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coasterfreak

Midway Amusements

17 posts in this topic

"Midway Amusements" sounds suspiciously like a carnival ride operating name. The ride itself is a Miler wild mouse, which I believe are transportable. It probably dates back to the 1950's or 1960's, which is a tad before my times, but I know that the Brisbane Ekka did at one stage operate a Wild Mouse, which I'd say could very likely be this ride. There certainly hasn't been anything that resembles an amusement park in Brisbane recently, aside from Expo 88's Space Park and Tops at the Myer Centre (with their custom designed Zamperla powered coaster), and the fact that Midway Amusements sounds more like an operator's name rather than a park's name to me suggests it wasn't a park.

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Actually, recently with the owner of RCDB (Duane Marden) i have been some information for him ;) about the Zamperla powered coaster on that was originally at the Brisbane Myer Centre, and unfortunately, i rung both Myer and Tops, and to my prevail, no info. But we are still looking for more info and pics so feel free to post more info, please? :|

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...and Tops at the Myer Centre (with their custom designed Zamperla powered coaster)...
Zamperla Powered coasters have never been so fun. I always thought that one on Tops was great, even after I went on it. Maybe it was the 6 storey drop over each side that made that ride. Does anyone know if any of the old Tops rides survivied?

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I remember there being a small coaster type ride at Magic Mountain on the Gold Coast. This place closed just before I started High School. Hope this helped.

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Oh boy, the "Dragon Ride", as it was known, was a damn fun ride. I remember they had a daily show where a really great old guy would make balloon animals and he'd have everyone doing the chicken dance at the end (he'd sing these words to it too, "And a little bit of this and a little bit of that and you shake your tail..."), and all the kids would get a showbag type thing, where inside was a free day ticket to come back another time. I'd say those things were pretty close to a season pass for me. :D I rode that thing hundreds of times, and it was always a damn fun little ride, and it sounded so cool going around the track with this whizzing electric motor sound. I was out at Aussie World this past weekend (more like driving past, and thought it'd be good to pull over and give the place a quick glance over), and I can confirm what I read somewhere that their newly built swinging ship is the same one that operated at Tops (the only ride there I never rode... it always freaked me 8)), so there's at least one ride. Of course, for those that don't know, the whole area has been turned into a cinema (one that tries to look fancy, but just stinks of cheapness and tackiness), with a small arcade area going by the name of Tops keeping the legacy going. Speaking of this, I'm still quite annoyed that when Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu were up there one night for the launch of CA2 I was downstairs eating KFC with mates. Needless to say we were all pretty annoyed when we got up there to see 2 Fast 2 Furious, and they were just ripping up duct tape and packing away tables. Magic Mountain, though I never went there, sounded like a very dodgey park. I'm also going to suggest that if they had a coaster, it probably wasn't the one in question (any idea of the style of coaster we're talking?).

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I don't remember there being a coaster at Magic Mountain. The only rides that I remember are the swinging chair thingy that used to swing over the mountain and a Waterslide ... which I heard the usual stories of someone getting cut by a razorblade that someone had stuck to the slide. The other thing I remember being there was a magic show. I went there when I was still in primary school ... we are talking donkeys ago :D

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I worked at Top's (never quite sure what that apostrophe meant) as a ride attendant for over three years, from shortly after it opened up until the end of 1991 (I was actually there for a few months from the start as a cafe attendant, and for a while as a dishwasher ...). I ran a Google search the other day for old time's sake, and also found out that the Swing Ship had been relocated. As for the roller coaster, or "Dragon Train", I saw that quite recently - in June or July 2004, at the Brisbane Medieval Fair. It's been given rubber tyres and turned into a kiddie's ride ... Although it's perhaps an ignoble end, I took some comfort from the fact that the body was not sent to the junk yard, and is still giving some joy to kids. The coaster itself needed some adjustments over a lengthy period - for quite some time the "stop" button was very edgy, and failing to push it at just the right time would mean that the thing would coast right through the station, and would stop half way up the first slope unless you pushed the start button straight away. Of course, some times it would just stop, full of passengers ... At least once or twice on my shift. And then there was the time one of the Centre's mascots, a koala, went riding on the coaster and lost its head ... Cheers Michael B

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Has anyone ever been to Dazzeland, which used to be in the myer center Adelaide. It too had a powered zamperla that went quite high above the center and it also, it was named Jazz Junction I think. It had a helicopter type ride (like dream copters), Dodgems, Mexican Mini golf and a really cool indoor playground, I remember going there when I was % or so, too bad it shut. :(

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I remember going to Dazzeland as a kid it was the best. The dodgem cars, the little helicopters and airplanes , the big pipe playground, the train and of course the the roller coaster. You could see right down to the ground floor it was great for a little kid. That ride wasnt as fun anymore when they put those shade sails in between all the floors. So you couldnt see all the way down anymore. The did this because a school kid fell off one of the escalators and died. And the area that was Dazzeland is now a fitness centre!!

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Actualy I used to visit Magic Mountain as a kid and it wasn't actualy 'that' dodgy. It certainly wasn't in the same league as the other parks but it was kind of cool. I remember when they got the big water play area attraction one year, I didn't go in and planned to next year. I returned the next year to find the place closed :-( The magic show in the castle at the top certainly was very good and if I'm not mistaken the chairlift is now at DW correct? Certainly prefered seeing the castle up the top than the bloody apartments that are there today!

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Welcome to the boards Micheal, interesting to hear about your time at Top's.  What was it like working there?  Good people to work for?
Thanks. Interesting questions. I could go on for a while. It was often good working there, though it could also be agonizingly tedious. Besides the usual drudgery of processing people through the rides, the centre was overly ambitious with its opening hours (it was open until 2.00am for the first month or so). Even after they cut down - which was a gradual process - it was often deserted, particularly on Saturday nights (which they eventually dropped) and Friday nights. The story was that it would be big when Expo 88 came to town, then that it would be big after Expo finished, and then the staff all knew it just wasn't ever going to be big, except during school holidays and weekends (though that varied) ... A lot of money lost there, I think. Had some fun with the other employees, had some fun with customers from time to time, had many hours just sitting there waiting for customers ... particularly on the Ferris Wheel (I did a lot of study up there ...). The policy was that if we didn't have customers, we had to be seen cleaning all the time, so that could be painful. My favourite rides to run were the Swing Ship - it was spectacular, had a real sense of power, and was easy to run (and allowed some interesting views of customers, ahem) - and the Bumper Cars (you could ride on the back of them and jump from car to car, plus play your own music (when they weren't cracking down on that). I also experienced the odd phenomenon of being the subject of obsession by at least two schoolgirls ... At various times, each of them hung around the centre (in the company of one or more friends) staring at me ... Going up and down in the glass lift next to the Swing Ship when I was working there ... I worked Friday nights and either Saturday or Sunday (and weekdays during some University holidays), and this went on for months if not years, week after week. Of course, I had boyish good looks back then - I worked there from about 18 to 21. No doubt if I was a less scrupulous (or shy) person, I could have taken terrible advantage of this, but it was all just a bit freaky. I never really acknowledged them. The employers weren't too bad. I outlasted quite a few managers. After a year or so, they introduced the policy of rotating us around the rides every hour - someone said they did this at Disneyland to keep the employees more sane (?). It certainly helped. One female manager saw another ride attendant and I pour our drinks on our supervisor at a work function (it seemed like a good idea at the time ... We were very, very drunk (read as per The Fast Show)). He declared that he was going to give us quite a beating after the boat cruise ended, we grovelled and apologised, and all seemed to be forgiven. However, the manager never seemed to think much of me after that. They later introduced a ride attendant "employee of the week" award, which rotated several times through everyone except me ... This was particularly grating (though I never lost any sleep over it) as I'm fairly sure I was one of the most courteous, conscientous and responsible ones there (when not on employee boat cruises). Anyway, that's probably more than you wanted to know! Cheers Michael B

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