The coaster was built by the now defunct Roller Coaster Corporation of America
in 1977, and opened in 1978, for Circus World, and was originally named the Roaring Tiger, and was painted with a white structure,
and orange hand rails. The coaster was an immediate hit. When Circus World closed, the park was puchased by Anheiser Busch,
and the park was renamed Boardwalk and Baseball, the coaster recieved a new name, the Florida Hurricane, and a new color scheme,
the structure was painted grey, and had pepto pink handrails.
This is how Magic Springs came into possession
of this great out and back coaster.
Augie Busch made the decision to close Boardwalk and Baseball with a simple
phone call from St. Louis to Orlando, the park was directed to close immediatly that day. They made an announcement over the
sound system that the park was closing and refunded everyones admission. Mr. Busch was mad that Coors beer had been locked
in as a sponsor.
I don't blame him, a Busch park, selling Coors!?
Anheiser Busch had no interest
in the coaster for the other Busch parks. Magic Springs negotiated with Anheiser, who was not worried about the money. They
just wanted the coaster gone. Magic springs paid $10,000. for everything. Plus they bought a few kiddie rides.
Springs contacted Harper Construction of Prattsville, Arkansas, to dismantle the ride and load it on trucks for transport
back to Arkansas. Before dismantleing it, an engineer was brought in to survey the excact height of the concrete footings
for every support on the ride. That way the park could duplicate the exact topography so the supports would fit without being
shortend or lengthened. Of course each peice was numbered, and many numbers still show to this day, along with a few hints
of pink, and grey paint.
It took about 40 semi-trailers to haul everything back to Arkansas at a cost of approximately
$1,000. each. The coaster was stored in the parking lot for the 2001 season. During this time contacts with possible engineers,
and contractors to help in reconstructiong the ride. The park was even in contact with William Cobb, who was glad to hear
his coaster was being saved. When Mr. Cobb was asked what would he change about the coaster, his reply was, "Wouldn't change
a thing". Mr. Cobb even sent the park complete engineering drawings at no charge as his contribution to the parks effort.
Sadly, Mr. Cobb passed away from cancer, and never got to see the completed coaster.
The $10,000. purchase price
was just the begining of the cost. When it opened, close to $900,000. was invested in it. The "Twister" was a huge success,
drawing a record number of guests to the park for 1992, somewhere around the 325,000 mark. The coaster almost paid for itself
in one year.
The first manned ride was on May 30, 1992.