ZAMPERLA

Steeplechase Luna Park’s Scream Zone
Steeplechase at Luna Park’s Scream Zone in New York, USA.

Zamperla was founded in Italy in 1966 by Antonio Zamperla. The company concentrated on producing adult rides for children by manufacturing smaller model bumper cars and go-karts. In 1972, Zamperla opened a sales office in Montreal, Canada, and a few years later when most of their business was coming in from the USA, Zamperla set up shop in New Jersey.
Zamperla specialise in the production of transportable amusement rides, however these models can be fully adapted for permanent homes in theme parks. Zamperla have installed over 100 permanent thrill rides and more than 250 family friendly roller coasters. Luna Park at Coney Island in New York, USA, is often seen as the companies “showcase” park with its many operating rides manufactured by Zamperla.
In addition to the ride types listed here, Zamperla also produce family friendly log flumes, rapids rides and interactive water rides (similar to a Splash Battle).

Zamperla’s First Coaster

Dragon at Mundo Petapa, Guatemala.
Dragon at Mundo Petapa, Guatemala.

In 1984 Zamperla built their first coasters at Midway Park in New York and Kings Castle Land in Massachusetts, USA. Both were Dragon powered kiddie coasters (like the one pictured to the right) that feature two connected helixes. The one in New York closed in 2012, however Kings Castle Land shut its doors 1993 and there are no records of what happened to the coaster after that.

Zamperla’s Product Range

THUNDERBOLT

Thunderbolt at Coney Island in New York, USA.
Thunderbolt at Coney Island in New York, USA.

Named after the famous coaster that used to reside at the same Coney Island lot where this one debuted, Zamperla’s newest model is also their largest. However, it in no way resembles its wooden predecessor, other than fitting into an extremely narrow area.
The steel looping coaster features a 115 foot (35m) tall vertical lift hill with a 90° drop that propels the cars at speeds up to 60 mph (90 km/h) as it transverses through a 98 foot (29m) vertical loop, a 82 foot (25m) tall zero-g roll, a 112° over-banked turn, a unique heart line dive, a corkscrew and several airtime hills.

Operating Examples:

Thunderbolt at Coney Island, USA

VOLARE

Tomb Raider: the Ride (a.k.a Time Warp) Canada's Wonderland
Tomb Raider: the Ride (a.k.a Time Warp) at Canada’s Wonderland.

Designed and engineered by world-renowned coaster guru, Werner Stengel, the Volare is a Flying Coaster combined with a Wild Mouse style layout full of constant turns and small dips. Riders are suspended four across in one of seven individual cars, offering every rider an unobstructed front seat ride. Featuring a unique spiral lift system, riders will experience swooping turns, drops, and inversions. The Volare model has a spiral lift hill to reduce the rides footprint – ideal for smaller parks.

Operating Examples:

Trombi at Särkänniemi Amusement Park, Finland
Soarin’ Eagle at Scream Zone, USA
Time Warp at Canada’s Wonderland
Super Flight at Rye’s Playland Park, USA

See also: Flying Coasters

MOTOCOASTER

Pony Express Knott’s Berry Farm
Pony Express at Knott’s Berry Farm in California, USA.

A dozen riders sit two abreast on their own motorbike or horse themed train before launching from 0-40 mph (65 km/h) in less than two seconds! The launch is achieved by means of a flywheel and clutch launch system proven in the industry for over 30 years. The trains navigate an ascending banked turn to a height of over 40 feet (13m) before racing to the finish line through a series of exciting 60° banked turns and figure-of-eight manoeuvres. The first MotoCoaster opened at Darien Lake in 2008. This is similar to the Motorbike coaster made by Vekoma.

Operating Examples:

Steeplechase at Coney Island’s Scream Zone in New York, USA
Moto Bala at Mundo Petapa, Guatemala
Pony Express at Knott’s Berry Farm, USA
MotoGee at Särkänniemi Amusement Park, Finland

See also: Catapult Launch Coasters

WILD MOUSE

Doo Wopper Morey's Piers
Doo Wopper at Morey’s Piers in New Jersey, USA.

Zamperla was a big part of the Wild Mouse revival when Doo Wopper at Morey’s Piers in Wildwood opened on the Jersey Shore in 1998. Six years later they built Ragin’ Cajun at Six Flags Great America in Illinois, USA, which was Zamperla’s first Wild Mouse with spinning cars. Of the just over three dozen Zamperla wild mouse coasters in operation at amusement and theme parks, over half are the spinning variety.

See also: Wild Mouse Coasters

TWISTER COASTER

Ragin’ Cajun Six Flags Great America
Ragin’ Cajun at Six Flags Great America in Illinois, USA.

The Twister Coaster is similar to other spinning wild mouse coasters produced by other manufacturers. Unlike other company’s models, Twister Coasters use individual lap bar restraints for the riders. Like the Reverchon Wild Mouse models, up to four riders sit in a single row across the car. The Twister Coaster comes in several set sizes or can be customised to a theme park’s specification.

Operating Examples:

Wild Mouse at Fantasilandia, Chile
Ragin’ Cajun at Six Flags America, USA
Une Souris Verte at Parc Saint Paul, France
Tyfonen at Tivoli Friheden, Denmark

AIR FORCE

Zooom! Flamingo Land
Zooom! at Flamingo Land in the UK.

The Zamperla Air Force coaster is a suspended family coaster themed to airplanes. The track layout typically has 180° hairpin turns although it rarely elevates like a standard coaster. The suspended cars swing side-to-side as they travel along the track. Up to four children or two adults can fit in each car. To date (Jan 2013) there are three Air Force coasters in the world; two in Europe, one in India.

See also: Suspended Coasters

WINDSTORM

Wind Storm Old Town
Wind Storm at Old Town in Florida, USA.

This traditional steel coaster was designed as a traveling model similar to the S.D.C. Hurricane coasters. Only one ever had a permanent installation – Windstorm at Old Town in Florida, USA. It operated from 1997 to 2014 before being relocated to Adventure Park USA in Maryland and was renamed to Wild West Express.

Operating Examples:

Wild West Express at Adventure Park USA

FAMILY GRAVITY COASTER 80STD

Woodstock Express Dorney Park
Woodstock Express at Dorney Park in Pennsylvania, USA.

The Zamperla Family Coaster 80STD is a traditional steel family coaster without inversions. With over 30 operating at parks the word over, there’s a very good chance you’ve ridden or at least seen one.

POWERED COASTER

Back at the Barnyard Hayride Nickelodeon Universe
Back at the Barnyard Hayride at Nickelodeon Universe in Minnesota, USA.

As the name suggests, the Zamperla Powered Coaster is a traditional steel kiddie coaster without inversions or a lift hill, as the train is powered by electrical current to circumvent an oval track. There are two variations with a single or double helix, as well as custom models such as Buffalo Coasters and the Dragon coasters mentioned at the top of the page.


Other information

In addition to the coaster types listed above, Zamperla also produce Air Race, Hawk, Disk’O, Discovery Revolution, Power Surge, Turbo Force booster, vertical swing and drop tower thrill rides as well as family friendly Windstarz, Tea Cups, Ferris Wheels, carousels, log flumes, river rapids, interactive water rides (similar to a Splash Battle) and dozens of kiddie rides. For a comprehensive list, check their website (link below).
In 2005 Antonio Zamperla was the first Italian to be entered in the IAAPA Hall of Fame, the roll of honour of the great personalities of the theme park entertainment industry.

Manufacturer Contact Details

Zamperla S.p.A. Italy
Via Monte Grappa, 15/17
I-36077 Altavilla Vicentina (VI)

Phone: +39 0444 998400

email: zamperla@zamperla.it

Website