My 8-year-old and I have both wanted to try ziplining, and when I saw a reduced price ($15 when they're more crowded) of just $10 per person at the L.A. County Fair this evening, we got in the very short line, I signed my release and put on our harnesses--if that's what they're called.
I don't like one tall, shaky waterpark tower at Raging Waters, and the skeletal, steel (5 story?) temporary structure we walked up for the zipline was even scarier.
The employees at the top who hooked us up were as good as the ones who outfitted us below. When my guide said, "Run to the edge and jump off" I was astonished and said, "Really?" The seemed like the most unnatural act I would ever engage in. How did I know if I was hooked up properly to the line?
My 8-year-old almost started to cry because she was scared but didn't want to chicken out. Maybe that close-to-the-ground, short, seated zipline for kids in DCA's Redwood Creek prepared her, because when her guide said, "Would you like me to push you?" she said "Yes, please." So she was off on her line, and I learned that I am willing to jump off a building after my daughter and I caught up to her on my line despite her 40 foot lead. The harness turned out to be perfectly comfortable and I've never experienced any thing so close to flying, besides flying. It felt like such a release--easily the most fun I've had in months. I was waving to people below who waved back.
Earlier this week I met a mom at a park who said her boyfriend won a Marlboro adventure trip worth over $6,000 where they got to go hang gliding, dog sledding, snowmobiling, and zip lining. She said her favorite was zip lining and now I know why. (She said that while dog sledding, the dogs pooped while they ran and this flew up and hit them. Who knew?)
Some other L.A. County Fair tips:
Soon after we arrived I asked at an information booth, "Where can I get food here that's good and healthy?" He and the woman in line next to me literally broke out laughing. Still, we had a pretty good lunch at a large Mexican food place (too big to be called a stand---to small to be a restaurant), and we had a very good dinner at Maria's Italian restaurant near the stadium entrance and near the center of the midway. I had an excellent view of the largest ferris wheel--a 130 footer that went around five times per admission. We rode it after my daughter ate her tasty meatball pasta, and I had my delicious veggie lasagna. They also have a pizza/pasta buffet. Our waiter was just a little slow and forgot two things, but he was very nice.
Overall the park seemed cleaner than I remember it being the last time I went about 13 years ago, and maybe it was the rain earlier in the day, but the crowds weren't bad.
My daughter went with her school earlier in the week and said that the big petting zoo was great and they had the world's best milk.
If you go on a slide, check out how fast the riders move before you go on one. One looked majestic, supported underneath by a hill, but was looked frustratingly slow. The one my daughter rode (Euroslide?) was perfectly fast.
She also liked a two-story fun house she experienced with her friends--I think Moscow is in its name.
Parking was $12. I got into the fair for free because my daughter was in a parade, but this meant I couldn't use the "kids free" coupon I had, so it was $8 for her to enter. I read on another thread that you can get in for free on a Friday afternoon if you bring cans. Anyone know more about that?
The rides are overpriced. You buy "tickets" for 50 cents each that are really points on a card that is swiped. Some of the better rides can cost $7 or more to ride per person. The zipline wasn't part of this point system.
A sea lion show was worthwhile for us. It made me want to limit my Sea World Blackfish boycott to just the orca show.
The animation exhibit featured large displays from Dreamworks, the Disney Family Museum, Sony, and a Chuck Jones organization. It was worthwhile, but didn't surpass my high expectations.
My trip today made me want to return to this fair. I will zipline again if it's $15 or less and (if allowed and if I have the guts), I will run faster off the tower next year. And for my next birthday, I think I'll go ziplining somewhere else. Any suggestions for places in between SF, San Diego and Las Vegas?