Starliner to return to Panama City Beach

Posted Tuesday, October 5, 2010 1:13 PM | Contributed by Jeff

The couple behind refurbishing the painted ponies of the old Miracle Strip Amusement Park carousel and giving them new life at Pier Park have purchased the old wooden “Starliner” roller coaster and will bring it back to Panama City Beach. Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven purchased the popular roller coaster in 2006 after Miracle Strip closed in September 2004 after 41 years of operation. But after Cypress Gardens was replaced with Legoland, the coaster, the oldest wooden roller coaster in Florida, went into storage, Teddy Meeks said.

Read more from The News Herald.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010 1:27 PM

So, to those who have ridden both...how much better than Big Dipper is this coaster?

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010 1:44 PM

I hear it got better after it was moved.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010 1:50 PM

I still haven't ridden this classic ride. It's on my "List" of must rides :)

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010 1:58 PM

Tekwardo said:
I hear it got better after it was moved.

Somebody told you "the undisputed truth."

OK, I guess it is debatable to some degree, but I cou;dn't resist sneaking in a Kill Bill reference. Total history aside for a moment (not an easy thing for me) - I'd rate them thusly: Starliner v2 > BD >> Starliner v1. The first two are QUITE close, and I'd have to say the notalgia factor puts BD ahead for me personally....but negating that, Sv2 is just *slightly* ahead based on the vastly-improved turnaround after the relocation.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010 4:10 PM

Interesting...so to say Starliner:Big Dipper::Voyage:El Toro is probably more accurate than saying Starliner:Big Dipper::Phoenix:Rolling Thunder. My point is, it seems odd to me that while both coasters are relatively decent/average/whatever classic woodies, Starliner has had no problems getting saved twice, while Big Dipper rotted for three years with no hope of relocation, and came within days of getting the axe before being bought by someone else who may or may not be able to save it.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010 4:23 PM

Kent B. had another park the he owned, and he found value in trying to advertise the ride as "Florida's original wooden coaster". Didn't turn out that way apparently, but he certainly played up that angle in the (limited) promotional materials and in-park displays...

I guess Ohio has/had many other/older wooden coasters, so maybe that's a harder angle to sell? *shrug*

Last edited by rollergator, Tuesday, October 5, 2010 4:26 PM
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010 5:45 PM

rollergator said:
Kent B. had another park the he owned, and he found value in trying to advertise the ride as "Florida's original wooden coaster". Didn't turn out that way apparently, but he certainly played up that angle in the (limited) promotional materials and in-park displays...

I guess Ohio has/had many other/older wooden coasters, so maybe that's a harder angle to sell? *shrug*

Another thing to look at is the economy. While neither state has a vibrant economy right now, Florida is far closer to being "vibrant" than Ohio, thus making it easier to consider a project like this. Ohio / Midwest is really hurting in the current conditions.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010 9:39 PM

So, including costs of moving the thing over and over, is this the most expensive wooden coaster ever?

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010 12:36 AM

I'd have to imagine Sonny still blows away the competition...

Back to Starliner...in the wake of CLP's success with the Pepsi people - http://www.refresheverything.com/starlinerbackhome

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010 9:36 AM

What a crazy idea.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010 12:48 PM

Wow Gator. IMO, Big Dipper is a 10 and Starliner v2 is a 7 at best. Big Dipper had loads of airtime from beginning to end while Starliner v2 started off strong then sucked on the return run. I actually prefer Big Dipper to Phoenix and really don't get why more people don't find it as amazing as I do.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010 12:51 PM

For the same reasons you don't find Toro as amazing as we do ;-).

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010 12:52 PM

^^The return run did way more for me than it did for you apparently....or maybe I elevated Sv2 in my mind because I was able to compare it to Sv1? I never got "10" rides on Dipper, but the back seat POUNDING I took definitely put it closer to a 9 than an 8.

Then again, Matt sucks for getting "THOSE" rides on Nashie... ;)

edit: Clint, get out of my way! LOL... :)

Last edited by rollergator, Wednesday, October 6, 2010 12:53 PM
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010 1:12 PM

I always got 10's on the Dipper if not 11's.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010 1:14 PM

I don't think I ever even reached a 5.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010 1:20 PM

I really liked Dipper, but I never got a 10 that I can think of. Maybe a 6.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010 1:36 PM

I count BD highly among my credits (check my Track Record), but I don't know if I've ever had a '10' level ride on it. And seriously, 11? Does it go up to eleven? (Cue Spinal Tap reference.) :)

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010 2:00 PM

I don't think it ever topped a 5 for me, either, and that ride was after a few beers. :)

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010 2:07 PM

So we're all in agreement that Matt's just weird. Or just extremely lucky. ;)

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