Way back when Apollo’s Chariot made it’s debut, it featured the original 4 across B&M mega coaster train design, and for the longest time, that’s the way things were. It wasn’t until 2008, when Canada’s Wonderland opened Behemoth, was there an alternative design. The new design featured staggered “stadium seating.” Giving each seat a more open air feel, and in turn, due to the longer more spread out cars, each train is longer, resulting in varied experiences depending on whether you sit at the front or back.
Something else that changed with the seating layout, is the zero car. As you can probably tell from the pictures, the original design, used on Leviathan, has a sunk in triangle pointed out, and in the new staggered layout, it has more rounded design, with a raised, rounded point in the middle. This change may be purely aesthetic, as the zero car design has varied on staggered trains on all B&M megas with them, as Diamondback, and Intimidator have unique designs.
In 2011, Bolliger and Mabillard unveiled their wing coaster design with the prototype Raptor at Gardaland. Obviously it did well, because this season, 3 more wing coasters by B&M were opened to the world.
The Swarm at Thorpe park was one of the first to open in March, and it features post-apocalyptic theming. If this was a CoasterPoll for the best themed wing coaster, this would win hands down. The station building is themed to a destroyed church, and there’s a mock 747 crash, plus it features a Manta-like splash effect.
Six Flags Great America also opened a wing coaster this year, instead opting for a more , going for the name X-Flight. Despite the lack of intense theming, it is definetly on a higher scale than other “iron rides” at the park, with keyhole openings. Plus, both X-Flight and the Swarm have “dive drops” which is where at the top of the lift, you do half a heartline roll, then drop though a sort of half loop.
The third wing coaster to open is the awesome Wild Eagle at Dollywood. It’s layout is a classic B&M inversion layout with back-to-back inversions throughout the layout. Additionally, I like how the trains are themed to eagles, and even though the theming isn’t as intricate as it is with the other wing coasters, I think that’s appropriate in the park’s setting.
Now that we’ve reviewed them, which of these cool wing coasters is your favourite?
Every roller coaster ever made needs some way to give the train momentum. Usually, that comes in the form of a drop. But, drops require height, and how do coaster trains reach that height? With lift hills! But, a bunch of manufacturers have said to themselves, “Does it have to be a hill” and have created some wicked ways of lifing riders to that first drop. Lets take a look, at some weird lifts:
Zamperla Volare Rotating Lift
One odd lift system I’ve encountered in my trips to theme parks is the spiral lift found on Zamperla’s Volare flying coaster. Instead of a linear chain lift, a central rotating structure makes contact with your car and pushes you up the spiral track.
Max RPM Ferris Wheel Lift
This lift hill, found at the shuttered Hard Rock Park/Freestyle Music Park, features a one-of-a-kind “ferris wheel lift.” Trains exit the station and enter their own little section of the wheel, then it rotates so you move around the centre and end up at the top. Once at the top, you are pushed forward out onto the running course of the coaster.
G-Force Loop Lift
I don’t think it gets any weirder than inverting ON the lift. On the Maurer Sohne created G-Force at Drayton Manor, riders are puled up the first half at the loop, and once at the top, you are set free from the lift and you finish the loop and go through the rest of the coaster’s twisted layout.
Over the past month or so, we’ve heard plenty of rumours of where we’ll see new coasters for next year. But some coasters that have become very evident are some new wooden coasters. Lets take a look at some of the new RMC and GCI projects for next season;
The first, and by far the most obvious one is the Rocky Mountain Coasters project at Silver Dollar City. The rumoured name for this coaster is the Outlaw, as hinted to in the attraction’s teaser site: http://silverdollarcity2013.com/ From what we can see so far, this ride looks like the New Texas Giant’s successor, with a super steep drop, intense banking, and the one thing that’s got everybody talking: the zero-g roll.
What was originally looking like an extreme over-banked curve, is now looking like the first inversion on a wooden roller coaster since Son of Beast’s loop! Plus, this particular inversion continues after inverting, because it has a pullout in the same rolling fashion!
I don’t know why the park doesn’t just announce the ride officially, because the gargantuan lift structure is visible from the nearby steam train. But, on the upside, it gives us websites easy access to construction photos! This coaster is definitely one to watch!
On a lesser note, when Cedar Fair opted out of selling California’s Great America, they promised, and we all knew that they would be adding new rides and roller coasters to replace the ones that were removed in the past decade. So, for the 2013 season, it looks like they’re finally pulling the trigger on the planned GCI wooden coaster! The planned coaster would be located at the park’s entrance, and wrap around the Star Tower observation ride. The layout sort of reminds me of the recent Wodan at Europa Park.
We’ve already seen land clearing for this ride, plus some rather obvious signs, so we can pretty much guarantee seeing this ride open next year!
Check out the leaked layout, and I think that the first drop curving around the observation tower will create some great photos in the future! (Image by Screamscape)
Finally, Six Flags recently announce that the Rattler at Six Flags Fiesta Texas will be closing on August 5. Is this leading to a Iron Horse treatment to turn this ageing woody into the Rattler: Reborn? Hopefully this will reopen with a new track profile next year because the New Teas Giant transformation looks fantastic, and I can’t wait to see what RMC might have in store for the Rattler, especially with it’s unique terrain.
That’s all we know about wooden coasters for next year, so far. So far, which project sounds the most intriguing?
The second interpretation of the Manta coaster concept just opened at SeaWorld San Diego, and seeing as they are so different, I think it’s just about appropriate to compare them on PureCoaster. Now, I’m going to compare them in three subtopics before the poll, just so we can learn a little about these coaster cousins.
Type of Coaster:
The original Manta at SeaWorld Orlando is a flying coaster by B&M, meanwhile the new Manta at SeaWorld San Diego is a MACK launch coaster. These coasters couldn’t be more different when it comes to classification, and layout. In Orlando, you see four inversions, one of which is a gargantuan pretzel loop. On the other hand, in San Diego it’s very low to the ground with lots of tight high speed curves.
What is to me the most iconic thing about these coasters is the splashdown. The one in Orlando is very grand, and very showy, meanwhile the new one in San Diego is more subtle, and likewise more realistic. Both are very unique effects that have become a sort of trade mark for SeaWorld.
Seeing as they are different makes of coaster by different manufacturers, the trains for these coasters are quite different. The stylized B&M flying coaster trains in Orlando have a grand manta ray at the front of each train, plus cute smaller mantas at the front of each car, and on the MACK mega coaster trains in San Diego, they have a beautiful, gigantic manta at the front.
Personally, I think the original Manta in Orlando better mimics the sensation of being a manta, but due to height restrictions in San Diego they were forced to modify the concept, and in my opinion, they got a less than spectacular result. My vote is to the flying coaster at SeaWorld Orlando.
Now that they’re all had the chance to open, I think it’s about time that we put 2012’s literally biggest coasters up together in a CoasterPoll. Yes you heard me right, I’m talking about the MEGA coasters. Now this year, we saw not one, or two, but three new mega coasters open to the world. Now, I’ve heard nothing but good things about all of these coasters, but I think it’s nessecary to talk about all of them.
First, we have Leviathan at Canada’s Wonderland. Now, this is a coaster that we at PureCoaster have consistently covered. In short, it’s speed, speed, speed! Every element is executed with speed and grace. To read about the world’s fourth giga coaster, check out our previous post: https://purecoaster.wordpress.com
Next up, Skyrush at Hershey Park. Now based on Hershey Park’s history with Intamin, it’s no surprise that Intamin built this coaster instead of B&M. The layout for this ride is spectacular, and many are calling it the successor to i305. Airtime, high speed/high g curves, this coaster has a bit of everything!
Finally Shambhala, B&M’s second mega coaster for 2012.
Another instant classic B&M Hyper, and it has plenty of airtime, a cool splashdown element and that unique turn-around element, (I don’t know what else to call it.)
Now, 1998 may have seen the release of B&M Dive Machines, but 1999 was when two new coaster classes emerged from B&M. It was in 1999 that they unveiled their very first hyper coasters and floorless coasters to the world. Personally, these two classes of B&M coasters, are real winners in my book, but what about in yours?
B&M hyper coasters……
……. or B&M floorless coasters?
B&M released two new concepts in one year, which is better?
The Golden Ticket Awards, or GTAs for short, are a little bit infamous regarding their selection of coasters to be in their famed “Top 10 Steel Coasters” list. Currently the ride that owns the title of “#1 Steel Coaster is Intamin’s first giga coaster Millennium Force, but is it possible that B&M’s first giga coaster will match it on this scale?
….compete with this?
In the 2011 GTAs Top Steel Coasters, Intamin’s Millennium Force and Bizarro take the top two spots, but right behind them, sit Nitro and Goliath, (SFOG,) also B&M Mega coasters. Can B&M’s first giga match these four amazing coasters? How do you think Leviathan will place in the GTAs this year?
If you haven’t gotten a chance to ride Leviathan, check out this POV:
Intamin LSM Launch coasters have been around for a bit, but the newest generation of LIMs has created such a versatile ride system, that when it comes to comparing such roller coasters, you can spot few similarities. From Maverick, (featuring a lift and a launch,) to iSpeed, (a compact 70mph launch coaster with elements that pack a punch,) to Cheetah Hunt, (a terrain coaster with not one or two, but three launches.)
But although these rides are so different, they can still be put head to head as all coasters can. Vote for your favourite below!
When Wonderland opened for the 2011 season, a fence appeared near Speed City Raceway, and immediately the speculation on what Wonderland had up their sleeve began. But in August, it was released that in 2012, a new B&M Giga would be premiering at the park.
Featuring a whopper 306ft lift hill, a top speed of 148km/h, and a bunch of classic elements, it is quite the coaster.
Now I will admit, I wasn’t thrilled when the ride was announced back in August. I was actually a little upset, (I really wanted a B&M floorless,) but as I’ve seen it rise, now I’m really looking forward to riding it, and personally I think it is an excellent addition to the park.
The GTA Top Four Steel Coasters are made up of Millennium Force, Bizarro, (SFNE,) and two B&M Hypers. However, the two Intamin Megas are always the top two and have been battling it out for years trying to maintain control of that desirable top spot. But out of that top four, which do you think should actually hold the title of #1 Roller Coaster?
Over the years the famed rollercoaster manufacturer B&M has had many models, and one that they have phased out of is their classic sit-down. Five were built, and all, (ok most,) of them are still popular today. They are all very good rides, and enthusiasts mark them as must rides at any park. But which actually deserves to be classified the best of what is now a piece of B&M’s history?
From 96ft to 418ft, 90 degrees to 121 degrees. Vertical drop coasters are all different. From layout, to drop, to trains, to maker. It’s as if no two are the same. It’s the same for the manufacturers. They all make their drops and rides differently. So, which is your favourite vertical drop coaster manufacturer? (Yes I am counting Kingda Ka for dramatic reasons)
The Cedar Pair parks together have a very diverse collection, including launch coasters. Their coasters vary from park to park from height, to maker, to car, to setting! But it’s time to pick your favorite:
There’s been some recent talk over the installation on Deja Vu at SFNE. Some say the ride isn’t “worthy” of the name Goliath. And it got me thinking; which ride really deserves the right to call itself Goliath?