Compact Thrills

As theme parks develop, parks become more and more pressed for space. So, manufacturers are adapting to this problem by creating coasters that have a small footprint. There have been numerous “compact thrills” made, lets take a look at my favourites;

Maurer Sohne/Premier SkyLoop

Another compact coaster design is the SkyLoop, of which there are many varieties. The original maker Maurer Sohne advertises four different layouts. The most popular one is very simple. All you do is go up to the top of the loop via  a vertical lift hill, do a complete heartline roll so you end up upside down again, then drop down the other half loop ending up back at the station. There are also extended and launched versions by Maurer Sohne.

But, for this season, Premier has opened their own version of the SkyLoop at Six Flags Discover Kingdom. This time, instead of using a vertical lift hill to elevate the vehicles, Premier’s uses a shuttle launch to get riders to the top of the 150ft coaster. Then, riders do a heartline roll, similar to the Skyloop coasters by Maurer Sohne, but, instead of going right back to the station, riders then go though a non-inverting loop and after completing the element and ending up back in a elevated position, riders then go through the final plummet to reach the station. Read more about Superman Ultimate Flight at our previous post:

Intamin Impulse

What is arguably the first “compact thrill” is Intamin’s Impulse coaster. This design is a linear shuttle launch coaster with two towers that the train goes back and forth between. Intamin has built 4 variations of this concept, but none stray as far from the original concept as the modified V2 at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. Originally it had two vertical towers, one spike, and one twisting tower. However, due to discovered height restrictions, the ride was modified to have one, shortened spike tower, and a 45 degree incline section with a heartline roll, (I’m starting to see an inversion trend!)

Intamin Zacspin

Following the success of their other compact thrill the impulse coaster, Intamin launched their new Zacspins, where riders board coaster cars where the seats spin freely, (unlike the controlled x2.) So the layout consists of the car being pulled to the top of the ride, then on the way down there are dips and rises, that in turn cause your seats to tip, and often flip! There are two versions of the zacspin, one being where you just do one, very big drop surely causing seat flips, and the other with lots of levels, hills and bumps. An example of the latter is Green Lantern: First Flight at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Which compact thrill do you like?

First and Third Photo Credit RCDB

Second Photo Credit Joyrides


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