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Posts Tagged ‘Gordon Rides’

MegaWhirl in Coney Island

MegaWhirl Ride on Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island. November 11, 2012. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

The MegaWhirl, a prototype that came all the way from a Texas ride factory to debut in Coney Island, will be scrapped if a new home is not found for it soon. MegaWhirl inventor Jonathan Gordon of Gordon Rides contacted ATZ with the sad news: “Just thought you should know, I’ve been working on trying to relocate the MegaWhirl, but the damage from the storm surge has made it almost impossible. If I can’t find anyone to take the ride by the end of next week, the MegaWhirl will be demolished as per the demands of Thor Equities.” For Gordon, who signed his email, “(former) CEO/Lead Designer, GordonRides LLC,” Hurricane Sandy capped off a Coney Island season that had already been a financial disaster and bankrupted his business.

MegaWhirl Ride in Coney Island

MegaWhirl Ride on Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island. November 11, 2012. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

If you’d like the ride, which is said to combine the thrill of the Whip and the Tilt-A-Whirl, you’ll need a crane to disassemble it and four trucks to take it away. The MegaWhirl is on Thor Equities’ Stillwell Avenue lot leased to the BK Festival promoters for Cha Cha’s Steeplechase Park. There were problems at the new park from the get-go. Originally set to open on Memorial Day Weekend, the park was not able to open till four weeks later. Filing of paperwork with City agencies and bureaucratic red tape was blamed for the delay. City permitting issues relating to fencing closed the park intermittently and irregular hours had some visitors asking if and when it was open.

When the park closed after Labor Day, the rest of the rides and equipment were moved from the property. Only the MegaWhirl, Ray’s Basketball trailer and the Zipline still remain on the BK Festival lots, which are now being used by insurance companies as a temporary parking lot for the many cars from the neighborhood totaled by Hurricane Sandy. Tow trucks come in and out all day.

“Thank you for all of your help and support,” Gordon writes. “I’m looking forward to closing this awful chapter of my life and moving on to other things.” Here’s a promo video made in happier days of a group of American Coaster Enthusiasts going for a test spin at ride manufacturer Larson International’s factory in Texas.

Gordon 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 last year, when we first wrote about the ride (“New Ride: The Whip + Tilt-A-Whirl = MegaWhirl,” ATZ, June 28, 2011). “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.”

 

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November 13, 2012: Coney Island’s Eldorado Wins Lease But Bumper Cars Soaked by Sandy

November 9, 2012: Update on Coney Island’s Amusement Area After Sandy

May 1, 2012: MegaWhirl Ride Prototype to Debut in Coney Island

April 19, 2012: Rides Return to Thor’s Stillwell Lots for 1st Time Since 2008

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MegaWhirl

Test Spin on the MegaWhirl, Coney Island. May 10, 2012. Photo © Eric Kowalsky. All Rights Reserved

Last week ATZ posted photos of the MegaWhirl ride, a prototype from Gordon Rides and Larson International, being assembled on Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island. It was only a matter of time before somebody went for the ride’s first spin outside of the factory floor. Coney photographer Eric Kowalsky sent us these photos of workers assembling the MegaWhirl going for a test spin.

We’ve already written quite a bit about the MegaWhirl, a new ride described as combining the thrill of the Whip and the Tilt-A-Whirl, and look forward to going for our first spin! The ride is expected to debut at the BK Festival’s new Steeplechase Park in Coney Island on Memorial Day Weekend.

Test Spin on the MegaWhirl, Coney Island. May 10, 2012. Photo © Eric Kowalsky. All Rights Reserved

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May 1, 2012: MegaWhirl Ride Prototype to Debut in Coney Island

April 19, 2012: Rides Return to Thor’s Stillwell Lots for 1st Time Since 2008

March 5, 2012: Exclusive: Goodbye Flea Market, Hello “Steeplechase Park”

June 28, 2011: New Ride: The Whip + Tilt-A-Whirl = MegaWhirl

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MegaWhirl

MegaWhirl Cars in Coney Island. May 6, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

ATZ snapped these photos over the weekend of the MegaWhirl under construction on the BK Festival lot in Coney Island. Set up in the center of the Stillwell East lot, the ride platform is surrounded by amusement rides including a Himalaya and Bumper Cars from Castle Rock Shows.

As previously reported, the MegaWhirl, a prototype ride described as combining the thrill of the Whip and the Tilt, is expected to make its debut on Memorial Day Weekend. Designed by Jonathan Gordon of Gordon Rides, the prototype was built by Larson International and was previously set up on the factory floor at Larson’s headquarters in Texas.

Thor Equities’ Stillwell Avenue lots were leased to the BK Festival promoters for last year’s flea market and this year’s new Steeplechase Park. Will McCarthy, event director of the BK festival, tells ATZ that the flea market didn’t mesh with the Coney Island location and this season the BK Festival will bring in rides and amusements along with a smaller number of vendors.

Coney Island

MegaWhirl Platform Under Construction in Coney Island. May 5, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

Related posts on ATZ…

May 1, 2012: MegaWhirl Ride Prototype to Debut in Coney Island

April 19, 2012: Rides Return to Thor’s Stillwell Lots for 1st Time Since 2008

March 5, 2012: Exclusive: Goodbye Flea Market, Hello “Steeplechase Park”

June 28, 2011: New Ride: The Whip + Tilt-A-Whirl = MegaWhirl

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MegaWhirl

MegaWhirl Ride in Action, Still from Promotional Video. © Gordon Rides

The MegaWhirl, a prototype ride described as combining the thrill of the Whip and the Tilt in a whole new way is expected to make its debut in Coney Island this season. On Monday, the first two of four trucks carrying the MegaWhirl structure arrived on Thor Equities’ Stillwell Avenue lot leased to the BK Festival promoters for their new Steeplechase Park. The new ride’s arrival is another promising sign of Coney Island’s revival. Back in the day, the first models of new park or carnival rides would make their debut here.

“This is the prototype. It’s running like a charm,” the MegaWhirl’s designer Jonathan Gordon of Gordon Rides told ATZ. Over the next few weeks, the ride will be set up, tested and inspected. “If all goes well, we’re hoping that the ride will make its debut along with the rest of the park on Memorial Day Weekend.” The prototype was built by Larson International and was previously set up on the factory floor at Larson’s headquarters in Plainview, Texas. Promo videos show visiting ride enthusiasts going for a test spin.

“This dizzying ride swings riders in all directions, creating the illusion of near-misses with other carriages and the edges of the ride,” according to Gordon Rides website. 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. As a family ride, it runs at a maximum of 4 miles per hour. “We’re going to tweak it a little bit faster,” said Gordon.

When we interviewed Gordon last year for “New Ride: The Whip + Tilt-A-Whirl = MegaWhirl” (ATZ, June 28, 2011), the White Plains-based ride designer said that he grew up in Westchester County and went to Playland Park as a boy, where he enjoyed riding the Whip and other classics. “That influenced me quite a bit,” Gordon told ATZ. “The rides were beloved and they’re just not around anymore.” He spent summers working at the park, first as a mechanic and later in the superintendent’s office before going to engineering school. He holds numerous patents in roller coaster and ride design, including one on a “multi-track multi-vehicle interactive roller coaster.”

First Trucks Carrying the MegaWhirl Arrive in Coney Island. April 30, 2012. Photo © Gordon Rides

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Related posts on ATZ…

April 19, 2012: Rides Return to Thor’s Stillwell Lots for 1st Time Since 2008

March 5, 2012: Exclusive: Goodbye Flea Market, Hello “Steeplechase Park”

June 28, 2011: New Ride: The Whip + Tilt-A-Whirl = MegaWhirl

February 1, 2011: Bring Back the Whip! A Birthday Gift for William F Mangels

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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)

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May 9, 2012: MegaWhirl Prototype Under Construction in Coney Island

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

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

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