For more than 20 years, the Galaxi roller coaster has been one of the staple amusement park rides at Old Orchard Beach in Maine.
But that is about to change.
Joel Golder, the owner of Palace Playland, said Monday will mark the last day of operation for the Galaxi, which will be taken down and replaced with a newer, larger steel roller coaster known as the Sea Viper.
“It’s going to be twice as high, a third wider, and a third longer,” said Golder, who grew up in Revere and now lives in Maine and Florida.
Golder said he and his son will travel to northern Italy to check out the Sea Viper, and if all goes according to plan, the new Italian-made steel coaster will be installed over the winter and will be ready to go when Palace Playland opens for the season next May. Golder said he’s buying a parking lot next to the amusement park to accommodate the larger roller coaster, and the Galaxi is in the process of being sold.
“The Galaxi was — is — a great ride,” Golder said. “If we had a little more room, we’d try to keep it.”
Golder said it’s the younger children who don’t want to see the Galaxi go. “There are a lot of kids who really like it a lot. They ride it like 15 to 20 times a day, no exaggeration,” he said. “The older kids want to see something bigger and better.”
Sometimes change can be a good thing. Golder said the Galaxi has been there for decades, and he’s been shopping around for a new coaster for a while. He thinks the Sea Viper will be a welcome addition to his beachfront amusement park.
“We’ve been looking for three or four years, and finally found one that will be a really good fit,” he said. “We’re all excited about it.”Emily Sweeney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.