Rides geared towards children generally are a variation on the transportation ride or a spinning ride (either horizontal or vertical), with manufacturers always looking to create unique versions of the ride experience. One of the leading manufacturers of these rides has been Zamperla, who continue to innovate children's and family rides with new styles and thematic options.
|Added as part of the
"War on Lines" in 1999 in the Looney Tunes Seaport area of the park, the
Barnstormer was a unique variation on a Ferris wheel type ride, with
just two large gondolas suspended on arms and balanced with
counterweights. The ride offered the mild thrill of height and motion
and offered a family friendly experience where parents could ride
alongside their children.
Bugs Bunny's Seaport Barnstormer was the first of its kind installed in a US theme park, and is still one of the few currently in operation.
|The Barnstormer was one of the most unique rides offered in the new children's area. While many of the others were variations on existing rides already installed across the park in Bugs Bunny Land, the Barnstormer offered something quite unusual, with greater height and thrills than any of the other children's rides. The airplane theme was not unique, with the neighboring Seaplanes just across the pathway, but the ride was given nice thematic touches like the propeller cutouts included in the fence pickets.
|Click Below to View a Video
Bugs Bunny's Seaport Barnstormer
|The rides two arms run in opposite directions in synch with one another, with both at the top and bottom positions at the same time, and opposite each other at the mid-point of the rotation. Midway through the ride cycle, the direction of rotation changes for both arms.
|The ride gondolas are quite
large, and free swinging through the rotation of the arms. The
rotation along with the balance of weight in the gondolas can cause the
cars to point slightly upward or downward, adding to the thrill of the
ride experience. The pivots for the gondolas feature a disc brake system
to hold them steady as guests load and unload.
The central tower that supports the arms and drive motors was designed to look like an airport control tower, complete with a small cupola with a weathervane on top. The arms are painted sky blue with clouds to further the theme.
|Bugs Bunny's Seaport Barnstormer was immediately a big hit with kids and families, offering a much more thrilling ride than most of the other offerings in the children's areas of the park. The ride has been a kind of a stepping stone for children getting their courage up to graduate to the adult rides and is still one of the most popular attractions in Looney Tunes Seaport.