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Posts Tagged ‘The Whip’

Speedway Ride at Deno's Wonder Wheel Park

One of NASCAR themed race cars from the Zamperla Speedway ride at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. March 2, 2015. Photo via Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park

This season in Coney Island, the famed Whip returns with a NASCAR twist. One of the three new family rides debuting at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park this spring is the popular Speedway, a Mangels’ Whip inspired ride manufactured by Zamperla. Race cars revolve around an oval track and whip around the ends against a colorful backdrop of race scenes. Adults and children can enjoy riding together, which is a plus for parents taking kids for their first rides at an amusement park.

Zamperla Speedway at Denos Wonder Wheel Park

Speedway ride being assembled at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. March 2, 2015. Photo via Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park

William F. Mangels, the inventor of such early 20th century thrill rides as the Whip and the Tickler, is one of the amusement industry pioneers honored in the Coney Island Hall of Fame. The beloved vintage Mangels’ Fire Engine and Pony Cart rides in Deno’s Kiddie Park and the 1919 B&B Carousell were manufactured at the Mangels’ factory on 8th Street. The Whip, which was patented more than a century ago, in 1914, was a huge success. A 1924 ad described it as “Famous throughout the world –The WHIP! Thrilling amusement ride – a product of Coney Island – manufactured exclusively by WF Mangels- Coney Island NY USA,” followed by a list of foreign reps.

Fatty Rides the Whip

Fatty Arbuckle Rides the Whip in 1917 silent film comedy 'Coney Island'

Coney Island has had dozens of Whips, but the ride eventually disappeared from the place of its origin.

As William F. Mangels said when he was in his 80s, “This business is one of cycles. Old things come back into popularity.”

The Speedway ride will go for its first spin at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park on March 29, which is Palm Sunday and Coney Island’s Opening Day.

Zamperla Speedway

Zamperla Speedway in Action. Photo via Zamperla

Related posts on ATZ…

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

February 28, 2013: Coney Island Shooting Gallery from 1940s Makes Comeback

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

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

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Tornado Roller Coaster

Vintage postcard of the 1926 Tornado Roller Coaster, also known as The Bobs, on Stillwell Avenue East, Coney Island

News that the landmark Childs Building on the Boardwalk will be developed into a music venue brings the delightful prospect of Coney’s amusement area extending all the way from 21st Street to the soon-to-be-renovated to the tune of $150 million New York Aquarium on West 8th. An RFP to develop and operate amusements on a narrow City-owned lot at 15th Street makes it likely that Coney Island will get a major roller coaster as well.

The Coney Island Rumor Mill has been saying for months that Luna Park operator and ride manufacturer Zamperla was designing a brand-new coaster for Coney with some claiming to have seen the design. When Italian Wired asked Alberto Zamperla over the summer what his company was secretly working on, he mentioned only a super coaster inspired by the sci-fi Western “Cowboys & Aliens” as well as an interactive water attraction to be built in Coney Island before being sold around the world.

Will the new amusements on 15th Street pay tribute to any of Coney Island’s famed coasters of the past? We’d love to see an homage to the Tornado, aka “The Bobs,” which is pictured above. The 1926 thriller was a complex ride built on a narrow lot on Stillwell Avenue East and had an array of other rides, games, sideshows and restaurants beneath it. What more could we ask for in Coney Island? It’s time to bring out ATZ’s big wish list. This is actually the first of a series of posts since the list is a bit longer than we anticipated!

When a $168 million, 26-acre surf park was planned for Randall’s Island several years ago, our first thought was they should be building it in Coney Island. A year-round surf venue in Coney would attract surfers and spectators, residents and tourists alike. Then the project fell through due to funding problems and technology flaws. Over the past two years, new surf parks and surf pools are once again in the news, thanks to innovations in artificial wave surfing.

Next year, the first indoor surf park in the US will open in Nashua, New Hampshire featuring what American Wave Machine Inc. describes as the world’s largest standing wave surfing machine. The all-season surfing venue will have a retractable glass roof, glass walls for spectator viewing, surfside lounging area and a cafe. Last year in Lima, Peru, the company debuted the world’s first surf arena at La Ola Movistar SurfStream, which visitors from the US in the above vid describe as “The closest thing to surfing outside of the ocean yet. If I was a kid I would not leave this thing.” Promo vids of special events at the arena show world-class surfers competing in contests while rock bands play poolside. Build it and they will come to Coney!

Silverball Pinball Museum

Silverball Pinball Museum Arcade, Asbury Park Boardwalk, NJ. May 1, 2011. Photo © Tricia Vita

Coney Island once had dozens of year-round arcades, now there are just a few open seasonally. Meanwhile in California, Las Vegas, Baltimore, and on the Jersey Shore, pinball museums have become local gathering places and year-round tourist destinations. The Asbury Park Boardwalk is making a comeback and part of the allure is the bells, buzzers and flashing lights of pinball. The Silver Ball Museum Arcade and Pinball Hall of Fame boasts the top 200 machines from the electromechanical wonders of the 1930s and ’40s up to the solid state electronic games of today.

When we visited Silver Ball last year, owner and pinball machine collector Rob Ilvento explained: “Every game you’re playing at the museum was the top game of that year. Six thousand titles were made, like everything else some games are fun some aren’t. If the operators couldn’t make money, the manufacturer would stop making it, so it may make it rare but it doesn’t necessarily make it collectible. The ones that I put in the museum are not only collectible but have a fun factor when you play.”

Signage above the machines narrates the history of pinball and the stories of the individual games. Patrons pay $10 for a one hour pass, $20 to play all day and $25 for a family of six on a Sunday night. The museum also hosts parties, weddings, fundraisers and pinball tournaments.

Coney Island is famous as the place where the hot dog was invented and the roller coaster was perfected. Coney is less well known as the place where William F. Mangels invented the Whip since the ride doesn’t operate here anymore though it thrives elsewhere. The same thing can be said for the game of Fascination and Frozen Custard, among other Coney Island originals. Why not bring them back for people to enjoy once again, perhaps in a special section of the revitalized Coney devoted to historic rides and attractions?

In Margate, England, the Dreamland Trust is creating the world’s first heritage amusement park with a 1914 Whip, a 1920s Caterpillar and other rides collected from around the UK, as well as their park’s original 1920 Scenic Railway, the oldest of its kind in Britain. “Work is now underway to reinstate Dreamland as one of the UK’s best-loved amusement parks with a heritage story to tell,” according to the website of the £10m park, which is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, the UK government and their local council.

Last year we wrote “Bring Back the Whip! A Birthday Gift for William F Mangels” (ATZ, Feb. 1, 2011), which includes a Whip Census. If you know of any Whips not on the list, please let us know. It’s a shame that Coney Island, where this classic ride was invented in 1914, doesn’t have an operating Whip. If you want to ride it, you’ll have to take a trip to Rye Playland, Knoebels, Kennywood, Cedar Point, Trimper’s or any of the other parks or carnivals listed on ATZ’s Whip Census. The Whip was one of the first and most popular thrill rides. Old timers tell us there used to be quite a few Whips as well as quite a few carousels and roller coasters in good ol’ Coney Island. Wouldn’t it be fitting to have a Mangels Whip installed in Steeplechase Plaza next to Mangels’ B & B Carousell? It’s not in the plans, so we’ll add it to our wish list for 15th Street.

Whip Car

Mackie ‘Rides’ the Vintage Fairy Whip Car at the Coney Island History Project. May 22, 2010. Photo © Coney Island History Project via flickr

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Related posts on ATZ…

January 28, 2012: Lost Delights of Coney Island: Frozen Custard

November 29, 2011: Fascination: From Coney Island to Nantasket Beach

November 15, 2011: Coney Island 2012: What’s New on the Boardwalk

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

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ATZ’s “Top 10 Coney Island News Stories of 2011” was based on page views, but our fave posts didn’t make the cut. “Sometimes really great posts fall through the cracks, are too esoteric to be popular, or at least deserve another visit,” writes blogger Visualingual, whose exquisite “Looking Back: Best VL Posts of 2010,” (and 2011) inspired us to put together this round-up of ATZ faves. In Part 1 and 2 (tomorrow), you’ll find videos, photos, and an antique image or two to while away the last hours of 2011…

cat

Target the Cat, Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

In February we dropped by the Bowery to visit Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat & His Friend Pretty. When the games are open for business, the gregarious Target is likely to be found sitting on the counter of the Balloon Dart. Even in the winter, he can be seen making his rounds.

Also in February, ATZ paid tribute to a legendary Coney Island ride inventor in “Bring Back the Whip! A Birthday Gift for William F Mangels.” But if you want to ride the Whip, you’ll have to take a trip to Rye Playland, Knoebels, Kennywood, Trimper’s or any one of the other parks or carnivals listed on ATZ’s Whip Census in the post. Coney Island, where this classic was invented in 1914, doesn’t have an operating Whip! In this video by sodadaze, you can see the ride in action at Knoebels set to the tune of Devo’s “Whip It.”

In March, ATZ posted historian and Coney Island History Project director Charles Denson’s latest video “Cyclone Roller Coaster: Four Seasons.” This behind-the-scenes look at Coney Island’s landmark roller coaster lets you walk the tracks – summer and winter – and get up close to the machinery in the motor room.

In March, ATZ learned via twitter that Coney Island’s Inexhaustible Cow, a 19th century attraction which dispensed milk for 5 cents a cup, had apparently survived. A Pennsylvania dealer of Americana was selling the wooden cow (milk not included) for $78,000. In Inexhaustible Cows & Bottomless Cups of Chocolate Milk, we looked into the history of the Coney Island cows –there was more than one–and reminisced about bottomless cups of chocolate milk for a quarter at the Michigan State Fair.

Cow, Coney Island from Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views. New York Public Library, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs

If you’re adept at reading letters backwards you’ll like this Flickr Slide Show: DNALSI YENOC –> CONEY ISLAND. The letters frame the view from Stillwell Terminal as visitors exit onto Surf Avenue. DNALSI YENOC is also the name of a flickr group started by Coney Island photographer Barry Yanowitz. The collection of photos document the view, which changed irrevocably in 2010 when the Henderson Building and Shore Hotel across the avenue were demolished by Thor Equities. A new building –touted as “The Retail Ride of a Lifetime” by Thor– is now rising on the empty lot.

One of our favorite photos of the summer of 2011 is this Photo of the Day: Umbrellas on Coney Island Beach. On the Fourth of July, photographer Jim McDonnell took this amazing shot of Coney Island’s beach brimming with colorful umbrellas. “The 4th itself started out hazy but turned hot, humid and incredibly crowded!” he said.

Beach Umbrellas in Coney Island

Beach Umbrellas in Coney Island. July 4, 2011. Photo © Jim McDonnell via smugmug

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Related posts on ATZ…

December 31, 2011: Amusing the Zillion’s Fave 11 Posts of 2011 – Part 2

December 27, 2011: Amusing the Zillion’s Top 10 Coney Island News Stories of 2011

November 15, 2011: Coney Island 2012: What’s New on the Boardwalk

January 1, 2011: Amusing the Zillion’s Top 10 Coney Island News Stories of 2010

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Whip Car

Mackie 'Rides' the Whip Car at the Coney Island History Project. May 22, 2010. Photo © Coney Island History Project via flickr

This Mangels’ Fairy Whip car is one of our favorite artifacts in the Coney Island History Project’s exhibition center. It was manufactured circa 1920 at William F. Mangels Factory on 8th Street in Coney Island, which is now the Department of Motor Vehicles Building. Mangels, who was the inventor of such early 20th century thrill rides as the Whip and the Tickler, is one of the amusement industry pioneers honored in the Coney Island Hall of Fame.

But if you want to ride the Whip, you’ll have to take a trip to Rye Playland, Knoebels, Kennywood, Trimper’s or any one of the other parks or carnivals listed on ATZ’s Whip Census. This video pays tribute to Mangels, who was born on February 1, 1867, and shows the Whip in action at Knoebels.

Last February we marked the birthday of William F Mangels with a pictorial tribute to his shooting gallery targets. This year we’re proclaiming Bring Back the Whip! It’s a shame that Coney Island, where this classic ride was invented, doesn’t have an operating Whip. Patented by Mangels in 1914, the Whip was one of the first and most popular thrill rides. Old timers tell us there used to be quite a few Whips as well as quite a few carousels and roller coasters in good ol’ Coney Island. Wouldn’t it be fitting to have a Mangels Whip installed in Steeplechase Plaza next to Mangels’ B & B Carousell?

Painted Buckets

Painted Buckets: Scene at Trimpers: The Whip - one of the antique mini rides for the little kids. March 27, 2010. Photo © OC Always via flickr

A couple of years ago we started the Whip Census with the help of our friends on Matt’s Carnival Warehouse forum. We were surprised and pleased to find so many Whips out there! As you’ll see from the list, which we believe is far from complete,the ride is still very popular. And it’s nice to know there are still some traveling ones since the Whip is considered the first portable thrill ride. If you know about additional locations, including rides in storage, please comment below or email hello[at]triciavita[dot]com. Perhaps one of these Whips can be relocated to Coney Island in the future!

Parks

Americana/LeSourdsville Lake Park, Monroe, OH. 8-car Whip added in 1941. Park has been closed since 2002.

Beech Bend Park, Bowling Green KY,  Kiddie Whip bought at Guntown Mt sale, originally from Beech Bend and returned home.

Bushkill Park, Easton, PA. Park is currently closed

Camden Park, Huntington, WV, 8-car model

Canobie Lake Park, Salem, NH, 8-car oval Kiddie Whip

Cedar Point, Sandusky OH, Kiddie Roto Whip

Dorney Park, Allentown, PA, 12-car model

Hillcrest Park, Wilmington, IL, Roto Whip. Park closed and ride was sold at auction in 2003.

Idlewild Park, Ligonier, PA. 12-car Whip added in 1930s. It now has fiberglass cars.

Keansburg Amusement Park, NJ, Roto Whip

Kennywood Park, West Mifflin, PA, 1918: The Whip is added. 1923: Kiddie Whip is among the first four rides in Kiddieland. 1926: The original 12-car Whip is replaced by a new 16-car model. 1975: Kiddie Whip is destroyed in Dance Hall (Ghost Ship) fire. A vintage miniature Whip from Massachusett’s defunct Paragon Park replaced it.

The Whip

The Whip at Kennywood Park Jul 26, 2010. Photo © agentsmj/Scott Jones

Kiddieland, Melrose Park, IL, 1949 Roto-Whip. Park closed & rides auctioned in 2009. Whip purchased for $11,500 by Jeff Kimble, an antiques collector and restoration specialist who has a private, 30-acre indoor park in Loganville, Ga.

Kings Island, Mason, OH, Kiddie Whip

Knoebels, Elysburg, PA, Whip from Croops Glen in Hunlock Creek PA moved to Knoebels in the 40s or 50s. Knoebels also has a Kiddie Whip (Oval).

Lakeside Park, Denver, CO

Lakeside Park, Fond du Lac, WI, Roto Whip

Magic Forest, Lake George, NY, Roto Whip

Midway State Park, Bemus Point, NY, Roto Whip

Pocono Mt Go Kart Play Park, Marshall’s Creek, PA, Roto Whip

Rye Playland, Rye, NY, 12-car model

Stricker’s Grove, Ross, OH, Kiddie Whip

Sylvan Beach Amusement Park on Oneida Lake, NY, Roto Whip and one or two other Mangels pieces.

Trimper’s Rides, Ocean City, MD, Fairy Whip for kids (indoors)

Twin Grove Park & Campground, Pine Grove, PA

Carnivals

Benner’s Amusements, PA, Kiddie  Oval Whip from Eldridge Park in Elmira, NY

Chuck Reid’s Imperial Shows, CT, Roto-Whip

Funtastic Shows, Oregon

Hudson Valley Shows, NY.  Roto Whip

Montana Brothers Amusements, Scranton, PA

Perry Amusements, Ohio. Roto Whip, trailer mounted by the show

Rainbow Promotons, Lansdowne, PA, 6-car model, truck mounted Kiddie Whip that is now on a trailer.

Fatty Rides the Whip

Fatty Arbuckle Rides the Whip in 1917 silent film comedy 'Coney Island'

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Related posts on ATZ…

November 18, 2010: Good News from Coney Island! Eldorado “Bump Your Ass Off” Bumper Cars To Reopen

September 4, 2010: Go Up, It’s Great! Coney Island’s & Deno’s Wonder Wheel

February 25, 2010: Happy Belated Birthday to Coney Island’s William F Mangels

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

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