It’s business as usual during the sweltering summer vacation season at Tohoku area amusement parks. Though Sendai Highland remains shaken from March 11th’s disastrous 8.9 level earthquake. According to Highland manager Sato-San, attendance has begun to match last year’s figures following the Golden Week holidays in May. But one of their flagship rides, the Loop the Loop shuttle roller coaster has been closed since the earthquake. Built in 1981 by Meisho, Loop the Loop continued to operate while neighboring shuttle loops, like the one at Toshimaen in Tokyo, have recently closed forever due to maintenance costs.
According to Sato, the park is cautious of power outages in the case of future tremors. If an outage occurs while the coaster is in operation riders could be stuck atop the lift. Given the nature of a shuttle loop’s design, it would be extremely difficult for a rescue team to bring passengers safely to the ground. This scenario has park officials frightened to the point where they are uncertain if the ride will ever re-open.
If you speak Japanese and would like to hear Sato-San’s response in full please watch the video below. A special rolling hills of thanks to Japanese language specialists Alina Radulescu and Rachel Johnson for providing a summary of Sato-San’s response.
For a superb on-ride point of view video of the “Loop the Loop” when it was still operating please check out Theme Park Review’s youtube channel.