Centennial Screamer

Centennial Screamer

Opened: April 1987
Manufactured By: Huss Maschinenfabrik – Bremen, Germany
Ride Model: Enterprise
Max Height: 65 feet
Wheel Diameter: 56 feet
Base Dimensions: 69 feet by 74 feet
Ride Capacity: 40 (20 gondolas of 2 riders each)

Centennial Screamer, 1987
Screen capture from an episode of KSL’s Prime Time Access in 1987.

Although Schwarzkopf is probably better known as a roller coaster manufacturer, the company also made a variety of flat rides. One of these was the Enterprise, introduced in the early 1970s. Soon after, Huss started making its own Enterprise that became very popular.

The Enterprise is like a fast-moving Ferris Wheel that loads riders while on its side. As it begins spinning horizontally, the gondolas swing outward and a hydraulic arm raises the wheel to a near-vertical position. In the late ’70s, Huss developed the concept further with the UFO. On this model, riders stood facing the center of the wheel in gondolas that didn’t swing. Lagoon had a Huss UFO east of Jet Star 2 for a single season in 1982. A larger, higher capacity Enterprise called Sky Lab was designed by Huss in the ’80s.

Lagoon’s Enterprise was the sixth and final Huss ride¹ to open at the park. It arrived in 1987 when the park celebrated its centennial year.² In honor of that milestone, the ride was dubbed the Centennial Screamer. A Zierer Wave Swinger named Turn Of The Century also opened later that season. The Screamer took a spot next to Musik Express which had been occupied by the Space Scrambler from 1982 to 1986. It was at that point that the Scrambler was moved to its present location.

© Braden Miskin
Centennial Screamer in 2007. Photo: B. Miskin

The Centennial Screamer has remained basically the same in appearance since it opened. The image at the top of this page shows the arm in different colors than the solid blue it’s painted in now. Aside from that, the colors are the same. The gondolas still feature the ’80s Lagoon logo and is one of the few places in the park it can still be seen. The full name was used in the operator’s safety spiel and on the ticket sign at the entrance, but only the “Screamer” portion was on the large electrical sign. In 2007 the backdrop, painted with an outer space scene of stars and planets, was taken down mid-season along with the “Screamer” sign above it. The backdrop returned in 2008 completely repainted with brighter colors, a cartoon-like spaceship and planets, and the full name of the ride. The electric sign never returned, but four metal posts where the sign was mounted could still be seen sticking up above the center of the backdrop until they were finally removed in the middle of the 2016 season.

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 NOTES

1. The other Huss rides that have been at Lagoon are the Tri-Star (1979-1990), Tidal Wave (1980-present), UFO (1982), The Whirlwind (1984) and Cyclone (1985).

2. Lagoon’s early beginnings go back to the Lake Park Bathing Resort which opened in 1886 on the shores of the Great Salt Lake. 1986 would have been the park’s centennial year, but for whatever reason it was celebrated the following year.

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cscreamergallerylink Centennial Screamer Gallery (coming soon)

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LINKS

Tri-Star

UFO

Turn Of The Century

1981 Arrow Huss ride catalog with photos of the Huss Enterprise, Sky Lab and much more.

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SOURCES

Lagoon a busy place even when closed. Deseret News, 10 Mar 1982.

Lagoon opens Saturday. Deseret News, 17 Apr 1987.

Enterprise: Tech Specs. HussRides.com, accessed via Internet Archive Wayback Machine 31 Jul 2013.

Burton, David. Enterprise. Amusement Ride Extravaganza, accessed 31 Jul 2013.

Enterprise. Schwarzkopf-Coaster.net, accessed 31 Jul 2013.

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