A rollercoaster of emotions

Staffers review the rides at Fair Park

As avid thrill connoisseurs, Alexis Russell and Joeley Hedgcoxe bring to you six of the best, and worst, State Fair rides and attractions. Some of them are sure to get your adrenaline pumping, while others may leave you wishing you had spent your precious tickets elsewhere.


The rating system is based on of a scale of 1-5 stars:

5 stars – It will take an army of carnies to pry you off of this one.

4 stars – Good enough to make you lose your center of gravity afterwards.

3 stars – A decent attraction, but nothing special.

2 stars – Waste of tickets.

1 star – You will have more fun waiting in line for a corn dog.


Kelsey Carroll
The Kamikaze ride swings passengers upside down in the air and into a 360 degree rotation.


Despite the stigma surrounding transportable carnival rides, I felt relatively safe in this bright red, steel contraption, thanks to the metal cage myself and other passengers were confined in.

This ride can be compared to the infamous Pirate Ship ride found in any carnival or theme park ever, yet the Kamikaze had a bit of a twist. It actually goes upside down and holds you there for a second or two. I sat in the front with a little girl, maybe 8 or 9 years old. She proceeded to scream, “I WANT MY MOMMY!” at the top of her lungs as the Kamikaze gradually went higher and higher, and eventually made a full rotation. My initial reaction was to comfort her, until I saw the ginormous grin on her face that accompanied the cry for help.

Overall, I would not recommend the Kamikaze if you suffer from claustrophobia (because of the cage) or if you have less guts than a 9-year-old girl. If you do ride it, however, definitely sit in the front. Less musty up there. – AR

3 stars


Zero Gravity:

For 100 tickets ($50 total), I rode both the Zero Gravity and the Slingshot. Was it overpriced? Absolutely. Would I do it again? Probably not. But did I regret it? Not one bit. I think a majority of people would probably steer clear of this ride. I mean it is the second tallest ride in the park, next to the Ferris wheel of course. But I, an extravagant daredevil that knows no Earthly fear, could not simply just walk past this magnificent steel structure.

Shockingly, there was no line. The Zero Gravity required two passengers for safety purposes. Unfortunately, no fellow staff members would accompany me, so one of the men who worked the ride named Mike rode with me.

Alexis Russell
Although overpriced, Zero Gravity, front, and Slingshot, back, are thrilling rides and worth the price to ride once.

Mike had a teardrop tattoo on his cheek and I could tell he had already been suspended in the air enough times that day. He prompted me to keep my hands raised throughout the duration of the ride and, in casual conversation at the top of the ride, mentioned how he was in a faith-based recovery program. That’s about all I could make out as we began to violently rotate yet again, this time counterclockwise, a couple hundred feet up in the air.

As we descended, Mike noticed that the GoPro attached to the ride (with video footage for sale, if you’re willing to shell out another $20 for that kind of thing) was not turned on and offered me a second ride for free. At that point, having already conquered the beast, I decided that riding again was not in my best interest. I respectfully declined Mike’s generous offer. Overall, I would recommend this ride if you are a thrill aficionado like me. It was relatively long and at no point in time did I feel like I was going to die, although sometimes that’s what makes these sort of attractions that much better. -AR

4.5 stars


The Slingshot:

I rode the Slingshot before I rode the Zero Gravity because I thought the Slingshot would be a lot scarier. But that was not the case. Initially, the ride felt like a free fall, but a much slower and jerkier process. I was strapped into a yellow orb-like structure along with one of the men who ran the booth. Two people had to ride for safety purposes. The duration of the ride was decently long, but the only truly exhilarating part was the first five seconds or so. I found myself a little disappointed.

The guys who ran it said that I should be super nervous and compared the initial launch to a bullet shooting from the barrel of a gun. The man I rode with seemed thoroughly surprised that I did not scream or cuss. Watching my GoPro video afterward was funny because I just sat there grinning the entire time. In conclusion, the Slingshot poorly compared to the Zero Gravity, but it’s a better deal to ride both for 100 tickets than one for 70 tickets, although you will probably be a little nauseated after. However, if you had to choose one, I would definitely go with the Zero Gravity, as it was consistently exciting and had more of a fear factor than the Slingshot. -AR

2.5 stars



I wanted to focus more on coaster rides rather any other entertainment options at the fair, and from the top of the Ferris wheel, I could see this intriguing purple coaster. When I got to the ride I honestly didn’t expect much from it with only two people on the ride and the rest of it empty. Even though it was a long coaster smushed into a small lot, the ride was fairly entertaining. Zooming through the tracks, Windstorm really does hold true to its name, and with the little girl next to me telling me about her family in Kentucky it made the ride even more enjoyable. Windstorm is truly more fun than thrilling, but if you don’t want your hair to get messed up don’t go on it. The ride throws you to a 90-degree angle at a high speed, but if I’m being honest this ride is more mellow than I would like. However, it’s a good wake-me-up after eating too much fried food and nearly falling into a coma. Overall, the ride was a little underwhelming but it was fun. -JH

4 stars


Haunted houses:

Alexis Russell
The haunted house, while terrifying for children, poses no threat to TRL’s Joeley Hedgcoxe.

The State Fair of Texas hosts two haunted houses, both of which aren’t really “haunted” in the slightest. From the outside, both look like the typical “fun house” attraction, but instead of freely wandering around the house you sit in a small cart and ride through. In pitch black you can hardly see the terrors that roam through the dark, and the only truly frightening part about the houses are turning around once finished and seeing the poor little boy behind you crying while his father tries to comfort him. Go-Pro ready, I was expecting to be jumped by whatever was awaiting me, yet what I encountered were ear-piercing recorded screams and an uncomfortable seating arrangement. The houses are very underwhelming and show no real scares other than the result of a headache by the end of the ride. -JH

2 stars


Crazy Mouse:

Alexis Russell
Hedgcoxe rides Crazy Mouse and experiences rude customer service and an uncomfortable ride.

Not trying to be harsh, but this was the worst attraction I went on. The people managing the ride wouldn’t let me film with my Go-Pro, so they held it for me while I rode. Any time I looked over to the attendants they were playing with the Go-Pro trying to see how it operates, which I think dulled my view of the experience. The ride itself was terrible, it jerks you around and has no real entertaining parts. The only “fun” parts of the coaster spin you around for only a couple of seconds while you travel down underwhelming slopes. The carts are uncomfortable and don’t hold you in well if you’re a single rider, offering no real security while you’re in the cart. It’s not worth the 14 tickets it costs, and if you want something more intense with the same formatting as Crazy Mouse, try the rides closer to Midway. -JH

1 star