Starliner designed by Legendary Roller Coaster Designer

The Starliner Roller Coaster

The Starliner roller coaster was one of the first attractions at Miracle Strip Amusement Park. The Starliner was a wooden coaster designed by nationally renown John Allen of the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1963.

The Starliner was the focal point of MSAP. The track of the Starliner ran for the entire length of the eastern side of the park. The Starliner track was visible from any point in the amusement park and from the nearby roadways and beaches.

As you stepped up the ramp that led to the beautiful curved station, you passed a Philadelphia Toboggan Company plaque that reassured all riders that the Starliner was a product of the legendary PTC amusement firm and any worry was put to rest.

The trains were three bench PTC rolling stock with a single seat belt for both riders per cart and a single-locking lapbar.

After the operator disengaged the manual brake, the train would roll downhill slightly and pick up a little speed before it engaged the lift. It was a 70-foot climb up the lift hill.

The ride up was filled with anticipation as the crest was approached.

Starliner Roller Coaster
Starliner Roller Coaster from the top

Going over the crest, the track appeared to be straight down even though your mind knew it was not.

There was no time to ponder the illusion, because then, you were trying to get your brain and stomach to agree as the cars zoomed down 65 feet.

The first drop was followed by a shallow speed hill and a third drop that was nearly as tall as the first.

 

 

 

At the bottom of the third hill you enter a tunnel with a facade painted like a dragon’s mouth where riders were caught off-guard as the train caught some air on a hidden bunny hop before the track rose back up and into the turn-around.

After the tunnel, the track looped around and hugged the previously-traveled track. Starliner traveled over several more bunny hops for more airtime, before moving into the boarding station again.

The Starliner was sold and relocated to Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven, Florida where it re-opened on July 14, 2007. After only a year of operation the Starliner closed on November 16, 2008.

Merlin Entertainment eventually purchased the shuttered park and reopened it as LEGOLAND® Florida, but the Starliner was dismantled, placed in storage and likely will never be ridden again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *