25 years. That’s how long the State Fair Meadowlands has been around for now. Personally I started going to the ‘Meadowlands Fair’ around 1995 and have seen some of the wildest rides at it over the years such as Magnum, Evolution, Extasy, Top Spin, Tango, and many, many others. Unfortunately, since about 2004, the fair has steadily gone downhill in terms of ride selection and midway setup. This trend seemed to reach a nadir at last year’s fair which, honestly, wasn’t that great. However I’m glad to report that the 2011 edition of the State Fair Meadowlands has gotten their act together! The fair had:

  • Space Roller (KMG Top Scan)

    Space Roller

  • Crazy Mouse
  • Avalanche (Pinfari ‘Zyklon’ coaster)
  • Vertigo
  • Rock n’ Roll
  • Fireball (KMG)
  • Ring of Fire
  • Zipper
  • Orbiter
  • Banzai
  • Giant Wheel
  • Sky Ride
  • Wave Swinger

    Deep fried pickles...that's just disgusting!

  • Scooter
  • Cliff Hanger
  • Gravitron
  • Pharaoh’s Fury
  • Tornado (Wisdom)
  • Bumper Boats (upcharge)
  • A couple of dark rides
  • Several fun houses
  • An incredible amount of kiddie rides
  • Petting zoo
  • A bunch of shows
  • A myriad of greasy treats

A majority of the rides were provided by Amusements of America along with other independent operators bringing in rides. The fair was setup in three sections basically: the entrance and food area in the front, ride midway in the back, and a kiddie ride world jutting off to the side. The main midway, like last year, was set up in an oval configuration however it seemed better executed with less open space in the middle along with a more compact layout.

One of the new additions this year was an ARM manufactured Vertigo (yes I confused it with SkyFlyer originally.) This was definitely a great addition to the fair giving a 360 degree view of the fairground; it also spun at a pretty brisk speed so it’s not just good for the view, it’s pretty thrilling as well! Not sure if Amusements of America owns this piece as it’s not listed on their site.

A few rides returned to the fair after a year or more hiatus, namely Zipper, Wave Swinger and the Sky Ride. Zipper seemed like it had been updated with LED lights, something I’ve never seen on a Zipper until now. It looked really good with a white frame and multicolored cars and lights. Wave Swinger was looking all right but moved quite a bit slower than most other Wave Swinger rides. Sky Ride was, well, a sky ride. It’s nice to see it back though as it provides a great areal view of the fairgrounds as well as a mode of transportation from the back of the midway to the vendor areas.

Space Roller, a ride that is in fact indie operated, once again made an appearance with an updated backflash featuring Avatar among other things. The ride itself was maybe a minute and a half to two minutes long with half of the cycle going forwards while the other half was completed backwards; I think it was also run manually as some cycles differed slightly.

Crazy Mouse, a Reverchon spinning wild mouse, had a short line each time we (we as in two of my cousins and I) rode. The first time was just after the fair opened and featured cars that didn’t spin and an angry Latino ride op who moaned about certain riders not following the rules. I have to say, I never realized how much a Crazy Mouse hurts after being subjected to the spinningย  half of the ride sans the spinning. Luckily the second ride we took later on saw the cars spinning as intended.

We went on both dark rides, one called ‘Tomb of Doom, the other name I’m having trouble remembering. They actually weren’t all that bad for a traveling dark ride; at least I have to give them credit for having all of the sensor activated props working. They both had some pretty good artwork on their facades as well. Although one had copious amounts of faux cobwebs that dangled in front of the car which scared the hell out of me, not due to their intended effect but because of all the nasty sweat, hair grease and face oil they must have come in contact with previously. Yech!

Along with rides mentioned we also went on Rock N Roll, Avalanche, bumper cars (twice) and Orbiter. We also stopped to watch a couple of shows as well as grabbing some overpriced fair food; I think I paid 12 bucks for three chicken tenders, fries and a soda…better than passing out from hunger I guess…maybe. We left at around 11:45pm, 15 minutes before the fair closed up shop for the night. All in all this was one of the better State Fair Meadowlands in recent memory.

6 Comments

  • In total honesty,..I must say that this year’s fair…TOTALLY ROCKED! BETTER THAN ALL THOSE DEPRESSING PAST YEARS OF THE FAIR. AND TO BELIEVE HOW -25 YEARS and Counting-, the fair rolls on, EVERY YEAR (right around my birthday) I’ve Been That Excited Like This In My Whole Life!

    GOOD GOSH I went there on the 4th of July for the Fireworks (it lasted kind of short but had and interesting finale), I rode on EVERY SINGLE THRILL RIDE there
    -ZIPPER (only 3 times before it “broke down” around midnight”
    -RING OF FIRE
    -Bonzai
    -Crazy Mouse
    -Fire Ball (though the claw didn’t spun while swinging)
    -and the ride that I’ve feared the MOST since the 1st time it was debuted at the fair…..-SPACE ROLLER-. i finally rode that Beast, TWICE..RIGHT BEFORE CLOSING! IT WAS…INN-FREAKIN-SANE!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • DoD3Brian says:

      How were the crowds on the 4th? We usually avoid weekends, holidays and specials nights (like Carload night) to avoid the crowds, but it seems like you got on quite a few rides!

      • Really? The more ppl there, the better! ๐Ÿ˜€ It was a huge crowd. When Me and my awesome friend/karate sensei (Yeah, I’ve started taking his classes just last week and he’s super friendly. I’ve invited him, he’s a huge Fairgoer like me, lol.) got to the parking lot, the lot was Almost Full. And Yepp, Thanks to the $25 Handstamp we’ve bought We rode every thrill ride there. They could’ve put more rides though, as it was their 25th anniversary event. But that was my best -21st- Birthday Ever! ๐Ÿ™‚

        -Space Roller- was so intense. The 1st time we were in line for it, and it was our time to get to our seats, I wasss sooo nervous. and at the last minute before the restraints go down, I litterally got off my seat, “chickened-out” lol, and walk towards the exit..as I watched him have the best time of his life on that ride. But them right before closing, I realized I missed out so much on it. So actually went on for my 2nd attempt by myself (I sat close to the center), didn’t back down, and held for my life on that crazy thing! I was yelling, “OHH MMYY GOSH”, lmao! It was fun. And the last ride before the fair closed for the night, My friendly sensei quickly went to sit right next to me on the ride (I sat on the edge that time) and enjoyed the ride for the last time while the “Party Rock Anthem” song by LMFAO played. It was AWESOME. and after that, we headed home

  • BSA Mike says:

    fried pickles are freakin awesome! lol

  • Nathanael says:

    Looks awesome. Carnivals around here, suck. Badly. I dont know what it is but, they get worse every year. My local one this year has…
    A Sizzler.
    “fun house”
    and a few little kid rides…

    Not cool.

  • the fair in my town are pretty decent , rides like thunder bolt and enterprise top spin high energy fireball top spin and much more, it’s like every year we have a new ride

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