ADA Compliant and Inclusive

I recently read an article that was written by Linda Van Slyke and shared by CarnivalWarehouseNews in regards to efforts being made toward ADA compliance.  The Americans with Disabilities Act has been in existence since 1990 but in an industry that is centuries old change can come about slowly.  It made me stop and think about how well Chance Rides is addressing these needs for our customers.

Naturally, the best way for me to show you what Chance Rides is doing is by showing you what is currently in production.  Carousels are part of the standard assortment of products that we produce every year.

swan chariot

Because we make so many that serve so many customers it is important that they address ADA Compliance and give everyone an opportunity to enjoy them.  Here is an example of our Swan Chariot that has a flip up seat and floor latches to accommodate the whole wheelchair on the ride.

Tramstar Accessible

We also specialize in people movers that can accommodate guests of all abilities.  Out on the shop floor we have several Tramstars that are all equipped with wheelchair locks on the power unit.   Again these include a fold down seat that provides additional capacity for when it is not needed for a wheelchair bound guest.  The Tramstar includes a pullout ramp so that the vehicle is easily accessible at any point on the trip, not just at the loading station.

CP Huntington 401

On my walk I spied another item in production that is sure to be inclusive for everyone.  The beloved C.P. Huntington Train. Here you only see the production of our latest locomotive – 400 and counting!





ADA Coach

But our train coaches are able to accommodate wheelchairs as well.

We also place the wheelchair accessible coach right behind the locomotive so that it is easy for the train engineer to offer assistance.  And like the Tramstar, the coach is equipped with its own retractable ramp making it accessible at all points of the journey.

While we have a lot of examples in the factory, there is no better example of the strides we’ve made toward making amusements accessible than the products we manufactured for Morgan’s Wonderland in San Antonio, TX.  The entire park is designed to provide full wheelchair access for every attraction.  We created special utility type vehicles for the electric car track that can accommodate a rider in a wheelchair.

Electrical Car Off Road Vehicle

Electric Cars Off Road Vehicle








The carousel that was created for Morgan’s Wonderland even featured a specially designed chariot that would have the same movement as the other carousel horse so that children in wheelchairs would have the same experience as everyone else.

Galloping Carousel Chariot








Many of the other rides we manufacture require transfer from the wheelchair in order to experience the ride.  This is due to the nature of the safety requirements in our thrill rides.  We do our best to make this process as accommodating as possible while still ensuring that all guests can experience the ride safely.  And we are still always working on new ways to  be an inclusive ride manufacturer.

We look forward to future projects that drive us to get more creative with our accessible solutions.

The Wheels of Love

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?  For George W. Gale Ferris Jr. this was also his birthday, and since he’s credited with inventing the Ferris Wheel this day has also become National Ferris Wheel Day.  There is no question that the idea of a Ferris Wheel sparks images of romance in your mind.

Young love on a midway sounds like the title of a song doesn’t it? At Chance Rides we’ve been manufacturing wheels since 1988.  First with our 90′ Giant Wheel, then we introduced the smaller 63′ Century Wheel in 1963.  These wheels are some of the most prolific wheels around the country.  Most midways in America feature at least one Chance Rides wheel along with many of the regional amusement parks in the world.  These Chance Rides wheels have made history as well.

In 2008, the Giant Wheel on the Santa Monica Pier at Pacific Park was sold on eBay.  Pacific Park installed a new Chance Rides Giant Wheel with a solar element and their original wheel is now the central element of the Wheeler District in Oklahoma City, OK.  The wheel at Pacific Park is considered the most photograph wheel in all of North America.  It is frequently featured as a back drop in commercials, movies and television due in large part to its location in California.

We were also granted the opportunity to construct the first wheel to ever be erected at a professional baseball venue.  In 2013, Modern Woodmen Park, the home of the Quad Cities River Bandits, was voted as the “Best Minor League Ballpark” in the 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards.

In 2006 we installed our first observation wheel at Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls, ON.  We have since installed 4 others in Myrtle Beach, SC, Seattle, WA, Pigeon Forge, TN, and National Harbor, MD.  And we have 1 more wheel that will be installed some time in 2019.  These wheels are nearly 200 ft tall and are equipped with climate controlled gondolas that give the riders a full 360 degree view of the surroundings.  These wheels are most similar to the original concept developed by Mr. Ferris for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.  They are as much a wonderful experience to ride as they are an icon for the location where they exist.  In Seattle the Great Wheel on Pier 57 has been credited with completely revitalizing that area of the city.  They are at an annual ridership each year of over 1 million people.

On this day of celebration of love we very happy to celebrate #NationalFerrisWheelDay!  Chance Rides is so proud to create these beautiful iconic pieces around our country.


The 50th Anniversary of the Zipper

It was recently brought to my attention from a Chance Rides Fans page on Facebook that our beloved Zipper is turning 50 in 2018.  I quickly verified the information and found that the first Zipper was indeed manufactured and shipped in 1968.  In fact 19 Zippers were delivered in that first year.

Our Facebook page shared the news with the question of “what would be a proper way to celebrate this milestone?”.  Below I’ve listed 10 of the ideas shared on the post.  Let us know which of them you’d like to see us do.

Top 10 Ways to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Zipper

  1. Create and sell a commemorative t-shirt.
    • Available for purchase on our e-commerce site and at the IAAPA Expo.
  2. Set a date to have a Zipper operating in each of the 50 states at the same time or on the same day.
  3. Set up a Zipper at the Chance Rides facility to offer free rides all day.
    • or for 50 days.
  4. Create a VR experience video for the Zipper on ride experience.
  5.  Reunion party for the developers and initial Zipper owners.
  6. Create decals and signage to distribute to the ride operators.
  7. Operate 50 Zippers together in one location.
  8. Fill the Zipper with riders born in 1968.
  9. Offer a 50 minute ride. (Holy G Forces)
  10. Convince a toy manufacturer to create a replica model.

Comment below with your favorite ideas or add your own.  We look forward to giving the Zipper it’s due. 🙂

Do You Zoo Boo?

As with most holidays, Halloween gives entertainment venues an opportunity to drive additional traffic and become a part of family traditions and lifelong memories.  Often the month of October can provide the optimal weather for outdoor adventuring as well.  It is when the summer heat gives way to cool, crisp air and changing leaves bring more color to our world.  A study by the National Retail Federation also shows that Halloween spending is at record highs.  They attribute this to the fact that Halloween celebrating can be much more economical for families, so more of them are participating.  A Halloween event at your Zoo or Aquarium may be an easier time for families to spend quality time together before the often stressful holiday season begins.

At Chance Rides we often tell our customers and prospects how valuable our products can be for filling up your attraction and bringing guests back again and again.  Imagine the smiling faces on the hauntingly adorned C.P. Huntington Train or the delight of the child dressed as a dragon (or batman) riding on the dragon carousel figure.  There are many ways to incorporate Chance Rides products into your holiday celebrations.  We would love to tell you more about what you can do to generate more revenue for your facility.  We can also connect you with some of our customers running successful Halloween events.






See what is NEW at Chance Rides

Welcome to the new  We are making it easier for you to find the amusement ride, coaster and people mover information that you need. You can also subscribe to our newsletter and our blog to make sure that you are getting the latest information from Chance Rides.

In addition to our website update we have added a web store for our replacement parts.  You can find this under the services menu.  Or you can bookmark  We are working to build the store offering one product at a time.  Currently you can find replacement parts for Zippers and C.P. Huntington trains.

At Chance Rides our philosophy is, “If we can help our customers be successful then we will be successful.”  We welcome any feedback you might have to help us bring you greater success.

As we begin our preparations for IAAPA Expo 2017, I am very excited about the new things we have to show you this year.  For the first time in several years we will have a ride experience right inside our booth.  You’ll be able to board the Unicoaster 2.0 seat and experience the user-controlled rotation.  The original Unicoaster was originally introduced in 2010 with our first ride installed at Belmont Park in San Diego, CA in 2011.  We have now taken the Unicoaster outside the circle, with the same rider-controlled design you can now treat guests to the experience of a looping coaster.  This amusement ride is perfect for catering to thrill seekers of all levels.  If the guest is more into a mild thrill they can remain upright traveling the course, while the more dramatic thrill seekers can flip and flop throughout the entire ride.

Unicoaster 2.0

In addition to the Unicoaster 2.0 we will again have a beautiful C.P. Huntington Locomotive in our booth, however, this is no ordinary C.P. Huntington.  Our latest model is fully battery powered.  The new technology involved with operating the classic C.P. Huntington on battery power will significantly reduce the required maintenance that is typically associated with a combustion engine.  Not to mention showing your guests that you care about the environment, as our Electric C.P. Huntington Locomotive has zero emissions of harmful gasses. The show model is currently being tested at our facility to prove that it will sustain all day operation at your venue.  Stop by booth #5124 to see the locomotive and let us share all that we’ve learned from the test runs.

Electric C.P. HuntingtonChance Rides also has some guest passes available for IAAPA Expo 2017.  If you still need a pass for the show please contact Lisa Hargrove at  We look forward to seeing you there!





Zipper Transformation – Post 11

YOU KNOW IT’S GOING TO BE A GOOD DAY WHEN YOU HEAR  – “Calling all riders, all riders to final assembly!!”

That’s right, the latest Zipper rebuild was completed this week and the employees at Chance Rides got to be a part of the final test runs before it left the factory.  Below are a few photos of the last few steps and some from the first riders.  Look for this new Zipper to be on the Midway at the New York State Fair August 25th – September 5th.

Zipper BoomZipper Seat AssemblyZipper SeatZipper SignZipper SignZipper Lights

Zipper Transformation – Post 10

Zipper Ride Z
Give me a Z!  Does anyone see a Zipper happening here?

We are getting closer and closer to putting all the final pieces back together on the Zipper.  Very soon we will have riders trying out this new ride.  Take a look at a few of the progress shots below.


Zipper Ride Seat Assortment Zipper Ride Seat Assortment Zipper Ride Trailer Zipper Ride Tower Zipper Ride Boom Zipper Ride Manufacturing

Zipper Transformation – Post 9

More Paint = More Progress

That’s right, we have one rebuilt Zipper that just left our factory over the weekend to meet its owners in California so the next in line is moving closer still to completion.
Zipper Ride Trailer

This is the trailer being prepared for paint

Zipper Boom

Waiting in final assembly is the main body of the Zipper


And here our skilled employees work on the detail elements that complete every Zipper.

Zipper PaintZipper Sign



Zipper Sign Electrical


Zipper Transformation – Post 8


The process of making a ride like new again requires a lot of breaking it down to its most basic parts. Each of those parts are cleaned and inspected to ensure that they are in perfect condition.  Once all of that takes place the process of putting the ride back together begins but that can’t happen until it receives a new fresh coat of paint.
Zipper Paint Booth
It already looks like new production to me.  In the coming weeks we should see a lot more of the reconstruction process beginning to happen.

Zipper Tower Yard

Zipper Transformation – Post 7


You can’t very well have a Zipper ride without a Zipper seat.  This is the new production part of the Zipper transformation and I must admit, its really exciting to see it coming together.  I’m thinking we’ll be having some employee rides before too very long.  🙂
Zipper Seat Zipper Seat









And let me just assure you we have some hard working and skilled employees that are making these new rides a possibility.  These images are a great example of some of the American Manufacturing that makes us so proud.

You can see that progress looks small on the Zipper frame but it is all coming along just as it should.

Zipper Zipper








Keep checking in with me as the Zipper comes to life.