Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Vintage Postcards - Cedar Fair 'Coasters

Disney parks are generally not known for their roller coasters (with a few exceptions), but Cedar Fair-owned parks are world-famous for 'coasters! Ken Martinez has some vintage postcards featuring some of these roller coasters - here's Ken:

Coasters at parks eventually owned by Cedar Fair

Sometimes when I look at my postcards, I try to figure out how to group some of them for an article.  I decided with these lone postcards to group them into coasters that operate/operated in a park eventually owned by Cedar Fair.

I love this red border jumbo card of the High Roller at Valleyfair!  This wood creation was the park’s first major roller coaster and built by International Amusement Devices (IAD) .  It reaches a height of 70 feet and a speed of 50 mph.  It’s the only one in today’s postcards that’s still running in its original location.

Here’s the world’s first modern inverted coaster, the Roaring 20’s “Corkscrew”  I’m still trying to figure out when the coaster track was painted blue as it started out all-white when it first opened.  I assume it was probably painted blue around the time the Roaring 20’s “Airfield” section with its parachute “Sky Jump” was added.  You can still ride the original coaster, but no in the original park.  Today, you’ll need to travel to Silverwood, Idaho if you want to ride the world’s first modern inverted coaster.

And here’s another first.  The first stand-up roller coaster built and operated in the United States opened at Kings Island, Ohio on April 22, 1984.  King Cobra was built by the Japanese firm Togo.  They didn’t build many of these and today, only five of their standup coasters are still in operation today, none of which are in the United States.  King Cobra closed in 2001.

Kings Island’s sister park Kings Dominion also added a Togo Stand-up coaster in 1986 named ‘Shockwave”.  It too was removed, but only recently in 2015.  Both Shockwave and King Cobra were the same height, speed and approximately the same length.

Hope you enjoyed today’s postcards.

Information Source material: 
Funland U.S.A. copyright 1978 by Tim Onosko

Thanks so much to Ken Martinez for another great post!


TokyoMagic! said...

Thanks for sharing these, Ken! I never understood why Knott's got rid of the Corkscrew, seeing as it was such a significant piece of roller coaster history and all. It's not like they replaced it with a coaster that was any longer in track length. And who cares if Boomerang went backwards! They already had a coaster that did that (Montezooma's Revenge). Now that Boomerang has been removed, does anyone know what the plan for that piece of land is? I vote for a dark ride with maybe a berry and bear theme. Or maybe a "shack" that is haunted.

Chuck said...

No idea when the Corkscrew was repainted, but I remember it being all white. I'm not entirely sure if my memories have been influenced by the photos in our long-lost souvenir guide, but I would have to have seen the completed coaster in both January and October of '76 (I also remember seeing the Roaring '20s area under construction in January of '75). Will need to consult my parents' photo albums on my next visit to see if it's in the background.

I also remember being absolutely terrified of the idea of going upside-down on a roller coaster and vowed to never ride it. Sadly, I have managed to keep that vow thanks to its removal in 1989 (although I've gone inverted on many another coaster).

I also rode the King Cobra during its inaugural season and have clear memories of waiting in line with my junior high/Boy Scout/Sunday School/church youth group buddies (that's one group of people). The build-up of excitement and the bamboo fencing in a rather open area stand out to me 33 years later.

JG said...

Ken, your collection of coaster information is mind-boggling. You should have a special hat or maybe a big red satin sash over your dinner suit like ambassadors wear to coronation parties.

I was never a big fan of coasters as a kid. Maybe because we went to Disneyland almost exclusively and never to parks with the big ones. Even by the time I went to Magic Mountain, the biggest I rode there was the Gold Rush. For some reason, we quit visiting Knotts about the time their coaster invasion took place, although I vaguely recall the Corkscrew, I know I never rode it. I don't know if the coaster takeover was a reason we quit visiting. I know Mom and Dad preferred the Disney "dark rides" like Pirates and HM.

Like Chuck, I swore I would never go on an inverted coaster. Then, at my last Disneyland trip with my kids, they inveigled me to ride the one in DCA. I didn't realize it went inverted until I was upside down. Now I love them.

Thanks Ken and Major, this is all very enjoyable.


K. Martinez said...

TokyoMagic!, you're preaching to the choir. I really wish they had kept the corkscrew coaster too. To me, both the Roaring 20's Corkscrew and Montezooma's Revenge are classic 70's coasters which represented the earliest modern coaster inversion technology. In other words they're of historical significance. At least to us they are.

For the Boomerang replacement, how about a dark ride themed around a boysenberry-bear who resides in a gravity defying haunted shack with a bunch of Knott's Patch Kids? They could even wind the queue around a "magical berry patch" next to the attraction. ;-)

I'm going to take a stab at it and say another coaster is going to replace Boomerang.

Chuck, My first corkscrew ride was actually on the "Turn of the Century" at Marriott's Great America and that was an extended version with two camel back hills and a turn preceding the corkscrew element. I remember thinking, how on earth is it possible? After riding it in Spring of 1976 (the park's debut) I've loved inverted coasters ever since. I rode the Corkscrew at Knott's a few months later that summer. It was the beginning of my becoming a coaster enthusiast.

I'd love it if you did some posts on your Kings Island trip and other amusement parks if you have the photos to support it of course. Your memories of your youth at the amusement parks always entertains and fascinates me.

K. Martinez said...

JG, A big red satin sash over my dinner suit? Definitely! I'll be waiting for it in the mail.

I'm a coaster fan, but do feel that at the end of the 20th century and into the 21st century, the mega, hyper and giga-coasters have taken over the landscape and dominated the park skylines and I have mixed feelings about that. Otherwise the newer coaster creations are still a marvel and thrill to ride.