Theme park closes popular ride after more than 20 years
- Credit: Archant
A caterpillar-styled theme park ride is on its last legs after more than 20 years.
The Mulan at Pleasure Beach in Great Yarmouth has thrilled visitors at the park by whizzing them around in a circle, with the speed gradually increasing along the way.
But the theme park's owner said a replacement had been found for the ride after a two-year hunt.
Albert Jones said he understood people's disappointment at the decision but believed it was the right time to make the change.
"The ride has been here for more than 20 years and is very popular so I understand the memories people have of it. However, we've been looking to replace it for the last couple of years and we now believe we've found the ideal replacement."
The ride will continue to entertain families until Sunday when the park will close for the season.
Mr Jones said it would then be shipped out to the Italian Riviera where it would be based for the winter.
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The carriages, which are designed to look like a caterpillar, seat two people and rise and fall with the undulating track the ride goes around on.
Melissa Kelly-Taylor, who was at the park with her daughter and grandson, Theodore, two, said the ride was her family's favourite.
She said: "It's one of the very few rides we can go on as a family.
"The children love it and it's definitely a favourite with us.
"It's a real shame it's closing down."
Although the new ride would have a tough time replacing the Mulan, Mr Jones believed visitors would not be disappointed with it.
He said: "It will be the first of its kind in the world, which is really exciting.
"The industry is changing all the time so it's important we strive to improve where we can."
Mr Jones, who is also the man behind The Edge leisure complex in the town, said the replacement attraction would be aeroplane-themed.
Maria Holmes, from Beccles, said her children were also disappointed with the news.
Mrs Holmes said: "It will be a shame for the kids because they really liked it.
"Their favourite part of the ride was when the green canopy opened up over the carriages.
"It was great fun for them."
More details on the replacement ride are set to be released over the next couple of weeks.