Virginia Reel roller coaster
The Virginia Reel roller coaster was an older style of coaster characterized by spinning circular "tubs" that zig-zagged down a flat-bottomed track.
Virginia Reels used a side friction-like track resembling a trench. The tubs, which had inward-facing seats built around the perimeter, spun freely on their chassis as they traveled around the track. Instead of big hills or banks, Virginia Reels featured many unbanked turns and switchbacks to spin their tubs as much as possible. Near the end of the ride were a few helices and a relatively steep drop into a tunnel.
The Virginia Reel was designed by Henry Elmer Riehl, who named the ride after his daughter, Luna Virginia Riehl. The first Virginia Reel was built in 1908 at Luna Park, Coney Island, where Henry Riehl was superintendent.
The last full-sized Virginia Reel was located at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in England until it closed in 1982. The modern equivalent is the Spinning Wild Mouse roller coaster. There is one survivor, albeit in miniature form, at Joyland, Gt Yarmouth Seafront.
A similar ride around the same time, the Tickler, consisted of curved rails and posts forming a zig-zag route down an incline surface. Wheeled circular tubs freely rolled and spun down the incline, guided by the rails and bounced about by the posts.
- Rutherford, Scott (2000). The American Roller Coaster. MBI Publishing Company. Retrieved 2008-02-28.
- "Luna Park Goes Through a Little Extra Housecleaning". The New York Times. 1908-04-26. pp. SM6. Retrieved 2008-02-28.
- "Pleasure Beach Postcards — Virginia Reel". Retrieved 2008-02-28.
- "Tyrolean Tub Twist". The New York Times. 1908-04-26. pp. SM6. Retrieved 2013-04-01.
- Pleasure Beach Postcards - Virginia Reel - Many pictures of the Virginia Reel at Pleasure Beach Blackpool
- YouTube: The Pleasure Beach, Blackpool 1920s Footage includes the Virginia Reel
- The End of The Reel - On themagiceye at Joyland: An interview with Ian Beech who operated The Reel at Blackpool Pleasure Beach during its final years of operation.
- The Virginia Reel Gallery - Images documenting the destruction of a classic Blackpool ride on themagiceye at Joyland
- Reeltime Memories - An interview with the daughters of the ride's inventor: Henry Elmer Riehl