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Removed Rides Where did all the cool rides go?

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  #1  
Old February 26th, 2008, 02:44 PM
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Default The Sidewinder

The Sidewinder stood near the Happy Motoring entrance. It was designed as a wild mouse rollercoaster. The first one originated in Germany, created by a designer named Franz Mac who called it the Devilís Coach. The park initially conceived the Sidewinder to have a wooden structure like the originals made by European companies. However, it turned to the Allen Herschell Company which favored a steel design. Alan Hershel established his business during 1915 in North Tonawanda, New York. It specialized in trans-portable rides for traveling carnivals and mass-produced carousels on a large scale. The company soon became an international sensation with a strong reputation for quality.

The Sidewinderís track made a steep incline then moved back and forth, steadily descending to the ground as it made one tight turn after another with an occasional dip along the straight sections. The cars, which only held two passengers, were built slightly wider than the rail. The two front wheels remained underneath the car near the middle. These features helped create the illusion the passengers would fall off the track at any moment, especially during the razor sharp turns.

To make room for the expansion of the Happy Motoring Freeway, they removed the Sidewinder, placed it in Mexico next to the canopy walkway, and renamed the attraction La Cucaracha. The designers repainted the coaster white and completely remodeled the front area. A tall, tan wall advertised the ride's name in painted letters using a Spanish font. In front of it, desert plants sprung from the ground. The queue house resembled an adobe home with a straw roof. Despite all the aesthetic changes made, the ride remained exactly the same.

It was later removed and sold to the Fort Worth Zoo.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 07:08 PM
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Was the Sidewinder not originally called the "Sidewynder"- spelled with a Y- in honor of Angus Wynne?
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Old April 20th, 2008, 10:25 PM
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I doubt it. The coaster only had that name for two years before it was moved to the Mexico section and renamed La Cucaracha.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 10:50 PM
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do any of the que house or other structures exist? I always pictured it being where the employees cantina is now when it was in Mexico. I did have the pleasure of riding it at the zoo. I remember one turn in particular where you saw the car go onto 2 wheels. by then the ride was so old and decrepid it was scarry for other reasons than origionally intended...
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 01:51 PM
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Default It went the way of the volcano

Naw, it's a goner. There's nuttin' back there now that's that old. They do still have some of the freezers named Colonels though.. LOL
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 03:59 PM
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I think it was called Sidewynder. I remember being puzzled by the spelling and asked about it and was told that was the reason. Unfortuneately, I can't find any old pics and the old maps don't label the attractions. But it was Sidewynder for a year, before it became The Cockroach.

I don't know Six Flags that well today, but the queue for La Cucaracha basically became the queue for El Sombrero, when it took over. The queue was south of the ride, on the north side of the street. To the east was the canvas covered breezeway that led to the Star Mall, and to the west was a Mexican gift shop. Across the street was a small souvenir stand and an El Chico restaurant. There was also a gate there that led to a backstage area and an employee parking lot, just outside the main RR track.

There was a similar ride for a few years at the State Fair, called the Wild Mouse. It wasn't exactly the same, but was about the same size with a very similar track layout. It was located adjacent to the old Comet Coaster and the Flash.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 08:28 PM
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I've never seen any early maps or documents with sidewynder.

The Hat did replace the ride at the site in Mexico.
But, that is confusing to some people, since the Hat has been in several locations.

Here is a shot of the entry as well as a map showing the location.
The ride is on the right side near the middle above the covered walkway.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg la_cucaracha.jpg (19.8 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg map_la_cucaracha[1].jpg (23.7 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg map_lascabras[1].jpg (30.2 KB, 28 views)
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  #8  
Old April 23rd, 2008, 10:13 PM
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The Sidewinder only lasted during the 1961 season, which only lasted four months from August 5th till the day before Thanksgiving. An issue of the Six Flags Gazette which I found in the Six Flags Archive of the Dallas Central Library has a built-in map. It used numbers at each of the major attractions and stores. On the far upper-left corner, it listed all the numbers and the names of the attraction or store corresponding with the number. The Sidewinder was not misspelled with a "y".
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Old April 25th, 2008, 10:16 AM
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Default Queuehouse

If that's the queue house to the left then the site is now the canteen. Probably not the same building though.
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  #10  
Old April 26th, 2008, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cleusk View Post
The Sidewinder only lasted during the 1961 season, which only lasted four months from August 5th till the day before Thanksgiving. An issue of the Six Flags Gazette which I found in the Six Flags Archive of the Dallas Central Library has a built-in map. It used numbers at each of the major attractions and stores. On the far upper-left corner, it listed all the numbers and the names of the attraction or store corresponding with the number. The Sidewinder was not misspelled with a "y".
Yes, it was only in the U.S.A. Section for the first season. I rode it many times. I submit the Gazette was a victim of poor clerical work. The large sign emblazoned on its side was spelled Sidewynder. My dad, who was friendly with Angus, told me it was done as a joke, because Mr. Wynne was president of Great Southwest Corporation. It's a pity there is so little photographic evidence extant. If I ever see any, I'll post it. 'Til then, I trust my own memory. I didn't like the spelling. I thought it was dumb. But I loved the ride.
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