With it being the fall in the region, many of the larger parks have gone to weekend only operations at this point, thus limiting my options of places to knockout some shameless credits on my list. One place that would be open for a visit was that of Funworld Game Center, located just on the other side of the state border in Nasuha, New Hampshire. The big draw to Funworld is their large, multi-floor arcade, which features a large variety of games you can play.
Along with the wide game selection, the place also features a small selection of amusement rides including a small Himalaya style ride, and a double-deck carousel.
Of course, the main reason for this stop was a shameless coaster credit, and thanks to it being indoors, it will generally operate anytime the place is open (with the exception of times when it goes down for maintenance reasons). While not a huge coaster, this was one of the most uniquely laid out Dragon Wagon style coasters I have ridden from Wisdom Rides. The first lift involves climbing up an angled-turning incline that may cause some to wonder if they will fall out before even reaching the top. It was a bizarre first lift, and it felt like something created on Roller Coaster Tycoon.
From there, it was about an hour drive over to the town of Topsfield for one of the oldest and longest running fairs in the United States, the Topsfield Fair.
With the number of people in attendance on a Thursday evening, you could tell that this was a popular event, and I could only imagine how much busier it would be on the weekend. Like most fairs, they feature many varieties of fried foods and a dining area with a stage for local musicians to play, local vendors selling goods and showcasing services, and one of the staples of a fair, barnyard animals.
Another tradition of many fairs is that of the carnival rides. The rides at Topsfield Fair were provided by Fiesta Shows of New Hampshire. The carnival here featured your standard assortment of carnival rides, which tend to be the ones that do a lot of spinning. I did try one for the first time called Viper, which was a variation of a spinning swing ride that looked like it was a creation of the 1970’s. It actually proved to be a pretty wild ride when all was said and done.
One neat touch to this midway I had not seen at other carnivals was the inclusion of signs that gave historical background to some of the popular rides and foods served at carnivals. As a fan of history, I thought this was a really cool feature that adds to what could have otherwise just been a basic midway.
Of course, there were also a couple coasters to be ridden at the fair, including and SBF Visa spinning coaster with the incredibly creative name of “Spinning Coaster”. These things have become incredibly popular in the amusement park industry for the ride that can be provided with a fairly small footprint, and while I have done several of these so far, this was the first portable version designed for use by traveling carnival companies that I had seen. The ride experience is about the same as the permanent models, where you go through the figure-8 layout several times, and depending of weight distribution, you may experience a little to a lot of spinning.
The other coaster credit ridden on this visit was Super Cyclone. This was a Galaxy style coaster which had a brief moment or two of some fun floating air time in the larger drops. These rides would not be headliners for a major theme park, but for a traveling carnival, they are a welcomed addition to the ride line-up as well as another shameless credit to add to one’s personal count.
One of the other standout attractions of the midway was a haunted house. I didn’t go in as I was wanting to make sure I got back to Boston at a reasonable time with another stop along the way, but the amount of detail outside leads me to believe this would have been a fun haunt to walk through.
On the way out, I did stop in the rodeo area for a few minutes as they were in the midst of beginning the rodeo with some demonstration riding. Had I not intended to make a stop when heading back to Boston, I may have stuck around to watch more of the event.
Next, on the way back to Boston a stop is made to a place known for its witch hunt.