Ride Review: Orbiter

Orbiter, manufactured by Tivoli, is a pretty common ride around US midways with quite a few medium to large carnivals owning one. The ride can almost be seen as a more extreme version of the Scrambler and Sizzler type of rides that have grazed midways for decades now.

Orbiter is comprised of six arms with a satellite on each end holding three cars. The center spins clockwise while the satellites revolve counter clockwise. The arms are able to tilt the satellites on an angle.

Riders are secured with simple, flip down lapbars. Orbiter has a top speed of 21 RPM for the center sweeps and 26 RPM for the satellites. The speed of the satellites are dependent on the speed of the center hub and cannot rotate independently.

The Ride

A ride on Orbiter largely depends on how fast the ride is set to go. Some may be set to run at a slower speed to effectively make it a family ride while others are run near or at its top speed, making it a thrill ride through and through. On the latter you tend to get a feeling of your face being pushed back as the cars dive under the arms. Despite riders being sideways for most of the ride, you don’t really slide around the seat thanks to the G-force.

One common feature of most Orbiter rides is a trash bin placed at the exit. The bin isn’t necessarily for garbage, but more as a convenient place for those needing to vomit after exiting the ride.

Other Info

Orbiter Amusement RideOrbiter is offered in three names: Orbiter, Predator, and Typhoon. While Orbiters are mostly found at carnivals, there are permanent park models such as Flying Machine at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Honker Dinger Derby at Sesame Place.

Orbiter has a successor of sorts in the Tivoli Re-Mix ride. Re-Mix differs from Orbiter in that it features floorless seats and that the arms can be raised to a steeper angle. The satellites on Re-Mix can also be spun independent of the center hub.



  • Lilly says:

    hey! oh i was just gonna say… i hate that ride! it almost made me sick! it went so fast! i’ll never ride that ride again…

  • Chris says:

    I operate an Orbiter for a living…. intense ride. Who know’s how many things could go wrong with it though.

    • Kotaro says:

      About 63. *barfs up universe*

      • Fufe says:

        Friend of mine got hit in the head with a fiberglass piece that flew off an Orbiter at our local fair.

        Maintenance is important, especially with a ride that complex.

    • Katl E Tusing says:

      I grew up in the 1980s and I remember riding a ride similar to the orbiter but it was black and grey and it had a tall black statue of darth vader on top of the center and then there was another similar ride with red and white lights and red siren lights that flashed and made the siren sounds. cant remember the names of the rides but if you know them or can locate pictures I would be happy to see them. thank you and God bless

  • Kotaro says:

    I will never go on that ride again. My neck feels like Gumby’s…ow…I feel like I’m going to be sick. I’m only ten and I don’t think I’ll recomend it anytime soon…*barf*

  • aneliz says:

    OHH! Hahahaha…i rode the orbiter when i waz 11 years old! Now i am 12 and i will ride it again this 4th of July…its so awesome!!

  • Michael M. Cook says:

    I haven’t try to ride in this Orbiter but i guess it is such a great experienced to be ride on it 🙂 . How i wish that i could ride on it someday 😀 .

  • Nick says:

    Ride spun WAY too fast for me could not enjoy, not for someone that cant handle a fast, fast spin. damn i regret getting on this.

  • Cyclone411 says:

    Top of my list for least favorite ride. Only an unusually sort cycle (carnie wanted to chase a townie girl) saved me from puking on my one and only ride. The regular oscillating motion is simply the WORST – any of the random action rides can be tolerated as at least there is variation but here there is no relief in sight until the ride stops. But it’s my daughter’s favorite carny ride.

  • wavymouth says:

    here’s a made-up song to sing on this ride: it feels so weird to me right now(from calvin harris’ feel so close only i changed the words). kinda strange trying to breathe if you pay attention to that stuff:)luv it! went on it at local carnival and going on it as much as i can every time it comes!!! the only thing that sux is u can’t ride alone:(

  • Jason says:

    Use to run an Orbiter years ago and loved every minute of it. Made me sad when the show owner sold it. As I’ve gotten older, it’s one of only a small handful of rides I’d ever get on.

  • Jase Green says:

    I totally love this ride! I’m 30 and will still ride one of these at least once, if not twice, a year.

  • Austin says:

    I rode one at the Santa Clara County Fair with half of the graphics panels missing and exposed and burnt out light bulbs. Kinda being an idiot but I touched one of the lights on the satellite and got shocked. Luckily it was probably only 5v cause it was a led.

  • anthoine says:

    you legs will hurt after the ride

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