Great Frederick Fair (MD)-Flat Ride Heaven 9/17

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Monday, September 17, 2001 8:48 PM
Being a flat ride enthusiast as well as a coaster enthusiast, I made a trip to the Great Frederick Fair. Typical of the fairs I’ve been to this summer, I was out $8 before riding a thing ($4 for parking, $4 for admission). I also paid $13 for a Ride All Day pass, which wasn’t too bad. Reithoffer Shows Orange Unit provided the rides. Many of the rides had informational signs in front of them listing the cost and time to set up. It’s safe to say that many of the “cool” rides will cost you at least $500,000, should you want one in your backyard. I met up with my enthusiast friend Alan and his friend Diane. Here’s what we rode:

Vortex (Zamperla Energy Storm)-This was my main motivation for traveling the hour to the fair. As far as I know, this is an ultra-rare ride, as it’s still new. This ride has three arms and 4x2 seats on each arm. Each arm spins around as well as the main support arms. Then after the ride is up to speed, the arms flip all the way upside down! We all agreed that this may never see an installation in an amusement park because of its intensity.

Tornado (Huss Flipper)- A big platform holds multiple gondolas set in a circle. Each gondola holds four people. The ride starts up and the whole platform lifts up to a very steep angle. As the ride rotates, the gondolas are free to spin left and right, similar to a Huss Breakdance. The ride also reverses direction half way through. Once again, it demonstrates why Huss is the master of the flat ride. Very extreme.

Larson Hi-Roller (aka Crazy Train)-I’ve only seen this while driving down the roada few years ago, so I was intrigued. Take an oval-shaped track and put a train with triangle-shaped cabins on it. Then flip the whole track over repeatedly while the train is moving around the oval. I found this rather disorientating, but not as extreme and nauseating as it looks.

KMG Orbiter-After riding this at the Maryland State Fair, I was very excited to ride again. I would describe this as a very fast scrambler with arms that rotate at an angle. It’s a shame again that this probably won’t be installed at your local themepark anytime soon because of its high speed.

Chance Inverter-According to a sign in front of the ride, you can have your own single-arm Inverter for only $1.5 million dollars! I’ve seen it at three out of four fairs this summer, so it may become the new Zipper.

Wisdom Sizzler-A higher speed version of a standard scrambler. The ride time could’ve been a lot shorter, as it hurt to hold on for four minutes.

Wisdom Tornado-Unlike the last one I rode, the wheel which can spin the gondola actually worked. With three of us spinning the wheel, we were pinned to our seats.

? Yo-Yo-A faster version of the standard swings.

They also had a portable Schwartzkop coaster and a Zipper.

Tuesday, September 18, 2001 10:17 AM

Ooooh, you got to ride a High Roller/Crazy Train. I had the chance to ride one back in 1992 and 1993 when the ride appeared at our Indoor Carnival. I have never gotten sick on a ride, but this one came very close to making me lose my lunch. It reminds me of a squashed Super Loops where the loop can flip also. VERY disorienting. I did not like the cars either. WAY too confining.

I think The Orbiter may be made by Tivoli. It looks identical to the Flying Machine ride at Busch Gardens Williamsburg... but from what I have read, these carnival models go 24 rpms.... much faster than BGW's.

In my opinion, Chance Inverters are a major let down. The ride looks cool, but the ride action isn't anything spectacular. We have the double arm model at SFWoA (of course, both arms hardly ever operate) and the Bates Bros. carnival company has what I believe is the first single arm Inverter ever produced. I have ridden it many times and have never come off of it and said "Wow... that's a great ride".

And Intamin Fan, I really  envy you being able to ride an Energy Storm. The Amusement Industry Expo at Cleveland's IX Center last year was supposed to have one on display... but I got stuck with a Power Surge and Turbo Force instead. I'd say those were good substitutes! Glad you had a good time at the fair. I need to start going to some of these to check out some of the new flat rides.

Tuesday, September 18, 2001 9:56 PM
I think you're right about Tivoli making the Orbiter, but either KMG has copied it, or is now manufacturing the ride (check their website). I've ridden the Inverter several times before and I agree that it's not too exciting. However, we all had Ride All Day stamps so we rode it anyway.

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