Lost Coasters of California – Part 9: Stealth

Paramount Park’s 13 year foray into the theme park business resulted in a significant number of successes and industry oddities.  The application of Paramount theming in existing regional parks gave us two significant B&M Top Gun inverts and the world’s first major linear induction motor launch coaster, Flight of Fear.  However their tendency to experiment and take additions in different directions also resulted in a string of failures and disappointments.  Kings Dominion opened the late Volcano, The Blast Coaster in 1998, a prototype Intamin inverted catapult coaster that never seemed to run reliably throughout its 20 years at the park, and the ill-fated prototype air launch coaster Hypersonic XLC in 2001.  Carowinds opened a Setpoint suspended water coaster in 2000 called Flying Super Saturator which lasted less than 10 years.  Canada’s Wonderland still has an odd collection of mid-size coasters for the world’s most popular regional park including 1995’s SLC Top Gun and 2004’s Zamperla flyer Tomb Raider, The Ride.  The chain’s flagship, Kings Island, received one of the most notorious failures of them all, 2000’s wooden hyper coaster, Son of Beast.  That same year the chain would add a unique prototype to Great America, the world’s first major flying coaster, Stealth.  

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Spanish Theme Park History – Part 4: Parque de Atracciones de Madrid

Today we’ll continue our series about the Spanish Theme Park History with the fourth article. Every two weeks we’re publishing one of eight articles about the history of thirteen Spanish amusement and theme parks. Some of them no longer exist, but some others are still operating and receiving guests nowadays. In this series, we travel in time through 168 years in theme park history, starting in 1853, to our days in 2021. In this article we’ll focus on Parque de Atracciones de Madrid, a park with lots of history, an interesting variety of rides and attractions, that is constantly evolving to offer the best experiences to its guests.

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Lost Coasters of California – Part 8: Invertigo

Last week we focused on Windjammer Surf Racers and how it was a product of Knott’s Berry Farm’s attempt to navigate the space between the family and thrill market.  It faced the problem of Magic Mountain dominating the thrill market with major coaster additions, many of which we’ve discussed here, and Disneyland’s hyper detailed themed experiences.   Northern California in the late 90s had a far less competitive theme park market.  After the construction and runaway success of Tidal Wave in 1977 Marriott’s Great America, eventually Great America in 1985 and then Paramount’s Great America in 1993, had remained consistent with coaster trends.  In 1986 they opened the wooden Grizzly, 1991 saw the addition of the B&M standup Vortex, and 1993 saw the addition of the still-beloved B&M invert Top Gun.  These consistent additions, despite changes in ownership, resulted in a solid coaster collection any regional park could be proud of.  

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2nd Hand Coasters

Five of the Best Parks in America for Relocated Roller Coasters


You can’t build new old coasters – any park could conceivably build a new ride from scratch, but there’s something about a relocated coaster that feels unique. A ride on its 2nd or 3rd location is also on its 2nd or 3rd lease on life, or even its 2nd or 3rd identity. Parks with multiple relocated coasters dedicate themselves to continuing the stories of these rides – many of which whose narratives were thought to have already ended.

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Lost Coasters of California – Part 7: Windjammer

Today’s roller coaster landscape is becoming increasingly international.  With the rise of streaming video, social media, and even Google Translate the coaster enthusiast community and industry is more connected than it’s ever been.  With the recent rise of Chinese theme parks and Chinese ride manufacturers it’s easy to forget a time when Japan seemed second only to the United States as a thrill ride destination.  The undisputed king of the Japanese coaster manufacturers was “Toyo Goraku Ki Kabushiki Kaisha” or TOGO.  TOGO opened their first roller coaster in  1953 at Hanayashiki park in Tokyo and soon began building rides all over Japan.  In 1983 their stand-up coaster model was opening at Kings Island as King Cobra, bringing TOGO to North America.  Over the next two decades TOGO would try to capitalize on this success and expand into the American and European market.  They eventually opened a subsidiary named TOGO International headquartered in Middletown, Ohio. While there was some success an ill-fated 1997 project at Knott’s Berry Farm would mark the end of TOGO’s presence as a leader in the coaster world. 

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Lost Coasters of California – Part 4: Colossus

When a park sets out to build the biggest, fastest, and baddest coaster around the problem always arises that its records and stature will eventually be surpassed.  For Magic Mountain’s Colossus this was not a problem for much of its life.  From its construction in 1978 until the construction of Viper in 1990  it was the tallest full circuit coaster in all of California.  After Viper Colossus reigned as the king of the California wooden coasters until it’s RMC conversion in 2014, passing the crown to the nearby GhostRider.  

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Lost Coasters of California – Part 3: Tidal Wave

As we discussed in the last article on the Whizzer the Marriott’s Great America parks were bold designs that applied many lessons learned at other regional parks.  Part of this was a plan and specific plots designated for expansion.  In 1977, a year after its opening, the Santa Clara park was the first to receive a major coaster addition, the Tidal Wave.

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Lost Coasters of California – Part 1: Corkscrew

The Golden State has long had the reputation as one of the recreation capitals of the world.  Beautiful weather combined with a diverse landscape created an environment where leisure became a serious business.  It is no surprise that California is home to some of the world’s most famous roller coasters.  Unfortunately many great rides are no longer part of the California coaster landscape.  In these series we will be exploring some of California’s great coasters that are no more!

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Crystal Crown Awards – 2020

Coaster Kings is proud to introduce a new annual special event: The Crystal Crown Awards. – Within the coaster and theme park enthusiasts communities there are many different annual awards, polls, etc. We wanted to take a different approach and present a unique lineup of categories that highlight specific characteristics of theme parks, rides, rollercoasters, and the industry as a whole. To listen to the awards in detail, check out our Coaster Kings Radio episode, you’ll also find the 16 carefully chosen categories and their winners here:

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The Evolution of Northern California’s Coaster Landscape

America has a few regions that are “hotspots” for roller coasters, regions with 2 or more parks within a short distance from each other.  The most famous include Central Florida, Southern California, and Eastern Pennsylvania. Though long outshined by the plethora of parks  surrounding Los Angeles and San Diego, Northern California holds the distinction of being a region with three parks with major thrill roller coasters.  The roller coaster landscape of Northern California has changed dramatically just within the past 10 years.

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Holiday in the Park Drive-thru Experience Review – Six Flags Magic Mountain

Holiday festivities have begun here in Southern California. And while it does seem quite a bit different compared to what it was in years past, we are still trying to soak in every single moment. The first park we visited this year for the holidays is Six Flags Magic Mountain. Because the park is currently not allowed to be open for normal operation, they have adjusted Holiday in the Park to make it a drive-thru experience. In this review, we’ll share some basic information on the event along with our review. Continue reading “Holiday in the Park Drive-thru Experience Review – Six Flags Magic Mountain”

Top 10 US Parks International Tourists Need To Visit

The United States remains one of the most important countries for roller coaster and theme park enthusiasts around the world. A country the size of the United Sates can be overwhelming for visitors trying to decide which parks to go to. This list seeks to focus in on 10 American parks I think are essential for international visitors to experience.  Note that this isn’t intended as a ranking of the best parks in the U.S., rather it is a list of parks that encapsulate the landscape of the American amusement industry.

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West Coast Racers – Quadruple Launch Racing Coaster – Coming to Six Flags Magic Mountain in 2019!

Sean: Six Flags Magic Mountain announces their 20th roller coaster: West Coast Racers. The West Coast Customs inspired roller coaster features 4 inversion, 4 launches, custom designed trains, as well as a special pit stop featuring West Coast Customs Founder and CEO, Ryan Friedlinghaus!  Continue reading “West Coast Racers – Quadruple Launch Racing Coaster – Coming to Six Flags Magic Mountain in 2019!”