April 11, 2004


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    The University of Arizona puts on an annual carnival called Spring Fling.  It's touted as the "largest student run carnival in the nation."  I paid a visit in 2002 and decided to give it another go.

    My roommate, Tim, and friend Meghan were going to share the fun with me.  Tim and I got in his vehicle and we headed down the road.  We went on Easter Sunday which had free admission.  We entered the fairgrounds and scoped out some of the rides.  To our immediate left was a KMG Experience.  We bought a wristband that let us get 10 rides for $10, and we waited for our friend Drew to show up.  He showed up and we decided to hit Experience first.  Meghan would be my riding partner for the whole day.  Zippin' Pippin spent the day in my pocket riding with me, as he has done since the summer of 2002.  Meghan decided to model him since he's got a fairly decent coaster and ride count now.

    I didn't used to be a big fan of spinning rides.  I was only about the coasters, but recently I've noticed these wacky rides and had to ride some.  This would be my first time on an Experience, Zipper, Booster and Inverter.  I overdid it on rides.  More on that later.

    We got in line for Experience and hopped on in a few minutes.  They made me take my camera off my belt because the restraint wasn't secure.  After a lot of switching seats and switching arms, we finally got to ride.  Tim was too big to ride so he sat out.

    This is one tripped-out crazy ride!  It starts off like a Scrambler and ends up completely insane!  I had no idea which way was up, what direction I was turning in or what was going on toward the end of this ride!  I tried to make out who the characters were on the back panels, but I was too disoriented.  What a ride!  9/10!

    We walked around and scoped out some of the other rides for a while before deciding to head to the Fabbri Mega Drop.  I rode this in 2002, and it's really fun.  It's only 90 feet tall, but it still packs a thrill.  Drop rides are great.  There's a flag on top of this ride, and it's really beat up.  Someone should fix it.  This ride rocks a lot.  They hold you at the top for darn near two minutes.  I could see some buildings at the university which was at least 10 miles away.  On the other side was a nice view of the mountains ... Oh nooooo!  We dropped!  It's a quick drop with nice G forces at the bottom.  There's a slight click just before you drop so you know it's coming.  It takes nothing way, though.  This ride rocks.  9/10.

    We went over to the Tilt-a-Whirl.  Meghan and I tried to sit on one side of it so we'd get some good spins.  A lot of our spins were really good, and the stupid faces we made to Tim and Drew were fun.  I like Tilt-a-Whirls.  It made me pretty dizzy though.  7/10.

    We decided to take a little break from thrill rides since Mega Drop scares the crap out of Meghan.  We went to Creep Show which is like a ghost train in Roller Coaster Tycoon.  We boarded these little vehicles and it took us up a twisting lift hill.  We peaked out and went through the course.  There were dragons above us and owls next to us.  Directly ahead of us was a painting of a topless woman.  That was weird.  The ride consists of slow movements, some lights on animatronics in cages, a gust of air blown on riders and some stupid black rubber things hanging from the ceiling.  Sometimes you couldn't see those so they struck you in the face.  This ride was a laugh.  4/10.

    After that we went to the Chance Inverter.  This ride was really cool, but it I think it was the ride that started messing up my inner ear.  I took Dramamine before leaving, but it probably doesn't have an affect if you don't stop riding.  Or maybe it was expired.  Either way, I was a little sweaty and nauseous after this ride.  It was fun though.  They stopped us upside-down at the top for a few seconds.  The ground looked really far below us. 8/10

   We took a break and met up with two more friends, Jake and his girlfriend Vanessa.  We rode Mega Drop again.  Then we went to Zipper and there was a little line.  These things are always popular, and now I see why.  Tim and Drew loaded first.  Jake and Vanessa were next.  Then Meghan and I boarded.  This ride was really, really fun!  I was feeling a little nauseous, but I kept riding different rides.  This ride had tons of spins.  I love all the different movements (660 K .avi video) it makes.  If I wasn't feeling sickly already, I'd probably hop on for another ride.  But I couldn't.  Ick.  8/10.

    After Zipper we headed to the ride I was really anticipating: Booster.  I should have waited for my stomach to settle.  The ride was fun and it's pretty tall, but I just felt bad after this one.  Booster wasn't nearly as good as Skyscraper at Dorney Park.  We flipped around once on each trip around, and the flips were slow.   I felt pretty awful too.  We stopped at the top and I tried to regain my composure, but I felt terrible.  My stomach was in knots and I was really sweaty.  I hadn't felt this bad in years.  We waited at the top for a few minutes, which was nice.  We got a good view of Tucson and pointed out a few university buildings.  We flipped backward a few times and then the ride was over.  By this time my stomach churned and tried to make me throw up twice, but I held it.  I wasn't about to puke next to Meghan and on my clothes.  We got off and I lay down in the grass.  Drew and Tim Vines bought lemonades, and I relaxed.  6/10.

    I felt better after about five minutes and bought a lemonade.  The lemonade cost $4 and wasn't very good.  They didn't mix the sugar in very well, and there was too much ice.  My first sip was sugar.  Ugh.  I shook it up for a while and it was a little better.  We walked toward Experience when we noticed Wilbur Wildcat.  I got my picture taken with him.

    Jake and Vanessa hopped in line for Experience, and the rest of us decided to sit down near the food stands.  While they rode, we bought some fry bread and sat there drinking.  It had been trying to rain all day, and it decided to get us a little wet right now.  Jake and Vanessa came back and Vanessa wasn't feeling too hot after Experience.  As we sat there we looked toward the stage, and there were two kids pushing each other off bales of hay.  They were probably brother and sister.  The boy got a really good push and sent the girl flying.

    We sat there eating and chatting.  The wind picked up and knocked over one of our lemonades so some of the water poured on the table.  It started coming toward me so I got the bright idea to taste it as it dripped off the table.  Bad idea!  It tasted terrible!  The mixture of sugar, lemonade and nasty table was not a good idea!  Meghan snapped a picture of me after I tasted it.  I rule.

    We wanted to try some tame rides so on our way around the fair, so we hopped on the bumper cars.  Bumper cars are always fun!  I got a couple good head-on hits with Meghan, Tim and Drew.  Good times on the bumper cars.  10/10.

    Then we went on one of the fun houses: Cuckoo Haus.  We walked around, bumped into strange tiles that spun, vibrating floors, funny stairs and all the good stuff you find in a fun house.  I took my camera out and got some pictures of our antics.  We stepped on one big, rotating platform and spun around for a long time.  That was great.  Toward the end of the fun house there were signs telling us "verboten!" and "ausgang!"  I don't know German, so I just walked by them.  Little did I know they were warning me of a big spinning tunnel finale!  Meghan had a fun time exiting that part.

    Everyone wanted to ride Starship 2000.  I sat out and Meghan joined me.  The sign telling you safety regulations and ticket price had a scary picture of a kid on it.  I noticed that the ride host would sit down right next to the spinning ride and read a book.  His head seemed awfully close to the ride!

    Next up was the Ferris wheel.  This would be my last ride with the wristband.  I have no idea why, but there was a clothes hanger at the base of the Ferris wheel.  Jake and Vanessa boarded a few cars ahead of us.  We got on and slowly started.  I got my camera out because there was a girl in front of me standing up and leaning out to throw someone her wristband.  Can anyone say dangerous?  The ride host didn't catch it because he was busy loading other people.  She was really out of her seat!  Since my camera was out, I snapped a picture the ground below us.

    After that we walked around the area for a while.  I saw a bench and had to take a spin on Bench: The RideJake, Vanessa and Drew decided to try their luck at getting a Ping-Pong ball in a bowl to win a goldfish.  They didn't win.  Drew didn't even hit a bowl, because the wind blew his ball away.

    Jake and Vanessa hopped on Creep Show as the rest of us sat back and watched.  They finished up their wristband rides with a walk through the Mardi Gras fun house.

    The day was over now.  I was feeling much better, except I had a slight headache.  We walked into the parking lot and tried to find where we all parked.  After finding our vehicles, we split up.  I had a good time at Spring Fling despite feeling pretty sick after some of the rides.  Next time I'll buy some new Dramamine, bring some pain killers and space out the rides.  Spring Fling is a great place to take a date and a great place to hang out.  I had a blast!  8/10.

 

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