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NEWS: Daytona Beach Boardwalk gets Delaware Roller Coaster

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I did a search on the site and couldn't find if this was posted yet. It looks like the Blue Diamond Park in Delaware has sold the coaster Blue Diamond Streak to Daytona Beach. With this credit being right down the road, I never got the credit before it closed!




Piece by piece, the 1,700-foot steel roller coaster at the former Blue Diamond Park near New Castle is being dismantled this week.


But the amusement ride is expected to rise again this summer for thrill-seekers at the Daytona Beach Boardwalk at Daytona Lagoon in Florida.


Owner Nick Ferrara Jr. of Greggo & Ferrara construction apparently sold the roller coaster a month ago.


The negotiated price was not disclosed.


Joe Cadmus, president of Ride Werks Amusement Ride Services of Palmetto, Fla., said the ride should be dismantled and off the property in 10 days.


There are still two amusement rides on the property remaining to be sold.


Cadmus said he expressed interest in the pair, but still has not worked out a price.


Ferrara could not be reached for comment.


The amusement park ceased operation in 2008 after four years in business on 400 acres at U.S. 13 and Del. 1, near the Tybouts Corner intersection.


The motocross and radio-control racing areas remain in operation.


Cadmus said he still has his eye on the park’s Mack Matterhorn Himalayas-type ride that was at the original Miracle Strip amusement park in Panama City Beach, Fla. in the early 1960s.


“That’s especially attractive to me,” he said.


In a 2010 News Journal article -- when the roller coaster was advertised on eBay for $225,000 -- Ernie DeCarlo, who served as the park's general manager when it was open and helped put the coaster together, said, "It took seven days to put it up. Believe it or not, there's not a bolt or nut in this thing. It's all pins. They don't use bolts because they rust and break."


Edited by larrygator
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Awesome, I always felt like the Daytona beach boardwalk area could use a coaster of some type, this wasn't exactly what I had in mind but it will work. If I remember correctly the Daytona Lagoon water park where this is going was a fairly decent water park with some nice body slides, wave pool, mat racer, lazy river, go karts, mini golf and is right across the street from the beach. Nice place to spend half a day on the way to/from Orlando.


TPoRlando Group takeover of the new credit when it opens?

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Dang, that was at the top of my list of things to buy if I ever won the lottery! It's been for sale for years, the price was right, and its location would have been perfect for relatively cheap, convenient delivery to the 40-acre plot of southern Delaware land I also plan to buy as the site of my personal amusement park if I ever win the lottery.


Sometimes life is just no fair.

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Poor Blue Diamond Park. We actually rode the Blue Diamond Streak once and I swear we were the only people in the park. Not a bad little coaster though.


As far as Rehoboth Beach getting a coaster, I don't see that ever happening. Rehoboth Beach has a strict height limit near the ocean. I believe it's about 35 feet (I know it's 35 in Dewey). They're also a relatively quiet community so the locals would never stand for it.


I suppose one day Funland could put in a kiddy coaster but even that's doubtful because it would mean they would have to remove some of their existing kiddy rides and almost all of them are 50+ years old (but in pristine condition).

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Crap! I got really excited and then Robb had to remind me that this is the one from Delgrosso's that I already have!!!! Boo!


Just ask yourself, "What would Jeff Johnson do?"


Count the Haunted Mansion at Funland as a credit?


I swear years ago I saw that listed as Delaware's only coaster on some site but not sure which one it was (Didn't believe it).


Funland is celebrating 50 years in 2012 and has a website with old photos. They even show pictures like the removed Wagon Wheels ride (Looper type ride like a Knoebles) if anyone remembers them!


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  • 9 months later...

There isn't much in the way of news of it.

The last news article on it was dated May 15 and the brief mention of it states opening in Summer 2012.

Here is the article


Daytona officials consider expanding pier, adding rides

By Eileen Zaffiro-Kean

Published: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 5:30 a.m.

Last Modified: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at 2:12 p.m.

DAYTONA BEACH -- After years of discussion, city officials are thinking about expanding the Daytona Beach Pier and adding rides to a new span over the ocean within the next few years.

One of those new rides could be a slingshot that catapults people 360 feet above the pier.

At a meeting Monday about the future of the defunct Space Needle ride on the pier, City Manager Jim Chisholm said he'd like to look into expanding the pier. That could wind up being a relatively small addition to accommodate a new ride, or it could become a second pier built alongside the existing 87-year-old structure, Deputy City Manager Paul McKitrick said after the meeting.

Anything new with the pier and rides will ultimately have to get the blessing of city commissioners. The plans come as the city is finishing $4 million in repairs to the pier that has kept it closed to the public since 2009.

Dino Paspalakis, who along with his family runs the Pizza King, Joyland Amusement Center and Mardi Gras snack bar and amusement center on the Boardwalk, is rooting for a second pier.

"At some point in the future we will see a hotel here (on the Boardwalk) and I don't want to lose the rides that are there now," Paspalakis said. "They're even more of an attraction than another hotel. In the end, Daytona needs rides to attract families."

The possible expansion of the historic pier comes up as the city is casting a net for businesses that are interested in reviving the 176-foot-tall Space Needle ride that went up in 1969.

In March, city officials were poised to either tear down the attraction that stopped running in 2005 or allow Joe's Crab Shack to use it for a sign for the seafood chain's new restaurant slated to open on the pier June 5. But in April, city commissioners decided to put out a request for proposals to put the Space Needle back in use.

Only one reply made the May 8 deadline, from the owners of the Daytona Slingshot ride on the Boardwalk. So Chisholm and other top city officials decided Monday to put out a second request for proposals in a few weeks that will mention the pier expansion idea.

"I would expect at some point we're going to expand the pier," Chisholm said at the meeting. "Let's put that in the next proposal and see if we get some bites."

The expansion could eventually happen with a partnership between the city and a private venture, McKitrick said. Because the addition would happen east of the sea wall, the city would need state permitting that could delay any sort of construction until next year, he said.

Likely responders in the second round will be business partners Ed Kennedy and Stan Manousos, owners of Daytona Lagoon, as well as the Ferris wheel and other rides on the Boardwalk. The pair wanted to reply to the first call for proposals but were held up waiting for price estimates from manufacturers of ride components, Kennedy said Monday.

Kennedy and Manousos would like to use the existing Space Needle pole to create a completely overhauled ride that would once again take people on a trip up and down the towering structure, slowly spinning 360 degrees to get a full panoramic view. Their investment could push $1 million, Kennedy said.

Kennedy and Manousos are also still planning to put a roller coaster on the Boardwalk, which they hope to open sometime this summer. State permits have held them up, Kennedy said.

Another unnamed venture is also still interested in submitting a proposal for the Space Needle, the city's purchasing agent said Monday.

While the city is waiting for responses to its new call for more proposals, negotiations will probably start with Daytona Slingshot. Chisholm said he just wants a few questions about the company answered first.

"I like their proposal," the city manager said. "I think it's a good proposal."

Daytona Slingshot's idea is to take down its existing ride on the roof of a Boardwalk building and create a new state-of-the art attraction on the pier. The Space Needle would be taken down, and replaced with a new slingshot that would have 250-foot-tall poles and the ability to send people about 360 feet into the air.

The current slingshot, which has stood for about a decade, has 180-foot towers and can fling people 300 feet up, said William Kinsella, manager of Daytona Slingshot.

Removing both the Space Needle and existing slingshot, and building a new slingshot, would tally about $1.8 million, Kinsella said. The new attraction could be up by the end of the year, he said.

Daytona Slingshot, and its Austria-based parent company Funtime, are happy to make the investment, Kinsella said.

"We think it's a better location than where we are," Kinsella said. "Plus we only have a month-to-month lease now. We want a long-term lease."

The proposal Daytona Slingshot sent to the city calls for a 10-year lease, with annual rent starting at $80,000 per year and increasing 1 percent per year, said city Support Services Director J. Paul Wetzel.

"They expect to make a pretty good profit," Wetzel said. "They (estimate) gross revenues exceeding $1 million."

Funtime would be required to provide its own insurance, Wetzel noted.

Funtime, whose owner and founder lives in Australia, has about 75 slingshots around the world and four in Florida. The others are in Orlando, Kissimmee and Panama City.


Also, according to The Ridewerks Inc, the company renovating the ride, facebook page as of Sept 20 they were awaiting new magnetic brakes, along with an updated picturecoaster.jpg.ee590242ed7bcc0fbb293fa96076a140.jpg

Old Blue Cyclone Coaster, photo provided by The Ridewerks Inc. Palmetto, Fl


As far as it's future location, according to an employee of Daytona Lagoon, the ride will sit in the location where a few flats currently sit between the Ferris Wheel and the Slingshot

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  • 6 months later...

Project is still going and they're finally getting to that all important construction phase.


Boardwalk coaster rolling into town soon

By Eileen Zaffiro-Kean


Published: Friday, May 17, 2013 at 5:30 a.m.

Last Modified: Friday, May 17, 2013 at 8:53 a.m.

DAYTONA BEACH — In another sign of rebirth on the city's beachside, an 80-foot-tall roller coaster will be opening on the Boardwalk within the next few months.


The 212-foot-long ride will be Daytona Beach's first roller coaster, longtime residents say, and it will be another link in a chain of revitalization that already includes the $5 million makeover of the Daytona Beach Pier, Joe's Crab Shack locating on the oceanfront, Russian investors getting ready to break ground this summer on a $100 million condo hotel project and Hard Rock International recently going public with plans to open a Hard Rock Hotel and Hard Rock Café on the south end of the beach within the next few years.


"This is going to be one of the best summers ever," said Dino Paspalakis, who along with his family runs the Pizza King, Joyland Amusement Center and Mardi Gras snack bar and amusement center on the Boardwalk.


Paspalakis, a member of the Main Street Redevelopment Area Board, said the new roller coaster that will be located in a cluster of rides between the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort and the pier "will have a tremendous impact for family tourism."


"It will be just as much of a draw as the Ferris wheel," he said. "At 80 feet tall it's going to be visible from State Road A1A."


David Nicholson, a 34-year-old South Daytona man who regularly goes on the Boardwalk rides with his wife and 14-year-old son, can't wait to try the roller coaster.


"We have one of the few amusement parks left on the ocean in the country," said Nicholson, who's been coming to the Boardwalk since he was a child. "It's a thing of the past in most places."


Last week Nicholson saw the first signs of site preparation — including a bulldozer moving dirt around and a few of the existing rides being moved out — and he was afraid the small amusement park that also includes the 100-foot-tall Ferris wheel was shutting down.


On the contrary. A co-owner of the rides, Ed Kennedy, said things are as strong as ever. Kennedy hopes to have the roller coaster open no later than the end of July. He said all the other rides will remain open seven days a week throughout the process of moving in the roller coaster.


Kennedy and his business partner, Stan Manousos, bought the roller coaster early last year from a closed amusement park in Delaware. The 5-year-old ride was dismantled and moved to a storage spot near Tampa.


The ride was in good condition, said Kennedy and Manousos, who also co-own Daytona Lagoon water park, and they're improving it, adding LED lights and galvanizing every inch of the steel structure to protect it.


Kennedy said they've spent more than $1 million to purchase and restore the ride with 1,600 feet of track.


They had hoped to open the ride more than a year ago, but Kennedy said there was a holdup securing a permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection. The DEP wanted to ensure the roller coaster lights comply with regulations to protect sea turtles, and the ride had to be modified.


Everything's been taken care of now, and all that's left to do is haul the disassembled parts that fill nine tractor trailers to Daytona Beach, Kennedy said.


To create enough space for the roller coaster, a sandy slope on the ride site that's been used as a service road has been moved about 25 feet south within the property. Two small rides, the pony ride and kite ride, have also been moved out, Kennedy said.


The roller coaster will be placed on the back of the property, along its western edge.


"We're leveling all the land for the base of the roller coaster, and we'll probably put the base in next week," Kennedy said. "It gets put together like a puzzle."


Putting up the full structure will take a while, he said.


"The roller coaster has 3,000 bolts of all different sizes," he said. "It will take eight guys working eight to 12 hours a day seven days a week to do the work."


Kennedy and Manousos, who have a month-to-month lease for the private property where their rides are, also plan to add another new ride at the end of summer. Kennedy said it will be an 85-foot-tall tower that will twirl, lift and drop riders.


A third new ride could also be coming to the Boardwalk area. A proposal to build a 240-foot-tall slingshot ride on the south edge of the pier capable of shooting thrill-seekers 380 feet above the sand was on a City Commission agenda earlier this year. The item was removed at the last minute and commissioners never took a vote.


Negotiations on the slingshot recently came to a halt, but the city manager and city commissioners said at their meeting Wednesday night they're open to reconsidering the idea in the future.

Article and Picture all from The Daytona Beach News-Journal and can be found here



Hopefully it will help make the area look so much better, as for as long as I can remember, the Boardwalk has always had a worn look to it. Also I found it interesting that they would propose a slingshot ride as they already have one right behind where this picture was taken.


Workers prepare the site for a roller coaster along the Boardwalk in Daytona Beach on Monday, May 13, 2013.

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  • 1 month later...



Fifteen months past the original opening date for a new roller coaster on the Boardwalk, there are probably skeptics who figure they'll never see anyone bulleting along the tracks of the ride overlooking the ocean.


But the doubters are going to have to pick a little crow out of their teeth.


The roller coaster's support structures towering 80 feet above the sand have been going up the past several days, and workers assembling the 212-foot-long ride are racing to meet a goal of boarding thrill seekers by the middle of next month.


"We hope to be open by the second week of July," said Ed Kennedy, a co-owner of the Boardwalk rides and co-owner of the nearby Daytona Lagoon water park.


When the first set of riders journeys along the 1,600 feet of track, it will begin a new era in Daytona Beach. Longtime residents almost as old as the Boardwalk itself say Daytona Beach has never had a roller coaster that they can remember.


In addition to making history, the ride will be one more link in a chain of beachside revitalization that already includes the $5 million makeover of the Daytona Beach Pier, Joe's Crab Shack and two major hotel-condo projects opening within the next few years.


Dino Paspalakis, whose family has owned businesses along the Boardwalk since 1960, runs a Boardwalk website that's being bombarded with questions about the roller coaster.


"I'm getting emails left and right saying 'When's the roller coaster going up?' " Paspalakis said. "Some of these people strive to ride every roller coaster in Florida."


Weegie Kuendig, head of Daytona Beach's Save Our Neighborhoods group on the beachside, also welcomes the roller coaster and is encouraged by what she's seeing develop near her home.


"I think there's a lot of good activity going on now on the beachside," Kuendig said.


The roller coaster won't rival those in Orlando theme parks size-wise, but Paspalakis noted "it's one of the few you don't have to pay $80 to ride." Kennedy said the charge will be $6 for one ride or $15 for three rides.


Kennedy and his business partner, Stan Manousos, bought the roller coaster early last year from a closed amusement park in Delaware. The ride was dismantled and moved to a storage spot near Tampa.


The roughly 40-year-old ride was in good condition, Kennedy said, but he improved it and galvanized nearly every inch of the steel structure to protect it. Kennedy said they've spent more than $1 million to purchase and restore the ride.


They had hoped to open the roller coaster in the spring of 2012, but Kennedy said there was a holdup securing a permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection that has since been resolved.


Then came another delay: 28 of their roller coaster pieces wouldn't fit in the galvanizing kettle that was used for other sections of the ride, so those 28 pieces had to be transported to a facility in Alabama for treatment, Kennedy said.


The last three truckloads of newly galvanized parts should be delivered by the end of this week, and by Saturday one-third of the ride should be constructed, he said.


Their other rides on the Boardwalk site — the Hurricane, Tilt-A-Whirl, 100-foot-tall Ferris wheel, kiddie boat ride and go-kart track — have all remained open seven days a week throughout the process of moving in the roller coaster.


Kennedy and Manousos, who have a month-to-month lease for the private property where their rides are, also hope to add another new ride at the end of summer. Kennedy said if things work out it will be an 85-foot-tall tower that will twirl, lift and drop riders.


Paspalakis expects the roller coaster to pack the Boardwalk and his game room.


"It'll be a tremendous draw to the Boardwalk," said Paspalakis, who also hopes a string of tribute bands performing this summer in the Bandshell will pull in crowds as well. "We've never had a roller coaster on the Boardwalk before. It's a big deal."


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There will soon be a little more to do along the World's Most Famous Beach than grab some rays or swim in the ocean.


Crews are busy at work putting together a giant erector-set which will be a roller coaster in Daytona Beach.


It's more than a year-and-a-half behind schedule, but the owners of the Boardwalk Amusement Park say permitting and restoration took a little longer than anticipated.


They bought the coaster from a defunct amusement park in Delaware.


The ride should be open in a couple of weeks.


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  • 1 month later...

It is Offically Open!

Sand Blaster roller coaster opens by the ocean

By Eileen Zaffiro-Kean


Published: Friday, August 2, 2013 at 3:50 p.m.

Last Modified: Friday, August 2, 2013 at 3:52 p.m.

The first roller coaster in the history of the Daytona Beach Boardwalk started carrying screaming, laughing customers 85 feet in the air over more than a half-mile of track this afternoon, opening for business after state inspectors gave the ride their OK.



Boardwalk Roller Coaster

A steady stream of thrill seekers slowly grew as the word spread.


“It was really good,” said a breathless Alyssa Tyson, 11, who was at the Boardwalk with her grandmother Patti Tyson of Keystone Heights. “I was a little scared, but I got used to it.”


The coaster’s co-owner Ed Kennedy and business partner Stan Manousos, who also own Daytona Lagoon water park, bought the 40-year-old ride from a closed amusement park in Delaware at the beginning of 2012. They stored the dismantled roller coaster in the Tampa area, put down a 5-inch-deep fill of rock and cement to stabilize the sandy ride lot and had each part galvanized before sections were driven to Daytona Beach in nine truckloads.


Kennedy had originally hoped to open more than a year ago, but he ran into hurdles with special bolts that had to be purchased in another state and parts that had to get the protective galvanizing in Alabama because they couldn’t fit in a kettle in Florida.


They’ve invested more than $1 million in the ride, which Kennedy said will be open year-round and should be sturdy enough to withstand any hurricanes. Now they hope everyone will start enjoying it this weekend.


The cost to dip and plummet and whip around curves with the ocean in view is $6.






The cost per ride is $6 for one ride and $15 for three rides. Here are a few pictures that were sent to me as I am half a world away. First reviews I have heard is that it smooth, quick and fun.










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  • 2 weeks later...

Looks awesome, or as awesome as a small Pinfari Zyklon can looks. Seriously though I always did love the boardwalk area of Dayton Beach even when it was a little rough around the edges, and it probably still is. They used to have an awesome arcade full of old school games and a wall full of skee-ball machines. The skee-ball machines alone would keep me occupied for hours on end and now there is a coaster as well. I can see a day at the beach in my near future.

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Daytona Beach is, indeed, a city of contrasts. I remember staying at the Adam's Mark there years ago. It's a very classy hotel located about a block from some very sketchy "gentlemen's clubs" and biker bars.

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^I remember staying there when it was the Adams mark as well (I think it's now a Hilton) but yeah there is certainly some contrast on the area. Seems like the past couple of times I was through there the whole area felt a bit cleaner and nicer but who knows if that image was maintained. They're kind of in a tough spot though because no matter how much they try to class it up they're still going to host a NASCAR event twice a year, a bike week at least twice a year, and spring break for the better part of a month.


I also remember the waterpark across the street, Daytona Lagoon, was a pretty decent little waterpark that is walking distance from the beach and the new coaster. Between those three things you could easily spend a half day on the way to or from Disney.

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