Arrow Development

Arrow Development was an amusement park ride and roller coaster design and manufacturing company incorporated in California on November 16 1945 and based in Mountain View.  It was founded by Angus “Andy” Anderson, Karl Bacon, William Hardiman, and Edgar Morgan.

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Arrow Development was a company that designed and built amusement park rides, especially roller coasters, from 1945 to 1981. It was founded by four machinists who worked at the Hendy Iron Works in Sunnyvale, California: Angus Anderson, Karl Bacon, William Hardiman and Edgar Morgan. They started out making merry-go-rounds and other small rides for local parks, but soon caught the attention of Walt Disney, who hired them to create many of the original attractions for Disneyland, such as Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Mad Tea Party and Autopia.

Arrow Development was a pioneer in the field of roller coaster engineering, inventing the tubular steel track that allowed for smoother and more complex layouts than the traditional wooden track. They also introduced the first corkscrew inversion, the first suspended coaster and the first hypercoaster (a coaster over 200 feet tall). Some of their most famous coasters include Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland, Corkscrew at Knott’s Berry Farm, The Bat at Kings Island and Magnum XL-200 at Cedar Point.

The company went through several changes of ownership and name over the years, becoming Arrow-Huss in 1981 after being bought by a German firm, and then Arrow Dynamics in 1986 after emerging from bankruptcy. Arrow Dynamics continued to produce innovative coasters, such as the first 4th Dimension coaster (X2 at Six Flags Magic Mountain), until it closed in 2001. Its assets were acquired by S&S Worldwide, which still operates some of the former Arrow rides today.

Arrow Development was a major contributor to the amusement and theme park industry, creating hundreds of rides that entertained millions of people around the world. Their legacy lives on in their surviving rides and in the influence they had on other coaster designers and manufacturers.

Disney Contributions

Arrow Development had a significant role in the creation of Disneyland, as Walt Disney hired them in 1953 to build several of the park’s original attractions, such as the King Arthur Carrousel, the Mad Tea Party, and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Disney was impressed by Arrow’s work and purchased one-third of the company in 1960, giving them more control over the design and production of the rides.

Industry: Amusement Rides
Founded: 1945
Founders: Karl Bacon
Ed Morgan
Bill Hardiman
Angus Anderson
Defunct: 1981
Fate: Sold to Huss Maschinenfabrik (1981)
Successors: Arrow Huss
Arrow Dynamics
S&S Power
Headquarters: Mountain View, California
Key People: Angus Anderson
Karl Bacon
Bill Hardiman
Ed Morgan
Walter Schulze
Ron Toomer
Products: Roller Coasters – Log Flumes – Auto Rides
Number of Employees: 270

Arrow Development continued to collaborate with Disney on many iconic attractions, such as the Matterhorn Bobsleds, the first tubular steel roller coaster in the world; Pirates of the Caribbean, a water-based dark ride with audio-animatronic figures; and The Haunted Mansion, an omnimover dark ride with special effects and illusions. Arrow also built some of the attractions for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, such as “it’s a small world” and Adventure Thru Inner Space.

In 1971, Arrow Development parted ways with Disney, as the latter built its own in-house ride shop to supply attractions for both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Arrow then focused on developing new types of roller coasters, such as the corkscrew, the runaway mine train, and the suspended coaster. Arrow also expanded its market to other amusement parks around the world, such as Six Flags, Cedar Point, Knott’s Berry Farm, and Alton Towers.

Rides Manufactured

Log Flumes

Roller Coasters

Rides Manufactured for Disney

Mad Tea Party

King Arthur Carrousel

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Casey Jr. Circus Train

Snow White’s Scary Adventure