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10 minutes ago, CharlieN said:

In the midst of this preposterous announcement I’ve finally realised what a swing launch means! Always seemed like those triple launches should have a proper name...

Intamin call them swing launches, Mack call them halfpipe launches and Gerstlauer just call them triple launches. So take your pick!


I think swing launch is the most fun name so I stick with that haha

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On a highly positive note, Monster at Gröna Lund will feature the classic standard B&M invert trains!   Either Gröna Lund are smart or B&M realised no one likes their new train

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Sadly not Thorpe, but I'm sure you'll be pleased to hear Wanda Chengdu are building a Taron clone...

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/17/2019 at 9:45 PM, JoshC. said:

Taiga hype

Here's the beautiful advert...


Rode Taiga this weekend. I'll do a trip report soon, but I want to share thoughts on Taiga now..


It is brilliant. Truly brilliant. POVs don't do the ride justice. The ride has some truly amazing moments: great airtime, fun inversions, decent launches and is in itself a long ride.


The bit between first and second launch is a bit random. One inversion and loads of corners which keep the speed. Warms up nicely during the day, but aside from the weird out-banked dive loop type thing, nothing special. The second launch gives you a nice woosh feeling as you speed up, followed by a fun top hat. From there, the ride becomes insane: relentless, crazy ejector airtime, fast (and doesn't lose speed!), flings you out of your seat. It's all incredibly smooth and the flow and pacing is amazing. It is just brilliant.


Ride operations are a bit weird and slow - staff ask every person if their pockets are empty as checking restraints (and if your pockets aren't empty, you're made to empty them). The ride has a nice style to it with the theming too. Audio is a bit quiet though.


Managed the ride 9 times, sitting in a variety of locations and during night time too, and it's wonderful wherever. Can't decide if I prefer front or back tbh..



There's natural comparisons and question to be asked about how this compares to the likes of Taron and Helix. Taron and Helix focus on very different things: Taron on speed and intense whips and turns, Helix on grace and inversions. Taiga is a best-of-both worlds type of ride I'd say: you get the fast elegance of the ride, along with intense whips and some quirky inversions. And it does this phenomenally well. What is 'better' depends on your taste; blending the best of both might not be everyone's cup of tea for example. But all 3 coasters do what they set out to do perfectly.


So yeah, tl;dr - Taiga is brilliant. Worth the trip to Finland, easily.

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On 2/15/2019 at 11:09 PM, JoshC. said:

Very much out of nowhere, Bellewaerde in Belgium have put in plans for a new coaster...





http://pretparken.be/NL/article/2067/Bellewaerde plant nieuwe familie-achtbaan


Potentially a Gerstlauer, similar to Pegasus at Asterix. Features a couple of lift hills and a random launch into a spike at the end.


The park have done some big investing lately, with their random and pointless duelling alpine coasters they opened in 2017 (that make zero use of a terrain since the park is largely flat, and cost a hefty €4m), and a water park opening this year. There's no word on when this, and a much needed car park redevelopment, will open, but I'd hazard a guess at 2020..

After the plans were withdrawn due to tree issues, they were resubmitted and approved. Construction for this is beginning now and the ride should open in Spring 2020.


Still very confused by this so will be interesting to see it come to life...

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Time for potentially the craziest story / rumour of the year...


Powerpark, Finland, are rumoured to be extending their Gerstlauer Infinity launch coaster, Junker. Junker opened in 2015 and was by far the best-looking coaster in Finland, as well as the highest, fastest and longest, until Taiga at Linnanmäki this year.


So, to get the crown back, and to keep some of the spotlight on Powerpark (which is second to Linnanmäki in Finland), they are rumoured to be making changes to Junker to get those records back. Track and supports have been photographed at the park:


And there are reports of groundwork taking place next to the coaster at the moment. So, despite not being confirmed, there's a lot to suggest this could be happening.


Take this with a pinch of salt until we get something more concrete in terms of confirmation (after all, coaster extensions are rare). However, if this does happen, this is super exciting (and also hilariously petty from Powerpark, but I won't complain!), 


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And some official communication from the park, which appeared in a Finnish paper today...






During this autumn, new groundwork has taken place next to Junker - the most intense coaster in Northern Europe. Footer rebar cages and new foundations look like Junker will have an equally intense rival ride. Our reader tips us saying it's worth 7M€.

Park Manager Mikko Kiviluoma, is this true?
- 7M€ coaster. Where are you hearing these rumors from? Are you mixing us with Särkänniemi?

So it's not true?
- I don't know. We'll... uhhh... info you when... are you wearing some headphones with a mic?

I am not. Is it true or not?
- I mean we will always update and develope the park. Whatever the rumor is, we'll tell you when we feel like it, what's coming and whatnot. So hold your horses.

Now would be a good time, right
- It has been asked many times but I will keep repeating: we will publish when we feel like it's relevant.


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Tbf Taiga Vs Junker is already a coaster-war; just a slow moving one. Linnanmäki has always been number 1 in Finland so it's up to the other parks really to provide the competition.


Powerpark has done that. Särkänniemi regularly invest, but none of it is particularly unique or interesting to a foreign audience. Could see them going for a Vekoma at some point though...

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On 10/30/2019 at 5:42 PM, JoshC. said:


So, to get the crown back, and to keep some of the spotlight on Powerpark (which is second to Linnanmäki in Finland), they are rumoured to be making changes to Junker to get those records back. ... However, if this does happen, this is super exciting (and also hilariously petty from Powerpark, but I won't complain!), 


I've always wondered why this doesn't happen more often, especially in our marketing over substance driven times.


You make a significant investment, typical guests turn up to ride it once that first season to try it and then are looking for another reason (or somewhere else with something newer) to visit a couple of years later. Stick a small investment year cost level upgrade on it a few years down the line and you have a headline attraction marketable as new again rather than some crappy sideshow size addition that noone really cares about.

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Isn't that what they did with DBGT? ;)


I'd imagine cost, barely anyone alters a ride unless it's old or unpopular (Dodonpa is probably the most famous ride to be altered?), the expense of a brand new ride is probably equal if not less...

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To a lesser extent, it's what Thorpe have done with their past 4 major investments, but it happens the year after..


-Stealth was marketed as "upgraded" in 2007, saying its max speed was reached quicker (nothing had changed).

-Saw had the introduction of Saw Alive as a spin off to further market it.

-Swarm had brave it backwards

-Derren had Rise of the Demon


The idea has always been a double strike of sorts: you get people come in for for the big new thing, word of mouth spreads, people go the next year but do a better version, meaning the same people who went its first year want to return. You get a good 2-3 years of interest for one big investment and something tacked on.



But yeah, it's a surprise more parks don't upgrade major investments. And in recent years where theming, story and special effects have been important and prevalent for coasters, you don't even need to do something as crazy as a retrack. Chuck some new effects and theming there (99% of rides can always do with more), make a big deal out of it, boom, renewed interest.

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  • 1 month later...

There's been a lot of crazy out there announcements this year, but I think this one takes the prize for the top one...


Vulcania, a French educational 'theme park' (that currently has no rides) about 90 miles from Lyon (ie - middle of nowhere) have put in plans to install an Intamin launch coaster with a drop track section!


Vulcania is all about, unsurprisingly, volcanoes and other natural disasters like earthquakes, and features 4D cinemas and interactive experiences, but no rides. These "edutainment" style parks are really popular in France, and they're slowly expanding into the 'proper' theme park more. The coaster is the first step into the theme park set up for Vulcania, with drops towers and rapids planned for the next decade too.


The launch coaster has a launch speed of 34mph (lol, but keeps with the style of the park I guess), max height of 16m, and a drop track of about 5m in height. It'll be themed to (surprise) volcanoes. Here's the plan:


Despite the unimpressive stats in comparison to other coasters, it still seems a perfect fit for the park. Also, Intamins aren't cheap, so it's a statement of intent if nothing else.




In other news, Bosnia and Herzegovina - a country not known for theme parks - look to be getting a theme park! Little details are known, however the park are going for a Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter and a Vekoma sit down looping coaster:




Hard to know whether this will actually happen, but that Vekoma looks pretty damn good!

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The Junker 2.0 rumour train gains some steam..


(link here, original source unknown)


Some speculation this could end up including a lift hill and drop similar to Takabisha (Fuji-Q Highland) and TMNT Shellraiser (American Dream, NJ). Either way, if this is an extension, it'll arguably be the craziest thing to happen in the industry in living memory...


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TusenFryd, in Oslo, are investing in a new coaster for 2021, which they've said will be their biggest single investment yet.


The planning application gives an idea of the layout:



It looks like it could be similar to Gold Rush at Slagharen, with a stationary swing launch to start. The train appears to have 8 rows so it's unlikely to be Gerstlauer, so it could be Intamin or Mack.


Apparently this may not necessarily be the final layout, as their planning applications are more to show scale and location.

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I'll stick this in a new post because why not...


The European Coaster Club have some concepts for Wakala:






They have said there are two lift hills: the first, which is standard, and the second which will have "slight acceleration". Curiously, there's no mention of a launch, which one would expect given the spike and the flat piece of track before it which will have to double up as a brake run too.


A very odd coaster for sure.

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