Featured Photo #33 – Props to Prototypes

Featured Photos

Their openings are often delayed and their known for having downtime even after they are open. But, how can you not applaud the creativity and ingenuity of roller coaster prototypes? These firsts expand on existing designs and concepts and take them a step further. Launch coasters come to mind as suffering from delays and downtime. I can remember Volcano The Blast Coaster’s and Hypersonic XLC’s frequent downtime. But successful prototypes have spawned clones, and later, unique custom designs. We wouldn’t have exciting custom-designed rides like Montu with out Batman: The Ride.

Round About at Freestyle Music Park
Round About, originally known as Maximum RPM when it opened at Hard Rock Park, is a good illustration of a prototype. The Premier Rides-designed roller coaster combined a Ferris wheel and a roller coaster. The wheel takes the place of the coaster’s lift hill. Each convertible British sports car-themed car (like Mini Coopers) rolled out of the station and into the hub of the wheel structure. Almost like a revolver, each car reached the top and was released down the first hill.

Now the ride itself wasn’t overly impressive, but it was definitely unique. The layout was short and not too thrilling, but it was almost like two rides in one and a memorable experience if nothing else. The unusual roller coaster opened after the rest of Hard Rock Park had already opened in 2008. After re-opening as Round About during the park’s Freestyle Music Park phase in 2009, the ride has remained standing, but sits closed as the rest of the park.

See more images of Round About.

What’s Your Take?
Leave a comment below.

Photos, content, and the most insightful, entertaining, or amusing reader comments from my Featured Photo posts will be included my new book. Read more about my book project. All images are the property of TheCoasterCritic.com

Founder of CoasterCritic.com. My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.


  1. I totally agree with you, what would be the rollercoaster world if no prototype was invented? Some of the ones that are more special for me are Magnum xl-2000 and centrifugal railroad (first inversion).

  2. This place needs to reopen, stat. Merlin, SeaWorld or someone needs to reopen this place. I have timeshares near this area. Didn't Mini-Cooper file suit against this ride? I hate lawyers.

    • I'm not sure about that, but there were quite a few lawsuits surrounding the park's first and second lives. I'd love to see it make it. Having been to Myrtle Beach a couple of times I can see a real challenge in the park's location. It's too far from the beach. It's near a major highway, but there quite a few ways to get to the beach and you really could completely miss it and not know it's there.

  3. Even with the bad location, this park really should reopen. It's not only unique (It's one of the few parks themed to music out there), but it has cool rides like Round About and Time Machine. Somebody really needs to buy this place and open it. Period.

  4. I wonder if they'll ever make any more of these.

  5. They should send this and the Time Machine over to Kentucky Kingdom. That park has some real potential now that it’s going to re-open.


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