S&S-Arrow  

The Arrow Story



Arrow's emergence into the amusement ride industry began, to some extent, quite unintentionally. In 1946, Arrow Development Company began as a small job machine shop. A small, children's park in Palo Alto, California was purchased as an investment resulting in refurbishing some of the used equipment and designing new rides. Soon Arrow was asked to build a carousel ride for a park in the city of San Jose.

Walt Disney heard about Arrow's work with amusement rides and came to them with his vision of a theme park. With Arrow's can-do-anything philosophy and the collaboration with Disney, the dream of Disneyland became a reality. In the early 1950's Disney asked Arrow to design and build an entire series of unique rides for the new amusement park to be known as Disneyland.

Accepting the challenge, Arrow produced many of the rides for which Disneyland became famous. These rides include Snow White, Peter Pan, Dumbo, The Mad Hatter's Tea Party, and the Casey Jr. Circus Train.

Arrow also designed and built many of the dark ride transportation systems for Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean, Small World, and the Haunted Mansion. The efficient tram system that transports guests from the parking lot to the park's entrance at Disneyland and Disneyworld is another Arrow Product. These original transportation systems are still in operation today.


In 1959 Arrow took its first venture into roller coasters by collaborating with Disney to design and manufacture Disney's popular Matterhorn Bobsled Ride. The innovative engineering and manufacturing techniques pioneered for the Matterhorn became the basis for an entire industry's new roller coaster technology. Theme parks began appearing all over the country in the wake of Disneyland's success, and Arrow was literally bombarded with orders for new, innovative rides.

Arrow's technologies have provided several types of people moving systems like the Hershey Chocolate Tour in Hershey, Pennsylvania or the Fantasy Dreams dark ride in Lotte World, Korea.

During the 60's, Arrow researched and developed many new rides. One, which first appeared in 1963 was the Log Flume Ride. It quickly became the most universally popular ride in the budding theme park industry. Arrow's unexcelled quality and craftsmanship has resulted in our flume installations effectively operating with original equipment, troughs, and lift components for over 30 years. Currently there are over 70 Arrow log flumes operating around the world.

As the front-runner manufacturer during the coaster arms race of the 1970's, Arrow again made history by presenting the Corkscrew in 1975, and the Launched Loop in 1977.

Log flumes and coasters were being installed all over the world, and Arrow, in need of a more competitive manufacturing position, moved the steel fabrication department to Clearfield, Utah in 1978. In 1984 the entire company was relocated to Utah.

In the mid 1980's Arrow achieved another coaster sensation in creating by far the most unique and unforgettable ride in the amusement industry, the Suspended Coaster. With coaches hanging from an overhead track, the Suspended Coaster gives the passengers a feeling of free flight as it swings out at banked curves and soars through the air.

Utilizing their proven water ride expertise developed from the flume ride, Arrow applied this technology to introduce a Shoot-the-Chute water ride at the 1984 World Exposition in New Orleans. Passengers are seated in 20-passenger boats, climb over 60 feet and plunge to a tremendous splash down. The Figure-eight Shoot-the-Chute followed in the mid 1990's at Cedar Point and Dorney Park to take passengers over 80 feet in the air before plunging at 40 mph down a 50 degree angle drop. The tremendous splash down created by this ride is exhilarating for passengers and spectators alike.

Arrow accepted the challenge in the late 1980's to take coasters over a 200 foot lift height by introducing the Hyper Coaster. The first, and perhaps the most highly acclaimed coaster of this genre, is the Magnum XL-200 at Cedar Point in 1989. Other notable Arrow Hyper Coasters are the Desperado at Buffalo Bill's outside Las Vegas, Nevada and The Pepsi Max Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in England. These rides boast breath-taking drops and offer an intense ride experience not meant for the faint-of-heart.

Although Arrow is well known for custom, one-of-a-kind attractions, they were asked to design and produce a sentimental favorite for the amusement industry in 1998 by offering their versions of a standard mouse ride, Mad Mouse.

Arrow's quality and expertise set our mouse ride apart from the competition and is proving to be another winner in the arsenal of Arrow rides.

Building upon the success of the Mad Mouse Arrow was asked to design a meaner, madder mouse and consequently the ArrowBATic was introduced to the industry in 1999.

By utilizing a single five-passenger vehicle rather than a coaster train, the ArrowBATic allows optimum banking for tight turns, negotiating tight elements, and executing 90 degree down drops. The ride is offered as a family-ride width no upside elements, or the more extreme inverted thrill ride.

This new ride generated a great deal of interest at the 1999 International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions trade show.

Arrow has been long considered a front-runner and an innovator of amusement park rides. In 2000 Arrow proved this statement to be true by literally turning the coaster world upside down with the announcement of a new kind of roller coaster, the 4th Dimension.

The 4th Dimension made its debut at Six Flags Magic Mountain in 2001 as the ride called X. This ride is unlike any coaster previously available, passengers ride on seat that are extended to the sides of the track. This unique design allows the seats to be rotated 360 degrees. The unique rail system allows riders to experience forward and back flips and other acrobatic maneuvers. The unparalleled ride experience has quickly made the 4th Dimension a park favorite.


Photo by Twisted Rails

Arrow's engineering and manufacturing expertise is not limited to just amusement rides. We have successfully accomplished many unusual, one-of-a-kind projects like capsules to put the first monkeys into space, and orbit simulators for NASA.

Superior fiberglass work is another trademark associated with Arrow rides. The Arrow glass shop also builds molds and produces fiberglass equipment outside the amusement industry, i.e. climbing walls, and components for airplane and terminal connecting concourses at airports.

Arrow also specializes in structural and decorative steel work such as the elaborate aluminum truss system used for decorative purposes on a Federal Building in Baltimore, Maryland.

Arrow also collaborated in the design and built the Olympic Cauldron for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Arrow's approach to design has also improved dramatically over the last few years. Utilizing state-of-the-art computer equipment, Arrow has developed its own software to produce a new and improved coaster track layout design. This software provides advanced track geometric control, improved analysis of banking dynamics, and othe information required to produce the next generation of exciting elements and coaster track layouts.

The possibility of what Arrow will introduce next is restricted only by one's own imagination. The impossible of today will be our new product of tomorrow!

It is Arrow's desire to not necessarily become the biggest, but to always be recognized as the best. Total commitment and dedication in every phase of their operation has made Arrow the worldwide leader in innovation and excellence that continues Thrilling the Millions!

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