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Parent's Guide to the San Diego County Fair: KIDS RIDE GUIDE!

OK, I'll get right to all the details that (I think) parents want to know. Here's an outline that I'll be updating over the next few days...

INTRO <--click here

TICKETS & DISCOUNTS <--click here

PARKING <--click here

KIDS RIDE GUIDE <--you are here

KIDS ACTIVITIES <--click here

There are over 60 RIDES! How do you know which ones your kids can go on? Or for littles, how do you know which ones YOU can ride with them? How about if you have multiple kids? I *think* I’ve got it all figured out. Please correct me if I’m wrong. But here’s my Guide to Ride at the Fair!

1st: COST!

Tickets are $0.75 each

These are valid for Rides AND Games

*Most* rides & games cost 3-4 tickets each. To get an idea of how many rides your kids can go on, scroll all the way down to the bottom with the RIDE'll find all the rides, how many tickets they cost & height minimums.

This is probably the most expensive part of the Fair for us…my kids want to keep riding and riding and riding! There are so many rides this year and with 2 kids at approx. 4 tickets per person per ride…well let’s just say it adds up!

TIP: I have to set a limit with my kids BEFORE we go to the Kids Zone and STICK TO IT. Yes, there will be tears because they’l be sad even though they knew ahead of time. But they’ll get over it when you move onto the next thing.


You can download the FunPass ticket app on your phone to buy ride tickets. It unfortunately doesn’t give you ride information or anything else. Once you buy ride tickets through the app, you can use your phone to scan at each ride and it will digitally keep track of your tickets.

TIP: Make sure you have a FULL battery! You don't want to lose your power halfway through your kids ride time if you're using the app...and not it doesn't work in Airplane mode if you're trying to save your battery, like I was. We barely made it through all of our rides before my phone died.

It does not offer any ride deals on the app, tickets still cost $0.75 no matter how many you bundle together, they all come out to $0.75 each.

But it’s helpful for keeping track of tickets and buying more when you want them (if you don't stick to the plan, LOL) instead of finding a ticket booth and waiting in line.

You can also share these ride credits with other people, who also have the app downloaded and registered on their phone. You can all share the same credits and track how many have been used and see what's left. So if your older kids are in the ride zone by themself, and you're not, they can still text you when they want more ride credits and you can buy it and it adds onto their app if they're all linked up.

You can also get a RIDE CARD FUNPASS at any ride ticket booth and it's the same thing just in a car format. You can also add a Ride Card to your phone app by scanning it.

*This does not have the Unlimited Ride Wristband or the FastPass on it, see below.


VALID: Wed & Thur only from 12-8pm

COST: $38

DEAL: $32 w/ a $5 off coupon from 7-Eleven (w/ an Aquafina purchase)

GOOD FOR: all rides in the Fun Zone and Kids Zone, except 5 "Thrill" rides

RESTRICTIONS: It’s not valid on the 5 “Thrill” rides…Pony Rides, Bungee Jump, Sling Shot, Turbo Jump & Rock Climbing Wall…because payment is made directly to these separate operators.

RESTRICTIONS: valid only on Wednesdays & Thursdays from Noon-8pm

This is the way to go if you plan on riding more than 12 rides per person. The Unlimited Ride wrist band equals out to 50 tickets or approx. 12 rides. But it’s only a good deal if you plan to go on Wed or Thur...


COST: $20

WHAT: Yes this is similar to Disneyland. If you buy a FastPass you can use the special FastPass lanes to get to the front of the line FASTer.


They only issue a limited number per day

It’s only sold at the Fair ticket booths

It’s only valid on the day of purchase

This is per person and no sharing is allowed


To save money, these can be a good deal. Buy a Combo Package that includes your Admission AND Rides all at once. Buy these online at, except for the package from Costco you’ll have to buy directly from the store.

Costco Savings Pack: $79.99

These features total $139.50 so you’ll save $60!

  • 4 one-day admission tickets ($80)

  • 1 Passport To Savings coupon book voucher ($5)

  • 1 ticket with 50 credits toward rides and games ($37.50)

  • 4 2-for-1 soft drink coupons, valid for 16 oz. drink (?)

  • 1 parking pass ($17)

  • Available only at Costco.

Ride Fanatic Pack: $48.00

These features total $57.50 so you’ll save $10

  • 1 one-day admission ticket ($20)

  • 1 ticket with 50 credits toward rides and games ($37.50)

  • 1 2-for-1 soft drink coupon, valid on a 16 oz. drink (?)

Value Pack: $90.00

These features total $117 so you’ll save $27!

  • 4 one-day admission tickets ($80)

  • 1 Passport To Savings coupon book voucher ($5)

  • 1 ticket with 20 credits toward rides and games ($15)

  • 4 2-for-1 drink coupons, valid for 16 oz. drink (?)

  • 1 parking pass (Please note that packages sold after May 30 will not include a parking pass.) ($17)

Ride & Game Ticket: $16.00

These features total $18.75 so you’ll save $2.75

  • 1 ticket with 25 credits toward rides and games. ($18.75)

  • Sold through May 30; not available after that.


There are TWO ride areas: Fun Zone and Kids Zone (best for littles)

Click here for a Fair map to see where they are.

The KIDS ZONE is best for littles and is found on the inside of the race track.

The FUN ZONE has bigger kid rides, mostly a 42” min. You’ll find it on the opposite side of the Fair next to the West Gate (ocean side). There is 1 carousel that has no height minimum (good for babies and small kids while you stand beside them). There are 2 rides with a 36” min (large slides and a haunted house). The rest are all 42” and up.


I’ve broken up all RIDES by height minimums!

TIP: Measure your kids BEFORE you go! You don't want disappointed kids turned away at a ride...I've been there, it's not fun especially for those standing around while your kid throws himself on the ground crying.

SAFETY: And be accurate…don’t count their spiked up hair to add on 1/2 inch. These height requirements are there for your safety. You certainly don’t want your little kids to slip out of a fast moving ride and get seriously hurt.

Pony Rides, $10 pay directly at ride

Age: 6mo+ are allowed, parents can walk beside children on the pony. They only give a refund IF the child does NOT get on the pony.

Where: Livestock Area


(Ride Name # Tickets Height Min)


Grand Carousel 4 No min when riding with an adult, 42” alone


Tea Cups 3 30” min, Max per cup: 4-5

Baby Venus 3 30” min, (Small boat rides), Max per boat: 4


Kiddie Swing 3 32” min; 42” max, (Silly Swings), Max per swing: 1 child

Baja Buggies 4 32” min; 52” max, Max per car: 4

Winky the Whale 4 32" with adult; 36” alone, Max per car: 2 in front w/ parent in back or parent/child in front

Dive Bomber 4 32" with adult; 36” alone, (small airplanes), Max per ride: 2 (one in front and one in back)

Daytona 4 32" with adult; 36” alone, (Kids can drive their own car around a fixed track), Max per car: 2


Quadzilla 4 36” with adult, Max per car: 3

Puppy Roll 4 36" with adult; 42” alone, Max per car: at least 2

Monster Truck 4 36" with adult; 42” alone, Max per car: 4

Loliswinger 4 36" with adult; 42” alone, (Silly Swings), Max per swing: 2

Goliath Slide 3 36" with adult; 42" alone, (large slides), Max: 2 together

Beetle Bobs 4 36" with adult; 42” alone, Max per ride: 2

Beach Party 4 36" with adult; 42” alone, (walk through, playground style)

Frog Hopper 3 36” min; 56” max, Max per ride: 7

Survival Island 4 36” min, 50” max, Kids walk through, playground slides, etc.

Happy Swing 3 36” min, like large swing at SeaWorld), Max per swing: 5

Convoy 4 36” min

(easy semi truck ride around a track), Max per truck: 4,

Hot Air Balloons 4 36” min, (mini balloon rides in a circle), Max per ride: 4

Gold Miner 5 36” min, (Small roller coaster) Max per car: 2

Kiddie Bumper Boats 4 36” min, (on water) Max per boat: 1 child

Speedway 4 36” min, Max per car: 2 (maybe 3?)

Lady Bugs 4 36” min, Max per car: 2

Wacky Worm 4 42” min, Max per seat: 2


Big Top Swinger 5 42” min, (Silly Swings), Max per swing: 1

Kite Flyer 4 42” min, Max per car: 2

Cyclone 4 42" with adult; 48” alone, Max per ride: ?


Twister 4 48” min, Max per car: 2 (maybe 3?)


Giant Wheel 5 54” min, (swinging ferris wheel), Max per car: ?



Carousel 4 42" to ride alone


Fast Trax Slide 6 36" with adult; 42” alone, (large slide), Max per slide: 2 can slide together

Haunted Mansion 5 36" with adult; 42” alone


German Fun House 5 42” (walk through)

Fun Factory 5 42” min (walk through)

Wave Swinger 6 42” min (silly swings), Max per swing: 1

Alpine Bobs 6 42” min

Rave Wave 6 42" with adult; 48” alone

Tilt A Whirl 5 42" with adult; 48" alone

Wild River 7 42" with adult; 48” alone (you’ll get wet! similar to Splash Mountain), Max per ride: 2

Sky Flyer 6 42" with a supervising companion; 48” alone (Silly swings up high), Max per swing: 1

The Big Wheel 8 42" with adult; 54” alone

Storm 5 42” min

Dodge Em 6 42" with adult; 50” alone (bumper cars)


Crazy Mouse, 8, 45" with adult; 55” alone


Alien Abduction 5, 48” min

Zipper 6, 48” min

G-Force 6, 48” min; 78” max

Pharoahs Fury 6, 48” min

Air Max 6, 48” min


Windsurf 6 52” min

Evolution 6 52” min

Mega Drop 6 52” min

Olympic Bobsled 8 54” min

O.M.G. 6 54” min

Flipper 6 54” min

Insanity 8 54” min; 78” max

Tango 6 54” min

Magnum 6 55"

Mach 1 10 56” min

Speed 10 56” min


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