Ride Review: Himalaya

Super HimalayaHimalaya is a type of ride made by many companies such as Mack, Bertazzon, Wisdom, and Reverchon. They typically go under three general names: Himalaya, Musik Express, and Super Himalaya

Himalaya is comprised of X number of cars (depending on the model) attached to sweeps that radiate from the center. Each car is outfitted with a wheel underneath the carriage that rolls along a track. Several of these wheels are connected to drive motors, which act in unison to make the ride revolve. Riders are restrained with a simple lapbar. Many Himalayas today also use seatbelts as a secondary restraint.

The Ride

Musik ExpressA ride on a Himalaya isn’t very elaborate as far as movement; the cars travel in a circle and navigate a set of hills in the process. A ride on Himalaya is really more about the atmosphere. Himalaya’s are commonly referred to as “music rides” due to the ride playing music and having a general dance club aura to them in order to draw in riders.

Along with music, many Himalaya rides will also feature lighting effects such as flashing LED or turbo lights, strobe lights, disco lights, and in some cases laser lights. Fog machines are also a popular feature as are bubble machines. In addition, a horn or siren is usually standard fare for these rides and is sounded when the ride reaches its highest speed.

Other Info

There are many different Himalaya rides made by various companies, the major ones are:

  • Bertazzon: Musik Express/Super Himalaya, 20 cars – top speed of 13.5 rpm
  • Mack: Musik Express, 20 cars
  • Wisdom: Himalaya/Polar Express, 22 cars, 11.5 rpm
  • Reverchon: Himalaya, 24 cars, 12 rpm
  • Venture: Mini Himalaya, 14 cars

HimalayaHimalaya is one of those rides that can be customized as far as artwork, lighting, and overall appearance making some models extremely unique looking. Most have a roof structure, while some have been modified to be open air, such as Oscar’s Amusement’s Reverchon model.

While surfing around, I found a neat little site called May’s Himalaya Fan Website; it’s a great place to find information and check out detailed photos of the older Reverchon Himalayas.

Multimedia

Here’s a collection of photos of each Himalaya ride model. I’ll add more as I get/find them!

Here’s a Bertazzon manufactured Musik Express formerly at Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, NJ. It was destroyed during Hurricane Sandy, but they replaced it the next season.

This second video is of Polar Express at 12th Street Amusements in Coney Island, NY. This is an original Reverchon model, or so I hear. It’s also unique in that it travels counterclockwise.

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23 Comments

  • hailey says:

    i love this ride, but what songs do they play on it in 2009 ?

    • DoD3Brian says:

      Well, from what I’ve seen, most Himalaya rides play either mid-90s techno, hip-hop, or old school rock. Whatever the person running it likes gets played I guess.

    • David Stefaniak says:

      It depends what type of music the ride operator likes if i was a ride operator of a wisdom version Himalaya i would play Rock music.

  • JJ says:

    Back in the mid through late 70’s, Himalayas all played Electric Light Orchestra- cranking so loud, you could hear it in the parking area 2 blocks away! Those were the best times to ride these beasts. The operators were NUTS and they did some pretty crazy & entertaining stunts on and off of the moving sleds. Thanks for the nostalgia. I’m ready to go ride one right now!! – JJ ’71

    • JOHNNY J. says:

      the late great johnny j alive and at large in the great state of Alabama. just being a little nostalgic. as I think back your right we really were a little crazy back then…thanks for the memories of lost times

  • Kevin says:

    I was one of the operators of the Morey’s Piers Musik Express during the 2009 season. She was my beloved baby!

  • Cat says:

    I’m the newest operator for the Morey’s Piers Musik Express, and I love her already! Everything is controlled manually, so she’s a very fun ride to operate. I love it when I get a ride filled with enthusiastic people, especially. I miss the old Judas Priest backdrop myself; the underwater orchestra thing is a bit too cutesy for me.

    • DoD3Brian says:

      Awesome, maybe I’ll see you on the Musik Express when I go down to Morey’s in August! The new backdrop isn’t too bad, I mean it fits the location I guess, but it kind of reminds me of Spongebob or something. lol

      • lmbunni says:

        We were just there for spring beach jam 2011–I would love to know some of the playlists–they were fun!

  • slackerina says:

    The Musik Express at Six Flags Great Adventure was a much better ride in the 1980’s. Back then, the ride had flashing lights, a cool backdrop creating the tunnel effect in the back half, and the operators blasted AC-DC and Led Zeppelin so loud you couldn’t hear yourself speak. The ride also went backwards back then. At some point after I stopped working there (late 80’s/early 90’s) they stopped running it backwards. By the time I was taking my own kids there, they had removed the backdrop and stopped playing music altogether, making it the rather boring version that you describe here. But I’ll always have great memories of that ride in its better days!

  • pepe toño says:

    I want to buy an Himalaya ride, I like the Reverchon and Mack brand, please contact me for information about one of thst rides..

  • deseo informacion sobre el himalaya musik expres que sew tienen en venta. Cuales son sus condiciones de financiamiento ???
    si es posible mandeme informacion exaustiva, y su catalogo de juegos en venta.
    Gracias soy propietario de juegos mecanicos en mexico ( Villagran, Guanajuato Mexico) Tels. 014111643082 fax. 014111650362 por favor contactenos.

  • emari says:

    the ride is ok at the amusent parks but some stopped playin the music and the flashing lights and the back drop also,other than that i like it lol 🙂

  • Jessica says:

    your lovely Moreys Piers ride op from 09-10. I love Monique Musik Express to pieces <3

  • garry g says:

    seems the Musik Express variety have smaller hills/dips…..the original Himalaya’s
    I remember had the disco ball that was pitched 180 degrees to create falling snow effects, the tunnel had a stobe light, and the front portion had spotlights that would turn the cars green, red, purple and yellow. And there were always the tight sweater super shapely ski chicks painted into the scenery….Palasaides Amusement park had 2 at the same time, one was a “Super Himalaya” and the other one was jungle themed and called the Jaguar….when I first started driving back in’77 Coney Island had a very old Himalaya (with the painted on red letters), Music Express, plus a Cortina Bob
    which was also a snow scene and very uncomfortable to ride because you sat with your partner between your legs and you would get tossed to the outer side of the car….(the only other model like this I’ve seen was in the mid 60’s on the Funtown Pier in Seaside Heights and I believe that one was called Sun Valley)..The Polar Express also seems like an antique version- the hills are steep, the back of one car fans in slightly to the car behind it, I believe these cars are made of wood, and they face counter clockwise….there was also one at CI called the Super Cat which had a double dip as opposed to the high pitched back, and a canopy would cover the riders when the ride was at top speed (Cat= Caterpillar)…Swiss Bob was also a well known snow themed ride, and a lot of fun to ride because of the lights, music and the speed. Each car bore the flag of a nation that would enter Bobsledding events, and the rides were always shiny and polished…very hard to find these days….Manufacturer was originally Edy Meier (SIC?) of Zurich who also introduced the Himalya

  • garry says:

    I am so glad there is a fan site for these rides……they are such a big part of so many folks summer years growing up!! I for one, had to behave the entire summer to make one trip to Seaside Heights or Palasaides Amusement Park as a kid!…I envied the kids that went more than one time or visited several places so much!

  • Arnold says:

    The former Magic Isles amusement park that closed in the late 80’s had one but I’m not sure which company made theirs. They had a DJ in the booth that would play modern rock songs of that era. One operator/DJ loved to play “Freeze Frame” by the J. Giles Band every other hour or so. Very cool ride for a young teen especially at night with the lights came on!

  • Chad says:

    Back in the 80 s there was a carnival at the Masonic homes called the Masonic picnic. It was put on by the Masonic lodge they had a himalaya ride there and the operator Would play one of elo’s songs about once an hour . Can’t remember the name of that song for nothing .does anyone know the songs name?

  • Jamie says:

    Does any one remember a New Revechon Himalaya came to Coney Island in 1976, 1977 and 1978 on the corner of Stillwell ave. and the Bowery, behind Nathans Hot Dogs? Then it was replaced with a Revechon Matterhorn called the Disco Express 1979 and 1980. These rides at the time were the Newest Rides to come to Coney Island, Fantastic Lighting and a Spectacular Sound System, a nice Smooth Fast Exciting Ride.

  • John says:

    I operated that Disco Express after it moved to Wildwood, New Jersey in the summer’s of 1982 and 1983. It was on Mariners Landing Amusement Pier (Pier was owned by Morey’s) and the ride either belonged to or was being leased by Tom and Jerry Amusements. It was located next to the wild mouse-style roller coaster. I have not been able to track that ride down and am left to assume it was either rebranded or junked. Nor have I had success in tracking down Tom and Jerry Amusements. I heard they were based in Florida, but that’s all I know. I can’t even find pictures of the ride when searching a variety of keywords.

    If you know more about this ride, I would love to hear from you!

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