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Archive for the ‘Amusement ride’ Category

Chance Turbo

November 2014 Ad for a Chance Turbo ride in Zhejiang, China, which sold to Playland in Vancover, Canada via usedrides.com

This week, ATZ learned that Playland Vancouver will re-sell the rare 1970’s Turbo ride purchased last year from China via usedrides.com instead of having it refurbished as planned. Last November ATZ had the scoop on the acquisition of the legendary and surreal-looking amusement ride by Canada’s oldest park, which hosts the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE). The news galvanized the 700-plus members of the Turbo Amusement Ride Fan Club, who are ready to plan their vacations and travel to distant places for the ride’s comeback. Why did the PNE change their plans?

“Chance has given us an extensive report on the machine’s condition that has shocked us,” PNE Maintenance Supervisor Peter Tremblay told ATZ, referring to the Turbo’s manufacturer, Chance Rides. “With this report our board has voted to sell this ride, rather then repair to add to our park due to high costs and risks. On a more positive note, we have had very high interest in the machine, and now it will be sold to a U.S. buyer.”

The Turbo, which was brought to China from Australia a decade ago, was shipped to Chance’s factory in Wichita, Kansas. A spokesman for the manufacturer said Chance will not go ahead with any work on the ride until the PNE has sold it to a new owner. As ATZ reported previously, this Turbo is expected to get a re-do rather than a restoration. Chance and the PNE had agreed to “a full make over in line with today’s strict safety standards” and “new open style tubs limiting 2 passengers per arm to make this ride more modern,” much to the dismay of Turbo aficionados, many of whom were born too late to have experienced the unique thrill of the ride.

A total of 23 Turbos were manufactured by Chance Rides from 1970 through 1976, and none are currently in operation. The Turbo Amusement Ride Fan Club’s hopes are now pinned on the two Turbos being restored as labors of love by independent ride operators Jerry Baque of Classic Rides Amusements in California and Elwin Bell of Bell’s Amusements in Australia.

Turbo Maple Leaf Village

Mark Hackett, co-founder of the Turbo Amusement Ride Fan Club, after riding the Turbo for the first time – 12 times in a row!- at Maple Leaf Village in Niagara Falls, 1991. Photo © Mark Hackett

Related posts on ATZ…

Janaury 20, 2015: Coney Island 2015: Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park Adds Scrambler, ‘Twist & Shout’ Drop Tower

November 13, 2014: The Turbo, Legendary 1970s Thrill Ride Poised to Return

June 4, 2014: Astroland Rocket Finds New Home Beside the Wonder Wheel

August 8, 2013: Rare & Vintage: Looking for Artifacts from Idora Park

January 21, 2013: Rare & Vintage: 1960s Chance Skydiver Car

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Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park Scrambler

Astroland Scrambler Back Home in Coney Island at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. Photo via Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park

With only 2 months and 9 days till Coney Island’s official opening day on Palm Sunday — March 29, 2015 — new rides are starting to arrive at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. This year, park co-owner Dennis Vourderis says they are bringing back the popular Scrambler and adding three new family rides, including a Twist and Shout Drop Tower to Deno’s Kiddie Park. The other two new family rides slated for the kiddie park are to be announced.

Remember Astroland’s Scrambler? It’s back at home in Coney Island at Deno’s! The Scrambler will be located between the Wonder Wheel and the Barbieri Bumper Cars, which also hail from Astroland and were refurbished and returned in 2012. With 24 cars and a huge floor, it’s the largest bumper car ride in Coney. The historic 1962 Astroland Rocket was in that spot last year and has been moved across the midway.

The new drop tower, which adults and children can ride together, is set for the corner spot on the Boardwalk at West 12th Street. Nick, Deno and Dennis Vourderis went for a test ride at the IAAPA trade show in Orlando in November. “Adults can ride this one too! Yayyyyy!!!! Ordered ours with different theming and colors,” said a post on the park’s Facebook page.

Drop Tower Wonder Wheel Park

Nick, Deno and Dennis Vourderis testing new drop tower at IAAPA in Orlando. Photo via Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park

Related posts on ATZ…

December 28, 2014: Photo of the Day: Coney’s Parachute Jump & Wonder Wheel Lit for Holidays

June 4, 2014: Astroland Rocket Finds New Home Beside the Wonder Wheel

February 28, 2014: Photo Album: Wonder Wheel Park Preps for Coney Island’s Opening Day

May 21, 2009: Astroland Closed But Your Kid Can Still Ride the USS Astroland This Summer!

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Turkey Whirl

Turkey Whirl. Photo via Holiday World Theme Park

Happy Thanksgiving! You can celebrate again this spring at Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana, by going for a spin on their turkey-themed Tilt-A-Whirl ride. The world’s first and only Turkey Whirl was custom-made in 2007 for the holiday-themed park.

“Do you watch carefully for the first robin of spring each year?” says their blog. “Here at Holiday World, it’s the first turkey of spring that makes our hearts leap with joy!” The park opened as Santa Claus Land in 1946 and later added sections with rides and entertainment inspired by Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the Fourth of July, as well as roller coasters and a water park. Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari opens April 25.

Related posts on ATZ…

December 22, 2013: Traveler: Christmas Holidays at Parks in Northern Climes

October 21, 2013: Traveler: Osteria Ai Pioppi’s Homemade Amusement Rides

August 9, 2012: Traveler: Skywheel at the Wisconsin State Fair 2012

October 6, 2010: Traveler: Where You Can Play Fascination Year Round

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Chance Turbo

Ad for a Chance Turbo ride in Zhejiang, China, which recently sold to an amusement park in Canada via usedrides.com. November 7, 2014

A surreal-looking amusement ride from the 1970’s called the Turbo has hundreds of devoted fans ready to schedule their vacations and travel to distant places for its comeback. Though only 23 Turbos were manufactured by Chance Rides from 1970 through 1976, and none are currently in operation, two are being lovingly restored in California and Australia. The 635 members of the Turbo Amusement Ride Fan Club, a private group on Facebook, are eagerly awaiting the chance to go for a retro spin.

A few days ago, when an ad for a Turbo for sale in Zhejiang, China appeared on usedrides.com, excitement ensued. The price: $49,000. No sooner were the pros and cons of a crowdfunding campaign to buy it being discussed than ATZ learned from the seller that the ride, which had been brought from Australia a decade ago, had sold to a park in Canada. “Playland in Vancouver,” seller Jack Su told ATZ via email. A call to the park seeking comment has yet to be returned.

UPDATE, November 14: ATZ just received confirmation from PNE Maintenance Supervisor Peter Tremblay that Playland Vancouver has indeed purchased the Turbo from China and expects it to debut in 2016. Will the PNE modify their plan to replace the iconic buckets as the overhaul of the ride moves forward? It is always controversial when a park (more…)

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Deno's Wonder Wheel Park Carousel

Deno’s Carousel being dismantled for the winter, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. October 29, 2014. Photo © Tricia Vita

After closing for the season on October 26th, the carousel at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park was partially disassembled and the horses were put to bed for the winter. Luckily, ATZ happened to be there to snap a few shots. Who knew that the ponies spend the off-season hibernating inside the dark ride Spook-A-Rama?! (more…)

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Thor Equities Coney Island

Thor Equities vacant lot on Coney Island’s Bowery at West 12th Street. November 2, 2014. Photo © Tricia Vita

It’s not surprising that the Coney Island Rumor Mill’s latest rumor is virtually the same one we hear every year–that amusement rides are coming to one of Thor Equities CEO Joe Sitt’s vacant lots next season.

The woeful looking lot on the Bowery is adjacent to Luna Park’s Scream Zone and within sight of the new Thunderbolt roller coaster. One corner of the lot was occupied by McCullough’s Kiddie Park until October 2012, when the 50-year-old park’s long-term lease expired. The rest of the lot was part of Batting Cage and Go Kart City, which also featured bumper boats and a miniature golf course, and was evicted by Thor Equities in 2006. The last time a carnival came to this lot was 2012. The platform of the abandoned MegaWhirl ride remains.

According to the Rumor Mill, the construction of underground utilities are expected to get underway in preparation for a new amusement park to open in the spring. The Coney Island amusement area’s Palm Sunday opener– March 29th– is in 145 days. Despite various amusement operators efforts to negotiate lease deals with Thor Equities in the past, the lots remained vacant this year as well as in 2010 and 2013, when the City issued a stop-work order on a permit for “temporary parking for the amusement district.” We’ll tag this story #HopeSpringsEternal.

Thor's Coney Island

Thor’s Coney Island: Aerial view of vacant lots on south side of the Bowery between W 12th and W 15th where amusements once thrived. July 7, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

Related posts on ATZ…

August 22, 2013: In Memoriam: Carousel & Amusement Park Operator Jimmy McCullough

September 4, 2012: Exclusive: McCullough’s Kiddie Park Closing After 50 Years in Coney Island

June 14, 2011: Coney Island Kiddie Park Getting Squeezed by Thor Equities

March 3, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: What Stillwell Looked Like Before Joe Sitt

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Fantasy Shore Amusement Park

This Spinning Tea Cup is one of four children’s rides at new Fantasy Shore Amusement Park in Staten Island. Photo by NY Carousel

Staten Island’s east shore, where Ferris wheels, coasters and carousels were awhirl in the early 20th century, has its first seaside park since South Beach’s Beachland Amusements closed after 65 years. Fantasy Shore Amusement Park in Midland Beach opened last weekend for “preview days,” which continue on Thursday and Friday from 11am till 6pm. The grand opening and ribbon cutting is scheduled for June 28th.

The new kiddie park opened with four rides: Tea Cups, Train, Frog Hopper and a mini-roller coaster christened the Verrazano Viper. Fantasy Shore is run by NY Carousel Entertainment, which answered the Parks Department’s RFP (Request for Proposals) to develop and operate a children’s amusement park for a 12-year term. The park is on Father Capodanno Blvd at Seaview Avenue, adjacent to Midland Beach Fishing Pier.

Queens Motor Speedway

Queens Motor Speedway Ride at Fantasy Forest Amusement Park.
Flushing Meadows, Queens. Photo by NY Carousel

The company also operates two historic Queens carousels in City parks in Flushing Meadows and Forest Park. Last year, NY Carousel added a mini-amusement park called Fantasy Forest at Flushing Meadows, including Queens’ only roller coaster, a family ride called the Corona Cobra similar to the one in Midland Beach. On Memorial Day weekend, the Queens park debuted a new ride called the Queens Motor Speedway inspired by the Kiddie Whip ride manufactured by the Mangels Company in Coney Island. (more…)

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