What in the Worlds?
One third of a mile. It may not sound very far, but for many families and friends it's far enough to build a lifetime of memories.
Le TaxiTour has been a staple at Worlds of Fun since opening day in 1973. For many, a trip to the park is not complete without a leisurely drive through the rolling hills of Erupoa. However, those drives will look different in 2022. After nearly 50 years of going around the 1,750 foot track, the antique cars are getting renovated... and it's more than a coat of paint.
The maintenance team is hard at work on the 15 antique cars, which are the same 15 from opening day. Every single part of the car is taken apart till it's nothing more than the original frame. That's when the fun work begins.
The car is rebuilt, including all new engines which can get the cars up to a blistering 12 miles per hour! Guests will be able to get up to, "10 if you get luck on a hill," said Jesse Sanson, the lead mechanic on the the project.
The stopping power is getting an upgrade as well. The taxis are moving from hyrdaulic brakes to friction pads. Also, the steering is redone to reduce the amount of 'free play' guests experience when at the steering wheel.
Getting out from under the hood, the cars will look drastically different. A traditional gas tank is being installed on the back right above new vanity license plates. The interior is being replaced and the upholstery on seats are done in the channel tufting style, popular at the time the taxis represent.
On the front, guests will see a change that will brighten their day, lights! For the first time, the headlights and taxi sign will be functional. Till now, both had only been decorative.
Lastly, we get to the most visually striking change: Paint. Encasing the new engines, brakes, steering, upholstery... encasing the new everything will be a fiber glass body with a fresh coat of paint. The different colors include purple, green, yellow, red and blue. These colors are based off the hot air balloon featured in our logo.
Le TaxiTour will look better than ever for the 2022 season, and we can't wait to show you.
Stay tuned to 'What in the Worlds?' for some of the other changes coming your way as Worlds of Fun prepares for its 49th Season!
This week, “What in the Worlds?” brings you the spinning spectacle, Bamboozler!
In the off-season, taking the Bamboozler apart is the easiest way to make maintenance repairs, and keep it safely stored away from the cold during winter. Being one of the oldest rides on the property at 44 years old, upkeep is incredibly important in maintaining the ride so that it can shine its beautiful lights at night!
Manufactured by Frank Hrubetz & Company, this flat ride started out as Singapore Sling, set up in the same space Orient Express would be in three years later. Moving to Americana to make way for the new coaster, Singapore Sling got a makeover and a rename to Whirligig to match its new home.
Six years later, when the Octopus was removed, the flat ride was transported to its current home across from Spinning Dragons, and finally given its permanent (fingers crossed) title: Bamboozler.
What’s special about the Bamboozler is not only its park history, but the manufacturing. While it wasn’t the first version of its iteration, Bamboozler is classified as a Round-Up ride, and made by the manufacturer that patented the design. While most Round-Ups hold 24 or 32 people, Bamboozler is a Super Round-Up, which situates more people on at a time at 42. Original Round-Ups would tilt up at a fifty degree angle, but most Super Round-Ups tilt at a sixty-seven degree angle instead. It also rotates at 16 RPM, and it uses centrifugal force to keep riders in place.
While it may not be a Timberwolf or Mamba, it’s still going strong!
See your favorite rides like never before with this new series. "What in the Worlds?" will show you a behind-the-scenes look at what’s happening across the park. We’re excited to have you follow along and see some of the exciting work that goes on when the gates are closed.
We start with a bang! Detonator is getting a new look! On December 3rd, the top came down to be refinished with a new coat of paint and design! Since its opening on April 13th, 1996, the top of Detonator has sported its original paint job with no touchup or alternations. Our maintenance team goes up twice a year to replace the American flag, though. It only seems appropriate to give this 25-year-old beauty a touch up! When the top goes back up for our 49th season, the signatures of those who work at the park will decorate the inside of this piece for the next time it’s lowered for work.
Celebrating Detonator, here’s some of the conceptual art for both it and Ripcord (which was also installed in 1996)!
Some Detonator facts:
- Each side of Detonator can hold twelve people!
- It goes up at a speed of 45 miles per hour with an impact of 4.5 G’s.
- On its way down, it gives an impact faster than a free-fall at -1 G’s.
- Detonator is controlled by ride operators in the building sitting behind the ride.
- It was the first 'Space Shot' ride ever built.
Keep an eye out for the update on its refurbishment in the future and for more ride news in the coming weeks.