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Carnivals: Scarier than any theme park


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I'm kinda new but I would like to ask what people think of carnivals, namely a list of pros and cons people can add to. I bring this up because of my repulsion/fascination with them and the whole experience. They used to be (and in some cases still are) the primary forms of entertainment using rides, games, attractions, music, and food to draw people in. But as a recent trip to any county fair or city "celebration" carnival will tell you, nostalgia has a pretty thin veneer when confronted with the unpleasant reality of today's ramshackle gypsy-snaggletooth parade of horrors (no offense to real gypsies).

 

Here is my attempt at starting such a list of likes and dislikes of the modern carnival/fair:

 

PROS: Experiencing actual death-defying thrills while riding a piece of equipment dating back to the Korean War.

 

Hey, Loverboy is playing!!

 

They have ninja swords for sale. From Japan!!!

 

Genuine feeling of mortality, cheap food, pay-as-you-go, fun carny-watching!

 

General Atmosphere (it's more of a party feeling!) all the crazy random stalls and rides that you don't get at your average theme parks.

 

General amazement at carnival efficiency.

 

Deep-fried Twinkies.

 

CONS: How can the smell of piss linger with you for so long?

 

Hey, Loverboy is playing?!

 

Carnies, cost, vomit

 

They have Confederate flags for sale, too.

 

Loud, scary, and the ones in the U.S. don't get crazy traveling Schwarzkopfs.

 

No Rollercoasters (generally - although the big ones have them occasionally), less variety of rides (some places will have two ferris wheels or multiple carousels) and obviously they are never as big as a theme park and don't have any theming - you can't really spend a day at a carnival/travelling fair just enjoying your surroundings and riding rides all day long!

 

Capacity of the rides, since they are not designed for throughput.

 

Hot Dr. Pepper (never had it, never will!!)

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PROS: Experiencing actual death-defying thrills while riding a piece of equipment dating back to the Korean War.

 

Hey, Loverboy is playing!!

 

 

CONS: How can the smell of piss linger with you for so long?

 

Hey, Loverboy is playing?![/i]

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When I was a little kid I rode all the carnival rides, once I turned about 12 though I started getting motion sick pretty easily

 

I have somewhat grown out of it, but not entirely, so I never ride anything that spins.

 

Pros: Umm, can't think of any.

 

Cons: Carnies, cost, vomit

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Yes!! Carnies are quite dubious! And vomit is definitely ubiquitous, especially outside the Zipper.

 

PROS: Experiencing actual death-defying thrills while riding a piece of equipment dating back to the Korean War.

 

Hey, Loverboy is playing!!

 

 

CONS: How can the smell of piss linger with you for so long?

 

Hey, Loverboy is playing?!

 

Carnies, cost, vomit

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PROS: Experiencing actual death-defying thrills while riding a piece of equipment dating back to the Korean War.

 

Hey, Loverboy is playing!!

 

They have ninja swords for sale. From Japan!!!

 

 

CONS: How can the smell of piss linger with you for so long?

 

Hey, Loverboy is playing?!

 

Carnies, cost, vomit

 

They have Confederate flags for sale, too.

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I don't see the carnival as being horrible at all. It's just people's perceptions are very biased towards them being horrible. We all hate when people say on the news or elsehow that amusement parks kill people, and they should get rid of them. It's the same way with carnivals. It's still the kids that cause the most problems at both venues.

 

These are the kids that feel overwhelmed by the ride, and jump out. If kids fall out more of carnival rides than amusement park rides (which I haven't heard of that), it's because of the parents. The parents accompany them on the Witches Wheel at the amusement park, and not on the Spider at the carnival. It's too much money for the parent to get a wristband at the carnival where they are forced to pay at the amusement park!!

 

I heard of a Rainbow (maybe it was at Elitch Gardens) that a person jumped out of the ride. They had problems, but that's what people are doing to themselves. They can't handle it, and they squeeze, bend, and get out of that restraint. I bring this up a lot, but I have seen a person stick their upper body out of a roller coaster train. This person could have gotten out of that roller coaster if they wanted to.

 

I think the difference again with carnivals or amusement parks is that the particular kid is going to go on that ride with dad or mom instead of another kid, or with a friend that's the kid's age.

 

I hear that people were standing on the Condor ride, and Demon. They just got lucky, and didn't fall out.

 

Than, there are just the rides breaking. We have the Chaos at Michigan Adventure that toppled. That's called bad maintenance. At a carnival, we have the Spider that fell apart. At Kentucky Kingdom, we have Superman. Than, we have the Spin Out at a carnival having an arm come off it because it cracked off. At Disneyland, we have a train derailing on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. At that South Africa amusement park, we have that ride falling apart. One of the arms unbuckled.

 

At California Adventure, we have the California Screamin' crashing into another train. At some carnival, we have the Himilaya and one person's restraints opening during the cycle, and they got ejected. At Great America, we have Demon crashing, and Demon stuck in the loop. Things are going to happen. On a waterslide (Family Raft Slide), I saw the raft lift upside down at least twice. I think the people were okay.

 

They are mechanical rides whether carnival, or amusement park rides.

 

Pro's: They have thrilling rides. A lot of the rides have nice lighting on them. They are affordable. Some of them are close to my house. They are safe being inspected by safety inspectors every week (Didn't realize that one, did you?) I love to see them setup, and how they set them up.

 

The music with rides can quite fun compared to an amusement park where they don't want to put music on rides. They have just speaker music around the park instead.

 

Con's: I'm only against some carnival workers who don't want to work the carnival rides because they "are on break", or you have ridden the carnival ride too much, and thus I get mad at them. They told me that I went on the ride too much, and thus go away. Heck, I saw an advertisement for a carnival company, and they said they need new workers for a particular ride. Serves that person right!! Jerk.

 

Always email the company, and tell the boss! They want the money for that ride, and when workers are being jerks, and don't want to run the ride, they can get someone else instead. It's a no-brainer why that wonderful ride was a low-grosser.

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Thanks for the reply. I didn't mean to entirely dismiss carnivals as a deathtrap or that they were unsupervised, just a different sort of place from the more marketed, family-friendly theme parks that are more popular these days. And yes, I know the rides are inspected at a high interval during operation but so are theme park rides. The thing is that they recycle rides continuously, plus, one county's inspector may be more observant than another!

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What do you mean by "recycle"? Do you mean that the Zipper is still around even though it's from the 60's. The Zipper I know around me, they said it's from the 80's. Thus, you must mean they are selling their used rides, and someone picks them up.

 

They do refurbish those rides however. I think the Zipper has been around for so long because I think it's a thrilling ride, but that's not the only reason. I think it would be very easy to replace parts over the years for that ride. It has tire motors, and a chain. The cars are just cars in which the person closes them. It also uses a cable, and it should easy to buy a cable. The lights are just wiring problems if they ever go out. I'm sure it's not hard to be new lights if they need them.

 

They know that if a ride looks really old, that no one is going to ride them so they have to get a new paint job for that ride, or new sign. If the Gravitron has bad seats in the ride, they can't run that ride until they get fixed.

 

A Gravitron is an older ride, and they still have some of them at carnivals. Wisdom is still making them in a newer form called Starship 3000. I imagine that a carnival company could buy a seat from the Starship because it's the same ride, and put it on the Gravitron. You would just paint it to match the other ones. So, they aren't just neglecting that the ride has broken seats.

 

At a carnival, they had a Gee Whiz, and it was running slow. A person that I trust said that they are refurbing that ride. They understand it's not working the potential it should be, and they are refurbing it over the winter (It's now spring.). Overtime, to me it seems that Wisdom's ride just lose energy. A Himilaya got slow, and they bought a new one, and now you have this ride going slow.

 

A ride like the Watkins Swinger is really old. Look at what it uses to make it go. It's just a simple motor. It's not that genius. The seats are just plastic with chains on them. Look at the Round Up. It's what, one tire that makes it spin? It needs to lift up which is probably hydraulics. I would imagine that hydraulics aren't hard to come by. An older ferris wheel is just a cable around the entire ride. It's very easy to replace a cable. The newer ferris wheels that are bigger have tire motors.

 

The newer rides should be more troublesome to get parts when they don't make them anymore because they aren't just a motor, or a hydraulic. Look at the Power Surge, Dartron Cliffhanger, Zamperla Kite Flyer, KMG Fireball, KMG Freak Out, Tivoli Spin Out, Larson Hi Roller, and Shocker.

 

If a harness is broke, and you need a new one, what are you going to do if the company doesn't support it anymore? How can you replace seats on those rides without going to the manufacturer? It's much harder to break a metal cage on a Zipper, metal on a Round-Up, or a plastic seat.

 

Why don't they keep roller coasters longer (in years) than they should be? They aren't popular enough, and they don't want to invest the money into them. It costs a lot of money for a new train for an old ride. They don't feel it's worth it, so they tear it down, and put up a new ride that people will flock to.

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I stand by my assertion that Zippers and Rock-o-Planes are the scariest rides in existence.

 

That includes your high-tech, ultra-millennial LIM scream machines.

 

Pros of a carnival: genuine feeling of mortality, cheap food, pay-as-you-go, fun carny-watching!

 

Cons: Loud, scary, and the ones in the U.S. don't get crazy traveling Schwarzkopfs.

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PROS: Experiencing actual death-defying thrills while riding a piece of equipment dating back to the Korean War.

 

Hey, Loverboy is playing!!

 

They have ninja swords for sale. From Japan!!!

 

Genuine feeling of mortality, cheap food, pay-as-you-go, fun carny-watching!

 

CONS: How can the smell of piss linger with you for so long?

 

Hey, Loverboy is playing?!

 

Carnies, cost, vomit

 

They have Confederate flags for sale, too.

 

Loud, scary, and the ones in the U.S. don't get crazy traveling Schwarzkopfs.

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I LOVE carnivals! It's what got me turned on to theme parks and roller coasters in the first place, and I still love going back to them.

 

(Is it just me or do rides seem WAY more intense at the carnival?)

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Carnivals rock! You have to go to them just because they are there and it is never the same experience twice. Plus you can get some really great food at carnivals like funnel cakes because even if you make funnel cake at home it doesn't taste as good, it just tastes better when you buy it at the carnival. I love the carnies, the gypsies, and all the weird people that go with the carnival atmosphere. And I love going on the old rickety rides that they bring with them because we all know that the rides have been around since the beginning of time. I love carnivals!

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Pros: General Atmosphere (it's more of a party feeling!) all the crazy random stalls and rides that you don't get at your average theme parks.

 

Cons: No Rollercoasters (generally - although the big ones have them occasionally), less variety of rides (some places will have two ferris wheels or multiple carousels) and obviously they are never as big as a theme park and don't have any theming - you can't really spend a day at a carnival/travelling fair just enjoying your surroundings and riding rides all day long!

 

 

Just a thought but would you be better editting the first post everytime someone adds something rather than making a new post with the updated list?

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The major county fairs out here in Southern California (LA, OC, SD, and even Ventura) are all very nice. I enjoyed my visits to those fairs more than visits to KBF or the "old" SFMM. Fun rides (Tango rules!) and every unhealthy yet amazing type of food you can think of. Plus Weird Al usually plays the fairs out here!

 

I'm fascinated with the operations of carnivals...it amazes me they get those rides up and running and then torn back down in the time span they do.

 

The only downside I can think of is the capacity of the rides, since they are not designed for throughput.

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Thanks to Matty D's suggestion, pros and cons will be added to the list on my first post as the need arises!

 

To me carnivals are the hybrid version of travelling circuses and flat-out bacchanalia, with less emphasis on the bacchanalia part. Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought that carnivals also came out of the actual Carnival festival from Europe, where feasting, orgies, and drunken revelry were done in order to break the gloomy spell of winter and to celebrate the anticipation of spring. At least two of those elements remain, I suppose!!

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A personal belief of mine is that the Zipper is the incarnation of Satan on earth. I would rather run with the bulls or skate naked down a hill rather than sit in a Zipper again. They should rename it Vomit Cage or Last Rites, something more appropriate.

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I LOVE carnivals! It's what got me turned on to theme parks and roller coasters in the first place, and I still love going back to them.

 

(Is it just me or do rides seem WAY more intense at the carnival?)

 

Absolutely. When I think that a 25 + old flat is the most intense ride at an amusement park, than I absolutely believe that carnivals do have more intense rides. Go on one of those amusement park tower rides, and than try an ARM Super Shot ride, and see how it feels. It's 140 ft compared to 215 tower. It's a huge difference to me.

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A personal belief of mine is that the Zipper is the incarnation of Satan on earth. I would rather run with the bulls or skate naked down a hill rather than sit in a Zipper again. They should rename it Vomit Cage or Last Rites, something more appropriate.
I personally enjoy the Zipper. It feels like you're going to die (and in a slow, painful manner), but in a sort of adrenaline-inducing way that turns out to be entertaining. I wouldn't call it the "incarnation of Satan on Earth" as much as I'd call it haphazard engineering (but in a good way).

 

Also, for some reason, I actually find the riding cages to be comfortable. I'd rather be thrown around mercilessly while I'm in a snug cage with leather seating and some nice bars to hold onto than while I'm being held in with certain restraints found on certain other carnival rides. It might have to do with the fact that the one I've ridden was in excellent condition, but I'm not sure.

 

Also, carnival rides don't make me nauseated at all. I'm not sure why.

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^Ah, I remember riding the Zipper for the first time at Luna Park Sydney, I was barely tall enough (though I cheated a little) to reach the clown's arm that marked the height restriction and it was several minutes of hell. It was like being in a front loading washing machine with my hands tied behind my back - I got pounded. I went on one for the first time since then last year, still pretty intense.

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