Back in August, I waited nearly an hour to ride Iron Dragon at Cedar Point. I’d ridden Iron Dragon countless times on past trips to the park, mostly because of its notoriously short line. But on this August evening, the ride was different—Cedar Point had implemented a virtual reality experience the season before—and I was curious to try it out before leaving the park.
Wonder Woman at Six Flags Fiesta Texas and RailBlazer at California's Great America will open as the world's first single-rail coasters—meaning that they will run on one extra-wide beam of steel. As clones, the two coasters share a lot in common, but they each have minor differences that set them apart. Let's take a look at what makes the Raptor coaster so unique and then compare two models opening next year.
In our recent series about the history of roller coasters, we looked at six key rides that launched the amusement industry into a new era. From the Matterhorn Bobsleds revolutionizing the steel coaster to Magnum XL-200 starting the "Roller Coaster Wars," the industry has been constantly changing as new and better roller coasters are introduced. Over the past decade, it's become clear that we've reached the end of the Roller Coaster Wars. Kingda Ka has stood as the world's tallest roller coaster since 2006, and with forces as high as they are on Formula Rossa, it seems unlikely that any ride will break 150 miles per hour. With the race of the record-breaking steel coaster drawing to a close, what trends can we expect from the amusement industry going forward?
Dollywood’s record-breaking wooden coaster was expected to shatter all expectations when it opened in April. The problem? It didn’t open until May, and then suffered from a series of issues with its launch system, causing it to shut down. Since then, Lightning Rod has been in and out of technical ride rehearsal, disappointing many enthusiasts who visited the park solely to catch a ride on the coaster. For me, this long summer of waiting proves that innovation comes at a cost.
With its long-awaited opening last weekend, Fury 325 became the tallest and fastest non-launching roller coaster in the world. Stretching 325 feet in the air, this monster of a coaster towers menacingly over Carowinds's other rides. Swiftly winding its way to the front of the park, the coaster's sleek train dives under the stunning new entrance. Fury is super tall, super fast, and super smooth. It's been looked forward to like few others before it. But does it have what it takes to make a model coaster?