St. Paul, Minnesota: Ye Olde Mill

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St. Paul, Minnesota - Ye Olde Mill

Ye Olde Mill is a classic carnival boat ride, sort of like a lover's lane, that is permanently installed at the Minnesota State Fair (Held yearly during the last week of August and the first week of September.). My mom took me on this ride every year of my childhood, so though the water is a little smelly, it holds fond memories. I last took a ride through Ye Olde Mill in 1999 and it hadn't changed a bit since I first experienced it in the mid-70s.

Four people sit in little boats that are funneled on water through the ride's dark tunnels. The boats float down long passages of the eerily quiet tunnel, softly bumping into the walls or the boats ahead, and pass above five or six brightly lit dioramas. The dioramas feature 3-D depictions of scenes from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and other fairy tale and Disney favorites.

I would highly recommend this ride. There are lots of other bizarre installations at the Minnesota State Fair. The Big Slide is another of my favorites. It's a three-storey, school-bus yellow slide that riders coast down on burlap potato sacks. Microphones are installed at the top of each hump in the slide to capture the screams or the occassional "HI, MOM!"

[Becky Burns, 04/04/2004]

Ye Olde Mill:
The main entrance to the Minnesota State Fair is located at the corner of Snelling Avenue and Como Parkway in St. Paul, Minnesota. The fair is held annually during the last week of August and the first week of September.

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