Knott’s Berry Farm to add 1980s-era thrill ride in 2010

From the Los Angeles Times

Knott’s Berry Farm’s new attraction for 2010 is an aging hand-me-down thrill ride that’s older than many of the Buena Park theme park’s patrons.

The Demon Drop attraction will be relocated from sister park Cedar Point in Ohio, where the ride debuted in 1983 — when Ronald Reagan was president, Michael Jackson introduced the moonwalk and leg warmers were in fashion.

Knott’s officials confirmed that the installation of the drop tower ride will begin in January with a grand opening scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend 2010. Knott’s will keep the Demon Drop name, color scheme and theme.

The 131-foot-tall tower features a four-passenger ride vehicle that rises up an elevator shaft, slides forward and falls down a curved track at 55 mph. Riders experience 2.5 seconds of weightlessness during the 99-foot drop.

Cedar Point has been trying to sell the $2.5-million Demon Drop for years as a used ride on the secondary market, with no success.

The recycled ride replaces the Screamin’ Swing, a pneumatically powered pendulum ride with a separate up-charge fee which rarely drew a crowd at Knott’s.

The Intamin Freefall thrill ride, which was popular through the 1990s, was replaced in many parks by the newer compressed-air tower rides — such as Knott’s own Supreme Scream, which debuted in 1998. Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia dismantled its aging Freefall ride in 2008.

Knott’s has had its share of problems with Intamin rides. In 2001, a 40-year-old woman fell out of the Perilous Plunge shoot-the-chute water ride and died. In September 2009, the launch cable on the Xcelerator roller coaster snapped and injured two riders.

Screamscape broke the news of the ride relocation after spotting the premature announcement in a city of Buena Park newsletter.

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