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One of the new rides we expect to see in Zamperla-landia Coney Island in 2010 is the Vertical Swing. The tower ride is Zamperla’s version of the Star Flyer prominently featured in the CIDC’s renderings since November 2007. According to the company’s website, the Swing comes in both a 125-foot park model and a 102–foot portable model (top decoration included) that takes only half a day to set up.

We also found this spectacular 190 foot (58 meter) Vertical Swing (Kettenkarussell) in a vid of Wunderland Kalko amusement park in Germany. New for 2009, the ride is sited within the cooling tower for a proposed nuclear power plant which instead became an amusement park after widespread protests! The Vertical Swing is crowned with the park’s mascot Kernie. As you can see in a second video, the ride offers a 360 degree view of the surrounding area. Can’t you just imagine yourself swinging in the sky over Coney Island’s Beach and Boardwalk this summer!

Reithoffer Sky FlyerZamperla’s first portable Vertical Swing, pictured at left, was sold to Reithoffer Shows. It debuted at last year’s Florida State Fair where it was among the top ten grossing rides. The carnival calls it “The SkyFlyer.” The lighting scheme looks more colorful than our Parachute Jump! Other top carnivals that have purchased the new ride are Ray Cammack Shows (RCS) and North American Midway Entertainment (NAME). According to Zamperla’s website: “What makes the portable ride unique is the rotation made with the entire tower (instead of a rotating center only). It reaches a maximum speed of 12 r.p.m. The setup is easy and takes about half a day. Hydraulic extension: no cranes needed!!!”

The cost of the ride– $700,000 (park model) and $790,000 (portable model)– illustrates why Zamperla had an advantage over park and carnival operators going into the Coney Island Amusement Operator RFP. As the world’s largest manufacturer of rides, Zamperla doesn’t have to get financing to buy new rides or wait months for them to be built. If the ride is not already in stock, Zamperla can ramp up production in one of their factories around the globe. We expect the company to rotate the ride line up over the ten year lease, bringing in new pieces to keep Coney Island’s midway thrilling and profitable. As we wrote in “The Contenders from A to Z” (November 23, 2009), we also expect Zamperla to try out prototypes in Coney Island, an exciting prospect that calls to mind the heyday of Coney when the first models of any new rides would come here.

The Tower Swing Ride Was Prominently Featured in the CIDC's November 2007 Renderings of  the new Coney Island Amusement Park

The Tower Swing Is Prominently Featured in the CIDC's November 2007 Renderings of the new Coney Island Amusement Park

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