Whirlwind

Opened: 1984
Closed: 1984
Manufactured By: Huss Maschinenfabrik – Bremen, Germany
Ride Model: Ranger
Max Height: 65 feet
Ride Capacity: 40 (8 rows of 5)

The Whirlwind opened in April 1984 in the space just east of Jet Star 2. This was the same location as three other Huss rides that were at the park for a short time. Tri-Star was located there from 1979-1981 and moved west across the Midway when UFO took that space in 1982. The Whirlwind operated there for the 1984 season followed by Cyclone in 1985. Tri-Star then returned to that location until 1990 when it was removed.

Kennywood in Pennsylvania also had a Huss Ranger and Huss Swing Around for a year at a time for two consecutive seasons – 1983 and 1984. It’s possible that if the rides weren’t the same ones used in Kennywood, they were at least very likely involved in a similar lease agreement with Huss.

Whirlwind installation.
Whirlwind installation in April 1984. Photo: Deseret News.

Whirlwind offered a ride very similar to the Tidal Wave except that it made full revolutions. This description of the ride was shared with me via email:

“…the restraint system was a large, heavy padded bar that would come down automatically on your lap and literally squeeze the breath right out of you.

People would normally yell out in pain which only caused the restraint to close even tighter. The most entertaining part of this ride was as an observer listening to the collective screams and groans of pain when the restraint system came down.

However, the ride was so slow rocking back and forth to the full circle that by the time you were upside down, you were pretty grateful for those extra-tight restraints.”

I’ve noticed that the sign in early photos of the ride is a light color, but in a KSL-TV program, the sign is blue. I’m not sure why this is.

For some reason, a very short video clip of the Whirlwind was used in a 1990 TV spot (seen at the top of the page). This was six years after the ride was at Lagoon.

From an edition of KSL’s Prime Time Access, which aired in 1987¹. Notice the different sign compared to the Deseret News photo above.
Whirlwind in operation, May 1984. Photo: Deseret News

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LINKS

Tri-Star

UFO

Cyclone

More Huss Ranger photos from other parks at Amusement Ride Extravaganza.

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NOTES

1. Thanks to firestepher72 for posting the great videos of Lagoon on YouTube, from which I was able to make the GIFs used on this page. Portions of these videos were submitted to the old Farmington Star website several years ago. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth about 24,000 words per second!

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SOURCES

Lagoon reopens today with new attraction: the Whirlwind. Deseret News, 20 Apr 1984.

Lagoon now open on weekends. Deseret News, 12 May 1984.

Lagoon ready for 90th season. Deseret News, 12 Apr 1985.

Kennywood Timeline. Themepark Timelines, accessed 23 Mar 2011.

RE: Cyclone at Lagoon. Email messages from Stephenie G. to author, 8 & 9 Apr 2004.

Whirlwind Update and More. Email message to author, 20 Oct 2005.

Whirlwind information. Email message from Mike P. to author, 22 Nov 2006.

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An ongoing exploration of Lagoon's past