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Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Tumble Bug at Conneaut Lake Park

Nearly a century ago, Tumble Bugs were one of the most popular flat rides at any amusement park. Despite having a fairly simple concept, they became a huge hit with park guests. Due to part shortages, however, they have been sadly removed at a majority of parks, to the point that there are only two left in the world today. Interestingly, despite being a national ride, the two remaining models can be found just an hour-and-a-half apart in the same state! This is the ride at Conneaut Lake Park, which has been open since 1925.
 Made by Traver Manufacturing, the ride's cars have an almost bug-like appearance, hence the name.
The actual ride can be best described as a train of individual cars that moves over hills and is provided power from a central column. From this column, arms, which power the electric motors, connect to the train. As the cars pick up speed, riders slide around in their tub. Conneaut's ride is certainly the faster of the two remaining examples. It's hard to describe the exact sensation, but this just might be the best family-friendly flat ride out there!
At 94 years old, this ride is still operating, a truly incredible feat. Here's for many more years of successful operation into the future!

 I think we might take a look at the other Traver Tumble Bug tomorrow...

8 comments:

K. Martinez said...

The close-up shots of the ride vehicles are great. Love the round-tub style seating and circular railing around each ride vehicle. The movement of this ride is a visual treat too. A real gem of a classic flat ride in my opinion. Another fun post today. Thanks, Andrew.

Major Pepperidge said...

Wow amazing, I've never heard of the Tumble Bug, looks like fun. And it's incredible that it has been around for nearly a century.

Melissa said...

New to me, too! Looks like it would be good training before riding the wild mouse.

Andrew said...

It's wonderful that there's no padding on the benches. You just slide around like crazy! The one picture where the car looks a bit worse for wear was taken five years ago. Since then, Conneaut Lake Park has started a very slow turnaround, and the Tumble Bug is always freshly painted.

Andrew said...

10 years ago, this Tumble Bug operated sporadically, but it's been fixed to the point where it now operates every day. It's beyond me how they manage to find parts for it, especially since Conneaut is a park where funds are so tight. I'm hoping it will make it to 100 years (and farther)!

Andrew said...

The "Bug" and the "Mouse" - ha! Pretty much anyone can ride a Tumble Bug! This park used to have a Wild Mouse, but it's long gone.

K. Martinez said...

I wonder if they have a machine shop on the premises where the machinist can manufacture some of the replacement parts that might not be available otherwise.

Andrew said...

I'm hoping they do. I know their former maintenance shop is gone, as it burned down with the park's ballroom in 2008.