Arts & Culture News

10 State Fair Rides You Have to Take Before You Die

When the Texas State Fair is preparing to open its gates to the public, it always seems nothing is being talked about but the food. We get it. Fletcher's Corny Dogs are amazing. It's a rare opportunity to stuff yourself with funnel cake. And who doesn't love daring their friends to eat bizarre, deep-fried concoctions that increase their risk of diabetes with every bite?

But there's more to the State Fair than food. Namely, an abundance of carnival rides that line the fair's iconic midway. Before you fill up on deep fried dares, go all in on one of these thrilling experiences.

1. The Texas Star Ferris Wheel (16 coupons)
It's the most noticeable feature of the Texas State Fair, if you don't count Big Tex, and it's the best way to introduce a newcomer to the fair. This 212-foot tall amusement behemoth may look scary if you're not a fan of heights but it offers a very smooth ride and a majestic view of Fair Park and the Dallas skyline. It's so iconic that every visitor should be required to ride if they want to enter the fair. 

2. The AirMax (10 coupons)

If you're scared of being tossed around in the sky and risking life and limb for a cheap thrill, then the Texas State Fair shouldn't be on your bucket list. It's like going to a Jerry Bruckheimer film and complaining that there were too many explosions. The offers a unique take on the traditional guest twirler and it's good for thrill seekers looking to start slow and work their way up. It may look menacing but it's actually a little bit slower compared to some of the other sky rides. You can still score some serious airtime but without as many scary G-forces. 

3. The Flipper (10 coupons) 
This ride may look like a kiddie ride when it's not in motion but a flip of the switch turns it into a spinning Lazy Susan from hell. The Flipper sends passengers spinning at high speeds before the lower platform lifts up off the ground. The carriages start to spin around as they defy and fall victim to the whims of gravity.


KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.