The Tumbler

Opened: 1 Apr 1972
Closed: 1975
Location: South Midway (1972), North Midway (1973-1975)
Manufactured By: Hampton Amusement Company – Portage des Sioux, Missouri
Ride Model: Tubs-O-Fun

Very little information is available about this short-lived ride at Lagoon. The Tumbler was a small, teacup-style ride. I’ve only received a few emails over the years from those who recall the ride. Here’s what they remember:

“The Tumbler was a compact flat ride that had about six or eight small tubs that went around in a circle. Each of the tubs had a wheel in the center so you could manually spin your tub, kind of like a teacup ride. It was not a very fancy ride; it was like one of those rides you see at traveling carnivals with the colored umbrella type thing that covers the whole ride. Kind of a kiddie ride.”


“It was probably one of the lamest rides that Lagoon has ever had. There never was a line and was usually just a walk-on. I think the only similarity to the teacups is that you could spin the tumbler that you were sitting in.”


“You would sit in a round vehicle that went around like a merry-go-round. You could make the car spin. It would also go up and down on small ‘hills’ that were on the tracks. I remember that the plastic/vinyl material that you sat on was different sparkly colors.”


The first two recalled The Tumbler being located on the South Midway. A Deseret News article which announced the addition of The Tumbler didn’t mention a location of the ride, but it did say that the Midway was “extended on both north and south ends to accommodate the new rides and for additional food and game stands.”

Photo courtesy of Deseret News

Above is a 1972 aerial photograph of the extension to the South Midway that year. The Tumbler was only in this location (between Rock-O-Plane and Flying Saucer) for a single season and then moved north of Opera House Square, about where Air Race sits now.

The only other photo I have of the ride shows it in that North Midway location in 1973. Another newspaper article reported that The Tumbler had been moved along with the Space Scrambler to make room for the installation of Jet Star 2 in 1976. Since publishing this page, I received a comment (found below) from a former operator of the Tumbler who says it was sold to another park after the 1975 season.

To the left of the man in this 1973 photo, behind the spray of the Bamberger Fountain, the multi-colored umbrella of The Tumbler is visible. Photo: Laura Moncur, Starling Travel (color corrected)
Behind the spray of the Bamberger Fountain, the multi-colored umbrella of The Tumbler is visible in this 1973 photograph. Photo: Laura Moncur, Starling Travel

Photos of a Hampton Tubs-O-Fun ride at a carnival in New York.


Hampton Amusement Company (advertisement). The Billboard, 13 Jun 1960.

Lagoon To Open With 5 New Rides. Deseret News, 24 Mar 1972.

New Jet Ride set at Lagoon. Deseret News, 17 Mar 1976.

Email message to author from Gary, date unknown.

Email message to author from Dave, 9 May 2008.

Email message to author from Alan C., 7 Feb 2011.

Private message to author from user “linearinduction” via, 21 Mar 2013.


3 replies on “The Tumbler”

I had the privilege of running this ride for the first two weekends of the 1975 pre-season. It was a super low capacity ride. It only had 4 cars. My training consisted of – push the button to start, the ride will stop when it is finished. Here is the hose, you will need it – which I did several times each day I ran it. Fortunately I never ran it again. It was sold the next year to another park to make room for the Jet Star.

Thanks for sharing! Sounds like even though the ride wasn’t at Lagoon very long, it was still there TOO long. Do you happen to know what park it was sold to?

Cole Shows currently has a traveling Tubs-O-Fun (the model this ride was). From that we can gauge exactly what this ride was. The cars were mounted on arms (the described jumps) inside the cars were indeed wheels to turn the cars. Hampton Amusement Company itself is a bit of a mystery. Not a lot of info even me an amusement park historian could find. They closed in 1992 after declining sales. Surviving rides seem uncommon.

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