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 Review of Toboggan @ Lakemont Park
1 Rating Posted by: Timberman on 6/19/2007 2:18:00 AM
Like many early Chance Rides attractions, the Toboggan imparts a distinct impression of danger. Im no biophysicist, but I would wager that the seating position on this ride - with the rider seated on the hard floor of the car, legs straight out in front like a three-year-old watching TV - transfers ride forces directly to the spinal column more efficiently than any other production model coaster. If that alone doesnt do the trick, the head clearance to the top of the enclosed car, even for my own short torso, is about four inches, virtually guaranteeing trauma to the cranium and thoracic vertebrae as the pod negotiates the series of short bunny hops at the bottom of the tower. Moreover, the Toboggan has no lift hill to speak of, only a lift chain. If that were to snap during the 90-degree ascent to the spiraling track, the unfortunate rider would take the impact of the eventual collision with the next cued-up car directly on the back of his skull and spine, unable to maneuver into a less vulnerable position because of the huge, over-stuffed restraint that completely immobilizes ones lower body when the hatch comes down. If youve ever wanted to know what those unfortunate Soviet canines felt like in the Sputnik capsules before they burned up during re-entry, look no further than the Tobbogan.

But for all that, indeed, because of that, the Tobaggan has personality, and personality, as Jules Winnfield will tell you, goes a long way. I like the look of this ride, especially when its lit up after dark. I also like how utterly imperiled the lift tower makes you feel and the moment of relief that comes as youre dumped out onto the track at the top. I sort of admire Chance Rides for building what amounts to a big, scary decoration that not incidentally allows us to augment our track records and the parks to augment their coaster counts with an attraction that offers a combination of high visibility and a small footprint, but not much else.

Riding the Tobbogan is fun because its weird, but truthfully, its not particularly exciting once you get past the lift-tower and the initial emergence into daylight. The spiral is kind of slow, and I personally dont get to enjoy much airtime during the final trip around the perimeter, since I usually have at least one hand braced against the ceiling to force myself down against the floor so I dont crack the top of my head. If I had to use one word to sum up the experience, it would be "clausterphobic." Still, Ill alpine that youve got nothing to luge by giving Tobbogan a whirl.

Review Comments

hrrytraver on 6/19/2007 8:47:11 AM said:
bravo! one of your best, with a very humorous first paragraph! i love these things - as they unanimously run alongside most loathed amusement devices.
Horizons12 on 9/17/2007 2:39:03 AM said:
HA! That was a great review. Its just about what I expected the Toboggan to be like.

Toboggan, you gotta love that name as well. It goes nicely with the other Chance Rides model names like Zipper, Yo-Yo, Zumer, and Radar. Definately a candidate for the White Trash List 2.0
Timberman on 9/17/2007 7:56:40 PM said:
Thanks, fellas. Horizons12, speaking of the WTCL, I recently had the chance to ride a Larson High Roller. That pretty much defines the genre, in my book.
SLFAKE on 9/18/2007 12:06:25 PM said:
I still say Toboggans are torture devices left over from the Spanish Inquisition. However, I can sort of see the resemblance to the early, dangerous days of the Soviet Space Program (always well known for its No Frills capsules and hard landings).
detroit_jc on 9/21/2007 1:33:19 AM said:
once again timberman, this is another gem of a review...
i have been on the toboggan once...at a carnival in the former wonderland mall parking lot in Livonia Michigan. i must have been about 7 or 8 yrs old. im 30 now.these are very rare. i never see them at traveling carnivals around here....is the high roller a ride with a train that cruises inside an oval track while the track rotates like a rotisserie? i have been on a ride called the high roller like this. that is one beat the hell out of you ride. i have not seen these anymore either. you just get slammed sideways into the side of the car.. pretty brutal.. i loved it!!!!
Timberman on 9/21/2007 8:09:36 PM said:
You describe the High Roller to a tee, detroit_jc. Forget trying to brace yourself, especially if youre riding solo. Once you board, you just need to accept the beating, which, as you note, manages to combine brutality with hilarity.
detroit_jc on 11/4/2009 7:28:15 PM said:
Im not so sure the car would come crashing down the tube if the lift chain broke. im sure they have some sort of roll-back mechanism. but id hate to be stuck in that space capsule tube.
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