(Don't you love the alliteration?) I was reading the "O-Planes" post, and got to thinking about some of the flat rides that I love that I don't see much of anymore. (Don't think I've ever ridden an "O-Plane".)
One of my favorites-- the Tilt-A-Whirl. One of the best memories of my childhood was going to a little-bitty carnival with my best friend and riding the TAW over and over and over... We heckled the ride op, and he responded (at least we thought at the time) by putting that puppy into overdrive. We spun so much, so fast, that the word went by in a blur. And I KNOW we got extra-long rides, too. What fun. I know some parks still have them, but none near me. :(
The other thing I miss is the Octopus. I remember going to Kennywood with my family as a kid, and riding the Monongahela Monster with my dad. Scared the *#@! out of me, but it was a fun sort of scared, because I knew that dad wouldn't let me fall out. (Unlike riding the Jack Rabbit with my cousin-- thought for sure I'd be a goner there! :) ) I REALLY miss that ride. Again, something you don't see to often.
It's nice to see that Scramblers seem to be making a comeback. I remember riding the one at White Swan in PA with my grandpa (showing my age now), and him losing his hat. Giggling hysterically as I slid back and forth in the seat. The feeling that maybe, just maybe, this time your car will collide with the other one flying past!
How about that rocket ship that they used to have at Idlewild-- anyone remember that? The one that used to move in sync with a movie? I fell out of my seat in that one one time. Plop! Right into the aisle. I also slid out of my seat on the Catapillar at Idlewild. (I was a tall kid, and able to ride things that were maybe a bit "old" for me.) Funny, every time I either fell or almost fell out of my seat, I was riding with my cousin... Hmmm... :)
I rode the Octopus when I was little at a carnival, and it scared the *censored* out of me. Stayed away from it for years, until one year, I ran into some friends at the State Fair and followed them onto it without even thinking. Had a ball.
SFA has both an Octopus (the Rodeo) and a Tilt. Gonna give 'em both a spin on Opening Day.
Rob, i was close on that fact. Another ride i rode was some called a "Skydiver" if i recall right. It was something similar to the Witch's Wheel at CP except it rotated you both clockwise and counterclockwise.
You were close, I was just letting you know that there are Octopi, Spiders and Monsters. All are similar but all are distinct variations of the same theme. The differences are outlined on that site I linked to. I think it even contains something about the Chance Skydiver- once the darling of carnivals and fairs everywhere!
That's the ride i was thinking of! My dad had both me and my sister get on it one night at our local Kwanis fair. fun ride! I also enjoy one called the "Turkish Twist" at Canobie Lake in NH. It's a centerfuge-type ride where gravity helps keep you in place when the floor drops.
I consider Lusse Skooters a flat ride. Probably because they're pretty rare.
Tilt-A-Whirls seem a dime a dozen. Ditto for Scramblers. Not that I don't appreciate them, but they're everywhere, and since they're still made, I don't consider them all that "classic". Bisch-Rocco Flyers are rare!
Tilt-A-Whirls aren't really fading - they're making new ones (Dorney just replaced theirs with a brand new model in I think it was either 2003 or 2004.. I forget which)
As for Octopus/Monster/Spider - Everly Aircraft Company (the same company that made the O-planes) is long gone. There may be a company that makes parts for them, but that doesn't mean they manufacture the ride.
At KW, the real faders are the Kangaroo (Flying Coaster) and the Turtle (Tumble Bug). There is only one of the former and two of the latter left in the US.
What about Caterpillars, especially ones with a working cover? I remember the fan that blows up at you each time you go around. I believe that Idlewild still has a fully functional one. My mother was no coaster fan but she really loved flats back when she was younger. The Caterpillar was her favorite.