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The Elvis Tour of Memphis


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Zippin Pippin
The Elvis Tour of Memphis
Photo Courtesy of Stephen M. Shutts
940 Early Maxwell Boulevard
Memphis, TN 38104

The Zippin Pippin is one of the country's oldest wooden roller coasters. It was built in 1912 and was moved to its current location at the Mid-South Fairgrounds in 1923. In 1976, an amusement park called Libertyland was built around the coaster. Elvis, himself, loved the Zippin Pippin and would occasionally rent out the entire amusement park so that he could ride it without interruption. In fact, a sign posted at the coaster's entrance reads:

"The Zippin Pippin was Elvis Presley's favorite ride. The "King" rented Libertyland August 8, 1977 from 1:15 am to 7 am. to entertain a group of about 10 guests. Decked in a blue jumpsuit with black leather belt, huge belt buckle with turquoise studs and gold chains, the "King" rode the Zippin Pippin repeatedly during a two-hour period. He lost his belt buckle on the ride that morning, and it was found and returned the next day. Elvis's Libertyland rental became his last public appearance. He died August 16."

In 2005, Libertyland closed its gates, citing financial difficulties. The Zippin Pippin was finally sold to an amusement park in Wisconsin and is no longer in Memphis.

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