Throw-Up Throwback!

While we're currently in the throws of winter, with a pretty decent-sized snowstorm heading our way this weekend, why not think of warmer days, simpler times, and the human puke bucket we used to know as The Rotor?

Wow, talk about a piece of my Great Escape childhood that quite frankly couldn’t exist today, and probably for good reason.

But I still miss it!

Early days of the Great Escape

I remember - way back in the day -  going to the Great Escape in Lake George with my sister and as soon as we entered the park, we raced back toward the area known as Ghost Town.
Along the way, we crossed a bridge entering the "Fest Area"

The Fest Area had carnival games for prizes, bumper cars, and mini-motorized boats where you paid a dollar for like 3 minutes of action.

Brian Cody
An old cartoon map of the Great Escape.  Can you find The Rotor? Photo: Facebook

Remember The Rotor?

But amid all this kiddie play, was the cylindrical whipping beast that served no purpose other than you turn your guts inside out, The Rotor!

The Rotor (and similar rides like it) was popular in the 1980s and lasted inside the park until the early 2000s.

Over time, The Great Escape removed the ride as it became difficult to maintain.  And as bigger more exciting rides came into fashion, these human spin cycles went out of fashion.

"But in the midst of all this kiddie play, was the cylindrical whipping beast that served no purpose other than you turn your guts inside out, The Rotor!"


Brian Cody
Centrifugal Chunks! The Rotor is shown here at the Great Escape - 1980s   Photo: Facebook

But was it fun?

The Rotor ride lasted two minutes but it seems it seemed like an eternity stuck to a wall and spinning at 30 MPH!

The Rotor experience starts slowly, spinning you round and round. Then it gets faster.

Then the freaking bottom drops out, your legs dangle, and centrifugal force takes over.

As it increases in speed, The Rotor makes whirly-bird noises - now you’re stuck to the wall like Garfield on a windshield. So much fun!

The force plasters your cheekbones to the wall and in the midst of it all, you’re either laughing, crying, peeing your pants, or worse - about to throw up a hot dog.

As The Rotor spins faster, some seasoned pros turned themselves upside-down and did tricks. That wasn’t my style. I just stayed there, the back of my head stuck to a slab of metal, my husky belly jiggling and churning with excitement.

Couldn't exist today

For me, the human puke-bucket known as the Rotor represents a piece of my childhood, and maybe yours, that quite frankly couldn’t exist today, and probably for good reason.

I’m sure that most parents cursed the park up and down after someone else's chubby kid blew centrifugal chunks onto theirs.

The Rotor existed during a time when thrill rides weren’t very complex - it was "let’s just see how fast we can spin your kids", and no one cared.

The name alone makes my stomach turn but I loved it back then, and I kind of miss it today - even though there's no way I'd ever venture back on that wheel of vomit.

Not quite as sexy and thrilling as the Steamin' Demon, or considered a classic like The Comet, The Rotot will never hold a sentimental place in our hearts like the wonderfully simple and nostalgic Desperado Plunge.

But the Rotor does have its place and it’s a ride that me and my stomach will never forget!

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Gallery Credit: Brian Cody TSM Albany

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