Mindbender (Galaxyland)

Coordinates: 53°31′25″N 113°37′13″W / 53.52361°N 113.62028°W / 53.52361; -113.62028
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Mindbender with the Galaxy Orbiter roller coaster in the foreground
Coordinates53°31′25″N 113°37′13″W / 53.52361°N 113.62028°W / 53.52361; -113.62028
Opening dateDecember 20, 1985 (1985-12-20)
Closing dateJanuary 30, 2023
General statistics
TypeSteel – Twister – Indoor
ManufacturerAnton Schwarzkopf
DesignerWerner Stengel
ModelSitting Coaster
Track layoutIndoor Twister
Lift/launch systemWheel lift lift hill
Height44.2 m (145 ft)
Drop38.7 m (127 ft)
Length1,279.5 m (4,198 ft)
Speed96.5 km/h (60.0 mph)
Capacity430 riders per hour
Height restriction59–77 in (150–196 cm)
Trains4 trains with 3 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 12 riders per train.
WebsiteOfficial website
Mindbender at RCDB

The Mindbender was an Anton Schwarzkopf looping roller coaster at Galaxyland, a theme park in West Edmonton Mall, in Alberta, Canada. The ride officially opened to the public on December 20, 1985 at a cost of $6 million.[1] At 44.2 m (145 ft) in height, it was the tallest indoor roller coaster in the world as of 2020.[2][3]

On January 30, 2023, the mall decommissioned and closed the Mindbender after 37 years of service, in order to redevelop its space for new developments in the park.[4] Its trains were reused for All American Triple Loop, at Indiana Beach, United States.[citation needed]


Mindbender was designed by Germany's Werner Stengel and built by Anton Schwarzkopf.[5] It was inspired by this team's previous design, Dreier Looping, a portable coaster that travelled the German funfair circuit, before being sold to a succession of amusement parks in Malaysia, Great Britain, Mexico, and most recently, Indiana Beach, United States. Mindbender was a pseudo mirror-image of Dreier Looping, and was slightly taller, with additional helices at the end of the ride. Mindbender featured shorter trains, with three pilot cars, whereas Dreier Looping usually ran with five trailer cars and one pilot car, occasionally rising to seven-car trains at busy funfairs.

The ride's layout featured many twisting drops, three vertical loops and a double upward helix finale. The ride twisted underneath, in between and around its supports. It also went underneath the former UFO Maze attraction, which was removed to make way for a space-themed food court that never came to be. Often in high season, the last car on one of the trains was reversed, allowing guests to ride the roller coaster without being able to see where they were going.

Ride experience[edit]

After boarding the Mindbender, riders put on their seatbelt and lap restraints. Also, the ride operator lowered large shoulder restraints over the riders. All of the restraints kept the riders firmly secured in the seat.

After ascending the curving wheel-driven lift hill, the train descended a sharp, twisting left-hand drop (sometimes referred to as a Traver drop) that climbed back up to the first of four stacked block brakes. The train negotiated a second left-hand drop that was immediately followed by the first two vertical loops. Then the train repeated the aforementioned process: it went up to the third block brake, then did another twisting drop and ascent before hitting the fourth block brake. After the fourth block brake, the track dropped to the left and back down to ground level, and hit the third vertical loop.

Following the third loop, the coaster train did another cycle under the stacked block brakes, then shot along a two-layered upward helix, before running behind the Galaxy Quest 7D theatre to hit the final brake run and the exit/entry area.

The ride length from the initial drop normally ranged from one minute, five seconds, to one minute, twenty-five seconds. Circuit times as little as 59 seconds were possible through extensive waxing of the track, and reduction in tension on the bogey wheels. This increase in speed was not permitted during public rides, as the forces on the riders became severe. During testing of the renovated trains in 1987, the maximum g-force of a normal run was measured on equipment bolted into the train at 5.5 g, which occurred in the third loop.


Mindbender accident
DateJune 14, 1986
TypeRollercoaster derailment
Non-fatal injuries1 critical; 19 treated
Property damageFaulty wheel assembly; rear roller coaster car that slammed into a pillar

On the evening of 14 June 1986, the fourth car of a train travelling midway along the course derailed before encountering the third and final loop.[6] Its wheel assembly had become detached from both the track and car itself, causing the car to sway back and forth across the tracks.[6] The car became damaged, and the lap bar restraints unlocked and released, throwing all four of its passengers to the concrete floor below. The train continued to move along the track and into the final loop, but friction from the car's derailment slowed the train and prevented it from clearing the loop. As it rolled backward down the loop, the detached car crashed into a concrete pillar about midway down, stopping the train abruptly. Three of the four passengers thrown from the ride died, while the fourth was left critically injured with permanent, life-altering effects. The remaining passengers were safely evacuated and treated at a nearby hospital with minor injuries. An investigation later determined that four cap screws holding the wheel assembly together failed, which were likely the result of design flaws and unsatisfactory maintenance routines.[6][7][8][9][10]

When Mindbender reopened in January 1987, the trains were redesigned. The existing four-car trains were converted to three-car trains (reducing seating capacity from 16 to 12), and anti-roll-back features were installed. Each train previously consisted of two wheel assemblies per car; however, after this accident, two further wheel assemblies were added to each car. The lap bar restraint was retained, but seat belts and shoulder headrests were added.[6]


Golden Ticket Awards: Top Steel Roller Coasters
Year 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Ranking 13[11] 17[12] 22[13] 17[14] 30[15] 37[16] 45[17] 40[18] 44[19] 48[20] 43 (tie)[21] 48[22] 48 (tie)[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Roller-coaster goes at full tilt". Edmonton Journal. December 23, 1985. Retrieved February 12, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ Throgmorton, Todd H.; Throgmorton, Samantha K. (2016). Roller Coasters: United States and Canada, 4th ed. McFarland. p. 252. ISBN 978-1-4766-2211-8.
  3. ^ "Tallest indoor roller coaster". Guinness World Records. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  4. ^ "Mindbender roller coaster closed after 37 years at West Edmonton Mall". CTV News Edmonton. 2023-01-30. Retrieved 2023-01-30.
  5. ^ Marden, Duane. "Mindbender  (Galaxyland)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d Franklin, Jasmine (June 14, 2011). "Mindbender tragedy, 25 years later". Edmonton Sun. Archived from the original on July 29, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  7. ^ Kent, Gordon (October 22, 1986). "'Coaster crash tied to errors in design". The Edmonton Journal. Edmonton, Alberta. p. B1.
  8. ^ "Geoffrey Kulak: An Inquiring Mind". University of Alberta Alumni Association. University of Alberta. Summer 1988. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  9. ^ "June 14, 1986: Roller-coaster derailment kills 3 in Edmonton". CBC News Edmonton. June 16, 2016. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  10. ^ "Tragedy on the Mindbender: Fatal Schwarzkopf Roller Coster Crash at West Edmonton Mall - Jun 14 1986". Best Edmonton Mall. February 11, 2017. Archived from the original on 2021-12-13. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  11. ^ "Top 25 Steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 6B. August 1998. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  12. ^ "Top 25 Steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 6B. August 1999. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  13. ^ "Top 25 Steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. August 2000. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  14. ^ "Top 25 Steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 6B. August 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  15. ^ "Top 25 Steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 6B. September 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  16. ^ "Top 50 Steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 10–11B. September 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  17. ^ "Top 50 Steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 14–15B. September 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 3, 2007. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  18. ^ "Top 50 Steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 22–23B. September 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  19. ^ "Top 50 Steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 30–31B. September 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  20. ^ "Top 50 Steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 11 (6.2): 42–43. September 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  21. ^ "Top 50 Steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 12 (6.2): 42–43. September 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  22. ^ "Top 50 Steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 13 (6.2): 38–39. September 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  23. ^ "Top 50 Steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 14 (6.2): 38–39. September 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved July 19, 2014.

External links[edit]