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The Flat (Ride) World: Plethora of Panda

Chris Foshee

I bless the rains down in Africa - adjacent to Prowler. 

Communications & social media manager at Worlds of Fun - @ChrisFoshee on Twitter

There are over 60 attractions at Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun. Each has its story, and while the roller coasters usually get all the attention, we thought we’d start a blog series exploring the background on some of our flat rides. Up first, Bamboozler.

Flat Ride – A term that refers to a broad variety of rides that usually spin and typically have a circular platform, i.e. almost any ride that isn’t a roller coaster.

Bamboozler at Worlds of Fun

Bamboozled Background

Bamboozler is a “Round Up” centrifuge style ride, one of around 70 still in operation in the U.S. The experience is pretty straightforward – it spins until centripetal force takes over and pushes guests against the wall. As it picks up speed, the platform rises almost 45-degrees - leaving guests dizzy, giggly and bamboozled.

“Round Ups,” like Bamboozler, was manufactured by Frank Hrubetz & Company, which was one of the biggest amusement park flat ride manufacturers in the 1970’s. Early models of the ride began appearing in the 1954 and grew in popularity in amusement parks due to its relative affordability and high-thrill factor. Almost all “Round Ups” are equipped with a lighting package to add to its appeal.

Bamboozler at Worlds of Fun at night with lights

History of Bamboozler – Three Locations, Three Names

Bamboozler was originally named Singapore Sling when it debuted in 1977, alongside Wobble Wheel (1977-1993). The new ride was built in the same location of Orient Express and would have to relocate three short years later to make room for the new coaster in 1980. In fact, the entrance of Orient Express (now used of Lore of the Vampires during Halloween Haunt) was originally used for The Sling. With Orient Express coming to town, Singapore Sling moved to the backside of Americana near Timber Wolf. Its new name would be Whirligig.

In 1986, the Bamboozler as we know it today was born. To make room for another new attraction, Omegatron (1986-2001), the ride returned to the Orient in the same location it is today. Bamboozler replaced The Octopus and still uses its queue house today. The Octopus moved to the Americana section of the park and was just called “Octopus.”

Riders riding Bamboozler one of many attractions at Worlds of Fun

After three locations and three names, the Bamboozler and its noble panda theme are still spinning today. In fact, Bamboozler is the oldest flat ride in operation that didn’t open with the park in 1973.

Of all the Worlds of Fun attractions, what would you like us to cover next?

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Chris Foshee

I bless the rains down in Africa - adjacent to Prowler. 

Communications & social media manager at Worlds of Fun - @ChrisFoshee on Twitter

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