restoca wrote:I had never seen the Katapult until I saw (fell victim to?) a very bad Shelley Winters film on TV many years ago. It was about carnies, where she and her husband were the owners of the Katapult, if I remember correctly. There's a brief description of the 1981 masterpiece at imdb.
Were the two Wildwood locations the only US home of a Katapult? How many trips through the loop did one ride get you? (My, what a long train you have...)
I need to check out that Shelly Winters flick. Her performance in the Poseidon Adventure is seared into my psyche ... forever. Did you she ride the Katapult? THAT would be something to see ...
No, you´re right! "Looping" is a very awkward German movie that tried to be profound but turned out to be incredibly tacky.
Not only does Shelley Winters ride the ride in the front row with her husband (it´s the opening ride after they saved their whole life to buy a rollercoaster) but (SPOILER) they both get shot in the head during the ride. To make it even better: The shots are in slow-motion and pretty graphic.
There is also lots of strip-tease on the bumper cars by Sidney Rome.
Well, it sounds much funnier than it actually is.
Regarding the Katapult: Usually the ride would start out going slowly back and forth until it began to speed up dropping halfway out of the loop. The train would go through the loop three times forwards and then three times backwards.
Occasionally the operator would accelerate the train out of the station and into the loop (sometimes even backwards). This was the most thrilling way to operate the ride, but it was done pretty rarely. I guess it was too expensive and put stress on the friction wheels.
The Jumbo Jet and the Katapult! Those really were the glory days of Wildwood. While I never rode the Katapult, I did ride the Jumbo Jet, and remember always being terrified as we ascended the lift, because the ride was at the back corner of the pier.
I also rode Canyon Trip once. It was interesting. For some reason, I remember the backdrop of Canyon Trip including Mount Rushmore in it.
Thanks again for the post! I love these little strolls down memory lane.
Home Park: Six Flags Great Adventure Favorite Coaster: El Toro
I was looking around The Closet this evening and found more photos and material relating to several other lost wooden coasters that I thought I would share. The featured rides include the CNE Flyer, Americana/LeSourdsville Screechin' Eagle, Fairyland Wildcat and Myrtle Beach boneyard shots.
There's a little bonus at the bottom of this post. I'm curious if anyone can shed light on those images.
Postcard of the CNE when it was wonderful. Look at all those classic rides!
The Flyer is another woodie I photographed but never got to ride. :(
This strange ride featured some sweet fan turns.
If you look closely, you can see one of the Flyer's BIG four-car/four-bench trains. So odd for ride of this size to use such formidable rolling stock.
Good night, moon ... um, Flyer.
In its later years, Screechin' Eagle was a little gem that got overshadowed by the coasters at nearby Kings Island.
Those girls in the last seat are airborn!
Those NAD trains are all about 'rider freedom.'
A nice big drop into the brakes. I hope someone saves this ride.
I shot these pics just before the Wildcat was dismantled and rebuilt at Frontier City.
NAD coasters were all about designing with circles and straight lines. This often translated into major airtime!
The Wildcat, as it operates today, is NOT the same ride that thrilled riders at Fairyland.
This sign described the ride but misspells the name of NAD's president and founder -- Aurel Vaszin.
I "think" these trains came from GASM at SFOG. I just happened to see them rotting away in a field next to Family kingdom. I'm guessing they were cannibalized for the Swamp Fox.
Note the Off Shore Drilling Company in the background. Anyone remember that place?
This pic came from a recent book -- "Springlake Amusement Park." Check out the coaster hills in the background. HOW did this little train make it over these humps?!
This pic was in the same book. Has anyone ever seen this ride? It was called the Orbit and appears to be a Zipper/Loop-O-Plane hybrid!
^Boy, just when I thought the Zipper couldn't get any worse...
Great post Scott, I really liked seeing those old Great American Scream Machine cars sitting idle in the old field. I did get a chance to ride both the Flyer and Screechin Eagle (have you seen my POV of the Flyer on youtube?) They were both Awesome rides! The Eagle was better IMO.
As you know I just got back from Mexico City where I rode the MOTHER of all NADs! Montana Rusa. It still has some wild, violent pops of air and looked as beautiful as ever. Problem was they were only running ONE train on a busy day (that is one train for both tracks not one on each side). Dispatches where about every 10 minutes. Still a great ride and worth the trip to Mex to ride it!
Yeah, that Zipper-like thing looks insane. I would love to see some video!
Oh, and I'm shocked the Mexico City Racer was running one train! That's nuts! The bloody thing can handle SIX 4-car trains. I wish I could've joined you on that trip. Dreier Looping, Laser Loop AND that NAD woodie ... Mmmmmmm.
I miss my beloved Screechin' Eagle. That ride at night in the back seat was truly something to behold. Kids today don't have any idea... I hear all the time: "I like the Racer because of the crazy airtime!" If only they knew what was rotting away in the weeds just a couple exits north...
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