Cedar Fair searching Europe for classic flat rides

Posted Friday, August 7, 2015 10:22 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Inspired by the “American Pickers” reality television show, a pair of collectors is scouring Europe for classic rides to bring back to Cedar Fair amusement parks in the United States and Canada. The duo was sent on the continent-spanning scavenger hunt by Cedar Fair Chief Executive Matt Ouimet, a former Disneyland president who is hoping the refurbished family rides will add a nostalgic atmosphere to the chain’s 11 amusement parks.

Read more from The LA Times.

Friday, August 7, 2015 11:56 AM

A Chance Rides Skydiver would be fun. I rode this years ago at Boblo and loved it. But then, I was younger back then and could handle spinning the car pretty well. Any passenger with me - not so much. Ah, memories...

If I'da thought about it a little longer, I'da spent more time thinking.
Friday, August 7, 2015 1:12 PM
Vater's avatar

Useless information tidbit: The Enterprise in the main photo atop the article is (was) the Apple Turnover at Kings Dominion.

Friday, August 7, 2015 1:46 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Another smart move by Mr Ouimet and his team.

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

Friday, August 7, 2015 2:18 PM

they may have better luck in South America and China than in Europe

Friday, August 7, 2015 2:25 PM
rollergator's avatar

I'd like a (true) Waltzer and a Tagada...and please don't tell me to be realistic, it's a Friday!

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

Friday, August 7, 2015 3:31 PM

Did they run out of used rides from other parks in the Cedar Fair chain to send to Dorney that they have to now to go to Europe for them?

Joking aside, I hope they can find some rides to bring back to all the parks. I'd be happy to get back bumper cars at Dorney after Krazy Kars were removed for Demon Drop.

Friday, August 7, 2015 6:44 PM

Some old school Schwarzkopf iron, now that would be sweet. There is still a lot of that traveling in Europe, along with the updated versions built by Gerstlauer .

Friday, August 7, 2015 8:22 PM
bjames's avatar

Vater said:

Useless information tidbit: The Enterprise in the main photo atop the article is (was) the Apple Turnover at Kings Dominion.

That's an hilariously great name for the theme. Now I hope they get one just so they can call it that.

In general this article isn't very interesting; a lot of the suggested rides are pretty common anyway. Cheers to Ouimet though for his interest in this!

"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

Saturday, August 8, 2015 12:08 PM
rollergator's avatar

Dutchman - do you know if Sierra Twist from SFMM met its maker, or was it sold/sitting in storage?

Also curious about the Bayern Kurve from Fun Spot, Indiana.

One of the required rides at Great America is the East River Crawler, and I always catch a lap on Spinovator when at Canada's Wonderland...love those Anton rides!

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

Saturday, August 8, 2015 1:18 PM

Don't know for sure about the Sierra Twist, my contact at MM is long retired. I do know that after the reorganization they started cleaning out the barns up there. The only thing that I was aware of that was sold intact was the Crown steam train.

Sunday, August 9, 2015 2:12 AM
Vater's avatar

rollergator said:

I always catch a lap on Spinovator

Hmm...short "i" sound, or long? It could mean the difference between a ride that simply rotates quickly or one that snaps a vertebrae or two.

Sunday, August 9, 2015 9:03 AM
john peck's avatar

I really loved this article.

One of the problems though with classic rides were many of them were such low capacity (sure, decent for back in their time) and too long to load in today's fast-paced society.

However ... There have been some great re-imagined rides: Hershey Park build a new Whip ride, the Music Express/Himalaya/Matterhorn rides are all still built as well as bumper cars and Zero Gravity's (Round-Ups), Huss is still selling the Enterprise and Zamperla has a new ride called the Endevour, which is supposed to be similar, Flying Scooters are available again. Not sure if a Trokia is available through Huss, but that's something I would like to see in almost every park. Zamperla had something similar to the crazy Daisy. Watkins has also improved the Rampage, which is similar to the old Skywheel.

What I would like to see is a new larger park model of a Round Up (Super round Up), a new Hydrolic-lift Paratrooper, a company continuing to develop and improve the Whip, maybe a larger version of the old Sidewinder concept and there's so much more.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 1:16 PM

Don't think there is a Skid in America
How about a four table Cuddle Up.
A four counter whip or just a full size one. Dorney's their only park that has a full size.

They're a mess but the old four table spinny cups or sombreros like Kings Island had
Insane version of the Calypso like SFGAM has.

Kinda sick of Pansy arse rides like scramblers running at half speed at so called THRILL PARKS.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 5:31 PM
mlnem4s's avatar

Vertigo at Tivoli Gardens Denmark for Cedar Point as a new version of "Jumbo Jets." Not a classic ride itself but a re-imagined version of a classic CP attraction and arguable an insane yet fun looking ride!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 6:09 PM

john peck said:

.... a company continuing to develop and improve the Whip.....,

Gordon Rides has already created an improved version of the Whip, http://gordonrides.com/products.html. They have partnered up with Larson Intl., the makers of the Fire Ball (Super Loopers) and the Flying Scooters. On their version of the Whip, the cars traverse winding, curving path, unlike the original's oval. I've seen this Whip concept for the past few years, and it's a "head scratcher" why a park's never ordered one. Check out the prototype video at the Gordon Rides website.

Now back to the topic. Here's the real "head scratcher"; Why search around Europe for classic rides to invoke nostalgia in American parks? How about some old-school bumper cars (no dividers) ? Or Tilt-a-Whirl (from Larson)? Or a wicked Aero Plane?

Astroworld.....Gone But Not Forgotten

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 6:42 PM

^ One of the independent operators in Coney Island had one of those, but it didn't run very long. It was still sitting there SBNO last year. I think it was finally removed this past Spring.

Last edited by Mr. Six, Wednesday, August 12, 2015 6:46 PM
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 7:01 PM

That was the prototype at Coney and it was damaged by the hurricane, never to operate again.

The head scratcher for me, and I mentioned this a while back over to the PointBuzz, is why Cedar Fair should scour Europe for "nostalgic" rides, anyway? And I hope they don't bring back the likes of Enterprise, Himalaya, Tilt a Whirl, or Trabant. They could the just stay here and scour traveling carnivals for plenty of that.

John Peck makes a good point about capacity. While flats don't get long lines like coasters, I have a feeling some of the rides we're calling for would make most of us very impatient. Over at CBuzz a few wished for the return of Jumbo Jet (not a flat, I know) and I had to chuckle. Those would likely be the same folks that would then complain because of long lines should that low capacity ride make a return.

I wholeheartedly support attention to flats, however. Most parks here in the U.S. have fallen woefully behind in the flat ride department. I have a friend who moved here from Germany and he laughed at the rinky rides we have in our parks. If the guys are looking around Europe, my hope is they bring a few of the good, thrilling, super-spectaculars that grace the fun fair midways. European showmen are always buying new pieces and selling the ones that have worn out their welcome. Booster, Parkour, Top Scan, Flipper, and Airwolf would be awesome flats that aren't seen often (if at all) in the U.S.

If nostalgic, family oriented rides have to be the focus, I'd also welcome Chuck's idea of a Cuddle Up (the large ones were five table, btw). A good, speedy Bayern Kurve would be nice as would a Rainbow.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 8:42 PM

I did hear previously that Zamperla had been shopping around privately to parks the Whip/Crazy Daisy hybrid that Disney used in Cars Land. Yes, the Tow Mater Junkyard Jamboree appears to be a production model, but all the parks refused to bite, since Zamperla were asking for a few millions for the hardware and installation.

Canobie Lake Park did buy a european KMG Tango, but the ride was such a maintenance nightmare it barely did a season before they decided to scrap it. Six Flags did procure a used converted Mondial Rides Roll Over for La Ronde and installed it there as the Demon. It had some growing pains, but maintenance finally got things under control and it has been running reliably with a healthy line all the time. Why did I say converted? Because it originally a gondola of seats where rows faced forward, but at one point, Mondial put a ride vehicle similar to a Huss Floorless Top Spin, but with only 32 seats.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 9:58 PM

The reason that they are in Europe looking for rides I believe is because that's where George Roose got the majority of flat rides that populated the park starting in the late 1960's early 1970's. Those are the rides that the Boomer generation remembers riding there.


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