Scrambler (ride)

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Cha Cha scrambler ride at Batemans Bay, New South Wales, Australia.

The Scrambler, Twist (in the UK), Twister, Cha Cha (in Australia), Sizzler, or Merry Mixer, is an amusement ride in which suspended riders spinning in cars experience centrifugal force, while spinning along two separate axes. Riders are seated in small carriages clustered together and connected by beams at the top to a central point. The clustered vehicles are spun in one direction, while the ride as a whole spins in the opposite direction.[1] There are a number of variations of the design.

Early history[edit]

The first scrambler was invented by Richard Harris of Georgia and installed at Lakewood Fairgrounds in 1938.[2] Two additional rides were built and sold in the following two years.[2][better source needed] In 1941, Harris was granted a U.S. patent for the design,[3] which was then acquired or licensed by the Eli Bridge Company.[2][better source needed]

In late 1953, the Eli Bridge Company road-tested its Scrambler ride,[4][5] and sold the first five by the end 1954.[5] The original ride had a total of 12 cars distributed among its three arms with a capacity of 24 adults or 36 children. The entire ride rotated clockwise at 9–12 revolutions per minute.[6]

The Eli Bridge Scrambler had one of its first major showings at the 1955 Florida State Fair, where it grossed $1,700 (at 25 cents a ride) in a single day and interested many additional buyers.[7][5]

The rides first appeared in the UK in 1959, when they were manufactured by Edwin Hall under license from the Eli Bridge Company. Eli Bridge rides were first imported in 1979.[1]

Variants[edit]

Grasscutter[edit]

A grasscutter scrambler has a basic frame shape and no platform and is driven by a lower arm assembly. This type of ride is extremely popular in the United States.

  • Scrambler—These rides usually have a circular structure near the top of the ride. There are vertical bars that go around the top along with lights on them. For the most part, these rides are made by the Eli Bridge Company.[8]
  • Wisdom's Sizzler—This ride does not have a platform, but it still has thick arms at the top and bottom of each seating assembly. The top of the ride has 3 twisted metal structures. There are also lights all over the ride including the cars. These are popular in the US, but are no longer made by Wisdom.

Sizzler[edit]

A Sizzler is a ride which has thicker arms and a platform. It was when these type started being manufactured, the manufacturers concentrated on the ride aesthetics. Concerns have been raised about its safety, as the ride has been involved in at least six fatalities since 1997.[9] [10]

  • Bennett & Pollards—These rides have a smaller circumference from the center of the ride to the seats. They are similar to Eli Bridge Scrambler rides because they also have cylinder structures on top of the ride.
  • PWS Sizzler, Sonacase Twister, & Twist—These rides each have a platform, but they do not have objects near the top of the ride such as a cylinder structure. There are lights all around the center structure of the ride. Thus, these rides look similar.
  • Wisdom's Family Sizzler—this ride has thick arms and a platform, along with a central structure with dazzling lights. It has wheels to guide the three pods along underneath, and is quite fast when compared to a Grasscutter-type ride. They are found mostly at indoor fun centers and are the only type of Sizzler being made by Wisdom.
  • Wisdom's Super Sizzler—This ride has a platform, and it looks similar to the Sizzler. Another difference is that it goes backwards, and this ride also has a backdrop with some colorful art.

Gee Whizzer[edit]

The 'Gee Whizzer' derivative was constructed and commissioned by the operators King Carnival amusements of Tasmania, Australia during the 1950s. The project was carried out by rail engineers who utilised rail and tram parts which were common for the era. This machine is currently the largest and fastest of the variants utilising a unique fully suspended balanced single sweep arm design, driven from the top resulting in no lower arm assembly. The centre support core is fully independent and does not require a support deck, instead eight extended stabilisers are fitted to the core during assembly. Only one of these machines are known to be in existence.

Cyclone[edit]

A Cyclone, also known as a Lifting Twist, manufactured by ARM UK, has very much the same function and appearance as a normal Sizzler, except that the centre structure begins to lift with the cars once it reaches up to normal speed until it reaches above the fence level, where it remains for the duration of the ride. They are considerably fast when they reach full speed, although they normally slow down first so riders can brace for the full speed. After the full speed part is over, the centre structure begins to lower back to platform level as the ride slows down to a stop. Only one of these Cyclones currently exist in the world.[11][12]

Installations[edit]

Manufacturing tablet for the Scrambler at Cedar Point.
Name Location Manufacturer Opened Closed Details
Pharaoh's Fury Adventure Island Open [13]
Road Runner Scrambler Adventure Park USA (Monrovia, Maryland) Eli Bridge Company Open [14]
Scrambler Adventureland (Iowa) Eli Bridge Company 1974 Open Relocated within the park in 1993 and again in 2011. Previously known as Bavarian Scrambler and Wrangler.
Scrambler Alabama Splash Adventure Eli Bridge Company 2003 Open Originally operated 2003 through 2011, then reopened in 2018.[15][16] Uncertain if current unit is the same as the previous or a replacement.
Scrambler Amusements of America (Showman) Eli Bridge Company Open Traveling model.[17]
Scrambler Arnolds Park Eli Bridge Company Open [18]
Cyclone Barry's Amusements
Scrambler Bay Beach Amusement Park Eli Bridge Company 1977 Open
Sizzler Beech Bend Park 2015 Open Replaced former model that opened in 2000
Scramble Ride Bell's Amusement Park Eli Bridge Company Closed
Scrambler Belle City Amusements (Showman) Eli Bridge Company Open [19]
Scrambler Big Amusements (Showman) Eli Bridge Company Open
Jambalaya Blue Bayou and Dixie Landin' Eli Bridge Company Open [20]
Scrambler Boardwalk Amusements (Daytona Beach, Florida) Eli Bridge Company Closed [21]
Unknown Boblo Island Amusement Park Eli Bridge Company Closed [22]
Flying Twist Botton's Pleasure Beach, Skegness
Scrambler Bowcraft Amusement Park Eli Bridge Company Closed
Sizzler Brean Leisure Park
Scrambler Buckroe Beach Amusement Park (Hampton, Virginia) Eli Bridge Company Closed
Le Catapult Busch Gardens Williamsburg Eli Bridge Company
Haywire Butler Amusements (Showman) Eli Bridge Company Open [23]
Scrambler (1) Butler Amusements (Showman) Eli Bridge Company Open [24]
Scrambler (2) Butler Amusements (Showman) Eli Bridge Company Open [24]
Scrambler (3) Butler Amusements (Showman) Eli Bridge Company Open [24]
Scrambler (4) Butler Amusements (Showman) Eli Bridge Company Open [24]
Scrambler C&L Shows (Showman) Eli Bridge Company Open [25]
Industrial Revolution California's Great America Eli Bridge Company Closed Previously known as Saskatchewan Scrambler.
Scrambler Camden Park Eli Bridge Company Closed Serial number 367-71. Closed 2008 or later.[26]
Scrambler Campy's Blue Star Amusements (Showman) Eli Bridge Company Open [27]
Psychodrome Canobie Lake Park Eli Bridge Company 1989 Open Enclosed.
Scrambler Carousel Gardens Amusement Park Eli Bridge Company Open
Scrambler Carowinds Eli Bridge Company 1973 Open Previously known as Kaleidoscope
Centrifuge Casino Pier Eli Bridge Company 2019 Open Returning in 2019; original model destroyed by Hurricane Sandy
Scrambler Castle Park Eli Bridge Company
Scrambler Cedar Point Eli Bridge Company 1960 Open Serial number ends in -73, suggesting that original 1960 version was replaced with a 1973 unit at some point.
Scrambler Centreville Amusement Park Eli Bridge Company
Twister Clacton Pier
Twister Clarence Pier
Scrambler Clementon Amusement Park Eli Bridge Company 2019 Closed
Scrambler Cliff's Amusement Park Eli Bridge Company Closed
Scrambler Coney Island (Cincinnati, Ohio) Eli Bridge Company 1957 Closed Closed 1959 or later. 10-year-old boy fell from ride and was struck and killed in August 1957.
Scrambler Coney Island (Cincinnati, Ohio) Eli Bridge Company 1969 1971 Relocated to Kings Island in 1972.
Scrambler Coney Island (Cincinnati, Ohio) Eli Bridge Company 1991 2019 Originally manufactured 1957. After park closed, ride was listed for sale on Rides4U.com for $29,000.
Ultimate Trip, The Conneaut Lake Park Eli Bridge Company <=2004 Enclosed in park's former fun house building.
Scrambler Darien Lake 2014 Open
Scrambler DelGrosso's Amusement Park Eli Bridge Company Open
Scrambler Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park
Sizzler Dizzylands Funfair - Elmer Bell (Northern Ireland)
Scrambler Dollywood
Scrambler Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom Eli Bridge Company 1970 Open
Cyclone Twist Dreamland
Twister Dunes Leisure Funfair, Mablethorpe
Scrambler Edaville USA
Scrambler Enchanted Forest Water Safari
Scrambler Family Kingdom Amusement Park Eli Bridge Company Open
Twister Fantasy Island (United Kingdom)
Scrambler Fantasy Island Amusement Park (Beach Haven, New Jersey) Eli Bridge Company 2021 Open Replaced a previous version of the same ride
Scrambler Fantasy Island Amusement Park (Beach Haven, New Jersey) Eli Bridge Company 1984 Closed Replaced by a new version for 2021 season
Sidewinder Frontier City Eli Bridge Company
Scramblur Fun Spot America (Orlando) Eli Bridge Company Open
Astrosphere Funtown Splashtown USA Eli Bridge Company Open Enclosed in dome-shaped structure with speakers and disco ball attached to ride's arm. Plays song "Fire on High" by Electric Light Orchestra during ride cycle.[28]
Scrambler Gillian's Wonderland Pier
Blizzard Indoors Great Escape (amusement park) Eli Bridge Company 1971 Open Enclosed. Operated 1971 through 2004 before returning in 2013. Previously known as Chipper's Magical Mystery Tour.
Twister Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach
Scrambler Hersheypark Eli Bridge Company 1972 Open
Scrambler Huck Finn's Playland
Scrambler Idlewild and Soak Zone Eli Bridge Company Open
Scrambler Indiana Beach Eli Bridge Company Open
Scrambler Joyland Amusement Park (Texas) Eli Bridge Company Open
Space Odyssey Kennywood Eli Bridge Company Closed Enclosed. Only operated from 1974-1978
Dust Devil Rides At Adventure Cove Eli Bridge Company Open Previously operated as part of Wyandot Lake as Neptune's Revenge. Serial number 273-66.
Scrambler Kings Dominion Eli Bridge Company 2000 Open Previously known as Witch Doctor
Scrambler Kings Island Eli Bridge Company 1972 Open Relocated from Cincinnati's Coney Island, where it originally opened in 1969
Merry Mixer Knoebels Amusement Resort
Batidora (Mixer) La Feria Chapultepec Mágico
Space Scrambler Lagoon Eli Bridge Company
Scrambler Lake Winnepesaukah Eli Bridge Company Open
Scrambler Lakemont Park Eli Bridge Company Closed
Scrambler Lakeside Amusement Park Eli Bridge Company Open
Scrambler Little Amerricka
Twister Luna Park, Scarborough, North Yorkshire
Twister Magic City (São Paulo)
Kiddie Scrambler Michael's Amusements (Showman) Eli Bridge Company Open Child's sized version of ride.[29]
Sizzler Michael's Amusements (Showman) Wisdom Mfg. Open [30]
Scrambler Michigan's Adventure Eli Bridge Company 1975 Open
Scrambler Miracle Strip at Pier Park
Scrambler NASCAR Speedpark (Sevierville, TN)
Scrambler Oaks Amusement Park Eli Bridge Company Open
Mexican Twist OK Corral
Sizzler Otterbacher Shows (Showman) Wisdom Rides Open [31]
Inkie's Scrambler Pacific Park Eli Bridge Company Open
Haley's Comet Paradise Lake Eli Bridge Company 1981 Closed [32]
Scrambler Playland (Maryland) Eli Bridge Company Closed [33]
Kiddy Scrambler Playland (New York) Eli Bridge Company Open Child's sized version of the ride.[34]
Scrambler Playland (Vancouver)
Twister Rainbow Park, Hunstanton
Scrambler Sandspit Amusement Park
Scrambler Sandy Lake Amusement Park
Swedish Scrambler Scandia Amusements (Sacramento)
Scrambler Silverwood Theme Park Eli Bridge Company Open
Cyclone Six Flags America Eli Bridge Company 1993/1994 Open
Scat-A-Bout Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Eli Bridge Company 1999 Open
Waverunner Six Flags Fiesta Texas 1994 Open
DejaVu Six Flags Great Adventure Eli Bridge Company 2012 Open Relocated from American Adventures in Georgia. Serial number 340-69 R92.
Hometown Fun Machine Six Flags Great America Eli Bridge Company 1976 Open
Scrambler Six Flags Magic Mountain 2003 Open
Scrambler Six Flags New England 1973 Open
Sidewinder Six Flags Over Texas 2006 Open
Shazam! Six Flags St. Louis 1972 Open
Scrambler Sluggers & Putters (Canal Fulton, OH) Eli Bridge Company Open
Scrambler Smokey's Greater Shows (Showman)
Scrambler Stricker's Grove Eli Bridge Company Open
Swamp Ape Swampy Jack's Wongo Adventure Eli Bridge Company 2019 Open Enclosed, with flashing lights, fog, and heavy music from various bands and artists. Pays tribute to the old Abominable Snowman ride at Miracle Strip.[35]
Scrambler Sylvan Beach Amusement Park Eli Bridge Company Open
Scrambler Traintown (Sonoma, California)
Twister Tramore Amusements (Tramore, Waterford, Ireland)
Merry Mixer Trimper's Rides
Scrambler Valleyfair Eli Bridge Company 1976 Open
Scrambler Waldameer Park Eli Bridge Company Open
Scrambler Western Playland
Whirling Wildcats Wild Adventures Eli Bridge Company Open
Scrambler Wild Waves Theme Park
Scrambler Wonderland Park (Texas) Eli Bridge Company Open
Scandi Scrambler Worlds of Fun Eli Bridge Company 1973 Open
Scrambler Ciudad Mágica Costa Rica Eli Bridge Company
Scrambler Wonderland Costa Rica Eli Bridge Company

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Twist". University of Sheffield National Fairground Archive. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  2. ^ a b c Canfield, Victor. "Scrambler". www.personal.psu.edu. Retrieved 2017-10-01.[better source needed]
  3. ^ US patent 2259691, Richard H Harris, "Merry-go-round", issued 1941-10-21 
  4. ^ McHugh, Jim (1954-04-10). "Ride-Makers Sight Good '54 Business". The Billboard. p. 56. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  5. ^ a b c Dotten, Herb (1955-03-05). "Shift Over, Kiddies! Let the Folks Ride". The Billboard. pp. 1, 39. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  6. ^ "The Big Eli Scramble". The Billboard (Photograph cutline). 1954-04-10. p. 89. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  7. ^ "Buys Twister, Adds Mechanical Circus; Will Work Two Scramblers". The Billboard. 1955-02-26. p. 70.
  8. ^ "Scrambler". Ride Extravaganza Retrieved 2016-7-16
  9. ^ Williamson, Elizabeth. "On Thrill Rides, Safety Is Optional - washingtonpost.com". Retrieved 18 May 2018 – via www.washingtonpost.com.
  10. ^ Williams, David. "Girl dies after being flung from a ride at a New Jersey festival - cnn.com". Retrieved 13 Oct 2019.
  11. ^ Sam Bee (13 May 2018). "Billy Crow's Cyclone (ARM Lifting Twist) offride (Dedicated to Fairgroundking1)". Retrieved 18 May 2018 – via YouTube.
  12. ^ Sam Bee (12 May 2018). "Billy Crow's Cyclone (ARM Lifting Twist) onride (Dedicated to Fairgroundking1)". Retrieved 18 May 2018 – via YouTube.
  13. ^ Break 17 (2016-09-07). "Pharaohs Fury". Adventure Island. Retrieved 2020-07-13.
  14. ^ "Attractions – Adventure Park USA". Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  15. ^ Alabama Adventure & Splash Adventure on Facebook Watch, retrieved 2020-05-19
  16. ^ "Park Attractions | Alabama Adventure & Splash Adventure". www.alabamasplash.com. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  17. ^ "Amusements of America - Carnival & Amusement Rides: Scrambler". www.amusementsofamerica.com. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  18. ^ "The Scrambler". Arnolds Park. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  19. ^ "Our Midway | Belle City Amusements Inc". Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  20. ^ "Jambalaya | Dixie Landin'". www.bluebayou.com. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  21. ^ "Daytona Beach Boardwalk Amusements". Retrieved 2020-07-05.
  22. ^ "CEC: Closed Canadian Parks - Boblo Island Park". cec.chebucto.org. Retrieved 2020-07-05.
  23. ^ "Haywire". Butler Amusements. Retrieved 2020-07-13.
  24. ^ a b c d "Major Rides". Butler Amusements. Retrieved 2020-07-13.
  25. ^ "Rides and Attractions". www.clshows.com. Retrieved 2020-07-07.
  26. ^ "Camden Park - Scrambler". www.themeparkreview.com. Retrieved 2020-08-03.
  27. ^ www.mwdwebdesign.com, Matt's Web Design-. "Scrambler". Campy's Amusements. Retrieved 2020-08-03.
  28. ^ "Astrosphere < Funtown Splashtown USA". Funtown Splashtown USA. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  29. ^ www.mwdwebdesign.com, Matt's Web Design-. "Kiddie Scrambler". Michael's Amusements - Providing Carnival Rides, Games & Food from North Carolina to Florida. Retrieved 2020-06-19.
  30. ^ www.mwdwebdesign.com, Matt's Web Design-. "Sizzler". Michael's Amusements - Providing Carnival Rides, Games & Food from North Carolina to Florida. Retrieved 2020-06-19.
  31. ^ "Otterbacher Shows - Midway". www.otterbachershows.com. Retrieved 2020-06-20.
  32. ^ "Paradise Lake Extends Opening Date To July 1". The Tribune. May 24, 1981. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  33. ^ Shores, Earl (Winter 2019). "Playland: Looking Back at an Ocean City Landmark". NAPHA Chronicle.
  34. ^ "Kiddyland Rides – Playland Park". Retrieved 2020-06-25.
  35. ^ McClintock, Mackenzie (July 2, 2019). "New amusement park opens near Pier Park". mypanhandle.com. Retrieved October 23, 2020.