by Larry Austin
A new ride at Martin's Fantasy Island provides a view of Canada, Buffalo and the mist from Niagara Falls, and an 80-foot spinning freefall.
A ride called Over the Falls mimics a trip over the falls in a barrel. It occupies a location in the park just an audible scream from the I-190. To make way for Over the Falls, the log flume, a mainstay for the last 25 years at Fantasy Island, was removed because it was old and expensive to maintain, said Len Synor, marketing/public relations manager for Martin's Fantasy Island. The new ride underwent testing last Friday and opened Saturday, June 7.
"If you don't mind being upside down, it's not too bad," Buffalo resident Gary Carpenter said moments after coming off the ride on its first day of operation. Eden residents Sarah Doherty, Liz Eaton and Scott Nadrich went Over the Falls and said they enjoyed the feeling of freefalling.
"It was fast, 'cause right when you go down, like, the wind in your face is so fun," said Doherty.
The top of the ride is higher than the Ferris wheel next door. Patrons gain an extended view from atop the ride as passengers are exchanged at the bottom. "You can see the falls" from the top, said Carpenter, who has season passes to Martin's Fantasy Island.
The opening of Over the Falls continues Martin's Fantasy Island's trend of adding new features to the park each season. In the last five years, the park has welcomed Max's Doggy Dog Coaster, Rockin' Tug, Dragster Drench, Mind Warp, and Flight.