American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) recognizes Silverwood Theme Park's Corkscrew as an ACE Roller Coaster Landmark, a designation reserved for rides of historic significance.
In 1970 Arrow Development Company engineer Ronald Toomer was asked by company founder Karl Bacon (1910-2008) if he could design a roller coaster that would turn riders upside down. By bending wire around a 12-inch diameter pipe to demonstrate the principle, he developed the corkscrew element that would revolutionize the amusement industry. After four years of design and development, a 70-foot-high prototype ride was erected at Arrow's factory in Mountain View, California, featuring a 62-foot drop and two barrel-roll corkscrew elements in a 1,250-foot long layout. It was moved to Knott's Berry Farm in 1975 and named Roaring 20's Corkscrew, becoming an immediate worldwide sensation. It was also the first coaster to introduce shoulder harness restraints.
In 1989, after serving guests faithfully for 14 years, Corkscrew, as it was later known, was removed by Knott's Berry Farm. Gary Norton, owner and developer of the newly opened Silverwood theme park in Athol, Idaho, was looking for a looping roller coaster to add to his park and purchased the historic ride. The coaster was moved to Silverwood in 1990 and has been thrilling guests ever since. It was renamed Gravity Defying Corkscrew, which was later shortened to Corkscrew.
ACE salutes Silverwood Theme Park for preserving and maintaining Corkscrew, the world's first modern roller coaster to feature upside down inversions.
Presented by American Coaster Enthusiasts
ACE Summer Conference
August 27, 2011