Scott "Zingo!" Moore and I had talked about visiting the San Diego Fair [formerly the Del Mar Fair] since mid-May and had awaited this weekend for over a month. A lot happened between us in those 30 days and I knew our time at the fair was going to be not only fun but very special. My last visit to the fair was 2 years ago and Scott had never been to a fair since living in Kansas so this was an opportunity for us to discover some new modern flats and enjoy some old classics, particularly our favorite: The Zipper!
The weekend began at 3pm Friday when I ditched the office early in an attempt to get a head start on the weekend traffic. Three and 1/2 hours and 125 miles later I was at Scott's apartment in San Diego. After relaxing and catching up we headed off to Shakespeare's, a British Pub, to meet Eric "janfrederick" Hurd and his wife. Eric is a guy I'd wanted to meet since discovering Coasterbuzz but our attempts to hang out always resulted in failure…until this weekend.
My good parking karma rewarded us with a spot in front of the bar and Eric arrived solo soon after with apologies from his wife, who could not make it. We had a great time talking about everything from coasters to movies to music to politics to relationships and beyond. Anyone within earshot of our heated patio table would have mistaken us for people who'd known each other for years and that's exactly how it felt to me. Scott and I felt an instant connection with Eric. My only regret is that our previous attempts to meet hadn't been successful as I feel like we’ve missed out on some fun times. Post-Shakespeare's Scott and I headed to Cheers to meet up with some friends of his. The bartender was pouring them strong and the rest of the night is a bit of a blur.
Saturday began a bit slow as Scott and I tried to recover from slight hangovers. Finally around noon Scott took me to discover one of his favorite downtown Mexican eateries, Pokez. I would affectionately describe Pokez as a "hole in the wall with a rock-n-roll attitude." The service was laid-back but it fit our lazy mood and the atmosphere and food were excellent, not to mention well priced. Upon returning to Scott's apartment we fell onto his bed in a food coma and woke up at 5pm ready to hit the fair.
**Arriving at 6pm we headed into the fun zone and immediately began to make our way around the midway, oooh-ing and ahh-ing at the rides. Here is summary of what we rode:
This was to be Scott's first spinning mouse. The other two seats in our car were filled with a young dad and his son, who appeared to be no older than 6 yrs old. As we approached the lift the kid asked, "Do we go upside down?" and we all assured him we did not.
Scott got his first dose of Mooshing [well, on a ride anyway] during the lateral-filled first half. The kid was laughing but went silent on the first drop and remained so thru the rest of the ride...I think it was a bit more forceful than he'd anticipated. We hit the mid-course unlock and began furiously spinning our way thru the second set of switchbacks until the last, which killed our spin. We gained a little of the spin back before the final drop, bunny hop, and turn into the brakes. As we exited the kid finally spoke again: "I don't think I wanna ride that one again, Daddy!"
I first became aware of the Mondial Shake when Homey G described how much he hated the ride when he visited SFNO. I love intense flat rides and this one looks right up my alley so when I saw there would be one at the fair I was stoked. This version was called Magnum and themed after the 80s TV Show Magnum P.I. Scenes of Tom Selleck, hot cars, and bikini-clad women adorned the backdrop on either side of a giant bust of Magnum. Unfortunately the artist had painted Magnum’s baseball cap sitting too high on his forehead making him look old and creepy, not sexy. As for the ride itself, perhaps we just got a bum cycle because while the ride was fun I didn’t think it was intense at all. In fact our car didn’t flip at all until near the end of the ride. Or maybe Homey G is just a wuss ;)
With its impossibly tight turns taken at "should we be going this fast?" speeds the Hi Miler is another coaster with great Mooshing opportunities. While in line Scott wished aloud that we’d get the back seat and his wish came true. There is no way to ride this coaster and not laugh. It’s just that much fun.
Zipper is the indisputable King of the Midway. I’ve never seen a Zipper without and line and rightfully so. My love affair with Zipper started late in life for me as I didn’t ride one until I was 30. Like anyone who loves flat rides I fell in love with Zipper on my very first ride and I’ve been courting it ever since. Sure, sometimes you get better rides than others but even really crappy Zipper rides are far better than most other flat ride experiences. It’s pretty difficult to improve on Zipper’s ride experience…unless you’re stealing kisses from someone special during the ride ;)
Having ridden KMG’s Top Scan at L.I. Adventureland I was a little worried about Tango. Top Scan pushed me right to my limits, mostly due to its heavy laterals and freely flipping arms. But Tango turned out to be nothing like Top Scan. In addition to going lighter on the laterals the arms are motorized, resulting in smoother flipping. The ride can be best described as a cross between a Power Surge and a Top Scan and it’s fun and disorienting without inducing sickness. Scott and I laughed from start to finish.
A KMG Fireball. At almost twice the height riders swing through a total arc of 240* spinning much faster than Chance’s Revolution. If only Knotts had gone with KMG instead.
Take the seating arrangement of the Fireball and give it the ride motion of a Wipeout and you have the Spin Out. I discovered the Spin Out on my first visit to the San Diego Fair a few year back and it immediately became a favorite. I especially love how a spinning ride can produce so much airtime and hang time.
I remembered this as one the most EVIL of flat rides from the fair two years prior. Despite my warnings Scott really wanted to ride so I joined him. Normally I don’t mind spinning or flipping but for some reason this ride just pushes me right to my limits. I had to close my eyes and concentrate on not getting sick. The last 30 seconds of the ride, when the arms have lowered and the lateral Gs are the most intense, where the worst. I just won’t ride this one again and I don’t think Scott liked it as much as he hoped he would.
Despite a heavy crowd the lines for almost all of the flats were short. This meant that we had to sit on Evolution for a solid 10 minutes before they had enough riders to operate. Of course we were right in front of the speaker and we got to hear Outkast’s "Caroline" for the gazillionth time. At least they weren’t playing "Hey Ya!" I had enjoyed Evolution on a previous visit but not so much this time. I especially didn’t like being suspended upside down for 30 seconds at the end of the cycle. I must be getting old…something like that would not have bothered me before.
On our way to the car Scott spied a vendor selling Deep Fried Snickers and he wanted to try one. I was still feeling a little uneasy from our Hard Rock and Evolution rides and decided he could enjoy it himself. I don’t think he got what he expected as it looked like the candy bar was covered in Corn Dog batter. After a few bits he threw the rest in the trash. I told him he’d probably like Deep Fried Oreos better ;-)
Traffic was a bit heavy on the way out but once we hit the freeway it was a short 20 min drive back to Scott’s. We collapsed on his couch where we cuddled and watch the repeat of SNL with Janet Jackson as host and musical guest as well as selected skits from an SNL from earlier this year with Megan Mulally as host that Scott had on his DVR. The Oprah Winfrey "Birthday" skit and the "Good Times" skit with Janet were hysterical!
Good times, indeed!
*** Edited 6/29/2004 2:37:31 PM UTC by Mamoosh***
A food coma? I've never heard that term before, but I can sure relate to the feeling! Not a pretty one when mixed with a hangover!
P.S. Should I be expecting that report on The Dells anytime soon? (tap, tap, tap...) ;)
Or maybe Homey G is just a wuss
Ah, you always hurt the ones you love, Moosh. However, Mondial Shakes then, must REALLY love me. :-X
Orange County Fair (RCS is the company that provides the rides) is just around the corner, and they usually have the Hi-Miler there. I'll be there at least once.
Robo - the AP/Dells/SFGAm trip report is still in the works but will be posted soon I promise.
Soggy - Scott and I are planning on hitting the OC Fair...let me know when you're thinking of going.
So how long til Zingo! posts a TR about M:TR then? ;)
-Jim (back home and bummed :()
Nice TR Moosh, thanks for posting...a Crazy Mouse, a Hi-Miler, some insane flats, and a cute boyfriend...what could be better...
Oh, yeah, a cute girlfriend...;)
KMG roXors...and if Hard Rock pushes mOOSH's limits, it must be INSANE!
Gator - unless something has happened between you and Jill that you haven't told me about you HAVE a cute girfriend! But as you know "cute" only gets a person so far. I'm thankful Scott possesses all of the more important attributes I look for. The fact that he's cute is icing on an already very tasty cake ;)
mOOSH [yeah...I'm gushing...so sue me!]
...I would have taken a bite from Zingo's Snicker... The fact that he's cute is icing on an already very tasty cake
Ohhhh all these food references... ;)
mOOSH [yeah...I'm gushing...so sue me!]
TMI... TMI!!! ;)
I wanted to catch a ride on this thing since I haven't had the chance to slide down one since Bell's took their's out about 15-20 years ago. Airtime on the last two bumps was decent. Admittedly, being a "grown up" now took some from the experience. As a kid I remember OOC airtime; the kind that left bruises on one's arse. The only bruises I received that evening were from Evolution (the DUD of the trip, barely beating out Magnum for crappiest flat).
It was a blast to get to try so many new flats that are out there now. Tango was a blast, but no where near the ride you get on Top Scan. I actually had ridden Top Scan when it debuted at IAAPA, and expected Tango to have the same style of free spinning arms. Despite it's controlled movement, Tango is still pretty insane.
As Matthew pointed out, Zipper stole the show for both of us. It has been my favorite flat for as long as I remember. So many of my "old" favorite rides are absent from the midway now, so it was nice to at least still have King Zip. He will ALWAYS rock my world.
As a final note: While wandering around the fair, I couldn't help but wonder where all of these people came from. I felt like I was back in Kansas, or even Oklahoma. It was so NOT typical of Southern California. I freakin' loved it! Don't get me wrong, SoCal is great, but I miss the culture (or lack thereof ;)) that the Midwest provides. San Diego County fair delivered that in spades!
Thanks, Scott, for filling in my gaps ;)
Lucky for me, Wild Adventures still has theirs, and Lake Winnie too....but they're pretty far from SoCal...;)
Scott, you've got a great guy there, take care of him! As for the *virtually limitless* opportunities for my special brand of double entendres....remember that I passed on them....saving up you know....:)
Mamoosh said: Thanks, Scott, for filling in my gaps ;)
Oh there are SO many ways that could be read ;)
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