Home / Community / This Oz-Some Emerald City Opens Friday at the 2019 San Diego County Fair

This Oz-Some Emerald City Opens Friday at the 2019 San Diego County Fair

 Check Out What’s New

Del Mar CA— On your mark, get set … it’s finally time to skip down the yellow brick road to the 2019 San Diego County Fair, presented by Albertsons|Vons, which opens at 4 p.m. Friday and will run for 27 days of fun! This year’s theme explores the magical world inspired by L. Frank Baum’s classic tale, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

The Del Mar Fairgrounds has transformed into an emerald city full of tasty treats, flashy entertainment, adorable farm animals, scream-worthy carnival rides, fantastic festivals, goofy competitions and endless opportunities for fun through July 4. It simply wouldn’t be summer in San Diego without this iconic fair, which draws approximately 1.6 million visitors annually and is one of the top three fairs in the United States.

You’ll find plenty of new treasures along this year’s golden path, including: mobile ticketing for rides and games, esports competitions, balloon rides and Oz-some new treats (deep-fried crème brulèe or Flying Monkey Caramel Corn, anyone?)

What’s New at This Year’s Fair

Get your FunPass and FastPass

The new FunPass will streamline the carnival ride pass process and make it easy to ride rides and play games with the scan of your phone or a card. The FunPass can be pre-loaded with digital ride and game tickets that are scanned and deducted from the card or app without needing individual paper tickets. Parents can even buy FunPass tickets and send them to their kids through the app. If all the tickets aren’t used in one day, they can be saved for the next visit.

The FastPass, which costs $20 per person, allows fairgoers to use a special lane to skip to the front of the line at rides. A limited number of these passes will be sold daily and can only be purchased at the Fair’s box office.

And speaking of rides …

There’s a new ride in town: The Endeavour. It’s an open-air suspended passenger vehicle that sends fairgoers flying 60 feet through the air at 25 miles per hour! It joins the Fair’s 80+ rides which include the always popular Big Wheel, Crazy Mouse Roller Coaster and Sky Ride. There are plenty of ride package specials to get more thrills for your bills – go to sdfair.com for information on admission/ride packages and “Pay One Price” ride days.

Up, up and away!

For the best bird’s eye view of the Fair, hop in a hot air balloon, offered by Magical Adventure Balloon Rides & Aerial Tours. Rides will launch from the Fair in the evenings, beginning at 5 p.m. For $211 per adult, you’ll get views of the Fair, the ocean, Del Mar and you’ll enjoy plenty of treats on board.

The Food

Creative bites are always a star of the Fair, and whether you’re on the hunt for deep-fried favorites, healthy snacks or unique Oz-inspired foods, there’s more palate-pleasing options than you can imagine. Can’t choose just one? Try out “Taste of the Fair” on Thursdays where you can buy taster portions of delish Fair foods for just $3!

Here’s a sampling of the new foods you’ll find at the Fair this year:
  • Deep-Fried Crème Brulèe and Buffalo Chicken Chimichanga – Chicken Charlie’s
  • Wicked Witch’s Sriracha Ceviche – S.D.’s Original Fish and Chips
  • Flying Monkey Caramel Corn – Kettle Corn
  • Wizard of Oz Waffle Pizza – Pignotti’s
  • Auntie Em’s Brownie – Mom’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Hot Cheetos Potato – Spud Shack
  • Ruby Red Lemonade – Hot Dog on a Stick
  • Candy Funnel Cake – Funnel Cake Express
  • Yellow Brick Smoothie and Ruby Red Smoothie – Rainbow Treat
  • Fried Bacon Plantains – Bacon a Fair
  • Blizzard of Oz Frozen Hot Chocolate – Crutchees
  • Emerald City Pizza Balls – Linda’s Pizza
  • Scarecrow Dog – Pink’s Hot Dogs
Get your game on

Our new interactive video game exhibit will share information about the growing and wildly popular esports industry. Located in 17 Hands Restaurant & Bar, this interactive esports exhibit will feature eight Nintendo Switch consoles hooked up to TV monitors, a gaming PC and arcade machines. Informative sessions hosted by esports specialists will explain the structure of this growing industry.

How’s that for a sneaky tiki?!

This year’s Fair features a hidden speakeasy called the Wicked Wahine. Enjoy Hawaiian-inspired pupus and specialty cocktails with a tiki twist! Guests age 21 and older can find a tropical-inspired escape high above the hustle and bustle of the Fair, but access is limited and hidden from the public eye, so ask around for directions.

Oz-some theme

At this year’s new theme exhibit, you’ll get to take a peek behind the scenes of the 1939 MGM film and see original props on display from the private collections of USC and the Wamego Oz Museum including a Munchkin jacket that was worn during the film. There are 11 Instagram-worthy selfie spots, to boot!

If you think you’re a trivia wizard, join in our daily “Ask the Wizard” show and on weekend nights, you’ll have a wicked good time with the Flying Monkey Electronic DJ area.

It’s all about the music

Music always takes center stage at the San Diego County Fair. There are 27 nights of entertainment on the Corona Grandstand Stage featuring Pitbull, Toby Keith, Smokey Robinson, Lindsey Stirling and KC and the Sunshine Band, just to name a few. Your ears are also in for a treat at the Paddock Concert Series and Solid Gold Concert Series. To explore the full line-ups, go to sdfair.com/concerts.

Transportation tricks

New this year: we’ve added real-time parking lot updates to our website (www.sdfair.com), the Fair app, Twitter (@SDFair) and our radio station AM1680, so you’ll always know which lots are available (or not).

What’s more, you can park for FREE at our off-site lots at Torrey Pines High School and MiraCosta College San Elijo. For more parking information, go to sdfair.com/parking.

But the best transportation deal of all is the Fair Tripper combo ticket! You’ll save money and hassle with this Oz-some deal, which combines your round-trip transit fare with Fair admission. Plus, you won’t be paying for parking! Take a bus, train or trolley to a COASTER station, disembark at the Solana Beach station, then board NCTD Special BREEZE Route 408, which takes you from the Solana Beach train station to the Fair’s West Gate. It’s all included!

  • NCTD Fair Tripper (ages 13-64): $21
  • NCTD Fair Tripper (ages 6-12, and 65 and older): $13
  • Region Plus Fair Tripper (ages 13-64): $25
  • Region Plus Fair Tripper (ages 6-12, and 65 and older): $15
Sensory stations

The momentum of the Fair’s bright lights, sounds and countless exciting activities can sometimes build to an overwhelming crescendo for children and adults with autism, PTSD and other sensory-sensitive conditions. That’s why the San Diego County Fair has partnered with KultureCity to offer calm spaces for guests with sensory needs to de-escalate. The main sensory station location is at Guest Services. The satellite station is in the Creative Youth tent in Family Funville. In addition, Guest Services will offer free sensory toolkits that can be used while out and about at the Fair. The kits include noise-cancelling headphones, fidgets, weighted lap pads and other helpful tools.

2019 San Diego County Fair Specifics

  • The Fair runs Friday, May 31 through Thursday, July 4 (27-day season)
  • The Fair opens at 4 p.m. May 31
  • The Fair will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays in June

Gate Hours

  • May 31: 4-11 p.m.
  • Wednesdays, Thursdays and July 2 & 3: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • Fridays and Saturdays: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • Sundays: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • July 4: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar


  • $20 adults
  • Kids 6-12 and seniors 62+, $14
  • Kids 5 and under get in FREE

What A Deal. Thanks Albertsons|Vons
(available at participating Southern California Albertsons|Vons stores; view all of our deals and tickets at sdfair.com/tickets)

  • Save 20% on adult admission when you purchase Fair tickets at Albertsons and Vons grocery stores (save $4 on adult admission and $1 on kids/senior admission.)
  • Visit on our $6 Fair Days (May 31, June 1 and June 5 when you buy your ticket at Albertsons|Vons)
  • “Kids Days” feature FREE admission on all Fridays in June for kids 12 and under.
  • “College Day,” Friday June 7, features $10 Fair admission with student ID (at the Fairgrounds box office on the day-of only).
  • Passport to Savings Book: For $5, you’ll get a book full of savings on food, games, rides, and more.
  • The best deal of all: For just $32, you’ll get unlimited entry to the Fair with the “Best Pass Ever!”

More information can be found at sdfair.com