Another in our regular series looking at amusement ride builders throughout the world. The Italian company of Zamperla S.p.A. based in Vicenza, Veneto, is a little different to many of the other big names out there. There range not only encompasses the giant roller coasters of many of their competitors. It also included more funfair orientated travelling rides, again matching others in their market, but they also build a range of tiny coin operated rides. The kind you find in a supermarket or shopping center.
Their history dates back over a century, to when, like many ride manufacturers, they were actually operators. Originally travelling an equestrian circus, before becoming one of the first operators of a street cinema in Italy.
Mr. Antonio Zamperla, founder of the company, realised that many of the larger amusement rides, such as the dodgems, could be recreated in smaller versions for the children. Indeed the ‘Mini Scooters’ or bumper cars for kids was one of their early successful lines. Leading to a host of repackaged attractions for the smaller clients visiting fairs.
Of course they have a range of adult rides to complement the children’s attractions.
In 1976, the company arrived in Montreal, before moving to New Jersey to establish a sales office and spare parts warehouse operation.
The company provided some seven, out of the initial 12 rides that were installed in Euro Disney, a feather in the cap by any yardstick.
In 2005 the founder of the company, Mr. Antonio Zamperla, became the first Italian to be inducted into the IAAPA Hall of Fame
The company also boasts an impressive resume in roller coasters. Though they did tend to specialise more in attractions that could be dismantled and travelled. Over the years they have built some 368 coasters and counting.