Roller Coaster Wiki
Roller Coaster Wiki
Virginia Reel
Virgina Reel Postcard.jpg


The Virginia Reel was an older type of coaster characterized by spinning circular "tubs" that zig-zagged down a flat-bottomed track.


Virgina Reel (1908)

Oldest in Operation



Virginia Reel (1947)


William Strickler, Henry Elmer Riehl, George W. Long


Wooden Spinning Side Friction

The Virgina Reel was a wooden spinning side friction roller coaster type. A total of 10 were built, none of which exist today.


Virginia Reels used a side friction-like track resembling a trench.

Instead of big hills or banks, Virginia Reels featured many unbanked turns and switchbacks to spin their tubs as much as possible. Near the end of the ride were a few helices and a relatively steep drop into a tunnel.


The tubs had inward-facing seats built around the perimeter, spun freely on their chassis as they traveled around the track.


The Virginia Reel was designed by Henry Elmer Riehl, who named the ride after his daughter, Luna Virginia Riehl. The first Virginia Reel was built in 1908 at Luna Park , Coney Island, where Henry Riehl was superintendent.

A similar ride around the same time, the Tickler, consisted of curved rails and posts forming a zig-zag route down an incline surface. Wheeled circular tubs freely rolled and spun down the incline, guided by the rails and bounced about by the posts.

The last Virginia Reel was the Virginia Reel at Pleasure Beach Blackpool.

The modern equivalent of the Virginia Reel is the Spinning Wild Mouse.

Roller Coaster Types
Track Materials HybridSteelWooden
Train Configurations 4th DimensionBobsledDive CoasterFloorlessFlyingInvertedMine TrainMotorbikePipelineSide FrictionSpinningStand-UpSuspendedVirginia ReelWing Coaster
Track Layouts DuelingFigure 8LaunchedMöbius LoopOut & BackRacingShuttleStrata CoasterWild Mouse