A waltzer in motion, an operator spins the cars
A waltzer is a fairground ride that consists of a number of cars which are free to spin individually while rotating around a central point like a carousel. The floor of the ride is not flat and the cars lift and fall gently as the ride spins, the weight of the riders causing each car to rotate. Sometimes an operator will ride the platform and spin the cars by hand providing a more intense ride. Because of the combination of the ride spinning and the spinning cars, large varying g-forces are perceived as the spin of the car lines up with the rotation of the carousel and at other times opposes it. Most amusement parks and carnivals require the rider to be at least 42 inches tall unless accompanied by an adult. Reasons for this include that a small child might otherwise be thrown out onto the waltzer platform, causing serious injury or death, and may not be able to hold on sufficiently tight to avoid this.
The travelling fairground waltzer are controlled by an operator in the central booth of the ride. This operator controls the speed and the duration and also, some versions can rotate both ways where as traditional waltzers turn clockwise. Often, the assistants will stand on the rotating floor of the ride and spin the cars by hand. There will be no queue as such, with would-be riders gathering around the edge of the platform, and finding themselves a seat when the ride stops.
Waltzers, originally have 10 cars. However several ARK rides have been converted into a waltzer, therefore 9 and 11 car variations can be found. The cars on a waltzer can spin both ways, with the help of an operator pushing the cars around to enhance the spinning sensation. Sometimes, these cars have brakes that automatically come on when the safety bar is open. Some (more common in the Scottish region) waltzers have individual brakes in each car that is operated by an individual lever on the platforms. However some modern waltzers have a complex braking system that stops each car, automatically facing outwards for easy loading.
Waltzers are common at travelling funfairs, but less common at static amusement parks. At the latter, there are often differences in the operation, such as an organised queue system and ride controls located away from the ride platform. It is also unusual for amusement park Waltzers to have staff on the moving platform spinning the cars during the ride.
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