Bring Miracle Strip’s Starliner Roller Coaster Back

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by October 4, 2010 • 8 comments

Many of you remember it.  The Starliner Roller Coaster that was originally located in Miracle Strip Amusement Park in Panama City Beach was the first roller coaster ride for thousands of young people during the 80’s, 90’s and half of the 2000’s.  When Miracle Strip Amusement Park closed down a few years back, the Starliner was purchased by Cypress Gardens in Winterhaven Florida, which just recently closed.  And, the Meeks, owners of Miracke Strip @ Pier Park just bought it.

Before I move on with the rest of the story, you can help bring it back by voting daily at

When asked why they bought it, Teddy Meeks replied, “The biggest influence, by far, was our fans/customers begging us to bring it back.”  Their adventure in the amusement business began when they purchased the original carousel and opened it up in Pier Park less than 18 months ago.  There was so much support and success, they decided to expand, purchasing other original rides from the closed Miracle Strip.  This past summer was their first summer with four rides open and despite the oil spill threat, they still pulled decent enough numbers to continue plans for expansion.

Plans for the Starliner do not include putting it up in Pier Park, however, despite numerous requests.  There are three prospective sites in Panama City Beach, with plans at this time uncertain whether the current rides would move to the new location, whether they would acquire new rides or if the coaster would stand alone.  A prospective open date would be spring or summer of 2012, so there’s still time to make some decisions.

So, how can you help bring the Starliner back to Panama City Beach?  From the Meeks:

“Pepsi is giving away $1.3 million every month this year to ideas that “refresh” the world.  One of our Facebook fans suggested we enter after a wooden coaster in PA was awarded a $50k grant to repair their coaster.  We submitted our application and it was accepted for the month of Oct.  The ideas with the most fan votes win the grant category they are entered in.  Rebuilding the Starliner is entered in the $250k category.  Top 2 vote getters will win the grant.  You can vote once a day, every day from Oct 1 thru Oct 31 at”

So, what are you waiting for?  Have you voted today yet?

Here is a video of the Starliner.

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1 Teddy October 4, 2010 at 11:15 am

Jason, thanks for the great article. Fans can also vote via text by texting 103457 to 73774. Thanks again, we are currently ranked #1.


2 Allan October 5, 2010 at 1:01 am

This is sooo awesome! Prayers are answered! 😉

What is going on at the old MS site? I know they were clearing land but looks like they are setting up for construction? Or just more demo? Thanks for any info. 🙂


3 John October 5, 2010 at 8:07 am

What a great addition the Starliner would make to Pier Park! It’s a shame they can’t relocate it there.


4 Carrie Routt October 5, 2010 at 8:54 am

I just voted and I think it is down to #27. We need more votes!


5 Eric Habshey October 5, 2010 at 9:26 am

Jason, I got an email from realtor Pat Diligher Sunday saying that it’s already a done deal at a cost of $2M. Can you confirm?


6 Jason Koertge October 5, 2010 at 10:47 am

What’s a done deal? The Meeks have already made the purchase, and have already committed to bringing it back to Panama City Beach. But as to where it’s going and the details involved, that’s still unclear.


7 Larry Carmadelle Jr October 19, 2010 at 11:37 am

PCB needs to bring back MSAP to its original glory,no matter where it is located.Pier Park would be great,but how about another amusement company come in and by back the original MSAP site and make it into the great family amusement park it once was and can be again.Just like other family parks around the country,we need to preserve our traditions and show the cond developers that MSAP is back for ever.


8 Ed February 18, 2011 at 4:29 pm

All you have to do is fine someone with millions to buy back the property, more millions to buy back or buy new rides, millions more to install them and then millions more for start-up cost. Then you need to find someone that would do this when they know they will never make enough money for a decent return on what they invested. Keep dreaming.