Tumble Bug at PKI. What type of ride was this?

Thursday, April 29, 2004 4:48 PM
I don't know if this has been discussed before, but I did a little searching and couldn't find anything. My question is this. I was pondering today of how I loved to ride the Tumblebug at KI (before Paramount) and was wondering what type of ride this is considered? It has the sensations of a roller coaster but has no lift hill. And, it really doesn't seem like a flat ride to me either. How do you categorize this ride?
Thursday, April 29, 2004 4:54 PM
Definitely flat ride. You can still ride one at Kennywood.
Thursday, April 29, 2004 5:09 PM
Conneaut still operates theirs, too.
Thursday, April 29, 2004 5:13 PM
Are these all TRAVER TumbleBugs....not sure if anyone else even makes them anymore....found out recently he had a home for a LONG time about 15-20 minutes from MY house...missed K-Wood's Bug the first time, but got a ride with our own Bassisistisist during PFN...:)

P.S. It's a flat ride....IMO.

Thursday, April 29, 2004 5:23 PM
I miss the Tumble bug~ PKI used to have a bunch of different rides that were fun and different, and from what my dad recalled, were old and original to the Coney Island (?) that inspired the park.
I have noticed that CP is doing away with some of its classic rides as well. The Schwabinchen ($5 to anyone who knows what the hell that means)Bayern Kurve, the dark rides and fun house, not to mention my first thrill ride, the Rotor.
I do miss that old school stuff.
Thursday, April 29, 2004 5:50 PM
Weiland Schwarzkopf sells (sold?) a ride that is similar in design to a Tuble Bug, but with cars more like roller coaster cars than the proper Tumble Bug. Bayern Express, I think it was called. I've seen photos, but never seen one in action.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Thursday, April 29, 2004 5:58 PM

Mamoosh said:
Conneaut still operates theirs, too.

It was in pieces as of mid-august last season. Along with a few other of their flats :(

Thursday, April 29, 2004 6:00 PM
Hopefully they have it back together for this season.
Thursday, April 29, 2004 7:10 PM
You know, I miss the old Rotor from KI as well. And the Bayern Curve and Der Spinnin' Keggers. What about the Zodiac? It used to terrify me. Extremely fun flat rides. Isn't there a similar ride to Tumblebug at Kennywood called the Turtle? Not sure if I would like to ride one again. Well, at least once for nostalgia's sake. Oh, is there a web site that has pictures and/or stats of other rides besides roller coasters?
Thursday, April 29, 2004 7:11 PM
Now that Larson has rejuvenated the Flying Scooters and the original Minnesota company has rejuvenated the TiltaWhirl, maybe it's time to rejuvenate the Tumble Bug and the Virginia Reel.

And I still think people would ride a modern, well executed Fun House.

Thursday, April 29, 2004 7:14 PM
Yes..Kennywood's Turtle *is* a Tumble Bug.
Thursday, April 29, 2004 7:16 PM
Dragster Freak...yes, K-Wood's Turtle IS what we're calling a "generic TumbleBug"...

And for a reference, here you go: http://www.flatrides.com/

Not complete, but getting there...;)

Edit: Dang it mOOSH, you made me edit this.....and RT:M may be two rides, but I only rode "forwards"....1/2 credit? ;)
*** Edited 4/29/2004 11:17:58 PM UTC by rollergator***

Friday, April 30, 2004 4:56 AM
And don't forget about the Tumble Bug still rotting at Chippewa Lake. :-(


Friday, April 30, 2004 6:48 AM
There's also one at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
Friday, April 30, 2004 8:26 AM
One thing I need to update the site with is the fact that not all the Tumble Bugs are from Traver. Chambers, which bought Traver's factory, produced these rides, too.


Friday, April 30, 2004 8:31 AM
And did Chambers produce all the kiddie tumble bugs as well? Those are a lot more common.

Chambers also produced the rockets for the old Circle Swings correct?

Whatever happened to Kings Island's tumble bug. Scrapped or is it still in storage somewhere...?

Friday, April 30, 2004 9:55 AM
The Tumble Bug was indeed a Traver Tumble Bug. It operated at KI from the park's grand opening (1972) through the 1985 season.

Actually, the Tumble Bug was the oldest ride to ever operate at King's Island.

It was originally built for Cincinnati's Coney Island in 1925. Many think the carousel is the oldest to ever operate at PKI, however it was not completed by PTC for CCI until 1927. Just to complicate matters... the carousel still operates at PKI today... so it's tenure has outlasted the Tumble Bug by nearly 20 years.

The Tumble Bug was located next to the Racer on Coney Mall. It resided in a plot of land that is now home to a basketball toss game, a rope climb game and the Cyber Sez virtual game. It's original Driver's Booth still exists (last time I checked... may have been removed for the rope climb which was added last season) and could seen by the trained eye when exiting the Racer. (The Racer's exit used to walk you next to queue ramp up to the Tumble Bug loading platform.)

After the Tumble Bug was removed for the addition of Skylab (opened in 1986), the Operator's Booth was retained and also used as Skylab's Operator's Booth. Unfortunately, the Tuble Bug was scrapped and not relocated anywhere. The ride had nearly worn itself out and overall maintenance did not warrant the amount of upkeep required. Also, the land it sat upon (right at the main entrance to Coney Mall) was prime real-estate and was ripe for the dramatic placement of the Skylab Huss Giant Enterprise. Of course to detail Skylab's unusual saga at the park would require an entire post in itself.

Here is a picture I found of the Tumble Bug that was at KI.

Actually, the picture was taken when the ride still operated at Cincinnati's Coney Island... and pre 1964 or so (You can tell because of the Wildcat in the background.)

I'll continue to hunt for more pics of the Tumble Bug for you. But another great resource (should you want to see it in actual operation) is the infamous Brady Bunch episode filmed at KI. In the show, the Tumble Bug can be seen in various overhead shots as the inital opening credits roll.

Also, it has the distinction of being the ride that Marcia and Jan were exiting when Jan realized she had lost the Yogi Bear poster she bought for the kid she babysat. "Guess I'll just have to get another one!" Of course she had actually switched the poster with Mike's Architectural renderings designed for the park. "Jan, the entire reason for our trip is in these cylinders."

Probably way more info than you wanted, but it's fun to recollect. I was able to ride the Tumble Bug a number of times during my early visits to KI. It was not a "thrilling" ride, but was fun and guests enjoyed it. It usually had a line, but was also known as being a very slow wait due to low capacity and lengthy loading times.

As others have said, the closest to PKI, still operating Tumble Bug resides at Kennywood.


*** Edited 4/30/2004 2:01:35 PM UTC by Shaggy***

Friday, April 30, 2004 10:00 AM
That was HOT, Shaggy ;)

Seriously, tho...thanks for the history lesson. I was at the park in 1983 and skipped the Tumble Bug...d'oh!

Friday, April 30, 2004 10:12 AM

Oh I'd never miss a good tumble.... bug that is. ;-)

Didn't head off to Texas for the Spring Con huh? Me neither :-(


*** Edited 4/30/2004 2:15:19 PM UTC by Shaggy***

Friday, April 30, 2004 10:20 AM
Thanks, rollergator, for the link to flat rides. I'm sure I'll have fun looking up rides. Shaggy, I also rode the Tumblebug many times in KI's early years. I loved that ride. I also remember watching that episode of BB.

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