French Vintage Carnival Rides Come To NYC

vintage carnival rides at Fete Paradiso
Courtesy Fete Paradiso

If you are a fan of carnival rides, history, or just good old-fashioned summer fun, take a ferry out to NYC’s Governor’s Island this summer for a festival of vintage Parisian rides and carousels. Billed as a museum meets amusement park, Fete Paradiso will open on July 13 and run until September 29, and feature 19th- and 20th-century attractions such as a pipe organ, flying swings and a bicycle carousel like the one featured in “Midnight in Paris.” To add to the vintage French feel, there will be food from bistro Le Gamin and a beer hall and event space converted from a 1900 bumper car pavilion, along with special events opening weekend for Bastille Day.

Admission to Fete Paradiso is free and rides are $3 a pop. The free ferry to Governor’s Island from Manhattan‘s Battery Maritime building or Brooklyn‘s Pier 6 runs half-hourly until 7 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday. Learn more about Governor’s Island on their website, and follow the carnival set up on Instagram here.

SkyScreamer opens at Six Flags St. Louis

There are a number of new tower rides debuting this year at amusement parks across the country. One of the tallest is Six Flags St. Louis’ SkyScreamer. At 234 feet tall, the ride lifts guests in chair swings some 23 stories above the park. Then at that lofty height, SkyScreamer spins riders at 43 mph. The ride should offer some great views if you’re brave enough to look down. Acrophobics should steer clear of this one.

A few days ago, SkyScreamer opened. Guests pointed to the ride’s similarity to the old school amusement park staple, known as the swing carousel or wave swinger. Of course SkyScreamer is about ten times taller than those rides.

It’s Halloweekends time at Cedar Point!

As a child growing up in the Midwest, Autumn always meant the same traditions. Sundays spent raking the leaves from the yard, visits to cider mills, and an annual October trip to Cedar Point amusement park in Ohio.

Cedar Point. . .in October? Yes! If you live in the Midwest, you probably know that Cedar Point stays open on weekends through November 1. If you didn’t know, you’ll want to plan a trip now because, while night can be cold, hours are limited, and not all the rides are open (including, of course, the water rides and the Soak City park), the lack of crowds makes this the perfect time to get your roller coaster fix.

For the whole month, the park is open from 6pm to midnight on Fridays, noon to midnight on Saturdays, and 11am to 8pm on Sundays (except for October 11 when it’s open 10am-10pm). And with those reduced hours come reduced prices on Friday nights and Saturdays after 4pm. Daily admission is normally $44.99, but during those times it drops to $29.99 per adult.

During Halloweekends most of the park’s major coasters like Millennium Force, Raptor, Magnum, and Blue Streak are all open, though some of the smaller attractions are closed. The park is decked out for Halloween with zombies, crypts, monsters, and pumpkins scattered around, and there are haunted houses of varying scare factors, a Halloween parade, and costume contests for kids.

But the best part is that, rather than waiting up to 2 hours for your favorite coaster like you will in the peak of summer, you’ll rarely wait more than 30 minutes to move through the line during Halloweekends. At many times, especially when it gets a bit chillier late in the season, you’ll zip through in just a few minutes. You get more coaster time for less money.

Cedar Point is one hour from the Cleveland airport and Sandusky, where the park is located, is serviced by Amtrak and Greyhound. There are several hotels located just outside the park gates and in the town of Sandusky ranging from around $70 to $200 per night.

Weather and bad behavior cause rides to stop at Hong Kong Disney

According to the operations manager of Hong Kong’s Disneyland, the leading cause of ride stoppages is weather. Nearly seventy percent of all prematurely stopped rides are due to high winds, lightning, or rainfall. But that does not mean that there are not other reasons for cutting the fun short. One of the largest reasons, besides weather, is bad behavior.

According to the park: “The human causes include standing up during rides to take photographs, striking backdrops with umbrellas, or noticeably terrified children being forced onto rides by parents.” So, think twice before dragging Junior on to the super-coaster.

The safety-first rules occasionally cause confrontations between park staff and unruly guests. Staff have recently received training in dealing with guests who don’t know or care about the rules.

The park’s most time consuming task is not enforcing its safety code or watching the skies. It is the nightly inspection of rides, bolt by bolt, that eats away most of the Mouse’s security budget.

Universal Studios will be open and filled with annoying people on Thanksgiving & Christmas

America’s most read and chart-filled newspaper is reporting that Universal Studios Hollywood is going to be open to the public on Thanksgiving and Christmas. It will be the first time since 1964 that the park is open on these holidays and it will now be operating 365 days a year (366 in 2008).

I can think of no better way to work off a stomach full of turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce than a scintillating whirl on Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride. Nothing says family togetherness more than a day of height restrictions and warnings about people with heart conditions (poor grandma’s going to have to sit out most of the afternoon).

And it’s just not Christmas without a stop at the Waterworld attraction. According to the Universal Studios Hollywood website, “The hit motion picture comes surging to life in a spectacular tidal wave of death-defying stunts, awesome explosions and an ocean of thrills!” Of course, we use the word “hit” quite loosely here.

You’ll being using the phrase “great holiday vacation” loosely, as well, if you choose to spend Thanksgiving or Christmas at this haven for fanny packs and schlocky souvenirs. But hey, who am I to tell you how to celebrate your holidays? If your Turkey Day just isn’t complete without a ride inspired by Backdraft, the 1991 film of moderate success, then, you know, have at it.

As for me, I’ll be home with my family watching football and avoiding large masses of humanity. I prefer to have no one else around me when I vomit.