A new portable version of Zamperla’s Air Race designed for traveling carnivals is one of the thrill rides on the independent midway at the Florida State Fair, which runs through today in Tampa. Owned by Joyce and Jeff Brady of Playworld Amusements, the ride debuted at October’s State Fair of Texas, where it was called the “Air Raid.” The on-ride POV vid shown above was shot at the 2012 IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando, where attendees were invited to try out the ride for free. In the vid below of the ride at the Dallas fair, skip to 1:49, which is when the planes start moving. Carnival lights are always brighter than amusement park lights!
Designed by Mega Disk’O creator Gianbattista Zambelli, the aerobatic thrill ride sends riders round and round and upside down at up to 4g forces. Since the Air Race prototype made its world debut at Zamperla’s Luna Park in Coney Island in 2010, it’s been a worldwide success with sales to parks in Portugal, China, North Korea, Chile, Australia and Utah. In 2013, Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen will debut the Air Race with eagle-shaped seats shown in the rendering below. Built on an elaborate platform, the ride’s theming has an Art Nouveau look.
Coney Island’s Air Race seats 24 riders and is similar in design to the ones at Aquashow Parc in Portugal, Lagoon Park in Utah, and Gorky Park in the Ukraine. A new deluxe model seats up to 32 riders in six four-seater planes. In an article we wrote about the new Luna Park for IAAPA Funworld in 2010, Zamperla president Valerio Ferrari said, “Our intention is to have the latest rides that we develop in our park.” The fact that the world’s largest manufacturer of amusement rides is trying out prototypes at Luna Park is an exciting development that calls to mind the heyday of Coney Island when the first models of any new park or carnival rides would make their debut here.
Zamperla also benefits because the New York City amusement park functions as a showroom for Zamperla’s New Jersey-based North American operation. In December, a Kung Fu Panda-themed version of the Air Race called Pandamonium opened at Australia’s Dreamworld, which has a partnership with DreamWorks Animation. “This swinging rickshaw ride is an adventure with a serious split personality,” according to the park’s website. “It’s two rides in one — one for kids and one for thrill seekers.” Riders get to choose the intensity of the ride –’not-so crazy’ or ‘seriously crazy’–as it spins around a mighty dragon.
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July 8, 2012: Video of the Day: Coney Island Lights by Jim McDonnell
October 8, 2010: Traveler: Most Beautiful Video of the State Fair of Texas
September 16, 2010: Luna Park Coney Island: Zamperla Air Race On-Ride POV Video