All pictures were taken from the various websites of the parks who are installing these coasters. All POV videos courtesy of YouTube. Credit goes to the various users and parks.
I apologize for not writing a post in a few weeks. Between going back to work, coaching football and taking care of side work that I get paid for, I have had zero time to sit down and write a single post. With all of the announcements over the past couple of weeks, I wanted to take some time to give my take and feelings on some of the coasters coming in 2018. I’ve asked Tad-- Instagram:@unpopularcoasteropinions to collaborate on this post with me, because I always feel like having some dialogue among multiple people can point out anything any of us forget to say or might have overlooked.
With that, let’s talk about the coasters…
RMC Hybrid Hypercoaster
Cedar Point - Sandusky, Ohio
Ever since the “Mean Streak gets the axe” video just under a year ago, it had been rumored that the coaster would get the iron horse treatment from Rocky Mountain Construction. All offseason and throughout the first couple months of this season, Cedar Point and Tony Clark specifically have been teasing some kind of wild west theme. I sort of expected it, since Frontiertown has been overlooked for years. I’m hoping the entire area gets an overhaul. A couple flat rides and other themed restaurants and whatnot could accomplish that. For the past several months, we’ve watched the track and structure go up as people predicted possible launches, a dueling coaster (this one still makes me laugh) and other elements. Finally, on National Roller Coaster Day, we got the answer. The three wanted posters represented Wyatt “Digger” Dempsey, Chess “Wild One” Watkins and their leader, Jackson “Blackjack” Chamberlain, who have returned to Frontiertown to end Maverick’s reign. The storyline is really cool, but I hope that -- in typical Cedar Fair fashion -- they don’t essentially abandon any other kind of theming. I always thought the props in the infield of New Texas Giant were a cool touch and while I don’t care all that much about theming as long as the ride is well-done, it would be cool for Cedar Point to finally start doing some actual theming within rides themselves.
Now, I will say Cedar Point did a heck of a job not letting anything leak. Even though they allowed their 50 contest winners to see a POV the day before, they didn’t reveal the name, train design or anything until that day. That was pretty amazing to me seeing how Valravn, Rougarou and Gatekeeper had all leaked well before the announcement date.
Now, anybody who knows Cedar Point (and I do since it is my home park), knows that if they were going to do this, they were going all out to break more records…
So some stats for Steel Vengeance:
Ride duration: 2 minutes, 30 seconds
Height: 205 feet (tallest hybrid coaster and only hybrid coaster over 200 feet)
Top speed: 74 mph (at bottom of first drop, fastest hybrid coaster)
Track length: 5,740 feet (longest hybrid coaster by length)
Inversions: 4 (most inversions on a hybrid coaster)
First drop angle: 90 degrees (steepest drop on a hybrid coaster)
First drop height: 200 feet (longest drop on a hybrid coaster)
Airtime: 27.3 seconds (most airtime on any hybrid coaster or any coaster in general in the world)
Additionally, the first airtime hill, which is that little bump after the first drop, will be at 73 mph, which is the fastest airtime hill on any coaster in the world.
As the train crests the lift hill and plummets down the 90 degree which is sure to throw riders out of their seat. Riders reach a maximum speed of 74 miles an hour before a speed hill which will provide insane ejector airtime. The coaster sends riders up a top hat which will send riders out of their seat with negative and lateral g force. Riders soar through an outward banked turn will also send riders straight out of their seats as well. The train conquers a crazy double up before a awesome zero-g-roll. After a banked turn riders will be hanging out of their seats on a zero-g-stall before two more amazing airtime moments in the double down and double up. Another pop of airtime will throw you out of your seat before the train glides through the mid-course brake run which will thankfully only slow the train down just a little bit before turning and dropping riders down into a double up which will once again throw riders out of their seats. Thrill seekers conquer an outward banked turn which will also provide lots of airtime. Riders soar through an overbanked turn before gliding through a zero-g-roll. The trains are thrown into two amazing ejector bunny hills before yet another crazy overbanked turn. Riders soar through one last zero-g-roll before another great overbanked turn before the insane finale of 6 back to back crazy ejector airtime hills that are the perfect way to end what could be the greatest coaster ever built.
My take: I think the thing that impresses me the most is the amount of airtime. Think about that: almost half-a-minute of airtime. That is completely nuts. That first bump after the drop at 73 mph is going to be insane. I also can’t wait to experience the double-up into the first inversion. When you look at it from the side and on the POV, it just looks bizarre to be climbing upwards into an inversion from almost on the ground. As with all RMCs, I expect it to be butter smooth and for the elements to feel incredible. The trains look really cool too and I’m hoping they have one for us to sit and take pictures in at Winter Chill Out next year.
Six Flags Over Georgia - Austell, GA
I am still beyond confused at all of the teasers that point towards a Joker free-spin going to Six Flags Over Georgia. I think when it was announced that Georgia Cyclone would close, most people guessed that it would be getting the RMC treatment, and now it has been confirmed. Now, Georgia Cyclone had a very small footprint and the biggest complaint I’ve heard since the announcement (in the middle of the night for some reason) was that the coaster itself has weak elements and/or it is too short. I can see where those complaints could be made, but at the same time, Six Flags Over Georgia hasn’t gotten anything worthwhile since Dare Devil Dive in 2011 and Goliath in 2006. It is a good addition regardless of the complaints. My main complaint with it actually is that the logo looks like it was done by a 4th grader in PhotoShop. I do like the way the blue track looks however.
The train leaves the station and rolls over two miniscule bunny hops before entering the 100 foot tall lift hill. The coaster twists slightly before the 75 degree drop which will be packed with airtime. Riders will reach a maximum speed of 50 miles an hour before twisting up into the twisted horseshoe roll which will leave riders hanging from their seats during two inversions. Guests will fly out of there seat on an outward wave turn. The coaster will come up with a moment of airtime into an intense overbanked turn before throwing riders out of their seats again on the way down as well. Thrill seekers will soar through a zero-g-roll before a bunny hop which will once again throw riders out of their seats. Riders will conquer a few bunny hops and banked turns before hitting the final brake run.
The trains will be modeled after a 1960s-era sports convertible. The track was shortened to approximately 2400 feet, making it one of the smallest RMCs by length. I feel like it will be a good, but not great, ride. But I also feel that like Fahrenheit at Hersheypark, this ride will end up being a general public magnet and should shorten up some of the lines on rides like Goliath.
Kings Dominion - Doswell, VA
While all of the teasers for Twisted Timbers were really interesting and cryptic, I thought the announcement itself was weird and not all that interesting. It didn’t help the stats and logo leaked a couple days prior to the announcement. The name doesn’t really bother me all that much, but the fact that the clue about “candy apple grove” led people to think the name would be something like “bad apple” or “rotten apple” was pretty hilarious looking back on it. In terms of the ride -- while it will still be better than Hurler was, I wasn’t all that impressed with the stats. I think people that have compared it to Storm Chaser are pretty spot on.
The experience starts with a 111 foot tall lift hill before a turnaround into the barrel roll downdrop which will hang riders upside down for fear of their lives. A quick speed hill at 54 miles an hour is sure to throw riders out of their seat before an awesome overbanked turn which will submerge riders in intensity. Riders are thrown out of their seats again with another speed hill before 3 consecutive ejector airtime hills which will be absolutely stunning. Yet another speed hill will also force riders into their restraints. The trains soar through at cutback which will also leave riders dangling from their seats. A few more bunny hops before a trick track double up along with more bunny hills and a twisted airtime hill will easily bless riders with lots of ejector airtime. A zero-g-roll will once again give riders the sensation of incredible hang time before the finale: two banked turns before three final moments of ejector which are all sure to throw you out of your seat.
Personally, I think that this is one of the few situations where adding an RMC to a park will be a great addition, but still not the best ride in the park. However, the ride experience should be really neat in terms of the airtime, barrel roll drop and intensity. It’s a great addition to Kings Dominion, and I think those people complaining need to understand that not every RMC can be a massive build like Steel Vengeance.
Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster / RailBlazer
Six Flags Fiesta Texas - San Antonio, TX and California’s Great America - Santa Clara, CA
On August 3 and August 16, 2017, respectively, SFFT and CGA announced the first additions of RMC’s single-rail “raptor” coaster. Strangely (at least in my eyes), they are mirror-image clones going to one Six Flags park and one Cedar Fair park. These installations will be the first of their kind, so I will really be interested to see how reliable they are. Each will have 3 trains which hold 8 single-seated riders. I’m not sure how well this will do in terms of capacity, but the thought of it is kind of scary to be honest.
After exiting the station, the train immediately ascends the 45-degree, 113/106 foot tall lift hill before going into a pre-drop and a bank before a slight rise into the 100/106 foot drop at 90 degrees which will definitely provide strong floater airtime. At the bottom of the drop, you soar at a maximum speed of 52 mph before flying into a dive loop. The train glides through a twisted airtime hill which will definitely give riders a strong sense of floater airtime. The train conquers a half loop then meanders around a bit before giving dipping down into a cutback and zero-g-roll which will surely give riders a lot hang time. The coasters bank you to the right or left then into the first ejector airtime moment of the ride before hitting the brakes.
Despite being a mirror image clone, RailBlazer rises 106 feet and drops 106 feet. The theming on RailBlazer seems to be better, as Six Flags has kind of played out the superhero theming at this point. I’m not sure I like the color scheme or the logo for either, but the Route 1 theming on RailBlazer is much better in my opinion.
Mack Spinning Launched Coaster
Silver Dollar City - Branson, MO
For a few months leading up to announcement day, Silver Dollar City had been moving around land and beginning to build something that people knew was going to be special, just not what that was. Eventually, Herschend Entertainment got trademarks for a couple different names, one of which was “Time Traveler”. Given the theming of Silver Dollar City, that was the trademark that seemed to make the most sense, and as footers and a station popped up, people started to predict what might be coming to the Ozarks. Eventually it was revealed that not only would Time Traveler be a Mack spinning coaster, but this would feature two launches and three inversions, the only coaster of its type.
People really began to get excited when a photo popped up showing a 90 degree drop right out of the station. I’ve always been fascinated that parks like Silver Dollar City, Kennywood and others are able to use the terrain so well, and Time Traveler will be another great example of that.
The ride starts with an exhilarating 90 degree drop right out of the station, with a holding brake included. The train rises up and twists down during a dive loop. Riders will be thrown back and forth before stopping to prepare for the launch. Guests will launch to a top speed of 47 miles per hour in just three seconds. Using that momentum, the coaster sends you into a banked turn and through a vertical loop which will have an abundance of hang time. The train twists up and down before a zero-g-roll that will also leave you hanging in your seat. The car turns into a pop of borderline ejector airtime before accelerating up to 45 miles an hour. Riders will soar into an overbanked turn before twisting up into the final brake run.
Gerstlauer Infinity (Dive) Coaster
Knott’s Berry Farm - Buena Park, CA
The final announcement of National Roller Coaster Day came around 11pm from the west coast. Knott’s had been hinting since the removal of Boomerang that they would be replacing it with something everyone would like. The day before the announcement, their final teaser even included the word “infinity” and by process of elimination, people figured out the name and the coaster type. What they didn’t know was that this coaster would be the first and only dive coaster on the west coast. The announcement for HangTime was sort of strange as there was a tour that didn’t really reveal anything and then a video introducing the ride that seemed much more informal than many of the others.
After ascending a 90 degree 150 foot tall lift hill, riders descend into a holding brake before being dropped 96 degrees into pure oblivion. Guests twist into a pretzel knot which consists of a dive loop and an Immelmann which will provide great hang time. The train glides into a vertical loop which will leave riders hanging from their seats. The cars soar through an overbanked turn before a fierce pop of ejector airtime. Thrill seekers will conquer a cobra roll which combines whip, intensity, and hang time. The coaster give riders one last moment of ejector airtime before the brake run.
*NOTE: This is a fan-made POV in NoLimits2 -- not an official one from the park. It appears to match up with what we know, but the actual POV might show some variation in the elements.