West Palm Beach - Interviewed while busy preparing his carnival for the annual South Florida Fair, Frank Zaitshik, president of Wade Shows was brimming with enthusiasm about his new purchases for the 2008 season.
As discussed on the MCW message board, Wade Shows has purchased a Pinfari RC-48 coaster from Morey's Pier in NJ which will debut at the Florida State Fair. The ride replaced a Jet Star coaster on the Pier and ran until 2004. Wade made the purchase after looking for several years for a "signature piece" said Zaitshik. "We bought the Whitewater Flume, the Zyklon coaster and the Mega Drop but this piece really has that ‘WOW' factor", said Zaitshik.
The ride has yet to be racked and was delivered in 9 containers. Butch Van Hull and his roller coaster crew have been contracted to set up the ride for the fir
st time at the Florida State Fair and will dismantle the ride when the fair is complete and rack it on trailers. Zaitshik says they are not certain how many trailers the ride will take but it "could be as many as 7 trailers".
Van Hull, who also owns a Zyklon roller coaster is in negotiations with Wade to move the ride and bring his coaster on the show for the season. Along with Wade's Zyklon, which the company will continue to move, the show may have as many as three large coasters on the road next year.
Wade Shows has already spent a considerable amount of money preparing the ride for operation and more work is planned between the Florida State Fair and the Central Florida Fair in Orlando in April. "We purchased a $75,000 crane to erect the ride, it cost over $35,000 to transport it to Florida and we are buying a Man-lift to also help with erection of the ride", Zaitshik said. "After Tampa, the ride will be sandblasted and painted, including the track and the jackstands and base which are galvanized. The ride will also be getting a great new light package on it", he added.
"Some say I may be foolhardy to take on a ride like this that hasn't run in three years but I have the equipment and personnel in place to make it happen. Many times I've gone against conventional wisdom. Most people are decreasing the number of trailers on the rode but I believe my fairs will significantly benefit from this piece and I wanted to be able to bring it to them", said Zaitshik.
The RC-48 is 160' long, 65' deep and stands approximately 53' high, about 20' taller than a Zyklon. Three trains of twelve people each give the ride a capacity of 36. In addition to height, the ride also has exciting bank turns. "Even though it will not be as many trailers as a double looping coaster, I believe it will be the most significant coaster on the road today", said Zaitshik.
The unnamed coaster will play both the Florida State Fair and the Central Florida Fair before heading north to play Wade's other major events. Naming the ride will come after the show sees how the ride operates. "I am leaning towards having a naming contest for the ride at one of my fairs for a promotion", said Zaitshik.
Zaitshik said Wade Shows has made a commitment to its fairs to bring the most exciting spectacular rides to their events and along with the RC-48 coaster, Zaitshik has another super-spectacular ride that will be making its first appearance on his midway this year, the 8-lane slide themed "Drag Strip" from Wisdom Industries.
"We have been talking about a ride like this for several years", said Zaitshik. "With the price of the Euro now, it became evident that a deal for a European version would not be possible", he added.
Wade Shows contacted Jeff Miller whose father, Jim Miller, had drawn up plans for a similar ride. Mr. Miller's ride was designed to travel on 2 pup trailers with a 35' launch pad and come in at 115' in length.
Miller's plans were sold to Wisdom Industries so Zaitshik spoke with Victor Wisdom, the company's president about building the ride. The twist was Zaitshik wanted an even larger ride with a 40' launch pad and a 190' length.
When negotiations were concluded, work began on the new ride which is scheduled to make it's debut at the Oklahoma State Fair in September. "There are financial incentives for both Wisdom and Wade Shows to have it ready for Oklahoma City", said Zaitshik.
The Drag Strip will travel on two 53' trailers according to Victor Wisdom, President of Wisdom Industries. It will have stairs for customers climbing to the top and a dazzling light package with a sign, lights in the slide and on the sides. The ride will play Wade's largest fairs and Zaitshik hoped the ride could be assembled and disassembled quickly enough to move from one two-weekend event to another.
Wisdom said he would analyze the costs involved in producing this ride and demand from shows for the piece before deciding whether to produce additional 190' slides, the 115' version or if this is just a one-time effort.