White Trash Carny Ride: Round-Up

Round UpRound-Up, originally made by Hrubetz, is the absolute quintessential carnival ride just behind the common ferris wheel and a small carousel. Not even a Scrambler can ooze the amount raw carny aura that surrounds a Round-Up. Consequently, if you’ve never seen a Round-Up, then you’ve probably never been to a carnival.

The Round-Up is a large circular platform with caged walls that people stand against. The platform spins, and then the arm that holds the platform raises up, so the ride is tilted. The tops of the walls are secured by cables which connect to an object in the center of the platform that doubles as a center ornament, although some shows have axed the ornamental pieces altogether. The spots where riders stand against have a thin padding and riders are ‘secured’ by a chain link. The floor of a Round-Up is typically made of wood sheets that are dropped into place and secured. Just in front of riders is also a steel fencing which prevents stupid people from tumbling off the ride and falling 7 or so feet.

The Ride

Well, you board the ride and pick a spot. By mid-season, every spot will smell like stagnant water from multiple vomits, so choosing on that basis is not an option. Once you pick your spot, you secure yourself by picking up the chain link and connecting it to the little hole on the opposite side; approximately 40% of the riders will not know how to do this of course. A typical Round-Up ride occurs like this:

  1. The ride starts to spinRound Up
  2. Some kid un-does his chain
  3. Another kid changes spots
  4. The ride operator slows the ride and yells at the kids
  5. The ride spins up again
  6. The ride spins up enough to allow the operator to raise the arm
  7. The arm raises to full height
  8. Some kid starts sliding up the wall to show off
  9. The ride operator yells at the kid
  10. The arm lowers
  11. The ride spins down
  12. Some kids start walking around before it stops
  13. The ride operator yells at them
  14. The ride ends

Other Info

I absolutely love the way a classic Round-Up has to be operated. The ride op stands on the stairway people use to board the platform. The op has control of a long pole and a button. The ride ops head is no more than 5 feet away from the spinning platform once the ride is fully raised. (see photo to the left.) If the ride was made today, safety standards would have the ride op sit in a doghouse with a door with the operation consisting of a button push.

Round-Up has quite a few variations these days. First and foremost is Zero Gravity manufactured by Dartron. Zero Gravity is essentially an updated Round Up with all kinds of updated features. One of the major differences is that the ride forgoes tire drives in favor of hydraulic motors. This spins the platform up much faster and seems to rotate the ride faster overall.

Zero Gravity

Zero Gravity

Other Round-Up variants include Zendar, another Dartron ride, which is a futuristic looking Round-Up that raises to a near vertical position. In addition, the platform is mounted on a second pivot, allowing it to raise to a level position once in the air. Venture and Hi-Lite rides have made a double Round-Up in the form of Scat and Scat 2 respectively. SDC has a pair of Round-Up like rides called Centrox and Galactica. Centrox functions much like Zendar while Galactica is like a mix of Round-Up and Trabant. However, riders are seated with a restraint on these two rides.

7 Comments

  • edward says:

    I loved this ride when I was a kid. They used to raise up to a vertical position when I first started riding them but I haven’t seen one do that in years.

  • Malabarista Numero Uno says:

    I’ve rode the round up upsidedown a bunch of times!

  • Mike says:

    You’ve got it backwards. The button controls the rim drive and the arm raises and lowers the ride

  • ultradude306 says:

    Hey guys, just managed to get some nice Offride footage of a roundup called Zero Gravity at a local carnival. Hope you like it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvZv05Aj2KM

  • Here is the DUMBEST way to ride the Round Up (note: this was in Russia, not surprisingly)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1os9oB2gj8U

  • terry wagar says:

    I used to work at Oaks Park back when Funtasic ran the park back in 1983, 1983 was my rookie season at Oaks Park, I was honored by Oaks Park/Funtastic in 1983 for saving around seventy people’s lives when the park had a black out on one of it’s busiest days of the year.

    On July 3rd 1983 on one of Oaks Parks busiest days of the year the park had a blackout, a transformer in kiddyland blew up, it was on fire, and the power lines going to it were also on fire!

    Everyone in kiddyland was at the risk of being electrocuted, and it was so dark in that park you could not see your feet or hands, and there were around forty to fifty people in kiddyland at this time!

    I was running the Boat ride when the transformer blew up and the park went dark, and the transformer that blew up was right above my ride, I got everyone off my ride as fast as possible, but then realized after that that everyone that is still in kiddyland is still under the risk of electrocution!

    I began ordering customers out of kiddyland and directing their flow of traffic away from the danger area, I was hoping the other ride operators would help me but they did not, instead of helping me they just assumed they were supposed to leave kiddyland along with the customers, so I had to clear everyone out of that area on my own!

    After I got kiddyland clear I scoured kiddyland to make sure no one was left back there, when I was satisfied that there was no one left back there then and only then did I leave kiddyland!

    Once I was out of kiddyland I approached the first ride operator I seen that was standing around in confusion and doing nothing and I told him “YOU! Your now guard! DON’T LET ANYONE IN THIS AREA UNTIL THEY SPEAK TO ME FIRST!” and then I told him I am going to check to see if anyone else needs help!

    I went to check the rides that would most likely have customers trapped, the Monster Mouse and the Ferris Wheel, I checked the Monster Mouse first because it was closet to kiddyland at the time, and I discovered that the ride foremen were already on the scene at that ride!

    So I thought to myself “OK they got help, so I better check the Ferris Wheel!” so I went to check on the Ferris Wheel and discovered NO ONE was helping the Ferris Wheel and that the ride was filled with customers that were trapped on it, so I went to where the need was the greatest and went to the Ferris Wheel!

    I offered myself to the Ferris Wheel operator as his assistant in order to get the ride unloaded, and the Ferris Wheel operator profusely thanked me for arriving to help, and then he proceeded to tell me someone else showed up before I did and that person took off and left and never came back, and the Ferris Wheel operator was afraid I would do the same thing!

    I told the Ferris Wheel operator “Wild horses can’t drag me away from here! I ain’t going anywhere until this ride is unloaded!” the Ferris Wheel operator was scared and in a panic, and I had to take charge of the situation and ordered him to accept me as his assistant so that we can get these customers off the ride!

    I saved around forty to fifty people in kiddyland from electrocution, and then I rescued around twenty five to thirty people that were trapped on the Ferris Wheel!

    That was once again my rookie season!

    I continued to work at that park after Funtastic pulled out of that park in 1984 after the park was surrendered over to the City of Portland, all the years I worked in that park I was recognized as a go-to person and as a reliable and trusted person.

    In the late 1980’s before Dick Connor’s retired he trained the at the time current maintenance men on how to balance the Monster Mouse ride and shortly afterwords Dick Connor’s retired.
    Dick Connor was the last manager left in the park that was from the Funtastic era of the park, all the other managers in the park were hired by the City of Portland!
    At the end of that season after Dick Connor’s was gone management ordered the maintenance team to have the Monster Mouse moved to a new location in the park.

    I noticed as the maintenance team was resembling the Monster Mouse at it’s new location that they had left ALL THE BOARDS IN PLACE ON THE POSTS as they assembled the ride.
    I already knew that when Dick Connor’s and Funtastic balance that ride they always remove the boards during the dissembling part and thought it weird they left all the boards on the posts.

    I did not suspect foul play because I was giving the maintenance team the benefit of the doubt they were going to properly balance it after they assembled the ride, but I thought they were stupid for leaving all the boards in place because it would make the dissembling and reassembling of the ride much more difficult.
    The maintenance team did not balance the Monster Mouse they used a cheat and lied claiming they balanced it, the cheat they used was to leave all the boards in place on all the posts, that way after the ride is assembled the boards will already be in place and appear balanced when in fact it is not!

    The maintenance team did this at the end of the season, and it was not until the next year when I got rehired back as a ride operator that I noticed the Monster Mouse was not properly balanced.

    I reported this to Tim Greeley of the maintenance team and he just grinned at me in a evil manner and said “Well,,,,well get around to it.” and after a couple of weeks went by the Mouse ride was still not balanced, and I realized I was being ignored by the maintenance team!

    So I reported it to the lead ride foreman Bill, and he told me he will take care of it, and it was right after that that the ride foreman permanently stuck me on the Ferris Wheel and would not give me any days off and would not allow me to run any other ride!

    The Ferris Wheel at Oaks Park at the time was the hardest ride in the park to run, and it is a burn out ride if your stuck on it all the time, so the ride foreman Bill was trying to force me to quit with his treatment of me!

    Telling the foreman about the problem on the Mouse ride never accomplished anything, and after a couple of weeks went by the Mouse ride is still not balanced properly, I reported it to other ride operators and asked them to report it because I was being ignored by the maintenance team and by the foreman!

    By this time I had my own problems to deal with, the Ferris Wheel is a burn out ride and I was stuck on it seven days a week with no break from it, and I was forced to give Bill the ride foreman a two week notice and quit if he does not get anyone else trained on that ride!

    Two weeks later Bill never trained anyone on it so I quit, as I walked out of the park I was approached and asked by the at the time ride manager Mary Beth Coffey not to quit and instead just take a couple days off, so I reluctantly agreed.

    After I came back to Oaks Park I discovered the manager fired Bill the ride foreman and hired a new lead foreman named Jim and the manager wanted me to be an assistant foreman to Jim, so I quit only to be rehired as a foreman.

    As an assistant foreman I do not have a ton of power/say at the park, I can give orders to ride operators and that’s about it, and since now I was a assistant ride foreman I took it upon myself to start filling out ride reports on all the rides that have problems with them!

    I filled out eleven ride reports on various rides that had problems that needed reported to the maintenance team, none of the rides was broke down, but they all had problems that needed reporting!

    I discovered the next day the maintenance supervisor named TC took my eleven ride reports and burned them, it was him that told me to my face he burned them, and he told me he did not need any help from me and to not ever fill out a ride report on a ride ever again unless the ride is broke down!

    So I was not welcome to report any problems with the rides unless they were broke down, in other words known problems that do not cause the rides to go down are no longer to be reported in writing!

    The maintenance team at the time was deemed the Golden Boys by managers at the time, managers and the maintenance team members would regularly hobnob with each other, and for the most part managers ignored their ride team, so I was under the impression no one in management would care I got treated badly by the maintenance team!

    I should not have to point this out to people, common sense alone will tell you this, to have an atmosphere at an amusement park where no one is welcome to report problems with rides is dangerous not only for customers but also for employees!

    At the beginning of the next season near the beginning of the season I discovered a track on the Monster Mouse ride was cracked all the way through and that the track was separating as the cars go over the track!

    I shut that ride down in the nick of time, saving dozens of kids lives and possibly a ride operators life and prevented a bloodbath from occurring, and I got on the radio and told my superior Jim the lead foreman the Monster Mouse is down for the remainder of the day and to please notify the ticket booth so that they don’t sell tickets for it!

    I am not allowed to say over the radio what the problem is I can only say the ride is down, or I can say the ride is down for the remainder of the day, saying the ride is down for the day is code warning managers/maintenance team that the ride is f##ked!

    I was following Oaks Park policies and procedures over shutting down that Monster Mouse, the fact that the track was completely cracked and separating is enough to prove maintenance incompetence, which is why I reported to the foreman first, and THEN I reported to the maintenance team!

    When the maintenance supervisor TC showed up he was with the CEO of the park Joe Norling, they both were approaching the Monster Mouse together, and as they got about forty feet away TC began berating me for shutting down the ride, he did this loudly so others can hear, and I noticed that the CEO was grinning while TC was berating me, so the CEO was of the same mindset as the maintenance supervisor!

    I was mad and angry at this treatment but said nothing and stayed professional and waited for the both of them to get onto the ride and to stand next to me, as they approached me and was standing right next to me TC said “Alright,,,,,what’s wrong with it?” in a sarcastic manner, and I stated flatly and bluntly in return saying “The track is cracked,,,the tracks is separating as the cars go over it!”

    I was gauging both the maintenance supervisor and the CEO’s reaction to the news because they both are giving me reason to suspect foul play and sabotage, the CEO’s reaction was shock and horror on his face and his face turned immediately ashen, and he was staring at the maintenance supervisor as though he was seeing him for the first time as some kind of monster!

    The maintenance supervisor’s reaction was to go into immediate cover his butt mode,no shock, no horror, but fear on his face!
    The fact that the ride is in this condition is proof of maintenance incompetence, and TC knows this, so he immediately began giving his men the blame for it as a way to cover his own butt!

    In the process of TC giving his men the blame he dug his own grave by making it known he and his men already knew about the crack and that they slagged it with wielding slag!

    The wielding slag they used to hide the crack with was on the ground below where the crack is!
    Now I am deeming TC as well as his maintenance team as criminals and as dangerous!
    The maintenance team already knew about the crack and was hiding it with wielding slag and opened the ride up to the public and did not tell anyone on the ride team about the crack!

    Can you say SABOTAGE!

    I reported this to my superior Jim the lead foreman and he acted as though he was completely misunderstanding how serious this is, he seemed not bothered by it!

    The CEO did not fire the maintenance team the team continued to work at the park the whole season!
    I was under the impression that the CEO was not involved in this sabotage at first but when the CEO did not fire the maintenance team and he made it known their not going to repair that track section and instead are going to spend fifty thousand dollars on a used Mad Mouse ride and use that for parts to REPLACE the SABOTAGED section of the Monster Mouse with, I then suspected managers were behind this sabotage as well!

    One week after I shut down the Monster Mouse saving dozens of children’s lives I was being gang-stalked by several people I did not know, the park was closed and I was clocked out and heading to my car to go home!
    Several people I do not know walked along with me heading in my direction and they were openly verbally praising me for shutting down the Monster Mouse and praised me for saving lives!
    What’s makes this bad is the fact these seemingly organized people were praising me in a sarcastic manner!

    Is that enough to suspect the City of Portland wanted the disaster to occur so that the city can justify shutting down the park so that the city can use the property for other MORE PROFITABLE PURPOSES?!

    It was enough for me to know a ton of people were involved in this sabotage and that their not happy I know about it and don’t like the fact I saved a lot of lives!

    The Monster Mouse ride was down the entire season, the Mad Mouse Oaks Park purchased never arrived until after the season was closed and no one around to witness the Mad Mouse rides arrival into the park!
    Oaks Park maintenance team that sabotaged the Monster Mouse quietly replaced the sabotaged section on the track with a Mad Mouse track section!

    After the SABOTAGED section of the Monster Mouse ride was replaced management pretended they hired a new maintenance supervisor and claimed they fired the old maintenance team, they did not fire them but they lied to me telling me they fired them, they were actually laid off and they came back the next season!

    After management pretended to hire a new maintenance supervisor the new supervisor as well as management wanted me to help them in this so-called crisis of no experienced maintenance people and they wanted me to transfer over to the maintenance team claiming I am the only one the CEO trusts!

    I knew THAT was a lie I already know he was grinning while the maintenance supervisor was berating me for shutting down the Monster Mouse, and I never got an apology from ANYONE in that park for being berated for shutting down a death trap and saving lives and following policies and procedures!

    While the season was over with I helped out with maintenance until the next season, I was re-transferred back over to the ride team at the start of the new season!

    Once the park was opened I discover that the old maintenance team was not fired at all because they were hired back into the park, that means I was lied to by management and that they lied about needing my help on maintenance!

    From this point forward I was getting auto-blamed for everything that happened in that park, if the maintenance messed up the train ride I would immediately get blamed, behind my back, and management was going along with this pretense as well as the maintenance team!

    Oaks Park managers had no intention of firing or prosecuting their sabotaging maintenance team, they wanted instead to set up and blame everything on the witness to the sabotage, me!

    The Squirrel Cage ride was sabotaged and I was almost killed by it, one of the cars just came right off the ride and slammed into the railing three feet from my controls, and the ride was still turning and the other cars on the Squirl Cage were smacking into the car that came off and was rolling that car into my direction!

    I turned off the power to the ride and frantically yelled at the customers on the ride to keep their arms and hands and legs inside the ride, each car that passed the car that came off was smacking right into the car that came off and I had to franticly muscle that car away from the other cars, my own life is at risk!

    The next day I told the maintenance team what happened and I was met by them all grinning at me, they all thought it was funny!

    The next week the maintenance team designed an additional safe guard to the ride, by adding another bolt system to the ride, so that there are now two bolts instead of just one large bolt holding the cars on the ride!

    The maintenance team named this new bolt system the “Terry-Bolt” and they grinned and admitted they named it after me!
    They named it after me because their setting me up to get the blame for THEIR SABOTAGE!

    I got fed up with this auto-blaming me for everything in that park so I quit being a ride foreman and went back to being a ride operator, but the blaming continued!

    I was running the Monster Mouse on my last day in that park, and on that day the Ferris Wheel operator had an accident, the loading ramp got torn apart because the Ferris Wheel operator screwed up, and I got blamed FOR THAT even though I was on and running the Monster Mouse at the time!

    So saboteurs at Oaks Park are protected by management while Hero’s and witnesses to sabotage are gotten rid of!

    I have been a target of police/sheriff sting operations ever since I shut down that Monster Mouse ride, and I was under the impression the new maintenance supervisor the park hired was a county sheriff sting operative hell bent on setting me up to get the blame!

    I don’t think they realize just how many people I already reported to in regards to the Monster Mouse not being balanced, in other words there are too many people that know they never removed the boards on the posts and there are too many people I told that the ride was out of balance!

    The Monster Mouse was so badly out of balance you did not even need a level to see if it was out of balance, just looking at the ride was enough to tell, THAT’S HOW BADLY OUT OF BALANCE THE RIDE WAS!

    Dozens of posts would have severe give to them, when a car would go over that section of track you can visably see the posts give to the weight of the cars and the posts as well as the track would have like a two to five inch give to them as the cars went over those areas on the ride!

    ANYONE WITH WORKING KNOWLEDGE OF A MONSTER MOUSE WILL TELL YOU THAT’S BAD! REAL BAD!!!

    Terry Wagar
    wifepoisonedme@yahoo.com

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