We’ve been a fan of Mangels’ Whip and Sellner’s Tilt-A-Whirl since our days as a carny kid, so naturally we’re excited about the debut of the MegaWhirl. Called the “MegaWhip” during its development phase, the new ride is said to combine the thrill of the Whip and the Tilt in a whole new way. MegaWhirl inventor Jonathan Gordon of Gordon Rides tells ATZ that the prototype is the culmination of two-and-a-half years of work.
The prototype designed by Gordon Rides and built by Larson International is set up on the factory floor at Larson’s headquarters in Plainview, Texas. A group of American Coaster Enthusiasts touring the new National Roller Coaster Museum adjacent to Larson were invited to try out the MegaWhirl and appear in the YouTube video shown above.
“I wanted to do this since I was a little kid. I spent summers as a ride mechanic at Rye Playland,” recalls Gordon, who grew up in Westchester County and went to Playland Park as a boy, where he rode the Whip and other classics. “That influenced me quite a bit,” he told ATZ. “The rides were beloved and they’re just not around anymore.” Gordon also worked in the superintendent’s office at Playland before going to engineering school and blazing his own trail as an independent ride designer. He holds numerous patents in roller coaster and ride design, including one on a “multi-track multi-vehicle interactive roller coaster.”
Unlike the Whip, the cars of the MegaWhirl spin all the way around- 360 degrees – in a random curve pattern that could be mild or intense. The ride has a footprint of 50 feet by 50 feet and an hourly capacity of 480. The only criticism of the ride has been that it could be a little faster than 4 m.p.h. The designer says he is willing to customize the speed. “If someone wanted the prototype, we could have it up and running this summer,” says Gordon, though he thinks it’s more likely the ride will debut next season. Which amusement park will give the first MegaWhirl a home?
UPDATE May 1, 2012:
Two of four trucks carrying the prototype of the MegaWhirl arrived yesterday in Coney Island! See “MegaWhirl Ride Prototype to Debut in Coney Island” (ATZ, May 1, 2012)
Related posts on ATZ…
February 1, 2011: Bring Back the Whip! A Birthday Gift for William F Mangels
September 4, 2010: Go Up, It’s Great! Coney Island’s & Deno’s Wonder Wheel