Meet Team ZAP: Coaster Crazy: A Not So Secret Obsession
Summer typically brings out a yearning for lazy days on a street side al fresco patio, hitting the local beaches, or taking a long weekend away in the country. But for many nerds like myself, summer actually brings one of the best times of the year for none of the reasons I just mentioned.
Some would be surprised to know that I am a huge roller coaster fan, although it’s definitely not a secret. Just ask anyone at Zapwater about my lengthy description of every single coaster and ride I went on during my family’s week-long vacation to Orlando last Thanksgiving.
My love of coasters started at an early age. Raised in Ohio, I was given the opportunity to frequently visit Cedar Point, which is known for having more roller coasters than any other theme park in the world. I still recall how excited I would get the night before, often having trouble falling asleep. Throughout the years, I chose a roller coaster engineer for grade school career day and was an active member of ACE (American Coaster Enthusiasts http://www.aceonline.org/). I was quick to read about the latest coasters, often drew many of my own designs, and would always insist on sitting in the front row.
And get ready coaster fans because Summer 2014 is not only bringing a crop of brand new attractions for coaster junkies, but many of them are found in the Midwest and even in Chicago’s own backyard!
Goliath (Six Flags Great America)
Right outside Chicago. this new ride is billed as the world's fastest wooden coaster with the tallest and steepest drop. It also breaks three -- count 'em, three -- world records. It has the longest drop, the steepest drop and goes faster than any other wooden coaster. It also flips riders head over heels in two inversions that could make the inevitable air-time and 180-degree zero-G roll seem kind of tame. Yes you heard me correctly, a WOODEN ROLLER COASTER THAT GOES UPSIDE DOWN. Not really sure what to think, but cannot wait to try this out. Possibly on a Zapwater Summer Friday?
Banshee (Kings Island, Ohio)
Kings Island is no Cedar Point but the park gets a much deserved honorable mention for it unique and still jaw dropping coasters. This year, they add Banshee to the roster, and like the mythological creature whose screams break glass, this new $24 million coaster with the same name is sure to terrify anyone who gets near. Banshee is billed as the longest inverted coaster in the world. And, yes, inverted means upside down. It also has a curved drop, a dive loop, a zero-G roll, a batwing, an outside loop spiral and an inline-roll.
Verruckt, Schlitterbahn (Kansas City, Kansas)
On May 23, Schlitterbahn Kansas City is unveiling a waterslide/hypercoaster that's actually several feet taller than the legendary Niagara Falls. And while it's illegal to mount an expedition down Niagara, these days anyone with the guts to climb the 264 stairs can make the 17-story drop on the Verruckt, which means insane in German. The new attraction will be the world's tallest water slide.
This one may be too intense even for me!
And last but most certainly not least:
Gringotts Ride inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Universal Orlando)
New images just released show the new addition to Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter the park's centerpiece ride will be, "Escape from Gringotts." The ride will be a "multi-sensory, multi-dimensional experience," which uses 4K, hi-definition media and 360-degree sets. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts will also recreate scenes from the final Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows movie. The expansion will be connected to the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter located at Universal’s Islands of Adventure by a Hogwarts Express-themed train.
Words cannot express how excited I am for this ride. And while I just went with my family less than a year ago I am already scheming to plan my next trip down to Orlando for this latest addition! Don’t believe me just check out the video below.
- Michael Corrigan, Account Supervisor