Coasters Galore - November 2017
|Rendering of the towering first drop of “Steel Vengeance” (Credit: Cedar Point)|
Cedar Fair announced four major, new roller coasters for its parks in 2018, each with its own significant distinction in the industry. Perhaps drawing the most interest is “Steel Vengeance,” the re-creation of the “Mean Streak” wooden coaster at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, that ran for 25 years. But “RailBlazer” at California’s Great America, “Twisted Timbers” at Kings Dominion, and “HangTime” at Knott’s Berry Farm are each stirring considerable excitement in their respective regions.
Speculation was rampant about what would be done with “Mean Streak” at Cedar Point ever since autumn 2016 when a Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) truck was spotted near the coaster. RMC has made quite a name for itself the past few years with its conversion of a half-dozen older wooden coasters into dazzling “hybrids”—coasters with a wood frame that feature a steel IBox Track. Cedar Point made the official announcement about “Steel Vengeance” in August.
At 205 feet tall, the ride will be the first hybrid coaster to ever exceed 200 feet—what’s being termed a “hyper hybrid.” It will feature a 200-foot drop and reach 74 mph. Multiple airtime hills and four inversions follow, and what the park describes as a first-of-its-kind “twisted snake dive,” a maneuver where the coaster train enters a half-barrel roll, hangs upside down for a moment, then turns back into the direction of travel. “Steel Vengeance” will be an enormous structure and contain 5,740 feet of track.
“When we add a new roller coaster to Cedar Point, it’s important that it has a distinct experience from the other coasters, and ‘Steel Vengeance’ definitely provides that,” says Jason McClure, the park’s vice president and general manager. “It’s going to be a smooth experience on the steel track, but we kept that wooden structure and that look.”
“RailBlazer” at California’s Great America in Santa Clara, California, will introduce a groundbreaking new single-rail steel coaster concept from RMC. The coaster trains ride on only one rail of track that the designers say amplifies all of the ride’s elements and enables more dynamic turns and rotations than have ever been possible on a coaster before. “RailBlazer’s” eight-passenger trains will carry riders sitting single file to a height of 106 feet before dropping them face down at a 90-degree angle. The coaster will reach speeds of 52 mph over 1,800 feet of track and offer several steeply banked turns and inversions.
Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California, will debut the first dive coaster on the West Coast of the United States with “HangTime,” a 2,198-foot-long steel ride from Gerstlauer Amusement Rides GmbH. It will offer a 150-foot, 96-degree drop over the park’s boardwalk area and include five inversions. Knott’s says the ride will be only the second roller coaster in the Western Hemisphere to feature a negative-G stall loop, which provides riders the sensation of floating.
Another Cedar Fair coaster will be reborn in 2018 through an RMC makeover, this time at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia. After operating for more than 20 years as a traditional wooden coaster, “The Hurler” will transform into “Twisted Timbers,” a hybrid coaster like “Steel Vengeance” featuring a steel IBox Track. The 3,351-foot-long ride will feature a 109-foot-tall barrel-roll drop, three inversions, and three overbanked turns. The park says “Twisted Timbers” will offer 20 airtime hills and will be the first hybrid coaster in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.