In 2005, Starship America and Balloon Flite were installed in Founder’s Circle (what was previously called Carrousel Circle from 1972-2004 and later Founder’s Way). These two rides took the place of the iconic Giant Wheel, which was closed in 2004. However, a different ride was supposed to be installed in that location: Turbulence. This is what could have been in Hersheypark in 2005.
Turbulence: A Frequent Faller
In April 2004, Hersheypark and Interactive Rides agreed to a contract in which the roller coaster would cost $2 million dollars – half of the cost of the renovations to Carrousel Circle to convert it into Founder’s Circle for 2005.
Turbulence would have been manufactured by Interactive Rides, Inc., of Logan, Utah, and it would have had a red, white, and blue, paint scheme, to match the new Founder’s Circle. It would have been 150 feet tall, about 25 feet taller than Giant Wheel. The track was 750 feet long, and the coaster had a riding capacity of 960 riders per hour. It was slated to open around May 15, 2005.
The height of the ride was deliberate – there would have been a large sign on top of the ride saying Turbulence on the side facing Comet, Hersheypark on the side facing Hersheypark Arena and the parking lot. This was to make up for the Hersheypark pinwheel logo on Giant Wheel that was easily visible from the parking lot.
Why the Frequent Faller fell out
On December 10, 2004, Hersheypark’s owner Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company, announced that it was suing Interactive Rides for breach of contract and fraudulent-inducement. Interactive Rides had informed Hersheypark that it could not construct Turbulence without the cost of the coaster increasing from $2 million to $3.12 million.
When Hersheypark entered into the lawsuit, it was apparent that if Turbulence was ever built, it wouldn’t be for the 2005 season as planned. Of course, it was never constructed.
The ensuing lawsuit resulted in counterclaims filed by Interactive Rides. In 2005, a court issued summary judgements against both Interactive Rides and Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company. It’s unclear what happened after the court judgment was handed down, but it’s presumed that both companies settled and they went their separate ways.
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