Spinning roller coaster

A spinning roller coaster is a roller coaster with cars that rotate on a vertical axis.

Winja's Fear & Force at Phantasialand, Germany



The first spinning roller coaster was the Tickler, built in 1908 by Henry Riehl at Luna Park.[1] Instead of trains, the ride had tubs with seats built around the perimeter facing inward. These tubs spun freely on their chassis as they travelled down the track, sitting in a trough configuration similar to that of a side friction roller coaster. Known as a Virginia Reel, these spinning coasters did not have big hills or drops, but instead, were designed to feature many sharp turns. Toward the end of the track layout were two helices, followed by a drop into a dark tunnel. The last full size Virginia Reel operated at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and closed in 1982.[2][3][4]

Spinning wild mouse coasters

Primeval Whirl, a Reverchon spinning roller coaster

In 1997, the first spinning wild mouse roller coaster opened at the defunct Dinosaur Beach pier at Wildwood, New Jersey. Similar to the design of other wild mouse coasters, the ride features a track layout and cars similar to a Virginia Reel, except the ride is made of steel rather than wood, and the seats face in one direction instead of toward each other. The layout of the ride boasts many hairpin turns and small hops. The design, noted for its portability and small footprint, became popular at smaller amusement parks and fairs. One well-known installation of the ride was Primeval Whirl at Disney's Animal Kingdom, which closed in 2020.

The spinning wild mouse was first manufactured by Reverchon Industries of France. In 2003, the company merged with Italy's Zamperla. Both companies eventually split apart again by 2006, when each began releasing their own spinning wild mouse coasters. Italy's Fabbri Group introduced a spinning model in 2006, and Maurer Söhne has been developing and constructing spinning coaster models since the early 2000s. In China, the amusement ride company Golden Horse has also released its own version.

Dragon's Fury, a Maurer Söhne spinning roller coaster at Chessington World of Adventures

Other spinning roller coasters


Zierer built the first modern spinning roller coaster in 1994 with the Drehgondelbahn in Freizeit-Land Geiselwind. Maurer Söhne introduced its Xtended SC spinning coasters in the late 1990s. The seat configuration is the same as Maurer Söhne's Compact Spinning Coaster, but unlike that model, the Xtended SC has large, twisted layouts with many vertical hairpin turns intended to spin the cars around and give each rider a different experience every ride. Examples include Spider at Utah's Lagoon, Winjas at Germany's Phantasialand, Spinball Whizzer at the UK's Alton Towers and Dragon's Fury at the UK's Chessington World of Adventures.

Pandemonium, a Gerstlauer spinning roller coaster

A similar ride debuted in 2004 when the first two Gerstlauer spinning coasters opened: Fairly Odd Coaster (formerly Timberland Twister) at Nickelodeon Universe inside the Mall of America, and Spinning Dragons at Worlds of Fun. These coasters have twisted track layouts similar to Maurer Söhne's Xtended SC, but the seats on Gerstlauer Spinning Coasters face towards each other, as with the Virginia Reel.

In 1995 Intamin debuted a spinning coaster with trains instead of individual cars: Comet Express at Lotte World in Seoul, South Korea. The trains have eight cars, with each car's two seats side by side. Like the Maurer Söhne and Gerstlauer spinning coasters, this "twist and turn coaster" features a twisted track layout. Three of these models have been built around the world.

Another spinning coaster with trains, Euro-Mir, was built by MACK Rides of Germany in 1997 at Europa-Park. The trains consist of four cars with four seats divided into two rows facing away from each other. The coaster has a twisted track layout that is built around five cylindrical towers. MACK opened a second coaster of this type, Sierra Sidewinder, at Knott's Berry Farm in 2007.

In 2018, Silver Dollar City opened Time Traveler, the world's first "Xtreme Spinning Coaster." Also created by MACK, this ride consists of a more thrilling layout than other spinning coasters of the time, with a vertical drop directly out of the station, many bunny hills and turns, 2 LSM launches and 2 inversions. The second ride of this type was opened 3 years later in 2021. Named The Ride to Happiness, it is located at Plopsaland De Panne in Adinkerke, Belgium.



  1. ^ Marden, Duane. "Tickler  (Luna Park)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved May 22, 2023.
  2. ^ Rutherford, Scott (2000). The American Roller Coaster. MBI Publishing Company. ISBN 9780760319291. Retrieved 2008-02-28.
  3. ^ "Luna Park Goes Through a Little Extra Housecleaning". The New York Times. 1908-04-26. pp. SM6. Retrieved 2008-02-28.
  4. ^ "Pleasure Beach Postcards — Virginia Reel". Retrieved 2008-02-28.