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State

State fair's Crazy Mouse puts new spin on roller coaster

A new attraction at the Illinois State Fair midway is putting a spin on the traditional roller coaster.

Instead of a series of connected cars, the Crazy Mouse roller coaster has individual cars that can seat about three or four people. As the cars navigate the track, they can spin around in circles, which mean the riders sometimes can’t tell which direction they are going.

“It was fun,” said Jackie Cullen of New Lenox who rode the Crazy Mouse at the fair Saturday with her two daughters ages 12 and 5. “There was a drop, we spun around and we went backwards sometimes. It was a lot of fun.”

Haevyn Cullen, Jackie’s 12-year-old daughter, also liked the ride.

“It is probably my favorite ride here,” Haevyn said.

Amy Girton, vice president of marketing for North American Midway Entertainment, the company that provides carnival rides for the Illinois State Fair, said the Crazy Mouse coaster has been a popular attraction.

“What’s great about the Crazy Mouse coaster is that it’s a family roller coaster. You will see a lot of parents and children on this ride,” Girton said.

The Crazy Mouse coaster hits speeds of up to 30 mph as it loops around the track. What makes the ride unique, however, are the spinning cars.

“What’s great is that truly, each ride is different,” Girton said. “If you watch it, the cars spin as they go around the track. It’s not your typical coaster where you just sit there. ... How fast the car spins and how often it spins depends on the weight distribution. This has always been why this coaster is such a great and exciting one for everybody.”

Because the rides North American Midway provides have to be moved from site to site, there is a limit on how large they can be. The Crazy Mouse coaster, which is about 40 feet tall and has a track that is about 1,300 feet long, is one of the company’s larger attractions.

“We travel to about 140 events per year. You can imagine the turnaround we do for each ride. We can only typically take something so big. This is definitely one of our bigger feature rides,” Girton said.

While the Crazy Mouse attracts a lot of families with kids, the ride also caught the eye of older people.

Sean Gordy, 23, of Decatur said he was pleasantly surprised.

“From a distance, it looked a little kiddish, but once you got on there it was really surprising. It spun around plenty of times. It was fantastic,” Gordy said.

Jill Tsuji rode the Crazy Mouse with her 9-year-old son, Jackson, and some other family members.

“We thought it was awesome ... so fun,” Tsuji said. “We did the spinning and did the drop. It was great.”

Jackson said the best part of the ride was the drop.

“It was awesome,” the 9-year-old said.

Contact John Reynolds: john.reynolds@sj-r.com, 788-1524, twitter.com/JohnReynoldsSJR.

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©2018 The State Journal-Register, Springfield, Ill.

Visit The State Journal-Register, Springfield, Ill. at www.sj-r.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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