Opened: Apr 1987
Location: South Midway (1987-2017), North Midway (2018-Present)
Manufactured By: Huss Maschinenfabrik – Bremen, Germany
Ride Model: Enterprise
Max Height: 65 ft
Max Speed: ~20 rpm
Wheel Diameter: 56 ft
Footprint: 69 x 74 ft
Number Of Gondolas: 20
Ride Capacity: 40 (2 per gondola)
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 (another German ride manufacturer) 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.
A Huss Enterprise was the sixth and final Huss ride¹ to open at Lagoon. 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 north of Game Time.
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 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.
In the middle of October 2017, the ride was closed and dismantled to make room for a new restroom on the South Midway. The following spring, a new concrete platform was poured for Screamer north of Sky Scraper, near the entrance to Cannibal. The ride was repainted in the same colors and the old 1980s Lagoon logo was added back to each gondola. It reopened in its new location on 15 June 2018.
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.
more from lhp
1981 Arrow Huss ride catalog with photos of the Huss Enterprise, Sky Lab and much more.
Lagoon a busy place even when closed. Deseret News, 10 Mar 1982.
Lagoon opens Saturday. Deseret News, 17 Apr 1987.
Burton, David. Enterprise. Amusement Ride Extravaganza, accessed 31 Jul 2013.
Enterprise. Schwarzkopf-Coaster.net, accessed 31 Jul 2013.