Zoo home to oldest coaster in Ohio

POWELL — The American Coaster Fans (ACE) on Saturday unveiled an ACE Roller Coaster Landmark plaque for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s Sea Dragon, the oldest running roller coaster in Ohio. Sea Dragon, which opened in 1956, is also regarded an ACE Coaster Vintage owing to its standard working procedures, which include hand-pulled guide brakes and no seat dividers.

The designation as an ACE Roller Coaster Landmark is reserved for rides of historic importance. Sea Dragon is noteworthy as the oldest roller coaster remaining from famed designer John Allen. Through the height of the postwar baby boom of the 1950s, amusement parks commenced introducing junior-sized roller coasters, intended for youthful riders. Allen, president of the Philadelphia Toboggan Firm (PTC), began coming up with his own coasters immediately after having handle of PTC in 1954. Amid his initial styles were 3 nearly equivalent junior picket coasters that opened between 1956 and 1957 at a few diverse parks. The to start with was at a zoo amusement park located adjacent to the Columbus Zoo with design supervised by PTC’s Frank Hoover.

“We are very proud that Sea Dragon is getting this fantastic recognition from American Coaster Fanatics. We price sharing the roller coaster’s historical past with our returning visitors and those who are experiencing the enjoyment and thrill for the 1st time,” explained Anthony Sabo, vice president of Waterpark Operations and Visitor Products and services.

“In addition to the nostalgia it presents, Sea Dragon serves as a strong foundation and inspiration for us as we keep on to provide new experiences. In simple fact, with the addition of Tidal Twist in 2021, the Columbus Zoo grew to become the to start with zoo in the United States to attribute two roller coasters. Sea Dragon proceeds to be a relatives most loved, and we search ahead to sharing it with long term generations of roller coaster fanatics,” Sabo explained.

Originally termed Jet Flyer, the coaster has a peak of 37 toes, reaching a top speed of 25 mph along 1,320 ft of monitor. The coaster was renamed Sea Dragon in 1984 just after the park was leased to Funtime, Inc. and the park rebranded to Wyandot Lake. 6 Flags took manage of the park from 1996 right until 2006, and a year later administration returned to the Columbus Zoo, which annexed the park and incorporated a total refurbishment of the coaster.

Founded in 1978, American Coaster Fans is a nonprofit, volunteer business devoted to the preservation, advertising, appreciation and harmless enjoyment of roller coasters. With 6,500 customers throughout the world, ACE is the greatest and longest-jogging enthusiast group in the world. Members of ACE receive unique park advantages, newsletters, publications and the chance to attend countrywide, area and even worldwide excursions at parks. ACE hosts additional than 75 nationwide and regional coaster gatherings throughout North The us each and every yr and has been prominently showcased on a variety of news programs and numerous cable networks, these types of as the Vacation Channel.

Riders consider a change on the Sea Dragon roller coaster at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

Submitted by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.