Or You Could Always Go to the Midway Set Up in Valley View Center's Parking Lot

Categories: Events
The Orient Express, one of myriad options presently available in the Valley View parking lot
Speaking of midways, as we were yesterday, and Valley View Center, as we are, um, frequently? ...

We were out running a few errands late Sunday when I espied the Ferris wheel presently sitting in the mall parking lot. In recent years it feels like it's there more often than not, though given the present state of to-be-avoided LBJ as it creeps toward toll-roading, I could not tell you how long Fort Worth-based Talley Amusements has been set up at Valley View this particular go-round. Neither could the woman holed up in the ticket booth. "I'd'know," she grumbled when I asked when they pitched tent. She did, however, know how long she had left in the parking lot: "Another month."

Reason we pulled in was I wanted to see the set-up close up; that, and the promise of a late-winter corn dog. (I ultimately passed.) As you can see, above and below, the temporary midway was not packed two afternoons ago; there were perhaps a handful of customer, and most, like us, more curious than actually interested. Perhaps that was to be expected; it was cold, after all, and threatening drizzle. It's expensive too: a dollar a ticket, with the smallest kiddie coaster starting at three. Still, seems a viable late-night weekend excursion; maybe Tone'll go following a dinner of his beloved chicken whatevers served at the Chili's across the freeway. I'd recommend the Mega Drop ("The Ultimate Extreme!") or Starship 2000. Looks safe.

At left, the Mega Drop -- "The Ultimate Extreme." Much like what's left inside the mall.

Those working the game booths promised, repeatedly, "Everyone's a winner." Felt good.


The Ride Formerly Known as Gravitron


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Is it just me or do carnivals follow Mexicans around? Every mall that has a large hispanic following has a carnival. Heck, even some Fiesta grocery stores has a carnival (or fiesta as it were).


Whenever I see the carnival set up there, I comment that they should make it a permanent fixture.  Of course, I've never gone to it, and have no idea what kind of attendance they get, but it's a lot prettier to look at than a huge empty parking lot...

Peculiar Pete
Peculiar Pete

I once let my nephew ride the Gravitron on such a cold and dreary setting and he never re-emerged  from the sheer churning hell within the beastly contraption. The kindly attendant informed me that the lad had perhaps been vaporized as the unit had not yet undertaken the mechanical rehabilitations indicated by the more compulsory of the recent operational worthiness maintenance bulletins.

I subsequently learned that my nephew was doing quite well for himself overseeing a podiatry practice outside of Spokane.


These pictures could just as easily been taken INSIDE the mall.  Except there is even less fun stuff to do there.


I hope this is not the size of the crowds at Summer Adventures in Fair Park next year. 

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