, it was a Wisdom Astroliner cabin, yes. But the movie was a new one, or at least, a new one to me. This one was actually worth taking the time to watch. It actually had an ending, and I felt I got the storyline a lot better than with the original Astroliner movie. There was also a lot more movement of the barrel. The basis of this one is that you take off and find a strange planet, which you explore before you get discovered and you come back home. Pretty good.

After the movie, I decided to ride the Tivoli Scorpion. The same guy whi's been running it sinc 2005 was there again. I was again the only rider. He ran this ride faster than I"d ever experienced it before. The gondola was swinging so severely I thought I'd fall out. It was incredible. I just wish he had run it longer. I was just starting to enjoy the G-forces when he slowed it down. He still pulled the gag where he spins you at ground level first before taking off. I love this thing. It's becoming Talley Amusements's back-end piece at a lot of the carnivals I've been too that they've run for the past couple of years since 2006. It was at the state fair in 2005, which was where I first rode it. I thought I'd never see it again until I found out that it was Talley who'd brought the Scorpion. Now I always look for it if I know they're running the carnival. Great ride.

Then it was off to the Wisdom Starship 2000 to take two rides. I love this thing. This ride had absilutely no music on it. No kidding. NOt even on the outside. I've ridden a Starship with no music before, so this wasn't new. It was just that they usually have music playing on this thing when I've ridden it at this carnival. Is it because it was during the week? It was interesting none the less. The first time I got on, I started feeling my way along the panels as usual to find an emoty one with plenty of space. This is because I like to try to roll over between panels on the ride when they're raised up. Well, I accidentally touched a girl when I was doing that> That was the only way I figured out there were other riders on this one. I think we had me, this girl, and some other guy. Well, she didn't mind at all. I found one and the usual ride started. We got raised twice. I almost rolled over this time. It never works, but I do it anyway. This was the closest I've ever gotten. I was sprawled across about three of them. Fun. The second ride, we also had a couple of more riders, not the same ones. This time I tried to do sit-ups on the second rise. I was able to sit about halfway up. My back never made it up but a few inches, but I was able to raise my head. I love the Gravitron. BTW, how is it that people can turn upside-down on this ride? It was strange. The carnie running it didn't even say a word. We probably could have turned upside-down, and he wouldn't have cared. They never say anything when I try to rollover, but they're the ones who usually help me get on the ride and make sure I get off. He didn't say anything this time. I wonder if this thing is now automated.

Then I walked through one of the funhouses, the German Funhouse. This one aws pretty good. Grandpa walked through it too and he seemed to have fun. THis one has a rolling barrel finale which there doesn't appear to be an attendant at. I mean, I kept try ing to see if someone could turn it off, but noone did. So Grandpa told me to sit down and scoot across it. I think he just wanted a laugh. Though I got to see how it worked by doing that, which was neat. They've got tires on each end that keep it rolling. INteresting idea. This one also had a web of ropes you had to get through at one point.

Next it was off to the Wave Siwnger. THis was new this year. It was the Ziehrer model. It actually was pretty good. And since Six Flags is removing the Yo-Yo, this may be the only chair swing ride I get to ride this year.

After that, it was off to the Fabbri Mega Drop to take a few rides. I like to stick my arms and legs straight out on this one. I get weird looks, but man the feeling is awesome. This ride is a lot of fun. I'd be back later.

After the drop, I took a ride on the Chance Cnetury Wheel with Grandpa. We had to buy more tickets first. I have a soft spot for Ferris Wheels; I don't know why. I just really enjoy them, especially the ones with no restraints like the Chance versions. I like the Eli ones, but the restraints make you feel more confined in my opinion.

Well, the crowds were so light tonight that the bumper cars couldn't run. Yep, they needed three people and they didn't have three. So I didn't get to ride. I rode the Fabbri Kamikaze though. It was its usual awesome self, giving some good flips and two hang time moments.

I finished up the night with three more rides on the Mega Drop. I used up all my tickets on it. Again, the Fabbri drop ride is awesome. Which one do you guys think is better, the Fabbri version or the ARM version? I've not ridden the ARM version; that's why I'm asking.

Overall, this carnival was pretty good as usual. The prices of rides have gone up a little bit, but it's doable. There was a Wisdom Sizzler there, but riding that thing by yourself is a totally terrifying experience. I also feel bad because a guy I know works in one of the funhouses, the Fun Haus, and I never got to walk through his, choosing the German Funhouse instead. Oh and on the way out, after a lot of bribing, I played the dart game. You know the one where you throw the dart at the balloon. The carnie kept giving me all these offers so I played. I don't like carnival games at all. I gave the prize to my grandmother who is going to give it to her dog to chew on.

Thanks for reading.

John Moore

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