Stand Up Coasters, a lost generation.

Stand up coasters, you all know them. Back in the day, they were a top innovation with roller coasters, being able to ride standing up added another element of thrill to a ride. But sadly, now stand-up coasters seem disregarded and neglected. Not the individual coasters, but the overall design. It’s been over a decade since a new stand up coaster opened, and I’m starting to think we might never see a new one again. Lets take a look and learn a little bit about this classic class of forgotten coasters.

Three coaster manufacturers produced this class of coaster, and between B&M, Intamin, and Togo, 16 of these classic coasters were made, and 13 are still operating.

The stand up coaster concept was first unveiled to the world by now defunct Togo in 1984, with the also now defunct King Cobra at Kings Island. Then, in 1986, Intamin entered the market with Shockwave at Six Flags Magic Mountain, (later “rotated” to Six Flags Great Adventure, Six Flags Astroworld, and currently in storage at Darien Lake.) But this was still before the famed B&M was formed. After Walter Bolliger and Claude Mabillard broke away from Intamin, they created Iron Wolf at Six Flags Great America, (now located at Six Flags America under the name Apocalypse.)

Since each manufacturer made their debut in the market, I’d have to say B&M’s stand ups gained the most traction, and once they had hit their stride, they produced great coasters such as Chang, (now Green Lantern,) and Riddler’s Revenge. The last stand-up coaster ever built was also a B&M, and that was the 1999 Georgia Scorcher, at Six Flags Over Georgia, in 1999, over 10 years ago!

Nobody really knows why these coasters are no longer constructed. Maybe the manufacturers decided to move on, or maybe it was simply because every park that wanted one, already had one. However, despite the lack of new construction, Six Flags, not one to let a coaster go, is recycling their coasters with their re-born ride rotation program. These rides may be down, but they’re not out. Six Flags has relocated Kentucky Kingdom’s Chang to Six Flags Great Adventure where it’s now known as Green Lantern, additionally, this season Six Flags Great America’s classic Iron Wolf will be reborn as Apocalypse at Six Flags America. I’m glad to see these coasters aren’t being sold for scrap, as I find most of the more modern ones to be quite enjoyable!

In short, stand up coasters are a lost generation of coasters, and we very well may never see a new one built. So lets take the time to appreciate the ones we have before they go, like the classic quote says,

You don’t know what you have, until it’s gone.

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