Byron: Six Flags Discovery Kingdom had one of the more intriguing announcements for their 2018 attraction with the addition of Harley Quinn Crazy Coaster, the first ever Dual Loop Coaster. This is the very first installment of the Skywarp concept from Skyline attractions, and it also marks Skyline’s first major attraction sold. Below we will analyze the ride experience, look at its fit in the park, and of course answer the biggest question that comes to mind: Is it a coaster? Let’s get into it.
Harley Quinn Crazy Coaster and the Skywarp concept will immediately draw comparisons to Larson’s Super Loop model that has been making it’s way into Six Flags parks across the country. In many ways, these comparisons are warranted. It has a very similar propulsion system through the means of drive wheels and a connecting chain that both ride vehicles will be attached to. In addition, the bare bones concept of a short repeating inversion closed circuit thrill ride is essentially the same. In the coaster enthusiast community there are very negative connotations surrounding these kinds of looping thrill rides, that being said, there are quite a few very strong aspects of this ride that jump out to me that I think will make it a far superior ride experience.
The most obvious perhaps, is the dueling element. As a function of the ride system, the two ride vehicles will always be attached and thus always be the same distance apart from one another. While completing every single inversion, there will be a “high five” element with the other train. The sheer number of very near misses on this ride will be reason enough to ride, the interactions with the other vehicle add a very unique wrinkle.
In addition, the inversions, and dare I say overall layout, look pretty dynamic and interesting.the repeating Immelmans should provide both lateral and vertical forces, as while at top speed, riders should be treated with airtime over the apex before intense lateral forces through the transitions. Through the slower sections, there will be absolutely no shortage of pure sustained hang time. Riders will have a variety of positions to find themselves hanging in, including being fully inverted, depending on the position of the train and the angle they find themselves at.
It does look like a promising start Skyline Attractions as they look to deliver a unique and thrilling ride experience, but let’s not forget the team at Skyline isn’t working alone. One detail that seems to have gotten lost amongst the buzz is just who is manufacturing the track for these Skywarps. Well, it’s RMC., yes Rocky Mountain Construction. Chris Gray of Skyline said in an interview with In the Loop that they are indeed using the single rail concept from RMC to manufacture these attractions. That’s why the track bears such a striking resemblance to the Raptors such as Railblazer that have been announced, and that’s why we can be sure to expect a smooth, carefully designed ride experience with unique forces and world class manufacturing. Hopefully, Skyline and RMC’s partnership on this attraction really manifests itself in a great ride as I think it will.
Fit in the Park
Despite its “world’s first” status, Harley Quinn Crazy Coaster sure seems a little redundant at Discovery Kingdom. Hammerhead, is a repeating inversion attraction by Zamperla, and the much more recently added Dare Devil Chaos Coaster is the same style of ride with an almost identical ride system. When branching out and looking at the larger ride collection of the park, this marks the fourth ride that, in some manner, rocks you back and forth, while building up speed and momentum before completing the entirety of the layout. Hammerhead, Dare Devil, V2, Superman, and now Harley Quinn all employ this kind of movement.
Personally, despite it’s redundancy, fit isn’t that important, especially considering this rides very small footprint. As I often say, there’s no such thing as too many good rides. If this ride delivers like I think it will, then it’s a good addition. Even if there are already similar existing rides, is there really any harm from a guests point of view in having what is potentially a better more interesting version of that ride while not using up too much space as to limit future expansion. In addition, which the fairly strong capacity of 800 people per hour, even if you hate this ride, there will be less people in line for The Joker. Go ride that. Also let’s not forget the fact that thematically this ride fits very well and should be a great foil for it’s neighbor (and lover) The Joker as well as the rest of the surrounding area. My point is this. This ride is redundant, there’s no doubt about it, it mimics the ride experiences and systems of multiple other rides. On the other hand, the ride looks good, it’s going to move people, and it’s not taking up space. Not every coaster enthusiast gets the luxury of complaining about good new rides.
Is it a Coaster?
No. That’s all.
Alright here’s why. It is continuously powered and uses drive wheels as a method of propulsion. It is attached to a chain, which acts as a middle man between the track and vehicle. Put simply it does not move as a result of gravity or its momentum and inertia at any point throughout the ride. Powered coasters do at times, this does not. That’s the difference. The ride vehicle is not independent from the its system of propulsion, it remains attached, thus it does not coast. Roller coasters need to do two things: roll, and coast. This rolls, it does not coast. It is not a roller coaster.
Chris Gray of Skyline, while admitting it’s not technically a roller coaster, argues that it provides both the look and feel of a roller coaster and thus he refers to it as one. It has multiple dimensions in which it can move, pitch and roll, as opposed to just the ability to pitch like on a Larson Looper. It has track manufactured by a roller coaster manufacturing company, it has roller coaster style trains and it navigates elements traditionally found on a roller coaster. As enthusiasts we often get caught up in the semantics of credits and what counts and what doesn’t. While this may not count technically, it’s worth acknowledging that it was designed in the mold of a roller coaster and should provide a similar and enjoyable ride experience. With all this, that’s what really matters, will this provide a good ride experience. I think I will, and I can’t wait to find out.
Alright, that’s all for this one. I’m genuinely very excited about this addition, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below and let us know what you guys think, we love discussing this stuff. Otherwise, thanks for reading and take care.