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News

Time Traveler and Twisted Timbers Now Open

We’ve finally reached that exciting time of year when amusement parks begin opening for the season. The new coasters we’ve heard so much about have passed the final stages of testing and are now opening to their first riders. The first major rides to open in 2018 have been Time Traveler at Silver Dollar City and Twisted Timbers at Kings Dominion. Judging by their POVs, the coasters turned out every bit as good as we hoped they would.

Time Traveler

Branded as the world’s tallest and fastest spinning coaster, Time Traveler is the first of a more intense line of spinning coasters from Mack Rides. The coaster begins with a ten-story vertical drop out of the station and maneuvers through three inversions during the ride.

 

After looking through pictures of the coaster, I was impressed by the attention to detail in the theming, from the queue to the trains.

The experience itself seems to be family friendly but intense enough to attract the thrill seekers. As for the spinning factor, Mack Rides has equipped the ride with an onboard magnetic brake to prevent the rotations from getting out of control—making for a slow glide to one side through each ride element. According to the park, no two rides on the coaster are the same.

Twisted Timbers

Meanwhile, Twisted Timbers at Kings Dominion has also opened, making it Cedar Fair’s first operating coaster from Rocking Mountain Construction.

Image © Guy LaRocca

After a Storm-Chaser-esque barrel roll drop, the the twisted steel snakes its way around the layout in an unbroken sequence of airtime hills and inversions. I knew the finished ride would be longer in length than the original wooden coaster, but the duration of the ride caught me somewhat by surprise when watching the new on-ride POV.

I thought it worth mentioning that Kings Dominion tried their hand at theming the queue. Considering it’s a Cedar Fair park, I’d say they did a pretty good job.

Image © Guy LaRocca

If Time Traveler and Twisted Timbers are any indication of what to expect for this season, 2018 will be a year for coaster enthusiasts to remember!

Are you planning to catch a ride on either coaster this year? Leave a comment below.

Read next: Top New Roller Coasters for 2018

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Announcements Construction News

Kings Dominion Renames Two Rides in Candy Apple Grove

Along with Twisted Timbers, Kings Dominion has been giving the Candy Apple Grove section of the park a facelift. Improvements include repaving the midway, adding a new plaza, upgrading the restrooms, and adding new seating.

The park also announced that it will be renaming two of its rides: Richochet and Rebel Yell. Richochet will become “Apple Zapple” and will receive a red paint scheme. While I’m not crazy about the name, I think that tying the ride into the area is a great idea.

The other name change has sparked some controversy among the enthusiast community, as the legendary Rebel Yell racing coaster will now be known as Racer 75. Kings Dominion describes the name as a nod to its 1975 entry into the park as well as giving recognition to ACE, or the American Coaster Enthusiasts (rACEr 75). This second statement is pushing it a little, as the coaster club wasn’t founded until 1978.

While this move is clearly an attempt to remain politically correct, I’m cool with a name change as long as it is reflective of the ride’s past. Racer 75, though, is about as bland of a name as they could have picked, and will be sure to prick the nostalgia of long-time visitors. The ride isn’t 75 feet tall, Racer already exists at Kings Island, and the trains only race on crowded days. I just wish the park could have picked a more creative name.

Meanwhile, Twisted Timbers is nearly ready for testing and construction crews are finishing up the electrical and mechanical side of the ride. I’ll close out with a picture from Kings Dominion.

Read next: Kings Dominion Reveals Twisted Timbers for 2018

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Announcements Lists News

Top New Roller Coasters for 2018

It’s a new year, and that means theme park fans are putting their 2018 park trips on the calendar and keeping those coaster POVs on repeat. With every year comes a host of new coasters, and if 2017’s lineup was lackluster, this year is determined to make up for it. With over 150 coasters opening in 2018, I had a harder time than usual narrowing down my top picks, but I managed to filter them down to the best of the best. Here are my top 15 most anticipated coasters for 2018.

Harley Quinn Crazy Coaster

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom announced that they would be building the world’s first Skywarp model. The ride, designed by Skyline Attractions, will feature two trains that duel as they race through a 62-foot vertical figure eight. The coaster will be powered by drive tires and the trains will be connected to keep them at a consistent distance from one another. Interestingly enough, the ride’s Raptor track will be manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction.

Electric Eel

SeaWorld San Diego plans to add their tallest coaster yet, a Premiere Rides Sky Rocket II. Electric Eel will launch riders backward and forward through the station before cresting a 150-foot hill and spiraling through an inverted heartline roll.

Tantrum

After removing their popular Thunder Rapids log flume, Darien Lake promised to replace it with something even better. They went on to announce Tantrum, a 100-foot Euro-Fighter from Gerstlauer with a beyond-vertical drop and an Immelmann.

Fēnix

A relatively small B&M wing coaster will be coming to Toverland for 2018. After climbing to height of 130 feet, the coaster will take riders through a dive drop, Immelmann, and zero-g roll.

Wing coasters are known for their elaborate train designs, and Fēnix will be no exception. The bright orange trains will feature detailed phoenixes between each row.

Wicker Man

The newly-announced wooden coaster coming to Alton Towers will be packed with theming and special effects.

As the UK’s first new wooden coaster in 21 years, Wicker Man will incorporate wood and fire in a unique way. The ride’s trains will weave through a 60-foot “wicker man” structure that appears to burst into flames.

Wonder Woman Golden Lasso

As one of the first new Raptor coasters from Rocky Mountain Construction, Wonder Woman will treat riders to the first-ever single-rail experience.

With track composed of one wide steel beam, the coaster will seat riders in single file and offer unprecedented views of the train’s surroundings. Wonder Woman will start with a 90-degree drop before executing a dive loop, a cutback, and a corkscrew.

RailBlazer

RailBlazer might be a near clone to Wonder Woman, but California’s Great America’s single-rail model will have a few extra details like ATV-inspired trains and a silent lift hill. Themed to the Californian wilderness, the ride will incorporate scenery and rock structures that the coaster will dive through.

Overall, I’m excited for the potential of RMC’s Raptor coaster. Its compact design and realistic price tag make it a great choice for small parks like Great America.

HangTime

A dive coaster of sorts, HangTime will take riders 150 feet into the air and hold them in a dropping position. The ride will feature a 96-degree drop and five inversions, including a rare negative-g stall loop.

Knott’s Berry Farm isn’t skimping on the lighting package, either. At night, HangTime will come to life with disorienting chase lighting that races the train through each element.

Valkyria

Liseberg’s new dive coaster will take a bold stance as a valkyrie, a winged creature from Norse Mythology that chooses the outcome of a battle. After a 164-foot drop, the ride will swoop through three inversions.

Like most dive coasters, Valkyria will have a relatively short layout. I must say, though, Liseberg is doing a great job tying the ride into their new mythology area. If they implement the attention to detail we see on the station in the concept art, they’ll have a well-themed coaster on their hands.

Twisted Cyclone

In 2018, Six Flags Over Georgia will become the latest Six Flags park to receive an IBox coaster.

While Twisted Cyclone will feature quite a few disorienting maneuvers, including a signature reverse cobra roll, the ride’s layout is noticeably shorter post-conversion. One can’t help but wonder whether Six Flags went low-budget with the transformation. Regardless, the ride is certain to be a welcome addition to Georgia residents who have yet to ride an RMC.

Icon

Designed by Mack Rides, Icon at Blackpool Pleasure Beach will feature a weaving course with two launch sections and an endless series of high-speed over-banks. If there were an award for most efficient layout, Icon would be a likely candidate. The ride will pack in two launches and two inversions while circling inside of Big One’s footprint.

Time Traveler

Beginning with a 10-story vertical drop out of the station, Time Traveler will become the world’s tallest, fastest, and steepest spinning coaster. As the first Xtreme Spinning Coaster of Mack Rides, the coaster is a thrilling new take on the classic family ride. I’m excited to see Silver Dollar City investing in a ride that thrill seekers and their kids can enjoy together.

Twisted Timbers

In 2018, Kings Dominion will join the RMC bandwagon by giving Hurler the iron-horse treatment. Post conversion, the ride will stretch even longer than its wooden predecessor. With a barrel roll drop and a compact layout, Twisted Timbers makes me think of a slightly bigger version of Storm Chaser at Kentucky Kingdom. And that is by all means a good thing.

Hyperion

The new Intamin mega coaster coming to EnergyLandia will feature a 260-foot drop and a seamless layout. The ride will combine Skyrush-inspired turns with the sweeping drops of a B&M hyper coaster.

While we may not have seen many new Intamin coasters here in the United States, Hyperion is proof that the manufacturer is still capable of designing relentless rides that take thrills to the limit. In particular, the Stengel Dive turnaround is a unique element that I would love to see on more coasters.

Steel Vengeance

In 2018, Cedar Point’s Mean Streak will be reborn as the world’s first hyper hybrid coaster, standing at 205 feet tall. RMC outdoes themselves every year, and 2018 will be no exception. Featuring four inversions, Steel Vengeance will be three minutes of out-of-control maneuvers. The ride will never let up—even after the mid-course brake run, the coaster will take to weaving in and out of the coaster’s support structure, providing near misses as it bucks from side to side.


Which new roller coaster are you most excited about for 2018? Leave a comment below!

Categories
Construction News

Construction Continues on Steel Vengeance and Twisted Timbers

Cedar Fair’s first IBox coasters are quickly taking shape, with crews hard at work at both Cedar Point and Kings Dominion. Earlier this month, track installation was completed on Steel Vengeance, and now the Twisted Timbers site is buzzing with activity. The parks have taken to social media to share their progress, and the new coasters are truly works of coaster-art.

The 205-foot hill on Steel Vengeance towers over Lake Erie and puts Mean Streak’s former height to shame. Imagine the ejector air riders will experience on that 90-degree drop!

Cedar Point also shared a few pictures of the track winding its way through the ride’s structure on its final lap around the course. The near-misses will be plentiful on Steel Vengeance for sure.

Now that all of the track has been laid, the park will turn its attention towards adding catwalks and railings to sections of the ride like the lift hill and mid-course break run. When Cedar Point closes for the season, they will add mechanical components such as the chain lift, sensors, and braking systems. At the rate construction is going, Steel Vengeance will be ready for testing in early 2018.

Meanwhile, Twisted Timbers is beginning to take form at Kings Dominion. Ledgers have been installed throughout the layout and the ride’s lift hill has been topped off.

 

It will be exciting to see the coaster’s barrel roll drop up close as construction progresses. For now, we’ll have to content ourselves with the early renderings of the coaster and count off the weeks until Opening Day 2018.

Do you have any thoughts about the progress Rocky Mountain Construction has made on Steel Vengeance and Twisted Timbers? Leave a comment below.

Read next: Everything Cedar Fair Announced for 2018

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Announcements featured News

Everything Cedar Fair Announced for 2018

Last week, Cedar Fair’s parks made their announcements for next year’s new attractions. With Cedar Point, Kings Dominion, Knott’s, and California’s Great America each getting a major new roller coaster, 2018 is sure to be a big year for the chain. Let’s take a look at what each Cedar Fair park will be adding next year.

Categories
Announcements News

Kings Dominion Reveals Twisted Timbers for 2018

Like Cedar Point, Kings Dominion has been hard at work transforming their old wooden coaster into a stunning hybrid from Rocky Mountain Construction. Keeping Hurler’s old layout, the park has intensified the ride’s airtime hills, added overbanked turns and inversions, and given the ride a new name: Twisted Timbers.

Twisted Timbers is themed to a mysterious incident surrounding the Hanover Hill Orchard, which is located just off of the park’s Candy Apple Grove section of the park. On a cloudless day back in 1950, something swept through the thriving apple orchard, shaking the ground and destroying half of the year’s harvest. To this day, no one knows exactly what happened, but riders are invited to experience Twisted Timbers and get an exclusive tour of the evidence preserved from that fateful day.

After boarding the car-themed trains on Twisted Timbers, riders will plunge through a dizzying 109-foot barrel roll drop leading into an overbanked turn. The ride will have a total of 20 airtime moments and three inversions, counting the first drop. Stretching 3,361 feet long, Twisted Timbers will have a longer layout than the original wooden coaster, something unusual for an IBox coaster.

Watch the coaster’s animated on-ride POV below:

Twisted Timbers looks to be a significant improvement from the original ride and I hope that sister park Carowinds will consider doing something similar to their own Hurler wooden coaster. The ride’s barrel roll drop and overall layout reminds me of Storm Chaser at Kentucky Kingdom, only longer. Between Steel Vengeance and Twisted Timbers, I think Cedar Fair has picked some very well-designed replacements for their old wooden coasters.

What do you think about Kings Dominion’s new ride? What other Cedar Fair wooden coasters should get a steel transformation? Share your thoughts below.

Read next: Cedar Fair 2018: Anticipating the Chain’s Next Coasters