Rotor rides still in operation?

Thursday, June 15, 2017 9:38 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

That's correct, gator.

I miss the on at KD. Best themed rotor EVER!

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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

Thursday, June 15, 2017 9:51 PM

Part of that previous bickering involved the KD Time Shaft ride and, well I'll be, I was in on it. I still remember how that ride sucked...

I voted Moosh up for a funny post while I was wandering through yesteryear.

Last edited by RCMAC, Thursday, June 15, 2017 9:52 PM
Friday, June 16, 2017 8:11 AM

Some more Rotor fun for everyone. Both Battech (formerly Dartron) and SBF/Visa have added Rotor rides to their catalog.

Battech calls theirs the Rave and I believe there is one touring the US:

SBF Visa's is called Zero Gravity and has the unique feature of translucent walls and no outer structure:

Someone earlier in the thread mentioned one that tours Germany. That one is owned by a showman named Pluschies and does indeed feature a fun house entrance and a giant viewing gallery. There's another that tours the UK called Barrel of Fun (I think) and it actually still has wooden walls.

While I certainly would be done in if I set foot on a Rotor these days, it will always have a place in my heart as one of the most unique rides in amusement park history.

Friday, June 16, 2017 10:11 AM

I've been Rotor-obsessed my whole life. After our family moved to Cleveland my first visit to CP was in '62, I was rising into to third grade. The kids in my neighborhood told me about a ride there where the floor drops out. I knew they were lying until I got there and cast eyes on that huge, mysterious Hoffmeister ride. I told my parents I wanted to go in just to watch, but after doing so I went into the drum. I got against the wall then changed my mind but the op at the door said "GET BACK IN THERE" so I did. I felt like I had found the love of my little life, I had so much fun, and I couldn't believe there was such a ride.

After that I climbed on every Rotor I came across. Cedar Point's original ride lasted a few more seasons and Euclid Beach had an old one, too, but with a strange facade. Then one year the new Chance model showed up at our little Fairview Park spring carnival and I thought it was so awesome. After that the Chance ride was the norm at parks and carnivals everywhere. Cedar Point's new ride was a favorite and after moving to Columbus I also frequented the ride at Cincinnati's Coney and then KI. Another notable installation for me was Hell Hole at Brooklyn's Coney. It was an old-school torture machine, but I loved it.

Now I fall in line with RayP1970. Sadly. My last two Rotor experiences were the Silly Silo at Adventureland the Turkish Twist at Canobie. After each of those rides I had to ride the bench for a while. It hurts me to realize how age has taken its toll.

I tried the new Rave rotor one year at the Florida State Fair and didn't like it. It was small and really fast. The riders got in at the bottom, stood in the center, then they raised the floor to start the ride. When the ride was over, they lowered the floor to the exit. The walls were really nubby and hurt the backs of my legs. I passed on the same ride at the State Fair of Texas. I saw the concept for the see-through Rotor and somehow it seems like a bad idea...

Pluschies' Rotor was, as usual, set up at Munich's Oktoberfest last fall. I was familiar with it through YouTube and my Rotor research, and as much as I love the ride (and funhouses), I chose to give it a pass that evening. Rides were expensive, it was raining, and I was really drunk, but the deciding factor was that it's known for *really* long ride cycles. I didn't want to kill my buzz or lose my expensive dinner by getting sick and I had coasters, funhouses, and other awesome flats to ride. It was fun to see, though, and was very beautiful.

Sorry for the mini bio, but like I said I'm Rotor-obsessed and looking back I'm not surprised to see I've been active in this thread for a long time. Last year I bought CP's retro Rotor shirt, and this year I snagged the embroidered patch and the key chain. I don't have a denim jacket and the key chain weighs 9 pounds, but I just HAD to have em.

Maybe I suffer with more of a compulsion...

Thursday, June 29, 2017 8:47 AM

Thanks to this thread I have been fascinated by Rotor rides again and have fallen down the rabbit hole of YouTube videos and old photos. This picture blows my mind and shows really how small the ride is compared to the giant structures that used to be built around them:

That's 4 observation levels, and even if this was a staged shot, it's pretty crazy to see!

Thursday, June 29, 2017 11:25 AM

Vintage video of Hell Hole on Sportland Pier in Wildwood

Outside theming which as a kid scared me more than the ride!

Thursday, June 29, 2017 12:20 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

RCMAC said:

I tried the new Rave rotor one year at the Florida State Fair and didn't like it. It was small and really fast. The riders got in at the bottom, stood in the center, then they raised the floor to start the ride. When the ride was over, they lowered the floor to the exit.

I was curious about this so I went and watched some videos. It seems they bring the floor back up before the ride is over?? I thought we stopped doing that after a foot crushing incident or 3?

Wouldn't it make more sense to just slow it down and let the riders slip to the bottom like every other rotor did for the last however many years - and then let people exit, as the floor in the "down" position is "level"?

edit: Look!

They're standing OUTSIDE the yellow line while the floor is raising... AND they've got people on the wall against the door. 2 things I know as big no-nos these days.

Last edited by Raven-Phile, Thursday, June 29, 2017 12:22 PM
R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
Thursday, June 29, 2017 1:25 PM

Raven-Phile and njbill, thanks for the videos. I have to say that there are just a few too many people crammed inside that Rave for my liking...

As far as the Hell Hole goes, I have to give credit to whomever came up with that name and theme for the ride as it suited it perfectly. And as a kid, I could see why that façade would be intimidating. I remember the giant Devil on the front of Conneaut Lake's Hell Hole and hearing screams coming from inside when I visited as a kid and I made sure that I just kept on walking past that evil building!

Again, thanks to everyone (RCMAC included, I feel bad that I didn't respond to his outstanding post earlier) for contributing to this thread. Nice to see I'm not the only one with an interest in this classic ride.

Thursday, June 29, 2017 6:32 PM

Josh. Look again, there is no door. It's well below the floor level on the green part of the wall and in this vid we can't see it. And maybe the top of a door is visible behind the tall kid in the shorts but I don't think that's what it is. I seem to remember in the ride I took the floor raised well above where riders entered before it started. Over the years I've been on Rotors where riders were against the door and some where they weren't allowed. But they always open in and and the way the frame is can't open out, even accidentally.

Riders enter while the floor is all the way down. The day I rode it we stood inside the yellow circle and they raised the floor then we stepped back against the wall. (There were considerably less people on the ride I took- once again I'm with RayP1970 on that one). Notice too that when the floor comes back up there's still a little green wall showing. That's so the operator can easily scan while it's spinning and be sure he's not quite touching riders feet. Notice too that everybody on the ride pretty much stays put after the floor lowers. On the old Rotors at least one person slid down some, (usually me). Anyway, as for sliding down it's virtually impossible on a Rave because the wall is extremely textured and so nubby it's sharp and uncomfortable. It's almost like one of those rubber floor mats. There's no way to slide down that wall without shredding something. The skin on my calves hurt for quite a while after my ride.

Rave is indeed strange and the way it operates seems like they were looking for a solution around space and safety. It's footprint is fairly small. There is a viewing gallery but it's reached by metal stairs not space-taking ramps.
Speaking of safe procedures, remember that the ride is operating at a carnival somewhere. Just saying...

And that vintage Rotor shot gave me a little brain-gasm when I saw it. It's exactly what I remember, but with older clothing styles! Thanks for that. That viewing gallery is huge and that was part of the original concept of the "scientific theater"- they got people's money just to stand there and watch and they could stay there all day. Cedar Point's Hoffmeister had at least two levels, maybe three and the facade, ramps, and viewing platforms took up more overall space than the drum itself.

Thursday, June 29, 2017 8:46 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Have a look here:

There's definitely a door there, and that guy is definitely leaning on it from time to time. I cringed when he pushed off it but I know it's fine.

R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
Thursday, June 29, 2017 10:55 PM

Yup. That's a door, alright, you are correct sir. I don't know what happened to my memory, unless I lost too many brain cells in the Rave...
And it's the perfect illustration of the strange way the floor started, where it went for the ride, and where it wound up again.

As for the Hell Hole rides, those were the older, theater style rides. I'm not sure if they were newer builds, I can't think of the company that made 'em (The Something-something Rotor Corporation?) or if they were original rides just repurposed. But what I do know is there was a dispute with Chance who by the 60's came to own the name Rotor and forbade anyone else from using it. I remember an article in Amusement Business with the title "Rotor, Rotor... Who's Got the Real Rotor". So the Hell/Devil Holes were born. I don't know of any left here in the US, and I only rode the one in Brooklyn.
Rotors operated under that name throughout the entire time in Europe so it must've been a US-only dispute.

And njbill, that's an awesome clip of a Rotor ride, but sorry, it's not Sportland's ride. That clip is from a French feature film by Fran├žois Truffaut entitled The 400 Blows. Mssr. Truffaut himself made a cameo in the scene as one of the other riders on board.

Say, do you suppose this is all RCMAC will ever have to say in regard to his beloved Rotor ride? We'll see... He's only been talking about it here since 2008.

Friday, June 30, 2017 8:53 AM

RCMAC, I believe that the Hell/Devil's Hole rides were made by Mack. And you had mentioned the Euclid Beach ride in your earlier comment. I am not 100% sure, but that may have been built in house. The Humphrey's did a lot of things themselves, such as designing and building the Rocket Ships on their Traver Circle Swing. Like I said, I am not positive on that, but based on the design of the building and the façade, it seemed to be different than any of the other Rotors. The Euclid Beach Rotor also operated for a few seasons at Shady Lake Park in Streetsboro, OH during the early 80's. That's where I got to experience it.

And sort of Rotor-related, I was watching "Mannix" recently on MeTV (I love my 70's detective shows!) and in this particular episode, Mannix was chasing a bad guy through Queen's Park in Long Beach, CA and ended up chasing him up the entrance ramp of a Chance Rotor. Joe and the bad guy fought on the observation deck while some unseen foe turned the power on to the ride. The bad guy then knocked Mannix into the spinning drum as they went to commercial. That couldn't have been fun! When they came back from commercial, Joe said "I can't believe people PAY to ride that..." I guess you had to be there, but it made me laugh! Queen's Park was seen in several 70's shows such as "Emergency", "Cannon" and a great episode of "Columbo".

OK, I now return you to the original Rotor discussion. :)

Friday, June 30, 2017 12:47 PM

Lake compounce has theirs sitting in the employee lot in pieces for a few years now.

Like our Facebook page:

Friday, June 30, 2017 12:54 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

Reading through this had made me realize that our son has never ridden one of these. That's something we need to correct, but I'm just not sure when we're going to make it out to KC or OKC any time soon. Wish I could find a tour schedule for that Battech one.

Friday, June 30, 2017 12:57 PM

I saw that Mannix episode when it first aired, it was a favorite show in our family. And gosh... you can probably just imagine how excited I got when a Rotor made an appearance.
And I thought it was Peggy who turned the ride on....

Sunday, July 23, 2017 6:39 PM
cmingdayton's avatar

I know someone already said that Worlds of Fun has a working rotor. I will confirm that; I rode it today (July 23, 2017) and it was a fun experience!

Cole Mingo

(AKA Barry Allen and Niles Crane amalgamated).

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 11:01 PM
Sawblade5's avatar

As per the rumors around these parts. The Finnish Fling Worlds of Fun's Rotor will be retired at the end of this season. I am sad to see it go. There's been discussion about what will replace it such as pathway improvements to get ride of some steep stair cases along the main path or even a new ride which I do not know what can fit in such a small footprint there. So if you wanting to ride this book your flight or trip to KC now and get to Worlds of Fun by the end of Summer.

Chris Knight

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 10:54 AM

That would be a major loss, but one that doesn't surprise me. I am honestly surprised Cedar Fair, of all companies, has kept a Chance Rotor around this long after Six Flags removed them all and even the smaller parks have gotten rid of them. That said, I was hoping that they realized what a rarity they had on their hands and were going to work to keep it going as long as possible. Then again, with the conversation about Dragons going on, are these old Chance Rotors from the 70s and early 80s simply at their natural end of life moments?

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 1:30 PM

Sad to hear that another Rotor will soon be biting the dust. So I guess that leaves 3 operating Rotors in the US (Canobie Lake's odd SDC model and Frontier City and Sylvan Beach both with their Chance models). I am really surprised that the ride hasn't made a comeback like other older rides have such as the Flying Scooters, Larson's Super Loop/Fireball/Giant Loop rides, and even the Enterprise with the Zamperla Endeavor. It was always a hit with families and the observation aspect made it popular for those who couldn't ride. I often read that the Wisdom Gravitron/Starship rides are essentially what did the Rotor in on the portable circuit as it racks on one trailer, takes only a few hours to set up and is far easier to maintain. But the Gravitron lacks the observation deck aspect of the Rotor and often times some of the panels don't slide up the walls, resulting in a rather lame ride experience.

Is it possible there are more Venture Scat rides operating than Rotors? If so, that is quite sad as the Scat not only had a rather unfortunate name, but also provided a rather nauseating and painful ride!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 2:50 PM

I'm not seeing one on the website for Frontier City anymore.


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