A Great Adventure original, the Calypso was a Schwarzkopf designed spinning ride resembling a Scrambler installed on an inclined slope. Brightly painted and covered in miniature lights, the Calypso was the perfect piece to supplement the assortment of mechanical contraptions which made up the Strawberry Fair section of the Enchanted Forest.
|With a palette full of colors, lollipop-like covered cars, and a
swirling yellow stripe reminiscent of the winding yellow brick road, the
Calypso's circular motions could have easily conjured up images of the
The Wizard of Oz.
In reality, the Calypso was a standard version of what was then a staple in the Schwarzkopf catalog of amusement rides.
Situated between the Traffic Jam bumper cars and the Super RoundUp,
this popular ride thrilled guests with its high speed spinning motions and ornate decor.
Pairs of guests took their seats in one of 16 cars which were grouped
into sets of four evenly spaced subassemblies around a large circular
platform. The ride cycle started slowly with the circular platform
rotating clockwise continuly picking up speed. Next, the four sets
of quad-gondolas would begin to rotate counterclockwise sending riders
in a myriad of directions at high speeds pinning them to the outer sides
of their cars.
After approximately three minutes, the car subassemblies would come to an abrupt halt while the main platform slowed to a stop.
In 1976, the Calypso was relocated for its first and only time taking up residence along the shores of the park's lake just a few hundred feet back from its original location. The Calypso and the relocated Grand Prix rides widened the boundaries of Strawberry Fair and both became a part of the Neptune's Kingdom section of the park.
Many of the decorative features of the ride were eliminated as a result of the move. The large yellow "tornado" from the center of the ride was scrapped and was simply capped off with a white cover. In addition, the pinwheel paint pattern on the circular platform was reduced to a solid color of non-skid paint containing sand to reduce the chances of guests slipping when navigating the inclined ride base in the rain.
|Click the slide
below to see
|After 1987, the Calypso was selected as
one of four older rides to be removed from the park as a result of
excess capacity, increased downtime, and high maintenance expenses.
For several years afterwards, one of the gondolas from the ride could be
found in the Ride Operations training room where it was used for
demonstrating how to properly check lap bars.
A new Huss Condor replaced the Calypso in 1988 and remained in the park though 1991 utilizing that ride's same basic footprint. Today, the site of the Calypso is occupied by the remote control boats complex just to the left of the Jolly Roger ride.
|In the summer of 2014, one of the original Calypso cars was rescued from the park's boneyard and featured as part of the Great Adventure History Museum. It is hoped that one day the car can be restored to its original state when it welcomed guests on a whirling journey aboard the Calypso.|