Zonga started it’s life as Thriller at Gröna Lund. It was originally purchased by German showman Oscar Bruch. It debuted as the Thriller on May 17th, 1986 at the fairground in Freiburg, Germany. For the next 11 years it mostly traveled the German fair circuit before coming to Six Flags AstroWorld. It started operating in SF Astroworld in 1998, and operated for about 2 years. After that, it stood there (SBNO) non-operative for another 2 years. It then got moved to Six Flags Marine World (Six Flags Discovery Kingdom). When the Thriller was moved from Six Flags Astroworld to Six Flags Marine World, some track modifications were made by Premier Rides. The most significant was increasing the elevation of the first two loops. The affect of this change would be reducing the Thriller’s top speed and lowering the g-forces during the first two loops. Zonga is Swahili for “coil” or “loop”. (source rcdb.com)
Zonga started it’s operations in the Vallejo themepark in April of 2003, and operated for about 2 years, it then stood there SBNO for 2 years, until it got removed to make room for the new Tony Hawk’s Big Spin roller coaster. Zonga was then sent to Isla San Marcos Parque Temático. The ride started operating here in 2008 under the name Tsunami.
Zonga was a Schwarzkopf designed by the world famous Ing.-Büro Stengel GmbH. Zonga was 115 ft. tall, and had a 98 ft. tall drop with a max. angle of 70’degrees. Zonga had a lenght of 3,675 ft, in which it had 4 inversions, and reached speeds upto 54 MPH. Zonga’s 4 loops, were not all perfect vertical loops, making this ride so unique. The first loop was 91.5 ft tall, the second was 80.6 ft tall, the third was 56 ft tall, and the fourth was 48 ft tall. Zonga had 5 cars per train(riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 20 riders per train), with a max. capacity of 720 riders per hour.
Superman The Escape opened as world’s tallest and fastest rollercoaster. Superman The Escape was the first ride ever to exceed the 100 MPH mark. But what most people don’t know is that there were totally different plans for the ride first. The park had plans to create a ride named ‘Velocetron’. There is not much known about this plan, since the ride was going to be about the same, except for the theming. There are some pictures out there from the ride ideas such as this one.
The ride turned out to become Superman The Escape, which was made by Intamin, and was originally intended to open in 1996. Due to problems, it was never open to the public until the 1997 season. There was a preview for season pass holders in the fall of 1996. Superman The Escape was gray/white and is/was a shuttle coaster. Superman The Escape is/was 1,235 ft long, 415 ft tall, has a 328.1 ft drop, has a max. of 4.5 G’s, and reaches the speed of 100 MPH in less than 7 seconds. Superman The Escape used to reach the top of the tower in the beginning of the operations, but it slowely ended up reaching only half the tower.
Superman The Escape was the fastest rollercoaster in the world until 2001, when Dodonpa opened in Fuyi-Q-highland. Superman The Escape was world’s tallest coaster until 2003, when Top Thrill Dragster Opened in 2003. Superman (now Superman: Escape From Krypton) is still in the top 3 tallest rollercoasters in the world. In 2010, the ride closed without any given reason, and rumors had it that it would get transformed to Bizarro, but that was untrue. For the 2011 season, Superman The Escape was transformed into Superman: Escape from Krypton. The most significant change was positioning riders to face backwards so they now look towards the ground rather than the sky on the vertical track.
Superman: Escape From Krypton has been painted red, blue, and yellow, and now reaches the top of the tower most of the time. The ride ran smooth for about a year, but Superman: Escape from Krypton closed again on February 5, 2012 to prepare for the new 2012 attraction Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom. Two drop towers, also built by Intamin, were integrated into the existing sides of Superman: Escape from Krypton’s structure. The ride reopened when construction was finished on July 7, 2012. The ride’s harnasses for the outsides seats got replaced as well during this time.
At the entrance to the ride, the Superman “S” shield is imprinted and now painted onto the ground. The entrance area and queue are modeled after the Fortress of Solitude, Superman’s headquarters. The station is lit green, modeled as Krypton, the planet that is full of Kryptonite rock that can take away Superman’s powers. Inside is a crystalline-looking environment which recreates Superman’s fortress in the Arctic. If the Velocetron name had been chosen, the queue and station would have had ancient ruins and a giant laser. (as seen in the picture)
Superman: Escape From Krypton offers a unique ride which only takes about 28 seconds, with a perfect mix of G’s and a great amount of weightlessness/airtime. If you happen to be around, or have never been on it before make sure to check it out since it’s a fun ride experience, and lines are mild in the mornings and evenings.
California Coaster Kings went to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom on July 5th for a park walk- through and update. Below you’ll see pictures with captions giving you the most up-to-date info.
Cirque Dreams Splashtastic is one of the greatest shows we’ve ever seen. It is very creative, and impressive. The crowd is constantly entertained, and the acrobats get as much attention as the dolphins. This all means that every single thing going on is perfectly balanced out, and this all happens with a great mix of music and other effects, such as lights and water/fountains. If you have a chance to see it, make sure you check it out.
Monsoon Falls (seen above) is a boat ride that tricked us. It looks like Tidal Wave from Six Flags Magic Mountain, but this water ride gets you very wet. It is nice on a hot day, but we warn you, don’t ride it at night.
One of the kiddie areas is Looney Tunes Sea-Port.
Seen above is one of the animal exhibits. Seal Cove is a viewing area where guests can observe seals and sea lions, or feed them. ($5 for 3 fish).
Seen above is the Sea Lion Stadium where a pirate themed show takes place several times a day.– Below you’ll see another animal exhibit. Penguin Passage is the penguin habitat close to V2 and Roar, and across from Seal Cove.
Below you’ll see a picture (more pictures later on in this update) from a Dolphin Pool where guests can take pictures with them or feed them. Sometimes overload crowds for the Dolphin Discovery (Swim with dolphins program) do activities in here. Guests can stand to the side and watch the dolphins swim by or see them play, but the park employees will clearly state that it is NOT a touch pool.
On the plaza behind the dolphin pool, you’ll see V2, Superman: Ultimate Flight, and Roar. (Roar Plaza)
V2 stands for Vertical Velocity and is a 150 ft. tall Intamin Inverted Impulse Coaster. This V2 model is unique since it got altered from the original design due to city limits. The tower is now 45’degrees meaning that the upwards spiral is now an inversion, making this the only V2 that inverts.
Below you’ll see pictures from Superman: Ultimate Flight. Superman Ultimate flight is a unique triple launch coaster with the world’s highest (complete) barrel-roll at 150 ft. The ride also travels forwards and backwards through the non-inverted loop, and has two 90’degrees steep 180’degrees twists. This really offers a unique ride experience so check it out when you have a chance to.
Below you’ll also see pictures from Roar. Roar is the first wooden roller-coaster to use millennium flyer trains, allowing it to do nice twists and fast turns. It’s 95 ft tall and has a drop of about 85 ft. reaching speeds up to 51 MPH. It’s a fun ride, and is smoother than most other woodies out there, even though the 2 other CA GCIs (Apocalypse and Goldstriker) tend to be smoother.
Below you’ll see pictures from the Dolphin Discovery (Dolphin pool), and the Wave Jumper, which corresponded to the park’s former killer whale, Shouka. (1st pic is the view of the plaza from the dolphin pool)
The park is a pretty sight as it is clearly divided up into different plazas, having all the big rides in the front side of the park, making it quiet and peaceful in the back where the lake is, and where the animal exhibits and habitats are. (sorry we have no pics of those since the camera died on the trip)
In the stadiums they sell popcorn and cotton candy, as well as some other products. Below you’ll also see a picture of the newly renovated Toyota Stadium, which used to be Shouka Stadium when they still had the killer whale. The new renovation did the stadium good, and the new dolphin show, Drench!, is a nice addition to the parks show line-up. It is a good show for young and old, and they use many more dolphins at the same time than the old show used to have. Also the show features the most up to date pop music, making it an energetic and fun experience.
On the back side of the park, before the animal exhibits and habitats, you will find Tasmanian Devil, a frisbee from Huss, Sky Coaster, the Ark (Swinging ship), Scrambler, Bird Theater, Crocodile Island, Voodoo (Huss Topspin) and Boomerang Coast to Coaster.
Below you’ll see pictures from the Oasis Plaza, the plaza where Medusa, Cobra, Kong, and Sky Screamer are located.
Kong is a Vekoma SLC standard, and has 2 trains, one yellow one red/orange. When CCK was there there were no lines, and we want to recognize the Kong-crew of the 5th of July, because they did an outstanding job with the operations, dispatch in no time, helpful and very sincere. Really enjoyed that. We know Kong is an SLC, and that many people think it’s too shaky, but CCK has been on many more SLCs in the world, and Kong is actually a really good one, CCK really enjoyed their rides on Kong, and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is taking good care of it. Kong stands 110 ft. tall and reaches speeds of 50 MPH. It has 5 inversions, including a roll-over, a sidewinder, and a double in-line-twist.
Medusa is a 150 ft. tall B&M Floorless-coaster with a 128 ft. tall vertical loop, immelman, zero-g-roll, sea serpent roll, and 2 corkscrews. It’s probably the park’s most popular coaster if not shared with S:UF.
Kong is nicely located. From where ever you come, you can see the amazing SLC go. Neat look if you ask us.
Below you’ll see the waiting line for Medusa which is partly inside a temple.
Today’s Six Flags Monday will have a special theme, Six Flags Similarities.
Below we will show two interactive lists where California Coaster Kings compares coasters from CA Six Flags Parks to coasters that are similar elsewhere in the world. AND we have a list comparing coasters from the 2 CA Six Flags parks only.
Let’s start finding some similarities in our very own CA Six Flags parks.
SCREAM! and MEDUSA. Both parks are home to a B&M Floorless Coaster. Six Flags Magic Mountain has Scream! and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom has Medusa. Both rides have similar elements, and are both 150ft high. Both have a 128 ft. high loop, right after their first drops. Both of them have an immelman/dive loop after that, and then both coasters have a zero-G-roll after that. But then both rides are totally different. Scream! has a Cobra Roll, and Medusa has a roll-over/sea-serpent roll. Scream! is a mirror edition of Bizarro at SFGAdv, and Medusa is custom designed. For an awesome SPLITSCREEN video of Scream! and Medusa, click here, and decide which one you think is better/ more unique!
Road Runner Express, and Road Runner Express. Both our CA Six Flags Parks have a kiddie-rollercoaster named Road Runner Express. The one at Six Flags Magic Mountain is a Vekoma Junior Coaster (207m), and is painted red(track) and black(supports). The other one, at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is a Zamperla Family Gravity Coaster 80STD, and is blue. There are total of 3 kiddie-coaster that are currently named Road Runner Express. (The 3rd one is BIG and is to be found at SFFT)
ROAR and APOCALYPSE.Although they don’t share a similar track layout or name, they do have a lot of things in common. Six Flags Magic Mountain has Apocalypse, and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom has Roar. Roar was the first rollercoaster to feature Millennium Flyer trains (which apocalypse has too), and is longer. But Apocalypse and Roar are both 95 ft. high, both have a drop that is around 85 ft. tall, and both reach speeds of almost 51 MPH.
Let’s find some similarities between CA Six Flags Coasters and other coasters worldwide.
Goliath and Titan.Both Titan (Six Flags Over Texas) and Goliath (Six Flags Magic Mountain) have a 255 ft drop into a 120 ft. long underground-tunnel. Both reach the speed of 85 MPH while in the tunnel, and share a color scheme, orange (Track) and aqua (supports). Both these coasters are Mega Coasters from Giovanola, and have a drop angle of 61′. The difference in these rides are to be found right before the first brake-run. Goliath opened in 2000, and simply turns upward towards the brake-run. Titan on the other hand is considered the brother of Goliath and opened a year later, in 2001, with an upward-helix before the first brake run. Other than the support structure both rides are almost the excact same after the brake-run.For a SPLITSCREEN video of Goliath and Titan, click here, and notice the differences as well as the similarities.
X2 and Eejanaika.Both Eejanaika and X2 are 4D coasters. (Six Flags Magic Mountain catagorizes X2 as 5D because of the fire, audio, and lightning effects) X2 is the world’s first 4D coaster and started it’s life as X. X was made by Arrow Dynamics, which went bankrupt after X. S&S bought Arrow Dynamics and built the second 4D of that kind in 2006, 6 years after the original got built. X closed in 2007without announcement and got refurbished to become X2 with new trains that were lighter and special effects. This was due to the fact that the old trains were 5 times as heavy as the SFMM Goliath trains, and the park needed to replace about 18 wheels a day, making it an extremely expensive rollercoaster to operate. The track layouts of X2 and Eejanaika are pretty similar although there are more differences than most people expect. Eejanaika has: Inside Raven Turn->Zero-G Roll->Fly To Lie->Outside Raven Turn->Fly To Lie. As where X2 has: Inside Raven Turn-> Fly to Lie->Outside Raven Turn->Fly to Lie. There are lots of differences between these 2 world famous rollercoasters so please click here for a video of X2, and click here for a video of Eejanaika. For more information about the differences, please click on the names of the rides on top (links).
Roar and Roar. Both track-layouts are almost the excact same, but Roar from Six Flags America is longer due to the wider turns. Roar at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is a bit shorter because the turns are narrower, this is possible because of the millenium flyer trains this Roar uses. (Roar at SFDK was the first RC to use MF trains) Both Roars have the same track layout except the station and transfer tracks are located differently. Both rides are 95 ft. tall and have the same 85ft. tall drop. They both reach speeds upto 51 MPH, and have a max. of 3.5 G’s.
Batman: The Ride and Batman: The Ride (and more Batman: The Rides + Goliath (SFFT)).The Batman clones were the first inverted coasters and the first one opened in 1991 at Six Flags Great America. The CA Batman is at Magic Mountain. Ever since many have been built. There is mirror clone of this too which came from Thrill Valley to SF New Orleans, and is currently located in Six Flags Fiesta Texas and is named Goliath. All of these clones are 105 ft high and start with a twisted drop into a 88 ft. tall loop, followed by a zero-G-roll into another loop, and then the ride does some twists and turns into 2 corkscrews. All Batmans have a ride length of 2,700 ft., a ride duration of 2:00 minutes, a max. speed of 50 MPH, and max. of 4 G’s. To see SPLITSCREEN of Batman at Six Flags Magic Mountain, and Goliath at Six Flags Fiesta Texas click here.
V2 and V2.Both V2s stand for Vertical Velocity. Both opened as the same model, but due to the city height limit in Vallejo, V2 at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom had to be altered and the upwards twist had to be slanted 45 degrees down, making it an inversion. The tower on the back side was simply lowered to a height of 150 ft. The V2 at Six Flags Great America is still the way it was meant to be at first and is a 185 ft. tall while twisting vertically, the top speed is 70 MPH, as where the one in Discovery Kingdom is 65 MPH. They both had the same colors originally, but the V2 at SFDK got repainted red (track) and purple/maroon (supports).
1) A Mega-Sky Screamer, similar to the Texas Sky Screamer, which could be located in ‘Pistachio Park’, The Full Throttle Area, Cyclone Bay (in the former Deja Vu area), or on top of Samurai Summit where the pagoda stands.
2) Iron Horse treatment on Colossus, making it world’s first ‘twin’-hybrid coaster.
3) A log flume (or any other water ride), which could be located in the former Deja Vu area, or maybe between FT and the Great Bear Theater.
4) Make-over of Scream!. Transforming it into Bizarro, adding sensory effects and scenery.
Exactly one year ago yesterday, Superman: Ultimate Flight opened at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, CA. The ride stands at 150 feet tall (Vallejo’s city limit) and reaches a top speed of 62 miles per hour. The ride has only one inversion, although it is often mistaken for 2 due to its feature known as a non inverted loop.
Superman: Ultimate Flight replaced pandemonium, which had replaced Zonga before that. On July 29th 2012, the rides train stalled at the top of the track, standing 12 riders there for 2 hours, until they were excited by Vallejo fire fighters. None of the riders were injured.
The ride is a fun and unique experience with some crazy G’s including amazing ‘ejector-airtime’ which is pretty rare in CA. When the riders sit in the 12 seat train, the short but powerful ride is about to start. With only lap-bars to hold you, even the first short launch feels powerful. The first launch will bring you up the first tower before the track spirals. Then the train rolls backwards into the backwards launch speeding through the station op the non-inverting looping. The train then slows down, and plummets back to earth to launch through the station once again, reaching it’s full speed of 62 MPH. The train will then shoot up 90 degrees into the sky while rotating a 180 degrees until it slows down on 150 ft. When sitting in the front row you’ll experience some crazy ‘ejector-airtime’ before you’ll slowly invert through the barrel-roll on a 150 ft high. The train will then slow down once again, before it plummets down 90 degrees while again rotating a 180 degrees diving right up into the non-inverting looping that brings you back to the station. The ride slows down an does a little hop up the first tower, and then brings you back to the station slowly The most amazing thing about this ride is that it does all these unique things in a very short period of time. If you have a chance to ride it, you definitely should because there is nothing out there like this!
Today we’re celebrating Colossus’ 35th Birthday. Colossus opened on this day in 1978. Colossus opened one of the tallest and fastest roller-coasters in the world, and the longest dual track wooden roller-coaster in the world. As of today Colossus still holds the record for longest dual track wooden roller-coaster on earth. Colossus was the first wooden roller-coaster to have 2 drops over a 100 ft.
Colossus was built by IADI, and with it’s corresponding trains.Colossus was a maintenance problem and was down for maintenance 50% of the park’s operating hours. When six flags bought the park in 1979, they wanted fix these problems and lowered the valley between the 2nd drop and the double-up to decrease roughness. SFMM ultimately installed Morgan trains 1988, seen above.
The ride winds through over 4000 ft of track at a 62 mph in 2 and a half minutes. During Six Flags Fright Fest, the park uses Psyclone’s old trains to run the ride backwards. The coaster cost 7 million dollars to build. A tornado caused part of the structure to collapse in itself, which delayed the opening date of the ride. The ride has appeared in TV and movies with appearances in Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Step by Step, Nickelodeon’s Wild and Crazy Kids, Doogie Houser, Night Rider, and the A Team.
To secure safety on the now classic ride, SFMM changed the camel-back hill to a leveled out block brake in 1991. The original camel-back hill can still be seen, as the brake section has simply been built over it.
As California Coaster Kings travels through CA’s theme-parks, many theme-park fails appear. These fails can be anything from false advertisement to extremely slow operations. (no one likes slow operating rides, no one).
For our first ever Fail Friday, we have this picture for you…
If you see the Fail, which might be a bit challenging, let us know by commenting below, or letting us know on FB while you like our FB page here.
The Fail will be pointed out next Friday on our second Fail Friday where we will post another Fail! Monday is SIX FLAGS Monday, and since this is taken in SFMM, we’ll give you a hint on Monday!
All future Fail Fridays will be posted on Facebook only!
So lets move on to the main article of the day, related to APOCALYPSE of course!
The Apocalyptic Evolution…
In 1991, Six Flags Magic Mountain opened its second wooden coaster, named Psyclone. The ride was placed in the same area that former Magic Mountain coasters Sarajevo Bobsleds, and Shockwave were, in the Cyclone Bay area of the park. The ride is modeled after Coney Island’s famous wooden coaster, Cyclone. The differences were in the banking of the turns decreasing the excessive amounts of lateral G’s.
The ride was the only wooden coaster to have trains built by B&M. The Psyclone was 95 ft tall, and reached speeds of 50 MPH. The ride duration was a minute and 50 seconds. The ride was badly damaged during the 1994 Northridge earthquake, but was repaired and operated until 2006, when it closed and SFMM announced on January 23rd 2007 that the ride was going to be demolished. In 2009, Magic Mountain announced the opening of a new ride in the area called terminator the Ride, but was later changed to Terminator Salvation the ride due to the upcoming terminator film.
The ride received great reviews for it’s million dollar budget spent on scenery. The scenery existed out of a pre-show, which has riders walk through an old terminator manufacturing warehouse, turned into human shelter. As well as its fire effect, which shoot out of the front hood of a tuck as the coaster passes by.
In 2011, the ride’s theme was changed to Apocalypse, forcing magic mountain to remove all terminator branding, changing all the signs, and having to re-shoot a pre-show. Apocalypse the ride is also 95 ft tall and hits 50 mph, but does this in 3 minutes.
For our first TT we thought it was appropriate to go back in time, to a place called Six Flags Magic Mountain, with a great coaster, Déjà vu. Déjà vu is special, as it is world’s tallest GIB, which stands for Giant Inverted Boomerang. The GIB was an extreme version of the popular boomerang model by Vekoma. Vekoma designed this model for the Six Flags Parks, and Six Flags placed 4 of them in a short period of time. 1 of them was placed in the Spanish Six Flags Park, Warner Bros. Park Madrid, named Stunt Fall. The other 3 were placed in SF parks throughout the US. All 3 were named Déjà Vu, and were located in Six Flags Magic Mountain, Six Flags Great America, and Six Flags over Georgia. In the end there was only one left over at an American Six Flags park, Déjà Vu at Six Flags Magic Mountain.
But then came the moment when Six Flags Magic Mountain claimed the coaster crown in 2011, and decided to send the GIB to Six Flags New England as part of the Six Flags Ride Rotation Program. Even though Déjà Vu got a major upgrade with a nice repaint, and eventually new trains (just started testing the new trains last week, they’re not operating yet though), the ride was a fan favorite, and is being missed a lot by the Six Flags Magic Mountain visitors.
Déjà Vu was located in the Cyclone Bay area of Six Flags Magic Mountain, and used to share a plaza with the Psyclone woodie before Psyclone got removed. Déjà Vu had v-shaped trains that were unique, and the 2 vertical 200 ft towers gave 2 nice free falls, once forwards, and once backwards. The GIB seemed to get stalled periodically, and seemed to be having some operation errors, and many believe that that is the main reason for the Valencia theme park to stop operating it.
Whatever the reason was, Déjà Vu is being missed a lot by us California Coaster Kings, but we are happy that it found another home where it is a bigger star than it was at Six Flags Magic Mountain. What was your favorite memory of Déjà Vu?
Full Throttle opened up Saturday the 22nd, and of course California Coaster Kings was there. The media day event was on Friday the 21st of June, just one day before its opening to the public. The ride opened early at 8.00 AM for the Gold Pass holders, and opened at 10.00 AM for the general public. Some lucky people got to ride it during the midnight-riders event the night before, for which you had to purchase tickets. Tickets were 50 dollars, and included a meal from one of the 2 new restaurants, and a Full Throttle T-shirt.
When Full Throttle first got announced, mixed reviews started appearing. Many said that the ride was going to be way too short, and many kept teasing with the YOLO theme, which was in the original promotion video. But as soon as the track pieces of the 160 ft. loop and multi-launch rollercoaster showed up, reviews started to turn more positive, and excitement grew for Full Throttle.
Now it finally opened, we can say that this ride really exceeded its expectations, and that all negativity around the ride earlier on has been disproved. Although you’ll always find some bad reviews, most reviews so far totally agree with our opinion, saying that the ride is unique, and is definitely worth the wait. The world’s tallest and fastest looping coaster will launch you from the station at a speed of 70 MPH right into an amazing 160 ft. looping which has an extraordinary period of ‘hang time’. The new ride also features a special effects tunnel with a backwards launch back through the unique dive-loop, and is followed by another forwards launch reaching speeds up to 70 MPH to ride over the outside of the 160 ft. loop, named a ‘tophat’.
All this amazingness is punched in a 1 minute ride, so one can imagine it’s a non-stop action rollercoaster. Due to the opening date being a little early, the tunnel effects, and the station were not done yet, so a future update will include the final tunnel effects, and station roofing. Other than that the Full Throttle plaza is a great addition to the park, as it has ground misters for the heat, a stage where they preform daily, a big screen and tent with amazing lighting and lasers all over the plaza (.Which are used in the Full Throttle Nights show). As well as 2 new restaurants, 2 refurbished shops, and a new souvenir shop with 2 Coca Cola Freestyle machines. The new area has a great audio system, and really made Six Flags Magic Mountain stand out, since there are no other parks out there that have an area that is anything like this.
If you have a chance to ride it, go for it, as the operations are pretty quick, and the lines move fast. Go Big, and Go SFMM, to live it. Be it. Ride it. Full Throttle.