Operating Classic Amusement Park Rides

The Rarest Amusement Park Rides

Auto Race

Consisting of small, electrically powered cars that travel along a wooden track, the Auto Race was manufactured by the Traver Engineering Co. of Beaver Falls, PA. The only surviving Auto Race is at Kennywood in West Mifflin, PA. Kennywood is also home to the only remaining Traver Tumble Bug.

Image from Kennywood Park, PA


Similar to today's Himalaya rides, a train travels in a circular, undulating track. A canvas canopy then covers the train, with a fan underneath the ride blowing air onto riders. The Caterpillar was manufactured by Traver Engineering, Beaver Falls, PA; Spillman Engineering, North Tonawanda, NY; and Allan Herschell Co, North Tonawanda, NY. 

Remaining Examples

Canobie Lake Park, Salem, NH (still has canopy)
Heritage Park, Calgary, ALB (still has canopy) 

Image from Canobie Lake Park, NH

Circle Swing

A spinning ride in which passengers sit in large gondola vehicles suspended by cables, the Circle Swing was made popular in America by the Traver Engineering Co, but none of Traver's Circle Swings remain. Sir Hiram Maxim's Flying Machines at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool, UK is the last remaining vintage ride of this type, built in 1904. A modern replica of the Traver Circle Swing also operates at Disney California Adventure Park, Anaheim, CA.

Image from Blackpool Pleasure Beach, UK


 A circular ride, the Fly-O-Plane seats passengers in two-person, airplane-shaped cars with controllable wings that can flip the cars. It was manufactured by Eyerly Aircraft of Salem, OR. The only existing Fly-O-Plane can be found at Quartz Mountain Fun Park in Lonewolf, OK.

Image from Whalom Park (defunct), MA

Flying Coaster

Riders sit in four-person cars that travel along a circular track. A ramp sends the car into the air, and the car is then slowly lowered back to the ground with hydraulics. Manufactured by Norman Bartlett of Miami, FL, the last permanent Flying Coaster is at Kennywood in West Mifflin, PA. Some Bartlett Flying Coaster rides also travel the fair circuit overseas.

Image from Kennywood Park, PA

Flying Scooter

Two-person cars are suspended from a center arm. Passengers can use the wing in front of each car to control the motion of the ride. The Flying Scooter was first manufactured by Bisch Rocco of Chicago, IL, and a modern version is made today by Larson International.

Remaining Examples

Lakeside Park, Denver, CO
Lake Compounce, Bristol, CT
Holiday World, Santa Claus, IN
Carowinds, Charlotte, NC
Canobie Lake Park, Salem, NH
Eldridge Park, Elmira, NY
Seabreeze Park, Rochester, NY
Stricker's Grove, Ross, OH
Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, PA
Lagoon, Farmington, UT
Kings Dominion, Doswell, VA

(several newly manufactured versions are also in operation)

Image from Lake Compounce, CT

Fun House

A walk-through attraction featuring slides, revolving barrels and other obstacles, most classic fun houses have been removed due to insurance concerns. One original Fun House remains at Bushkill Park in Easton, PA, known as the Bar'l of Fun.

Image from Bushkill Park, PA

Noah's Ark

A walk-through fun house attraction resembling the famous biblical ark. The boat rocks back and forth, presenting an extra challenge for patrons to navigate. The last open Noah's Ark is at Kennywood, West Mifflin, PA, with another ark at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool, UK having been standing but not operating since 2008.

Image from Old Orchard Beach, ME.

Old Mill

Also called the Tunnel of Love, riders travel in boats down dark canals past dimly-lit scenes.

Remaining Examples

Lake Winnepesaukah, Rossville, GA (only remaining ride with a mill chute drop at the end)
Iowa State Fair, Des Moines, IA
Kansas State Fair, Hutchinson, KS
Minnesota State Fair, St. Paul, MN
Playland, Rye, NY
Kennywood, West Mifflin, PA
Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool, UK

Image from Kennywood Park, PA

Derby Racer

A high-speed carousel, this ride simulates a horse race. As the horses speed around the platform at speeds upwards of 25 mph, they move back and forth as well as up and down.

Remaining Examples

Playland, Rye, NY
Cedar Point, Sandusky, OH
Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool UK (manufactured by the park)

Image from Rye Playland, NY

Tumble Bug

Riders sit in large circular cars that travel over an undulating, circular track. The Tumble Bug is one of the midway's noisiest and hardest to maintain rides. Manufactured by Traver Engineering of Beaver Falls, PA, the last Tumble Bug is at Kennywood in West Mifflin, PA.

Image from Kennywood Park, PA


Manufactured by William Mangels, two-person cars travel around an oval-shaped wooden floor, producing a whip-like sensation at each turn of the cable.

Remaining Examples

Lakeside Park, Denver, CO
Playland, Rye, NY
Dorney Park, Allentown, PA
Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, PA
Kennywood, West Mifflin, PA
Camden Park, Huntington, WV
Heritage Park, Calgary, ALB

Image from Mountain Park (defunct), MA