Location: Coney Island (today known as Coney Mall), in the current location of Kings Mills Antique Autos
Former Names: Giant Double Wheel (1975)
Manufacturer: Waagner-Biro; brokered by Intamin
Model: Giant Double Wheel
Height: 135 ft
Vehicles: 12 circular carriages on each arm
Description: Zodiac was a double-armed Ferris Wheel at the end of Coney Island (today known as Coney Mall). While one of its two wheels loaded on the ground, the other was rotating up in the air.
History: Zodiac, originally marketed as Giant Double Wheel, opened at the end of Coney Island (today known as Coney Mall) in 1975. It was one of two new rides in 1975, the other being Troika (today known as Shake, Rattle & Roll). The ride was the second of its kind to open, the first having opened at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania in 1973. Pictures of the Hersheypark ride were used in some early press material before Kings Island’s own version was built.
Many sources claim that Swiss firm Intamin manufactured Zodiac, but it was actually created by Austrian firm Waagner-Biro. Intamin was likely only the broker. A similar relationship brought Eiffel Tower to Kings Island several years earlier.
The ride remained relatively unchanged during its run at Kings Island. Its last year was 1986. It was disassembled in early 1987 and was relocated to sister park Australia’s Wonderland in New South Wales, Australia, where it operated from 1989 through 2004. After operating there, it was reportedly in storage at Sunway Lagoon Park in Malaysia.
Despite claims to the contrary, the ride did not remain standing-but-not-operating from 1986 through 1989. It operated in 1986 and was removed early in 1987. Its ride pad sat empty for several seasons until Flight Commander opened on its former spot in 1990.
When Kings Mills Antique Autos opened on the ride’s former spot in 2019, it included a faux gas station titled “Zodiac Refining Co.”, a reference to the former ride.