Rumor – Cedar Fair Planning to Remove Arrow Looping Coasters

Roller Coaster News

Vortex - Kings Island - CoasterImageIf an interesting rumor from Screamscape turns out to be true, that aging Arrow looper at the Cedar Fair park near you may be on the way out. Here’s what Lance posted last week:

(11/6/12) According to an anonymous spy source, Cedar Fair is said to making plans to retire Vortex at Kings Island (1987) and Anaconda at Kings Dominion (1991) sometime in the next few years. Apparently they seem to believe that these two old Arrow coasters may be close to reaching the end of their practical lifespan, mixed with issues like increasing maintenance costs and declining guest popularity.

I have to admit that locally, I’ve heard first hand rumors claiming that Carolina Cyclone at Carowinds (1980) isn’t likely to be around in another five years. Makes me wonder if Cedar Fair may also be looking into removing the Corkscrew coasters from Cedar Point (1976), Michigan’s Adventure (1979) and Valleyfair (1980) and there are progressively fewer and fewer 70’s era Arrow loopers still running.

– Lance from Screamscape

Imagine an Arrow-less World

Travel SizeTylenol - Perfect for Theme ParksAfter writing for years about the headaches that these classic steel roller coasters can inflict, you might think I’d welcome their collective demise. I mostly do, but it’s worth exploring what these parks might be like without one of their bread and butter attractions.

It probably varies by park and roller coaster, but some of these still maintain a decent ridership considering their age. The general public can be much more forgiving at times when it comes to rides I’d considerable nearly unride-able. These rides also help in some way by keeping lines down for other attractions.

I’ve seen other aging Arrows become defunct recently, but I’ve never thought about a large scale extinction. It’s interesting to consider what that would be like. And parks might want to think of a way to make up for the lost revenue from travel size Tylenol.

Recently Defunct Arrow Coasters

In the past few years we’ve seen a few Arrow coasters sent to the scrapheap. In 2009, we saw a much loved, not painful Big Bad Wolf removed from Busch Gardens Williamsburg. A few years later, the park replaced Wolfie with Verbolten. And then in 2010, Six Flags Great Adventure did us all a favor (sorry), and removed Great American Scream Machine to make way for their re-vamped stand up coaster Green Lantern.

My Take – Nice To Know You

Roller Coaster Train Track WheelsI rode Vortex at Kings Island just once or twice. While I thought it was one of the cooler looking loopers back in the day, I wouldn’t miss it if it was removed. I’m more closely connected with my first looper, Anaconda at Kings Dominion. I’d hope that they’d find a way to incorporate the lake pond into its replacement. I like it overall, but it’s got some really rough sections. I’d be fine with it getting removed.

I might actually applaud the de-construction crew as my local Arrow looper, Carolina Cyclone is removed. It looks cool and provides some great photo ops as it loops right over pathways, but it’s super rough and largely un-enjoyable. At end of the day, I’d be okay with these coasters being removed especially if there are plans to replace them with newer attractions.

For more why these rides can get so rough, see Busch Gardens Roller Coaster Tour with a look at Loch Ness Monster’s maintenance shop. There’s also more discussion of the photo above in: “A Picture Worth a Thousand Head Aches”

What’s Your Take?

This is just a rumor at this point, but what you think? Would you miss the Arrow looper at your closest Cedar Fair park? Do you think these rides are still needed in their lineups or do you think it’s time for them to go? What say you? Leave a comment below.


  1. Looks like the end of an era is upon us coaster enthusiasts. I echo the sentiments that these old work horses paved the way for the Giga & Hyper coasters we all now love. However, we all knew this day would come. I agree that the time for these dinosaurs has come & passed. My first taste of a coaster was Arrow's Walbash Cannonball @ Opryland & I was hooked instantly. Will definitely miss them for the nostalgia purposes, but understand the importance of rider-ship,rider comfort, real estate (especially @ my home park of Cedar Point), & maintenance must always be kept at the fore-front for any park. I am hoping they keep at least a couple of them & use some for spare parts (Corkscrew being one of those saved–its loops over the mid-way are so iconic I couldn't imagine the park without them)

    I wonder if this will be the beginning phase of getting rid of most of the old Arrow coasters @ CF parks. If that's the case, it could change the whole landscape of Cedar Point. Corkscrew, Gemini, Iron Dragon, Mine Ride even (I shudder as I type this–even Magnum) are all Arrow coasters. On the up-side, this move could signal Mr. Ouimet's desire to usher in a whole new Golden Era of coasters at the CF parks (an era I would welcome).

    One thing I'd like to see (if possible) is for CF to offer many of its de-commissioned coasters to Seaside Heights to replace the coasters destroyed by Sandy.

  2. The iconic corkscrews in the CP midway should not be touched, unless they make a new looping coaster with 2 identical corkscrews. I know its not Arrow but one coaster i will never want to see get replaces is Kumba. I hope it remains there for at least 20 more years

  3. I agree but in light of the recent removal of another icon, Space Spiral, I no longer think any ride there is safe. However, due to the fact that most of those 70's Arrow coasters seemed to be cookie-cutter twins, they could use the parts of the de-commissioned loopers to keep Corkscrew running for yrs to come (I hope). Not to mention its small footprint.
    My prediction is that the 2 coasters on the chopping block at CP are Mine Ride & Iron Dragon. My layman prediction is that Mine Ride will go first. The testing of Gemini trains on MR last spring tells me that those rides use identical parts & that MR parts could be used to keep the much more popular Gemini running for yrs to come. MR has seen decreased ridership the last few yrs. Not to mention that MR takes up a large footprint in one of the most beautiful areas of the park that doesn't sit on the coast. CP could easily put another large B&M or Intamin in that large footprint

  4. Sadly, most Arrow loopers age badly, with very few exceptions. The Scream In Pan Machine at Great Adventure is missed by few. Both Anaconda and Vortex are on my list of Never Again's. Hopefully Nessie will survive for a few more decades. It's not only visually stunning but historically significant as well.

    • Sadly, most Arrow loopers age badly, with very few exceptions. The Scream In Pain Machine at Great Adventure is missed by few. Both Anaconda and Vortex are on my list of Never Again's. Hopefully Nessie will survive for a few more decades. It's not only visually stunning but historically significant as well.

  5. Before I reached 5 foot 5 inches or so I dreaded sit-down looping coasters, especially arrow, because of their roughness and head-banging. However, as soon as my head cleared the shoulder restraints, I my experience became MUCH more enjoyable. I still had to clench my neck so my head wasnt flung around, but since my head was above the restraints, my head wasn't banging constantly against the restraints. Anyone else find this to be true?

    • I never rode them when I was shorter, but I do find that, at 5'11", I have much less trouble with headbanging on loopers with horsecollar restraints than most other people do. I suspect that a tallish man is pretty much what these restraints are typically designed for, which shortchanges everybody else.

      • Yeah, I’m only 5’7″ but if I sit reasonably straight my head clears the restraints. I find loopers with these restraints more enjoyable than say, standup coasters and the occasional rough floorless or inverted coaster, because on those, the restraints reach up past the ears, so the headbanging is more relevant and painful.

  6. You know how in your neighborhood there use to be a store or a house or some structure that made it home? I've been a native to Kings Island for the past 16 years of my life. The vortex is by far my favorite ride there. Plus it's a starter coaster for those riders who are trying to step up their thrill. The track layout can't even be matched by modern day layouts. The first drop, steep and fast. It's like the ride pulls you in. 6 inversions: 2 loops, 2 corkscrews, and a counter clockwise helix. Come on? That's a hype ride. Yes it does beat the shit out of you a little bit, and leg space (except for the front seat) is limited. But there are more pro's then cons. Even if you hate it you gotta love the way it looks. These parks make billions. Repair and maintenance is a part of roller coaster life. I say redesign the damn thing. Make it a smoother more comfortable ride and it's still one of the top three rides in the park if not the best. It's irreplaceable.

  7. Can someone explain to me why parts are so hard to come by? Doesn't Velkolma offer pretty much the EXACT same thing, and with how Arrow trains are known to have been run on Velkoma coasters, and these rides are classics, Corkscrew (CP) was the first coaster to go upside-down 3 times,Vortex was the first to go 6. But my point is that if Velkoma offers the same thing, why are parts so hard to come by, I completely understand about train parts, be how different are the wheels, lift motors, and brakes? And hell, if the Velkoma suspended trains were fit onto an Arrow suspended coaster (Vampire at CWoA) and how Arrow trains work on Velkoma coasters, why can't the new Velkoma soft trains, you know, the ones that remove the headbanging from all reports, work on Arrow coasters? sure they lack to classic style that the Arrow trains have (much like PTC trains on woodies and Millennium Flyers on GCI woodies), but they'd also make the rides enjoyable again for ages to come,
    I could be wrong about how the parts work, I admit that I could be completely wrong, and I also admit that I don't know everything about Arrow loopers, but if you look at it that way, it doesn't make much sense,

  8. i'm a cedar pointer. i've been going since i was 5, i'm 63. i love the coasters and all the other rides. i went with my children and now my grand children. i can relive every eye opening moment through them. at halloweekends it saddens me to see the ride cemetery. so many rides are gone. but, it has always been rough riding on the corkscrew. i've ridden vortex and hated that ride from the getgo. both of these rides gave me a headache that lasted all day long. but on the other hand, they make other people happy and i hate to see them go.

  9. I agree that the old Arrow Loopers are incredibly rough. The only place that is somewat comfortable to ride in is the very back. I disagree however with removing them. They are some of the coolest looking rollercoasters around, and an incredible part of roller coaster history. What companies need to do with them is re-track, refurbish them, and find more comfortable trains. If you can make the ride smooth and enjoyable, then people would enjoy so much more.

  10. So all of the Arrow Loopers are to be scrapped?? What about Viper at Six Flags Magic Mountain??? Hopefully i can get to Kings Island this summer to ride Vortex. i can’t miss out on that ride. I think its a good idea to replace them all because they can be a pain. It’s funny because the only Arrow Coaster that got saved was Kennywood’s Steel Phantom. And do i miss that ride so much but atleast the ride is still here. Phantom’s Revenge is a huge improvement on Steel Phantom. But i will make sure to ride the Vortex. I can’t get over to Viper thats to far away but i will be sure to ride the Corkscrew at Cedar Point. Anaconda at Kings Dominion looks like i wont be able to ride that one either because its to far of a drive. But R.I.P to the Arrow Coasters. Yall served the parks very well. Steel Phantom i will never EVER!!! Forget that ride.

  11. I doubt Corkscrew will be removed in the next few years. It’s historical, why would they get rid of it?

  12. NOOOOO freaking way. Cedar Fair, you better listen to me GOOD. If you EVER take away the Corkscrew from Cedar Point/Valley Fair, or Vortex from Kings island…. I could just SPIT.

    • Let me put it this way… Corkscrew (Cedar Point) [Im pretty sure Valley Fair’s is the same since Ive seen videos…] is my first looping coaster, so therefore it is one of my favorites. Ive never been on Vortex Ive never been on, but Ive heard Its one of the best Arrows out there. PLEASE DONT RID THEM EVEREVEREVER!!! :'(

  13. I would miss anaconda always try to ride it at least once when I am at kings dominion being my home park.

  14. I live closest to Valleyfair and they still have the corckscrew and they recently repainted it and i am confused if they r going to tear it down. It is really shaky, and i would not be that sad if they tore it down.

  15. If all Arrow coasters were to become extinct then the major parks like Cedar Point (especially Cedar Point) would lose a lot of coasters. Because most of Ceadr Point`s coasters are Arrow coasters. For example… Corkscrew, Gemini, Magnum, Cedar Creek Mine Ride, and Iron Dragon. That is getting rid of 5/15 of Cedar Points roller coasters!!!!!! So I hope that this rumor doesn’t become a reality, because if it ever did….. it would be a REAL pain in the rump. (Even though most Arrow roller coaster have a reputation to age bad and cause pain) But still it would suck if parks would get rid of all of the Arrow coasters.

    Thank you for sticking in to read this whole response, I am sorry it’s so long.

  16. My home parks are Knotts and SFMM and my first loopers were rides like Viper, Boomerang and Ninja, plus there’s something about them that looks amazing and intimidating all at once from the ground and the air. Yes I’d be very sad to see them go. IMPO if they can maybe revamp some problems to make the coasters smoother they could start pulling in more riders.

  17. I think that the Vortex at KI seems like a great ride. It would be sad to see it go. That seems like one of the better arrow looper coasters. I hope sometime in the future that a park makes a B&M version of KI’s vortex.

  18. Or they could sell Vortex to another park, but with the new vekoma trains as used on Carolina Cobra. The trains take away from the head banging with shoulder restraints that actually go up to your shoulder.

  19. If Cedar Fair does anything to their classic Arrow Loopers, they should have Vekoma re-track them and install new trains.

    Plus, are Arrow loopers really that bad? I’ve only been on one Arrow coaster, and that was a mine train. It was pretty smooth. The looping ones must at least be smoother than an SLC.

  20. Not speaking about cedar fair, Canobie needs to say goodbye to their corkscrew. Their corkscrew every year gets rougher and rougher. I rode it in 2010 and thought it was just a bit bumpy. Rode it in 2013 and it hurt insanely. My cousins and friends got off holding our heads in pain saying “Ouch! Why did we go on that thing!?”

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