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L.A. County Fair 2011


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I suffered so you don't have to...

 

September in the L.A. area means school's back in session, a hint of dryness in the air-a prelude to the Santa Ana's and the coming fires, (though not today, it was crazy humid with a touch of rain) and the L.A. County Fair. One of the largest fairs in the country by attendance and actual size. Seriously, me and my friends go back several times just to cover every section, bit of entertainment, and every sinful morsel we want to try. Sadly the economy has not been kind to the fair, a big draw was the sheer number of vendors; several large building, the spaces in between and two other sections were filled. Not anymore. To fill in the space, the fair was compacted, the carnival moved inward to the center and all the vendors they had left put into the building areas. Nonetheless, the fair is still huge and offers a wildly varied array of things to see and do. Food, animals, shopping, educational displays, museums, horse racing, ethnic and commun...

 

BAH!!!, I know you don't care about any of that....Credit info now, then more fair stuff when I can....I am rushing the Credit Info in case anyone in the SoCal area wants to subject themselves to the pain before the fair closes on Oct 2.

 

Ray Cammack Shows has been the midway provider for 26 years. They do provide, I think one of the best midways in the country. They always seem to look to Europe for inspiration, and try to get the most up to date rides that are available and able to be transported on our roads. ( Our roads suck, a big reason why the big rides can't be brought here.) They do try to put more flash on their rides, as well as provide a compact footprint, meaning there aren't the usual big gaps between rides. They are practically on top of each other, a cool effect.

 

Alas, they don't always have the best luck with what coasters they can get. They have had: a Pinfari Looping Star, a Wilde Maus that never ran, a Reverchon Spinning Coaster, that did not spin or coast without being hurty, they might have had a Zyklon, but that might have been the provider before RCS.

 

Anyone who has been to the OC Fair, Del Mar Fair, Arizona State Fair, Houston Livestock Show or LA County fairs know the line up has been a Spinning Mouse called Crazy Coaster, a few kiddie coasters and the Hi Miler, their signature coaster that is similar to the Scandia Screamer, same builder, just smaller.

 

A few years ago, a small theme park in Illinois closed down (red alert, red alert) and RCS bought that little parks' signature attraction for $250, 000. For the past few years RCS has been trying to sell the thing without every having run it, without success. I guess RCS finally decided to try to make back its money, with a touch of paint, and some of the finest brand spanking new jenga blocks around to put the ride on, they have brought the ride to the LA County Fair:

 

I Present to You Dear Reader, if you dare,.....

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New to the fair, but certainly not new to TPR founders Robb and Elissa.

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Unless Illinois was sold to Germany, or rather Italy, then this is nothing but lies.

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Must have borrowed some paint from Knotts...It was tough to get good shots, the ride was elevated off the ground and it was very crowded.

Yes, Typhoon from Santa's Village in Dundee, Illinois has come back to life after 5 years, I believe, of merciful death. I saw a hint of the ride in some of the pre opening pictures from Fairplex. I looked up the ride and it just seemed strange, a smallish, but large for a carnival coaster with an inclined loop made by a manufacturer in Italy, Top Fun, which, even RCDB can't find much info on. Then, of course, I turned to TPR to see if anyone had every heard of or ridden this coaster. Of course, Robb and Elissa had, you can see a face full of joy...

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What could possibly be wrong with a new coaster at the fair...

What choice does an enthusiast have, an unusual credit, just dropped in front of me in an unusual, yet convenient location? I had to try. Opening weekend, Hot, Humid, crowded due to $1 dollar entry, 45 minutes to get in, pay $10, park and get to the front gate. At least we got to drive down the NHRA drag racing strip.

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The wrong way, but still kinda cool

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Awww, the carnival used to be right here, along with go carts, and the ejection seat and a bunch of other stuff.

When I finally got to the coaster, it was not running. As I took some pictures, a worker at a food stand next door said that it hadn't been running at all this weekend, so I expected the worst. "Lucky" for me, Typhoon was set to have its grand opening on Sunday at 5 o'clock, only a couple hours later, a fact I found out only when I went by again. I'm not sure why the delay from opening day Saturday. Of course, 5 p.m., was right in the middle of the 3 hour $1 dollar per ride offer, which meant the whole midway was packed, muffin tops, strollers, and wannabes crowding, jostling and rubbing against you, dodging the gluttonous remains of deep fried goodies flying through the air and laying like minefields all around was a new sport, sheer idiocy capturing the logical mind in tangled weaves. Why?, Oh, Why? was the Filipina lady standing in front of the entrance to a ride, blocking it, telling people to go around her, over and over, why not move 2 feet to the left and then talk on your phone?

 

Sigh, Anyways, I was only planning to ride Typhoon this day, until I found a bunch of money on the ground, then game on. So after a few free but packed rides, I went back to Typhoon on a hunch, and voila!, a huge line of people waiting for the ride to start operating after its grand opening. People were very curious.

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Inclined Loop, certainly unusual.

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Helix of the Uncomfortable Bad Touch

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Who wants to play Jenga?

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Actually looks fairly impressive for a carnival midway.

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Lift Hill.

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One of two trains.

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Close up of car, with OTSR with lots of padding, (hint, hint).

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Chain Lift.

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Shot with the Nauta Bussink R50 Ferris Wheel "La Grande Wheel" in background.

 

So with a bit of a flourish, the ride finally opened with the Typhoon crew getting the first official ride. And then, that's when a large number of people left the line. To be fair, the first run through seemed pretty slow and I think that is why quite a few left. After that first run, Typhoon picked up some speed. Still there were obvious issues. The 3 car trains seemed a bit heavy and jerky through the course. The flexing track did not help the smoothness of the transitions at all. In fact the smallest transition seemed challenging to the riders. And then there was the inclined loop...As might be expected with short trains, the trains entered the loop, slowed down, then once the last car cleared the top, the whole train was hammered forward. I knew the rep, but to see it in actual motion filled me with more dread. It took some time to get on board.

 

The crew took a few cycles before they started to get into a rhythm and get the line moving. Typhoon has a separate station for loading and unloading, but they were only using on train. I suppose when they need to and really get comfortable they might add the second train. I must say, I was very pleased with the crew. They were extremely friendly and helpful to all the riders. If they wanted to make a good impression they did. Plus, they were were the Sunday uniform of shirts and ties, so they looked good. I must say I was amused by the 'ticket' taker lady (they do not use tickets only pay as you go card or wristbands.) As she had time and being on the plus size of things, she went out of here way to have discrete conversations with larger guests about whether or not they might fit into the seats. She clearly spoke from the heart and did not want guests to feel embarrassed if they could not ride. She also had pep talks with female riders about how "the girls" might make riding uncomfortable. She was sweet but also strict about loose personal items and earrings.

 

With the strict rules, clearly RCS knows the issues the ride has. Very high height requirements, no earrings, glasses or hats, they know.

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Ride Entrance.

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Rules and Regs, Height and Age restriction? Normal price, 19 dollar a ticket and the most tickets needed by one ride-16. A wristband can cost 35 or 50 dollars.

 

The ride experience is difficult to enjoy, to put it lightly. I put it slightly higher than Huracan at Belantis, a Gerstlauer Euro Fighter that absolutely wrecked my head and neck and made the rest of that day (Woot, TPR Oktoberfest Trip 2010)unpleasant.

 

The seats are a bit snug and close to your neighbor with OTSR restraints that have a belt to attach the restraint to the car. The restraint has a fair amount of padding, the car could use more behind the head and on the sides. Oddly enough I figure a larger person might have a more comfortable ride as they won't be rocked side to side as much. Up the lift hill isn't so bad, though it does sound like it struggles at the top, I am sure it is fine. The curving drop actually picks up some speed and then your first transition to cross and climb to the loop. It's like a sugar addicted child desperate for a fix, needs to get your attention to buy more candy. It just shouldn't be that rough, but it is. At that point I just wanted to survive.

 

You head over to the section above the loop and slow down before dropping into it. I just don't understand why anyone thought that was a good idea. Did it have to be inclined so the car could make it through? The incline, well, almost any part of this coaster, has the effect of whipping you one way or the other hard. Then, as I noted, the train slows down, just enough so your head wants to move forward, then hammered forward, so your had gets thrown back into the seat. Then you travel around the coaster, every transition making itself known, moving not exactly fast, but with enough speed to get through the course. Such a paradox, no speed but pain. You finally get to the Helix, and normally, I love them, the increase in g's and directions done right pushes you, but in a fun way. Oh, no, not here, again the paradox, not enough speed, but plenty of knocking around, on a curve, How? Dear rider, oh, how you wish it was over, but, alas, Typhoon gives you a "gift", in order to leave the helix, you face the challenge of one last whipping transition before the unload station.

 

The kid next to me said one word the whole ride, "Ouch." I agree. Typhoon does not seem to have been engineered with concept of human comfort in mind. Perhaps in the world of K'nex this would work, not with real, live, fleshy, soft, people. I was sore all over. Since I wear glasses normally, riding rides without them makes me feel off anyway, but add this treatment and...yeah....I had to relax with a nice ride on the KMG Tango they have. If you know the ride, it is a whippy, spinny, high in the air, extreme ride with a floorless seat that "could" be more comfortable. I loved it. Then I topped it off with a frosting shot. mmmmm, good times.

 

I feel bad for RCS, they probably saw an opportunity to provide a unique larger scale coaster to its midway and at least per my ride turned out to just not be comfortable at all. My hope is either they can find a way to fix it up, or earn enough to entice someone to buy it, so they can get something better.

 

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The second train through, the poor souls, they have no idea...

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Long line of people waiting, the ride did have a long line for the rest of the day and night.

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Down the curved drop.

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The first "ouch" moment.

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I noticed how close the barrier was to the track, as short as I am, I could get into a position to touch the track. How long before some idiot decides to lose some fingers because they cannot be responsible?

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Very close.

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Control Panel

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Separate Unloading and Loading Stations, Hopefully they can start using both trains so people don't have to wait so long. Though with separate stations, the new riders can't be warned how to ride.

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Almost time.

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Inclined Loop of Death

 

I wish my camera's battery had held out, RCS has invested in new LED lighting packages making the rides very good looking at night, very European Fun Fair-ish. I may share some more pictures from the fair later. I have to say I really appreciate anyone who does one of these photo trip reports, they do take time to put together, plus, you lose a great deal of free time in trying to get shots that you hope will look ok, especially action shots. They are tough. The light was not my friend, the mix of clouds and sun kept changing conditions as I tried to take shots with my dinky little camera.

 

For now I guess I should leave you with this night shot of Typhoon...

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Typhoon at night.

 

But for the cuteness and feel good factor, I want to leave you with the Piglet Collective...

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It starts small, but resistance is futile...

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We will add your distinctiveness to our own...

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You will all be assimilated. I half expect next time that all the animals in the Big Red Barn, will gather into One Big Sleeping Animal Collective. Too cute

Edited by redmenace8
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I second in sending my condolences to you and anyone else who rode.

 

If it were smooth, it might actually be fun as it has a neat compact layout, but it is just such a poorly designed and rough to the point that there is no fun in riding it.

 

Airtime -You'd think having it be my first looping coaster would have kept me from being an enthusiast-&Gravity

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I was at the Fair on Saturday too. I would NEVER choose to go on opening day or when it is 1 dollar entry but my friend wanted to go for her birthday. It was crazy crowded. I was pleasantly surprised that most people seemed to be behaving.

 

We walked by this several times and 3 times it was stuck at the top of the lift hill. It looked soooooo slow!

 

The Fair is still fun but not nearly as good as it used to be! I am also ruined after going to a German Fair last year on the Europe trip.

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^ Thanks!

 

Found a cheaper deal.

 

McDonald's Wednesdays:

http://www.lacountyfair.com/2011/planyourvisit/promotions.asp

 

For $20 you get admission ($17) and unlimited rides($50)!

 

 

 

Looks like I'm going to get a new credit and my head bashed in next Wednesday. I just hope I can make it to the ride and not get stabbed by some teenage thugs.

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I saw pictures of that on Caesar's (fatdaddy) facebook and thought it looked interested. I went on the spinning mouse at the Del Mar Fair and thought it was rather fun. After hearing your report, and affirmations by Robb & Elissa, it looks like I don't need to worry about riding it.

 

On another note, this might be the highlight of your TR, at least in terms of humor:

 

Of course, 5 p.m., was right in the middle of the 3 hour $1 dollar per ride offer, which meant the whole midway was packed, muffin tops, strollers, and wannabes crowding, jostling and rubbing against you, dodging the gluttonous remains of deep fried goodies flying through the air and laying like minefields all around was a new sport, sheer idiocy capturing the logical mind in tangled weaves.

 

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So RCS is finally using this coaster now? Nice. Unfortunately, the L.A. Fair is 45 minutes to an hour from me, so I don't think I'll get there to ride it. Hopefully this ride shows up at the 2012 OC Fair, since that is run by RCS as well and I go there every year. I know the ride is horrible, but it just looks so messed up it might be slightly interesting. I really want to ride this thing, just once, and after that it can go to the scrap yard for all I care.

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I think this ride is perfect for the LA Fair. Most of the people attending don't have a brain or soul so when this ride destroys them it won't be that big of a deal!

 

 

Probably why I thought a frosting shot was a good idea afterwards. But yeah, if you could send most of them away to the ER, the day might go better, but then who would buy little bronze roosters, lead filled toys for the little ones and deep fried chocolate covered pickles. The place would go broke I tell ya!

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I am so, so, sooooo sorry you had to suffer through that ride.

 

There are some dead credits that need to stay dead. This is one of them.

 

Agreed, though, it is almost Halloween, time for zombies like this that want to eat your brains and bodies.

 

And thank you guys for the condolences, I pass them on as well to any who challenge themselves to this ride, you will earn them, as I did.

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I saw pictures of that on Caesar's (fatdaddy) facebook and thought it looked interested. I went on the spinning mouse at the Del Mar Fair and thought it was rather fun. After hearing your report, and affirmations by Robb & Elissa, it looks like I don't need to worry about riding it.

 

On another note, this might be the highlight of your TR, at least in terms of humor:

 

Of course, 5 p.m., was right in the middle of the 3 hour $1 dollar per ride offer, which meant the whole midway was packed, muffin tops, strollers, and wannabes crowding, jostling and rubbing against you, dodging the gluttonous remains of deep fried goodies flying through the air and laying like minefields all around was a new sport, sheer idiocy capturing the logical mind in tangled weaves.

 

 

Thanks for that, I try and the fair just hands it to you on a golden platter.

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I just realized that this ride once made an appearance at the DelMar Fair...somewhere between 1999 and 2001...

 

I wasn't very old at the time, maybe 5-6 but I remember that ride looking absolutely insane....

 

And had no line...

 

 

That would be quite difficult considering the coaster was in Illinois from 1996 - 2006.

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^^Gregg, they are all worth it, or else we would all stop riding boomerangs, and Elissa would stop riding spinning coasters! You could alwas put him on the spacehip kiddie coaster, or the snake, both are wheel lifts, not powered. I assume he has the Crazy Coaster.

 

See, we should have gone to Scandia with you guys that day.

 

Maybe we'll try and head out there this weekend to get on those. I'd really like him to hit 100 at DSB.

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They should buy an old Schwarzkopf Looping-Star or Double-Loop - those shouldn't be too expensive anymore. They're still reliable, quite smooth and a considerable improvement.....

 

If they could manage to find and operate a Katapult I'll be over in no time....

 

Unfortunately U.S. fairs rarely take risks on coasters like that because of the sheer amount of trailers and labor it takes to transport and build them. Probably one of the reasons this awful ride sat unused until now. I believe it was also set up at the fair long before the other rides, meaning it probably won't see many other dates on RCS' tour.

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