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Silver Dollar City's 2018 Coaster is Taking Shape

Rumored to a Mack multi-launch coaster similar to Helix, this 2018 coaster starts off with a bang - or, more precisely, an ~80ft drop straight down into a dive loop. Full announcement coming 8/16 and I can't wait!

Image Credit: http://coasterhub.com/archives/23145
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RMC Mean Streak - The most talked about coaster... ever?

Cedar Point is no stranger to building some of the world's best rides. They've built strata coasters like Top Thrill Dragster, the dueling hybrid coaster Gemini, hyper coaster Magnum XL-200, and the wooden monstrosity Mean Streak. Except Mean Streak was a terrible ride. It was a huge, sure, but absurdly uncomfortable. To this day it's the only coaster that actually caused me pain while I rode it and I'm not alone.

So imagine my joy when I found out that they're tearing (most of) it down to RMC it.

I've talked about RMC quite a bit here for many reasons, not least of which being that they are the most innovative coaster company out there right now. They have a business of transforming older woodies into incredible hybrid coasters and are not doing it to Mean Streak. It will open in 2018 (insert inside joke about the coaster community thinking it will open in 2017).

While we still don't know much about this ride, we do know that it has this incredible outward banked turn. This turn will throw you out of your seat away from the track at a near 90 degree angle. There are very few companies that would do this and I don't think it's any accident that it's one of the first elements that Cedar Point built as speculation rises.
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Blue Fire Megacoaster - Mack Rides' most important ride

Before Blue Fire Megacoaster, the vast vaaaaast majority of big, looping rides were built by Intamin AG and B&M. And while that still may be true, Mack Rides became widely known after constructing Blue Fire Megacoaster. It's a launch coaster with a 105' loop and loads of inversions and swift turns. Located at Europa Park, Blue Fire is largely considered an important coaster for how well it did things once thought to be reserved for just a few manufacturers.

Length: 3,464.6 ft
Height: 124.7 ft
Inversions: 4
Speed: 62.1 mph
Duration: 2:30
G-Force: 3.8
Max Acceleration: 0 - 62.1 mph in 2.5s
Elements:
- LSM Launch
- 105 ft tall Loop
- Twisted Horseshoe Roll
- In-Line Twist
Capacity: 1,720 riders per hour


Image via BlooLoop
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Roller coasters have accidents too.

They rarely happen, but every once in a while coasters make an oops. Expedition GeForce at Holiday Park in Germany is consistently rated as one of the best coasters in the world. Built by Intamin, it's a relentless air time machine.

While air time is great, the train coming off the tracks isn't exactly part of the plan.

There were no serious injuries from this 2010 accident when one car derailed. Intamin has a track record of pushing the envelope for what their coasters can do and withstand, but they, unfortunately, also have a track record of going too far sometimes.

Built: 2001
Length: 4,002.6 ft
Height: 173.9 ft
Inversions: 0
Speed: 74.6 mph
Duration: 1:15
Max Vertical Angle: 82°
G-Force: 4.5
Capacity: 1,300 riders per hour

Image Credit: Theme Park Review
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El Toro at SFGA: A Truly Great Ride

It might surprise you to know that the same company that manufactured KingdaKa (and hundreds of other steel rides) also made this woodie. El Toro is manufactured by Intamin and is renowned for its smooth ride. Both rides are featured in this photo.

Why is it so smooth? Glad you asked. El Toro is actually a 'pre-fabricated wooden coaster.' This means that all the pieces are precision cut and pre-bent. This removed the signature rattle many woodies have and helps preserve the structure. Some enthusiasts don't like the smooth ride, but - imo - El Toro maintains the truest of wooden coaster traits. This ride is filled with air time, whips you around, and has several 'head chopper' effects.

It's repeatedly voted the best wooden coaster in America.

Bonus fun fact: it uses a cable lift instead of a chain lift.

Length: 4,400 ft
Height: 181 ft
Drop: 176 ft
Inversions: 0
Speed: 70 mph
Duration: 1:42
Max Vertical Angle: 76°
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I'm gonna huff! And puff! And demolish The Big Bad Wolf

Built by Arrow Dynamics, The BBW was a staple at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and was many people's first roller coaster. Classified as a suspended coaster, you sat in cars that hung and swung freely from the bottom of the track. Not many of these rides were made, but many were beloved - though none more than the BBW. With two chains lifts, the BBW took you through a Bulgarian village before plummeting you over the river.

The ride was demolished in 2009 and replaced by Verbolten which uses many of the same footers to reduce environmental impact. A personal fun fact is that I was on the last ride of the BBW and watched a lot of people cry. I didn't cry. ;)
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wobble de wobble de wop wobble wobble

Wooden roller coasters, like tall buildings, sway a certain amount. This is perfectly safe and makes sure that the wood flexes instead of snaps. However, the (Old) Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas was notorious for just how much it wobbled.

More famously, after 19 years in service, it was converted to a hybrid steel / wood coaster - the first from the esteemed Rocky Mountain Coaster Co.
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The Only 10-Person Wide Coaster

Griffon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg was the very first floorless dive coaster and is still the only ride that seats riders 10 across. Dive coasters are known for a vertical drop and a wide, but short, train. Other dive coasters are either six or eight people wide and all dive coasters are made by B&M. However, B&M isn't the only company to make coasters with a vertical (or beyond vertical) drop. Most coasters that looked vertical before Griffon were actually just at a very steep angle and not exactly 90 degrees. To do a vertical drop, B&M had to manufacture a special suspension system for the wheels to keep them on the track for a smooth ride.

Dive coasters are a very specific type of coaster that hold the riders at the top of the drop to increase suspense before dropping into one large element - which is almost always an immelman or a dive loop - followed by a brake section, almost vertical drop, another element, and a turn around. A few dive coasters have splashdown effects - Griffon included - where the bottom of the train skims the water and sprays it into the air to slow the train down. But mostly it just looks cool :P

As you can see on Griffon, the track is extremely wide to support the 10 person across trains. It was the second dive coaster ever constructed with the first being SheiKra at Busch Gardens Tampa. It's slightly shorter, eight people across, and only has one inversion, but also has a splashdown effect and, unlike Griffon, a tunnel. Shortly after Griffon was built, SheiKra received floorless trains as well which is now the standard on most dive coasters.
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Skim the Water with Manta

This B&M flying coaster - yes, like Superman - is one of the most photographed coasters in North America and you can see why. Built in 2009, this was one of the first flying coasters in the world and is located at Seaworld: Orlando. I've ridden it a number of times and it's a forceful, elegant ride. It's iconic splashdown helped cement Manta as a premier attraction in the area.

Length: 3,359 ft
Height: 140 ft
Drop: 113 ft
Inversions: 4
Speed: 56 mph
Duration: 2:35

Image Source: Seaworld Entertainment
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Roller Coaster Ferris Wheel

Say hello to one of the weirder coasters that's ever existed. Named Round About, this ride by Premier Rides operated at the now defunct Freestyle Music Park in South Carolina for a meager year before standing but not operating (SBNO) for five years. It's now being relocated to a park in Vietnam and will open as Paradise Falls.

The ride's most unique feature is, obviously, the ferris wheel lift. Many rides have either a chain, cable, or elevator lift, but this ride decided to do things just a liiiiitle differently. It's a shame that this coaster was at the doomed Freestyle Music Park, but it's certainly cool to see some creativity!

Photo credit: Joel A Rogers
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