Opened: Apr 1983
Manufactured By: Zamperla – Altavilla Vicentina, Italy
Ride Model: Mini Enterprise De Luxe¹
Max Height: 15 ft
Number Of Gondolas: 8 (4 robot speeders, 4 space pods)
Ride Capacity: 28 (4 per robot speeder, 3 per space pod)
Early Lagoon ads called Moonraker “a space adventure for kids”. Typically, a moonraker refers to a sail near the top of a ship. But with this ride’s space theme, the name was more likely derived from the James Bond film by that name which was released a few years before and involves a space shuttle named Moonraker.
The ride is somewhat similar in operation to Turn Of The Century. Riders spin clockwise around the extended tower in one of two different types of vehicles. Soon the spinning wheel tilts to an angle of about 30 degrees, providing a very mild sensation of rising and diving through the air. There’s a button in each vehicle that makes a “space blaster” kind of noise, but they’re not always working or used.
While neighboring rides have been moved to several different spots over the decades, Moonraker has only been in two locations. It was first installed where the Kiddie Coaster had been until it was removed. When Puff The Little Fire Dragon opened there, it was moved to the place it still stands today. Bulgy The Whale used to be to the south of Moonraker until 2004 when Speedway, Jr.’s track layout was altered and Kontiki and The Dragonfly were shoehorned in. Sky Fighter had been on the north side of Moonraker until 2006 when Ladybug Bop and Dinosaur Drop were added. The ride was completely repainted in 2016.
1. The ride model has been listed on Zamperla’s website as Mini Enterprise De Luxe, but some evidence shows that it may have also gone by the name Samba or Samba Enterprise at one point. Zamperla also has a ride called Samba Balloon, which is much like this ride, except that it features hot air balloon style carriers.
MORE FROM LHP
Mini Enterprise De Luxe. ZamperlaRides.com, accessed via Internet Archive.
Samba Enterprise, ZamperlaRides.com, accessed via Internet Archive.
Lagoon newspaper ads, 1983.
Facebook message to author, Sep. 2022.