Music Express

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For the Canadian music magazine, see Music Express (magazine).
A Music Express in operation at Six Flags Great Adventure
A Music Express at night in operation at Kennywood Park

A Music Express is an amusement ride based on the original Caterpillar rides of Germany. Several near-identical ride designs are also produced by other companies; Musik Express by Italian company Bertazzon and US Majestic Rides, Himalaya by American company Wisdom Rides, German company Mack, and French company Reverchon, and Silver Streak by Wisdom Rides. This ride is a modern adaption of the famous Harry Traver Caterpillar rides.

Design and operation[edit]

The ride features twenty 3-passenger cars connected in a circle. These cars rotate on a track with alternating sloped and flat sections. Rotation is possible in both a backward and forward direction, as the ride is manually operated. The ride is powered by 4 DC motors, and can reach a maximum speed of 12 revolutions per minute. (Certain older models have a hydraulic tire/rim drive and they have a tendency to go faster).

The riders in each car are restrained by a single solid lap bar that is locked across the body of the car, making the ride unsuitable for young children or people of short stature. The bar must be manually locked or unlocked, and only locks in one position. Lights and music are also controlled by the operator, which (as the name suggests) contribute heavily to the ride experience. After a certain amount of rotations or minutes, the ride operator will be alerted by the control box that the speed is going to increase, usually by a light on the box. At that time the operator will speak on a microphone asking the riders if they would like to go faster. Sometimes the ride operator can do this earlier than the alert light to built suspense. After a minute or two of faster speed, the ride will then slow down, and the operator can then ask the riders if they would like to go backwards. The speed up element is then repeated again only done in reverse. The Most parks and carnivals require all riders to be at least 42 inches or even taller, depending on circumstances and ride design.

Most Musik Expresses are built with a backdrop dividing the rear third of the ride from the front two-thirds. This backdrop, normally covered in artwork and lights, and providing a mild headchopper-like effect as the riders enter and exit the rear section. As this blocks lines of sight, additional staff are required to safely supervise this ride in operation.

More common in Europe than the US, some Music Express rides have a canopy that the operator can cover the ride while in operation, very much like the old caterpillar rides.

At Kennywood Park's and Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom's Musik Express, written above are the words "Mit Musik Geht Alles Besser", which translated from German reads, "With Music Everything Goes Better."

The variant used in fairs across Hawaii feature Murals of several famous artists, such as The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley, the logo of The Rolling Stones, and several other musicians.


Video of Super Himalaya at Cedar Point, a Mack Rides variation
Bertazzon Musik Express
No major variations from Mack Rides version.
Majestic Manufacturing Musik Express
14 cars, hydraulic locking system, increased top RPM.[1]
Wisdom Rides Himalaya
22 cars.[2]
Mack Rides Himalaya
Music Express, Diskothek
Reverchon Himalaya
Original Himalaya ride design, only can go up to 12rpms in the U.S.[citation needed] More about the Reverchon Himalaya at: [1].
Wisdom Rides Silver Streak
16 cars, smaller height difference, multiple lapbar positions.[3]
SDC Amor Express
Billed as "The Love Machine", circa late 70s, with hydraulic drive and has canopy very much like the original caterpillar rides. Not many found in US anymore but they still can be found in European fair circuits and parks.


The letter following the operating park or show, indicates the manufacturer and model of the ride:

(Ma) = Henrich Mack GmbH & Co. (B) = Bertazzon,[4] (M) = Majestic Rides, (C) = Chance Rides, (W) = Wisdom Industries, (R) = Reverchon (SD) = SDC,


  1. ^ "Majestic Mfg. – Musik Express Specifications". Retrieved 2007-01-28. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Wisdom Rides – Midsize Himalaya". Retrieved 2007-01-28. 
  3. ^ "Wisdom Rides – Silver Streak". Retrieved 2007-01-28. 
  4. ^ "Bertazzon Musik Express". Retrieved 2007-01-28. 
  5. ^ "Family Rides - Adventuredome Theme Park". MGM Resorts International. 2014-07-31. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  6. ^ Retrieved October 9, 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]