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Expoland Forced Into Liquidation

The governing board of Expoland, the operator of Expoland Amusement Park in Suita, Osaka Prefecture, Japan voted to liquidate the park on Monday, February 9. Last year the park announced it had filed for bankruptcy protection under the Civil Rehabilitation Law with the Osaka District Court.

The park had seen a drastic decrease in visitors since the May, 2007 derailment of Fujin Raijin II, a Togo Stand up coaster, killed one woman and injured 19 others. The park suspended operations immediately after the accident and did not reopen until August. The park closed again in December of 2007 because the number of visitors had dropped by 80%.

The park had hoped to reopen in the future with a focus on attracting families. The predecessor of the park opened as an amusement area for a 1970 international exposition that saw 64 million visitors and 77 participating countries. The park had 83 million visitors between 1972, when Expoland started operations, and 2007.

Expoland is home to six steel roller coasters, although Fujin Raijin II never reopened after the accident. The park’s Daidarasaurus which opened with the Expo in 1970 was originally a racing coaster. The two tracks were combined in 2000 making it one of the longest coasters in the world. Unfortunately due to its size and age, the coaster is unlikely to be saved. Of interest will be Orochi, a 1996 B&M inverted coaster that is a virtual clone of Cedar Point’s Raptor.

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* Lee Ann Draud
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* Rus Ozana
ACE News Now Editor

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