When in theme parks, attractions or just near rides in general, there are some times that just make us think of pride where it’s not necessarily pride linked. Oh rest assured there has been many a park that’s not shied away with the support of the LGBTQIA+ Community, the most prominent maybe being Disneyland, but it got us thinking which rides could you look at and just go Yeah that reminds me of the pride flag or makes me feel like there is low key LGBTQIA+ Support even if there actually isn’t. It might just be a rainbow to some but for myself (Dan) When I see a rainbow it calms me, It relaxes me and it just happens to make me feel like things will be ok now.
So here is a selection and celebration of some of the most colourful rides out there that make us think of pride.
Equinox was once a staple of the UK Fair circuit being owned by the Crow family. After many years of operation the colourful KMG Tango was sent to its next home Canobie Lake Park in the USA. Sadly its time here was not hardly as long as the previous owners had given life to and after 1 year of operation Equinox was then sold back into the fair or should we say midway circuit and now tours the USA and if you didn’t think it could get any more colourful the ride had a complete lighting overhaul. In the UK it was a spectacle to watch and a power house to ride.
Next up is still keeping with the fair theme is Abie Danters AIR. This Zierer Superstar was an unexpected but very welcome addition to the UK circuit back in April 2011. At first glance you would wonder why this ride made the list. However if you see it at night the reason becomes much more apparent although there are very few photos that do it justice. On top of a powerful lighting system the rides arm sports distinct rainbow gradients up and down the “tattoo” arm. Its the little details that make my heart flutter and go Ooooo Rainbow.
The final of the fun fair collection shall we say is the Crow family owned Exciter. A Tivoli Warp 10. The ride experience is like the modern successor to the Paratrooper after having a copulation with Enterprise, Honestly this ride packs one hell of punch, especially when the seats tip forward and it hits top speed. But the reason for Exciter being mentioned on this list is simply yet another killer LED package which shows the spectrum in all its beautiful hues. If you get the chance to watch Exciter in person it is a true beauty to behold.
Disneyland Paris -Magical Pride
Ok So yes this is a Pride event and that is one of the reasons it made the list. One great thing in this day an age is seeing such an strong brand not just changing a carrier bag rainbow or a bit of a logo but going all out to celebrate pride with absolutely no shame. From the iconic Sleeping Beauty castle to the Tower of Terror, No space seemed unaffected by the rainbow influence. And just looking at all the pictures from this amazing event really did warm the heart and bring a smile to our faces.
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
If you have visited Universal Orlando chances are you will have seen the 160ft lift standing proud in the skyline and next to it a giant non inverting loop. You might even, if the lighting is right, spot a glowing car racing round the track…till it hits one of many trims. I said might before but now lets shift to night and H:RRR becomes a whole new experience. With onboard LED Lights there is very little chance to miss the little cars that could illuminating the New York and entrance area of the park. Even from a distance the lighting is so visible and when on ride just adds to the party atmosphere which makes us think of pride.
Hangtime at Knotts Berry Farm takes the previous idea of the coaster lighting and just pushes it that bit further. This Gerstlauer Infinity coaster in day sits gorgeously with its blue and yellow paint scheme, Switch to night and it might aswell be The Pride Coaster. The coasters many lights that sit hidden in the track make the layout look like a lighting storm of colour and we live for this. Now Smiler why couldn’t you have had the same, Not rainbow obviously but some yellow and white glowing wouldn’t have gone a miss.
How can we do this list without maybe the most obvious in the UK. If you ride The Smiler at Alton Towers there is very little chance of missing the rainbow staircase on the exit of the station. Ive yet to find the reason for this addition but its bright vibrant placing in the station just adds to the insanity of the theme, Maybe a reference to what was shown to happen in the tunnel on the adverts or a nod to the marmalisation chamber in The Sanctuary. Whatever the reason its always a joy to see.
Corkscrew Coaster at Rainbows End in Auckland is maybe the most obvious of all the additions on this list. Originally the Coca Cola coaster, Corkscrew Coaster features two spanking in your face rainbow elements notably the train and even painted across the corkscrew, Whether or not this was for pride im not sure, But chances are it is most likely because of the Rainbows End name but all reasons aside we live for this paint job, Now which UK Coaster can we start rainbowing up…
The Dragon at Ocean Park in Hong Kong has been operating since 1984, In its long reign on top of a hill it has seen quite the cosmetic change. On opening it sported a fully white track, to which years later was changed to a blue track and white supports much like Shockwave at SFGAM. However the reason why The Dragon makes the list is its current guise and dare we say one of the most craziest colour schemes on a coaster to date. Like the cross between Mardi Gras, a Chance Chaos and a 60s paint explosion The Dragon is there to make a statement ,So naturally a coaster this colourful had to make the list.
Tsunami at Isla San Marcos Parque Temático was one of the most forceful coasters on the planet (6.5Gs forceful)and in its last 2 forms also one of the boldest in colour, But this is thanked down to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. Tsunami has had many a name and many a location. Starting life as Thriller in 1986 ,This Anton Schwarzkopf looper travelled the European fairs for 11 years before settling down for its first park Grona Lund in Sweden for one year before being bought and moved to Six Flags Astroworld as Texas Tornado until 2000 and at this point hosting a yellow, red and blue and white colour scheme. In 2003 Texas Tornado would find a new home in Six Flags Discovery Kingdom where it would be repainted for the 3rd time under the new name Zonga (as featured in the picture below)meaning coil in Swahili. Now coated in darker blue ,purple, green and red, pink and yellow scheme. Keeping this final paint job Zonga then moved to its final position as Tsunami and has been in storage since 2016.
Millennium Force is one of the most famous coasters in the world and one of many of a huge line up of thrill ride ambrosia in Cedar Point Ohio. I thought this would be such a great one to finish on, The ride its self is not technically that colourful but who cant resist seeing pride and having a warm feeling inside when a rainbow sits stretched up the side of a 300ft steel structure that holds up the worlds first giga coaster.
Well thats it , We have made it to the end of our colourful expedition into the brighter side of the industry. With a world seeming quite bleak at the moment we hope this post has bought a smile to your face and some light in your heart.
Until next time