Today’s roller coaster landscape is becoming increasingly international. With the rise of streaming video, social media, and even Google Translate the coaster enthusiast community and industry is more connected than it’s ever been. With the recent rise of Chinese theme parks and Chinese ride manufacturers it’s easy to forget a time when Japan seemed second only to the United States as a thrill ride destination. The undisputed king of the Japanese coaster manufacturers was “Toyo Goraku Ki Kabushiki Kaisha” or TOGO. TOGO opened their first roller coaster in 1953 at Hanayashiki park in Tokyo and soon began building rides all over Japan. In 1983 their stand-up coaster model was opening at Kings Island as King Cobra, bringing TOGO to North America. Over the next two decades TOGO would try to capitalize on this success and expand into the American and European market. They eventually opened a subsidiary named TOGO International headquartered in Middletown, Ohio. While there was some success an ill-fated 1997 project at Knott’s Berry Farm would mark the end of TOGO’s presence as a leader in the coaster world.Continue reading “Lost Coasters of California – Part 7: Windjammer”
What happens in Vegas has been the subject of many an article here at Coaster Kings – from the soft pink coziness of The Adventuredome to the compellingly apocalyptic Primm Nevada resorts that Desperado calls home. In the heart of the action is the oft-overlooked NYNY Hotel and its star attraction, but with Nevada’s roller coaster bell curve dropping as quickly as it arose, the Big Apple Coaster continues to accrue value.