Three-Question-Thread. Old Flat Ride(s)...

DawgByte II's avatar
I got a three part question, mainly because I don't want to start three threads on something so trivial, even though they're all seperate questions from one another. I hope someone can answer them.

1> What is the oldest operating flat ride in the world? How about the USA? If it's a carousel, then what is the flat thrill ride?

2> Although nobody will really be able to answer this one with knowledge... how come really no parks in North America have chosen Mondial for a ride manufacture, when they have some of the best and unique flat rides around (aside from, obviously, Canada's Wonderland)?


3> I saw many old footage of this ride, but I cannot find out what kind of ride it is, and not sure if it qualifies as a flat-ride or a coaster, but I've been dying to know what ride it is, and who had it. I'll try to describe it because I can't find it since I have no idea what it was called.
-- It looked like a rollercoaster that would fit on a regular flat ride... like a Trabant, only looks made of wood and 2 levels where the track went around, and it tilted around (like a trabant, without the spinning), and the coaster-like train followed the track as it tilted around (kind of like a top as it loses its power). It seemed really interesting, but I've only seen some old b/w footage of it when they show classic rides. I know I'm being vague on that, but it definately exists on old park footage of classic rides.

3> The Top was a spiral coaster at Luna Park in New York. I think there was a similar, or perhaps the same ride, at Riverview Park in Chicago. Apparently it was more fun to watch than to ride.
DawgByte II's avatar
Thank you!

Because of that little tid-bit, I was able to locate a photo of the ride right here (the last photo). Anyone know the concept of the ride, and who the manufacture was (and the manufacture's history of other rides)? It just seems like a really odd, but interesting ride. *** Edited 7/22/2007 4:07:29 PM UTC by DawgByte II***

2) There is at least one permanent Top Scan in America and at least one that travels. One of them is at Lagoon in Utah. Their used to be one at Adventureland in New York. That was the Top Scan that ejected its mentally-challenged passenger onto the windshield of a car. I seem to remember reading that it got sent back to Mondial, as it's no longer listed on the map.

There was a permanent Shake at Six Flags New Orleans called Catwoman's Whip, but that didn't turn out so well as you well know. I'm sure the ride is toast after sitting in all the muck. And I'm pretty sure that I've read that there's at least one traveling Shake on the American fair circuit.

As for why virtually no one chooses Mondial, I don't think they have one of the best mechanical reputations from what I've read. Maybe someone else can confirm that? If you look at their catalog of rides, most of them are enormous, and hence, probably require a) a lot of money to acquire and b) require a lot more tlc to keep them operating

Mamoosh's avatar
I'm pretty sure that I've read that there's at least one traveling Shake on the American fair circuit.

Yup. It's called Magnum and is themed after the Tom Selleck detective show. I've ridden it at the Del Mar [aka San Diego] Fair.

The Top Scan at Lagoon is closed for the season because it had a gearbox failure. They said it should reopen in 2008.
1. I did some research and found out that Seaport Village in San Diego has an 1895 Looff menagerie Merry Go Round. But they're calling it a new addition. So that still leaves the question of the oldest operating in one place. There are also some antique carousels on display in various places, that either don't operate or operate rarely, so I guess they wouldn't count.

As far as a non-carousel, Dorney's Whip has been there since 1920. Anyone know of anything older?

3. Here's a site with good info about the coasters @ Coney, including the "Scenic Spiral Wheel" aka The Top. It's #36 in the list. *** Edited 7/22/2007 11:21:46 PM UTC by RatherGoodBear***

^^^The Shake at SFNO always got me sick but, I am not really big on flats.

Bolliger/Mabillard for President in '08 NOT Dinn/Summers

Some of the old footage of spinning rides where people just fly off at the end like their getting spewed out off the blade of a fan.. holy, poop, I can only imagine the lawsuits today if they had rides like that! (Of course, the way old film makes everything look like it was moving much faster it probably wasn't as severe as it looks).
Mamoosh's avatar
That wasn't a flat ride, Chooch. It was part of a funhouse. And unless it's been removed you can still experience one in England [Blackpool?].
The Old Mill at Kennywood's been running, albeit with makeovers, since 1901 and I'm pretty sure the boats are all originals. I thought NAPHA had some dates but don't see any (except for coasters) on their site now.

The original Ferris Wheel was in Chicago and is long gone, but anybody remember where the second one was built? I think that one might still be operating.

Pretty sure though that RGB is on the right track and a carousel will turn out to be the oldest operating ride.

According to this article, the Flying Horse Carousel has been operating at Breezeway in Rhode Island since 1879, but was a traveling attraction before that.
2> Top Scan Guess:

The ride doesn't travel to many carnivals because it travels on a lot of trucks, and probably takes a long time to put it up. Compared to other flats, it does cost a lot of money (1.5 million is what I heard). Compared to the Huss rides, it doesn't cost that much though.

Personally, I think that amusement parks won't buy this ride because it's a more intense ride, and amusement parks only want roller coasters to be more intense. which is ???

I would love for amusement parks to get this ride. I never tried it before though. There are tons of rides I would love to see at amusement parks, but it's not going to happen sadly.

Bogeymon, The Olde Mill isn't a flat ride. As my friend called it, it's really a tunnel-of-love, hence now with the addition of lots of flourescent objects themed to Garfield.
I would imagine the Whip rides at Knoebel's and Idlewild are very old. Knoebel's Whipper still has the original tubs and are very unique. If I recall Idlewild actually calls theirs the Antique Whip. True flats and really old.

I spoke to a man that drove part of the Space Roller (Top Scan) to the Ohio State Fair last summer. He said it's tough to transport and the truck that carries the base is overweight in a lot of states. He claimed to have the only traveling model in the country. Mondial rides in general are large and some (Night Fly / Airwolf for example) can't be transported in the U.S., and that's why we don't see them on the road. Permanent installations are our best bet here, and it's probably difficult.

Flat ride lovers- if you haven't yet been on the Space Roller, find it soon. It's a blast- I can't remember the name of the show that owns it, but it's appeared at the Florida, Minnesota, and Ohio State Fairs that I've seen, and it runs a great program. Fast, chaotic, flipping scariness. I don't know how the park installations in North America compare.

The Magnum (Shake) is also a great ride- it played our Fair for a couple of years. When an accident happened on another piece owned by the same show the Magnum was never booked back to Ohio. I've seen it at other fairs since, though.

Mamoosh said:
That wasn't a flat ride, Chooch. It was part of a funhouse. And unless it's been removed you can still experience one in England [Blackpool?].

That spinning turntable was in the funhouse at Pleasureland Southport (owned by the same company that owns Blackpool). Sadly that park closed last year and most of the rides were removed. However--someone has leased that site and may reopen the park as a summer fair. The funhouse and turntable may still be intact and could reopen.

rollergator's avatar
^Southport has re-opened, under new (better?) ownership. Website's up and running:

Doesn't look like too many of the rides were saved at all, and most if not all of the "classics" seem to have fallen victim to Amanda's mighty axe. :(

The Kennywood Whip dates from around 1915 or so. It is the oldest flat ride in that park.

Arthur Bahl

I think we have a winner.

That's pretty freakin' old. And impressive.

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