Wow man those photos of Wonderland brings back so many memories. Just then I looked at Google Maps to find its location compared to mine and it is actually not too bad of a distance away... I remember thinking the car rides to the venue would take an eternity. When I first went there as a kid, I recall being terrified of The Demon & Bush Beastie. Once I was older, I conquered my fears on both and just loved them.. although I never went on the Bounty's Revenge up-side-down boat thing. I still wish it existed.. it'd be wicked to go down there on a weekend with friends for some mild thrills.
It's really nice to see these photos as my head is being flooded with memories right now. Great stuff!
<b>//pitch black progress--</b> draining dry the very mind (all we know is what they show)
^Same, my first coaster was at Wonderland on the Beastie. Went there during a trip to Sydney at the end of 1988, and was able to drive past the Expo 88 site in Brisbane on the way to the airport. The Demon came from the Expo site as one of the three coasters that they had there during 1988. Now that is one that you maybe should post about also...will have a look to see if i can find the old park maps from that time.
The Wonderland park was sold and turned into a industrial estate, but if you are interested about the park, some of the best people to ask questions about can be found at this thread at Roller-Coaster.com.au...
That photo of the Magic Room, and the one of the Condor, were taken at the 1984's Worlds Fair in New Orleans. I distinctly remember the Magic Room being a major let down. The walls swoung back and forth, finally rotating 360 degrees while the seat in the middle remained stationary. Tried to give the feeling of a rocking ship....but nope, didnt work. I was 13 at the time of the fair, and I also remember getting stuck on the Condor, when it broke down at the very top of the lift pole.....will admit, I was scared s..tless!
>What intrigues me is the Space Race coaster, which looks like Arrow's take >on the Bobsled coaster. Too bad that never went around.
I agree about the Space Chase being an interesting ride, but it was Arrow's attempt to further control the out-of-control nature of their Flying Turns remake. I interviewed Ron Toomer last year about this very subject.
Six Flags was so impressed with Arrow that they ordered five (!) Flying Turns. The first model was going to SFOT. Arrow went so far as to fabricate the troughs for the rides, but once their prototype was up and SOMEWHAT operational in Mountain View, SF decided against the ride and canceled the contract. They instead went with the Intamin model.
I have spoken with two people who actually rode the Arrow prototype, and they both said it was WAY intense and rather dangerous. Ron said they just could not control the vehicles because they insisted on using a train that was too big/long. Apparently, the train tried to tear itself apart.
Hence, the Space Chase.
This is the last bit of information I have from Arrow. In the mid 80's Arrow Huss was forced into bankruptcy which provided an opportunity for Arrow's key employees to take the company back. The new company was named Arrow Dynamics and was headed up by Ron Toomer.
This is the time the company had much success with their Hyper Coasters and Mega-Loopers. But this is also around the time that B&M showed up on the scene and slowly started taking coaster orders away from Arrow. It wasn't long before Arrow started to fade away. They had a brief comeback with their version of the Wild Mouse, but Arrow Dynamics could not compete with the brilliance that is B&M.
After the "X" situation Arrow was again on the selling block and was picked up by S&S power. Here is the last bit of marketing material I have from Arrow Dynamics.
UPDATED 3/6/08: Added this special from PBS Nova. It contains an interview with Ron Toomer and it features the designing, building and grand opening celebration of Busch Garden's "Drachen Fire"
Wow...it's really cool to be able to see this stuff, especially the rides that were so new and innovative at the time (and pretty much standard or old at this point!) It's also interesting (to me, anyway) to see how many of the Arrow rides from the first brochure were in now defunct parks. Old Chicago, Adventureland (Addison, IL?!), Nara Dreamland and Circus World were just some of the ones that caught my eye...
Very cool stuff - thanks for sharing!
Here are a couple more old ads I found for Arrow, Geauga Lake (this kind of rubs salt in the wounds as they mention several times what great success the park is enjoying) and from Taft, owners of Kings Island, Kings Dominion, Carowings, Marineland and a few others.
I sure love those old logos, so much better than what CedarFair has come up with recently.
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