Spinning roller coaster

Whirlwind at Camelot Theme Park
Sierra Sidewinder at Knott's Berry Farm

A spinning roller coaster is a type of roller coaster that has spinning cars. Spinning coasters are usually under 70 feet, and many spinning coasters have trains consisting of a single car. Spinning coasters do not deal with high drops, but utilize turns instead. The amount of spinning depends on riders' weight distribution.


Postcard with a Virginia Reel

At the beginning of the 20th century, the first Virginia Reel roller coasters were built. These wooden side friction roller coasters had spinning cars and layouts similar to that of a modern wild mouse roller coaster. The last remaining Virginia Reel, Virginia Reel at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, was demolished in 1982.

Arrow Dynamics offered a modernized Virginia Reel design on their website, but none were built.

The first modern spinning roller coaster was Drehgondelbahn at Freizeit-Land Geiselwind in Germany. It was built by Zierer and opened in 1994. In 1995, spinning cars were installed on the existing Meisho-built Round and Round roller coaster at Porto Europa in Japan.

Various companies subsequently came up with a spinning roller coaster design. Perhaps the most successful has been Reverchon and Zamperla's portable spinning coaster. The first installation was Crazy Mouse at Dinosaur Beach, opened in 1997.

In 2004, Gerstlauer debuted their Spinning Coaster line, which would soon pop up in many Six Flags parks.

Chinese company Golden Horse subsequently began selling similar coasters to many amusement parks in China.

In 2012, Veil of Dark opened at Tokyo Joypolis in Japan. Built by Gerstlauer, it was the first spinning roller coaster to have an inversion, a heartline roll. Since 2017, more spinning roller coasters with inversions have been built. Time Traveler, a Mack Rides Xtreme Spinning Coaster at Silver Dollar City has a vertical drop, two LSM launches, and three inversions. The Ride to Happiness by Tomorrowland at Plopsaland De Panne, another Xtreme Spinning Coaster, has the most inversions with five.

Roller coaster types