County Fairs of SoCal: Orange County Fair & Ventura County Fair

Alexander:  State Fair and County Fair season is a great time to be a coaster enthusiast; lots of opportunities for new credits pop up in places that wouldn’t otherwise play host to a roller coaster, let alone three or four.

Southern California is no stranger to numerous coasters, but during late summer/early fall, several traveling credits take up temporary residence. Today we’re visiting two of California’s largest county fairs, The Orange County Fair and the Ventura County Fair.

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The OC Fair must be one of the largest (if not the largest) country. The parking lot was an absolute zoo (4pm on a Tuesday) and comparable in size to that of a major regional theme park. 

There’s 4 roller coasters here: a Galaxi, a spinning mouse, and two kiddie credits.

There’s also a log flume! and LOTS of flat rides.

This was my first experience seeing a county fair with a FastPass system. Even on an off-peak day, lots of people were using the service.

Separate from the main rides midway is a smaller midway of just kiddie rides (note how both midways have their own Ferris Wheel).

It wouldn’t be a county fair without one of these.

This block with the ride’s name on it tickled me to no end.

With multiple major theme parks for competition, it’s no surprise that the OC Fair midway is the largest I’ve seen. There’s also plenty of great food, shows and exhibits!

Fast-forward to later in the day at the Ventura County Fair. Transportation is provided by retired school buses via a convoluted network of sketchy parking lots. Notice how far we are from the actual fair (that blue light on the left is the Ferris Wheel).

Once we got here, however, our impression was positive.

Three credits call the Ventura County Fair home: two kiddies, and another Galaxi-style coaster.

However, rather than operate a modern knock-off of the Galaxi/Zyklon variety, the Ventura County fair runs a beautifully maintained original model – with original trains! Olympic Bobsled’s smooth, zippy ride was a surprise highlight of the day.

Ventura’s midway is slightly smaller than OC’s, but the collection of rides were a bit more eclectic.

I didn’t take many shots of the OC Midway simply because it’s a lot of the same stuff you’ll find at any major county fair. Ventura, however, has some real oddballs, like this rare Evolution ride.

The German funfair mainstay Huss Flipper and American classic Chance Zipper were also pleasant surprises.

And then there’s this horrible thing, which I can only describe as a Huss Take-Off with floorless, outward-facing seats.

Short but sweet: Our visits to two of SoCal’s awesome County Fairs was a great way to spend a day (minus the traffic, of course).

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