Quick! Name three Huss rides!
All right, so either you just said “what the hell is a ‘Huss’ ride?” or you spat out the three big rides manufactured by Bremen, Germany based Huss Maschinenfabrik: Top Spin, Enterprise, Break Dance. Pirate and Rainbow would have also been acceptable answers, albeit amusement ride hipster responses. All of those rides should be familiar with theme park fans in The States as nearly every major park has at least one of them.
Huss was arguably the top manufacturer of flatrides from the mid 70s to 2006 when they entered insolvency. 1985 to 1996 in particular saw Huss debut a flurry of new rides while churning out new units left and right. With all of the rides Huss produced, there’s bound to be some that didn’t sell that well. I don’t want to call them flops, but some just didn’t sell well for one reason or another. Let’s take a look at some of them!
I’ll start off with one that’s lesser known to North America at least. Take Off was a ride first made available in 1993. The ride is comprised of four gondolas situated on a massive turntable. Each gondola can hold ten people each for a total of 40 riders. The gondolas can spin in either direction while the turntable runs clockwise. Additionally, the ride can raise up to a 50 degree angle.
A lot of Huss rides rely heavily on G-Force and Take Off is pretty much the gold standard of this. When the gondolas and turntable are cranked up to their top speed, riders feel up to 4Gs while whipping around.
Only 10 Take Off rides were made, a few of which currently reside at parks like Sarkänniemi in Finland, Jerudong Playland in Brunei, and Siam Park City in Thailand while the others are owned by various showmen and travel around Europe.
Here’s a video taken by Ferry van der Donk of the Take Off owned by showman Ruppert.
Before you even play the video, I’m betting you’re already thinking that it’s Huss’ version of Gravitron. Well, you’re sort of right…although I feel like it would have been more popular if it was a proper centrifuge type ride. Instead, the ride has 20, two person pods…two kids or two skinny adults per seat at least. The UFO styled ride revolves at a brisk speed before tipping forward 30 degrees in a somewhat awkward fashion. The ride has one last trick in that the pods are able to slide up and down the walls pneumatically. All of this happened while the music thumped and the lights flashed to different sequences…the “Disco” in Disco Round.
The ride debuted in 1985 and a total of six were made, one of which making it to North America where it resided at La Ronde in Montreal under the name Ovni from 1986 to 2006. Others included an installation at Everland in South Korea which was removed some time ago, one traveling unit owned by Lorenz which I can’t find anything about after 2011 or so, and one that burned up while at a fair in Voorhout, Netherlands in 2003.
Disco Round rides may very well be extinct Nope, there’s still two left! Thanks Jean-Philippe for the info!
Here’s an off-ride from 1999 featuring a Cyborg dude, robot dancing outside of the ride. This is just too awesome.
And here’s a short on-ride video by KAMORAkm of DiscoRound, owned by Lorenz.
Tri Star is a ride that debuted in 1977. The ride is similar to a later Huss creation, Condor, but without the tower and with less capacity, holding a max of 42 riders in 21 cars that are situated on 3 wheels.
The ride starts out level, allowing everyone to load at once. The wheels turn counterclockwise while the sweeps turn clockwise, making it like a Scrambler ride at this point. The entire ride then raises to a modest angle and riders are whisked through the air at heights up to 52 feet. Wheeeee!
Only 5 Tri Stars were made, with one actually making it over to North America. The one in question started as a traveling unit in Europe owned by Aigner before being shipped off to America where it bounced around in ownership between Strates Shows, Lagoon in Utah, Kennywood, Idlewild, and finally settling in Costa Rica.
Here’s a video by dnoguera 114 of Transformer at Parque de Diversiones in Costa Rica.
You know, I said Take Off is the gold standard of G Force rides made by Huss, but I might be wrong about that. Speedy is a rare ride by Huss with only 4 total being manufactured since its debut in 1994. I’m not surprised that so few were made; the ride is very similar to Flipper, but overshadowed by it in almost every way.
Speedy has 10 gondolas that can hold 4 passengers each. The gondolas are able to rotate mechanically and and only do so at lower speeds. At high speeds, the gondolas seem to just whip from side to side, adding to the already high G force of the main wheel’s rotation. The wheel is also attached to an arm underneath the decking that undulates the wheel in a small circle. I don’t know if that really adds a whole lot to the ride…but it’s there!
True to the name, the ride is extremely fast and can spin up to a maximum of 20rpm while the gondolas can whirl around at speeds up to 36rpm! For comparison, a Gravitron ride has a max speed of 24rpm.
Here’s a video by kermisweb of Speedy at a fair in 1998. You can tell it’s 1998 because Aqua is being played un-ironically. FYI, the ride only gets speedy at the 3 minute mark.
And here’s an on-ride video by Srdjan Tijanic of a Speedy at what I assume is some funfair in Kucura, Serbia. This one features a kid no-selling the G force with a stone face.
At a first glance you might not think that Huss would make a measly little ride like Ben Hur considering their penchant for large, bombastic looking rides that are presented in such a way to attract masses of riders, but it is indeed a Huss ride. Ben Hur was first manufactured around 1982 and a total of 3 were made. The ride reminds me of one of those children’s Roto-Whip rides that you see from time to time, but I think the intention of Ben Hur was for it to be a modern Skid/Swing Mill type ride.
The ride features 12 cars that can hold two people each. The cars kind of look like old horse drawn chariots, which may be where the Ben Hur name came from (the movie does feature an epic chariot race.) The cars are equipped with a rope of all things which riders pull to make the cars sway back and forth.
Unfortunately there are no videos and few photos of a Huss manufactured Ben Hur. I did find this thread, which the post author asked if the photoed ride was a Huss model, but he/she got no replies.
Here’s a video of a similar ride to Ben Hur by Xtremerides thats themed as Beach Party. Manufacturer unknown…hell, it could be a Huss for all I know.
- Booster: Like Ben Hur, only three were produced making it extremely rare. I don’t want to add it because it’s still offered by Huss Park Attractions, and therefore more could pop up. Plus it was in Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 which sold, what, 10 million copies?
- Jump²: Huss originally made a ride called Jumping, and Jump² is its bigger brother. Only 1 was made and it resides at Canada’s Wonderland under the name Sledge Hammer. Like Booster, this too is still offered by Huss Park Attractions.
- Delirium: Huss promoted this ride back in the early 2000s but never produced one, probably because the idea was dumb. It was literally four, mini Huss Frisbee rides on a rotating carousel.