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Photo TR: The Florida Strawberry Festival

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Today, my mom requested to visit the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City for her birthday. My parents used to visit before I was born, but hadn't been in many years, so with a beautiful day offering lots of sunshine and some nice breezes, we drove over to the surprisingly busy festival.


I did a little bit of research about the event the night before, finding very little information about the event's Midway, which was the area I was most interested in. Despite a good amount of time on the official site, no mention of any real attractions beyond those in the newly expanded Kiddie Corral were found. With this in mind, I was amazed to see just how many rides really were in the Midway. Four credits including a Pinfari, a wacky worm, a miner mike and a Crazy Mouse spinning coaster (a clone of Primeval Whirl at Animal Kingdom) along with a huge number of flat rides, some of which I had never seen or rode before, made my experience one not easily forgotten.


I only rode one of the four coasters (the Pinfari) because each took at least four tickets to ride, if not five, which was the equivalent of four to five dollars per ride. I may count my credits, but I've never been too worried about the kiddie credits if it meant going out of my way to get them.



After my Avalanche experience, I went over the bizarre looking "Experience" flat ride, which seems to be a combination of the Zamperla Power Surge and the Mondial Top Scan (both of which were also represented at the fair). The ride itself was incredibly intense yet really fun... Needless to say, I'd love to see one as a permanent installation here in Florida, though I think thats less than likely to happen.



I'll let my photos tell the rest of my visit's story. Enjoy!


Welcome to all that is America!


It seems we are approaching the Midway...


Ten dollars worth of tickets should get me on one coaster plus two flats.


I lubs me some tickets!


Mini-Music Express is cool... The big one is down the row.


This drop tower was huge, yet no one was interested in riding it.


I'm sure you can guess where I'm heading with this one, right?


I think he's got a future in this business... Just not riding the bull.


A Disk-O and an Orbiter are always good rides to have in your Midway. Take note. Think about it.


I see a Top Scan!!!


They had one of these, but why are so many people staring?


Lets just say these riders sat in this position for a good 20 minutes... I didn't want to be the next one to share the same punishment, so I skipped the credit.


Its an old style UFO...


This was my first Meteorite as well.


Since I had done both of these kinds of rides before, I figured I could pass on the long lines that accompanied them... Though I wish I could have seen if this Gravitron had a Dance King like the one at Rye Playland.


I smell a credit... I'm just not that sad.


The "Experience" featured above in the video was a great ride and and even greater eXperience.


I had never seen one of these before, but unfortunately, it wasn't operating.


Here's my coaster!


Apparently, I don't need functional arms or legs to enjoy this coaster...


One for the index...


The other reason why I'm here--food!


I waited in line to finally face my fear of the Zipper, only to find out that since I didn't have a riding partner, I couldn't ride. Bummer or godsend? You decide.


This looks like an E-Ticket, right?


Avalanche doesn't look too bad for a portable coaster...


Another interesting flat...


Welcome to the Zone of Fun.


That's all I've got for this one.






I don't like Pop Tarts, but even this looks incredible!


Maybe its just me but I don't get it.


Another look at the "Experience!"


Hiya Deep South pals!


What's more sad here?


1. This is the first Strawberry-relevant thing I've seen in the Midway.

2. I immediately thought of the "TPR visits the Ghetto Fair" segments when I saw this.


We bought some... For the elephants.


Actually, we did buy some for our grill.


We bought some of those too!


Plant City... Fading back into the darkness of Florida until next March. That's all folks!

Edited by jedimaster1227
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I wish we had a delicious fruit festival around here. We have tomato fest. Gross. Some of those flats look amazing. And I noticed you have the same little "75 cent iced tea" stand that dominates our state fair, probably the best thing there. Looks like you had a great time, thanks for sharing!


Oh, and I've been wanting to ride a double ferris wheel forever. They look so interesting.

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The Avalanche Coaster used to run at Geauga Lake as "The Cyclone" and at Holiday World as "The Firecracker"


That was a pretty awesome midway, I hope we see some of those rides back up at the Ohio State Fair as Belle City is one of our suppliers.

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Both the Experience and Nemesis 360 are KMG rides.


Nemesis 360 is actually the only one of its kind in the U.S. It's a KMG "Inversion." They took the base of a "Freak Out" (the smaller afterburner), the seats of the experience, and made it go all the way around. Seems like an awesome combination!

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I immediately thought of the "TPR visits the Ghetto Fair" segments when I saw this.


The same strawberry model was at our local (and very small) fair last summer; my friends didn't know why I couldn't stop laughing for a full minute when I first saw it.


Dan "Visual representation: AAAAAaaaa-----aaaaaAAAAAaaaa----aaaaaAAAA" Smith

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I know it sounds crazy, but we had deep fried butter at the State Fair of Texas, and it was really good! I know, probably not the most health conscious menu choice...it probably falls to the bottom of the list of healthy items, right behind chicken fried bacon (which is also delicious, btw).

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Great TR! I also tried the Fried Butter at the State Fair of Texas. It was pretty good, more like a deep fried biscuit in ball form. They take a small ball of frozen butter, drop it in batter and fry it. Then when you bite into it the butter is melted. Just like a hot buttered biscuit fresh out of the oven.


As for the Zipper...I have too wondered what the reason is behind no single riders, I have been turned away too. Anyone know the reason??

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^ I've never understood the Zipper rule either, but it must be for specific safety reasons. I always thought it strange because you don't have any side to side movement like the SkyDiver. Now THAT I can see why you would need two riders - you get slammed from side to side even when you have two people crammed into that small cage!


Great report! I had just received an E-mail from a retired co-worker that was going there to perform in her clogging group. She also performed in the Florida State Fair a few weeks ago. You didn't happen to catch any of that did you? It's actually kinda fun...mostly nice, little senior ladies dancing around having the time of their lives. They really get into it!


On another note, doesn't the deep fried bacon and butter sound like something you would see on the Simpsons - like it doesn't even seem like it should be real? I know chicken wings are bad for me, but that just sounds so, so, so crazily & insanely unhealthy!

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Is the butter deep fried in butter? Do they offer a lower-cholesterol version fried in margarine? Charcoal-grilled butter would be a challenge.


Is it just me, or does this seat resemble a floppy-eared dog?


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The Zipper has no Individual lap bar/seat mold and it's aggressive enough where some folks have slid around a bit on it. So Chance made it a requirement to have 2 riders on All Zippers.


So if you want to ride a Zipper, make sure you have a buddy.... or watch for someone single in line.


Chance allows no single riders on the Wipeout, either.

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^^^Now that you say that...I see it.


Funny thing that I noticed is that in the two VERY quick views of the ride operators- they didn't look like carnies, AND they were wearing uniforms! The ones in the 2nd video looked as though they could be Six Flags ride ops- which granted isn't saying much

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