Bolliger & Mabillard comes to Japan: Part 4 of our look at Inverted Coaster

Himeji Central Park opened in 1984 in Himeji, Japan.  Himeji is located in Hyogo prefecture around 40 miles west from Osaka and is famous for the historic Castle in the center of the city.  Himeji Castle is the largest castle in Japan right now and in 2015 came out from 5 years of extensive renovations and looks incredible.

Himeji Castle

A nice view of the Himeji Castle. Picture appears courtesy of Flex.

Himeji Castle Flex 2

The Castle still has its moat. Picture appears courtesy of Flex.

Himeji Castle Flex 3

Nice view from the Castle Dungeon of Himeji. Picture appears courtesy of Flex.

Around 30 minutes outside of town by bus or taxi, Himeji Central Park was constructed as a combination Amusement Park/Safari Park.  The Safari Park is the only one in the Kansai area and this is a large selling point, but the amusement park with 5 roller coasters is also quite popular.  It opened in 1984 with one roller coaster:  the Camelback Jetcoaster, which like all Japanese Jet Coasters consist of long shallow hills and wide turns.

Himeji Central Park Ferris Wheel

The Giant Ferris Wheel at Himeji Central Park. Picture appears courtesy of Flex.

Himeji Central Park Jet Coaster

The Jet Coaster. Picture appears courtesy of Flex.

Throughout the years, it opened two more family roller coasters, but in honor of the park 10th anniversary, they went in a completely opposite direction.  The result was Diavlo, the first B&M roller coaster in Asia, which also make it the first Batman clone outside of the US.  For the colors, they went with black track and supports and unpainted running rails.  There is no particular theme to the ride and the ride station building consists of a black metal building.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (52)

The ride entrance.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (51)

The station building.  The exit staircase is what you see under the black.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (17)

The ride small waiting line.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (18)

The entrance to the station.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (20)

The staircase leading to the loading platform.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (10)

A sideview of the station.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (22)

The first three cars of the train.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (21)

The back three rows.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (23)

The gorgeous train with recently replaced seats and harnesses.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (25)

The wheel covers use a similar shape to Batman: The Ride, but in red and blue.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (4)

Diavlo train. Picture appears courtesy of Flex.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (28)

This alternate Diavlo logo appears at the exit.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (2)

The ride entrance and station building.  Notice the ride was built on a small slope. Picture appears courtesy of Flex.

diavlo

Shot from the Ferris Wheel, you have this unusual point of view on the layout. Picture appears courtesy of Flex.

The ride selected location forced B&M to adapt the ride supports, as it was built on top of a hill and as a result of that, the area where the lift ends and where the first two inversions are is taller than the rest of the layout.  This means that it has the shortest Batman lift in the world per support height, but the ride statistics are the same for the drop, speed and inversion size.  Two trenches were built for the first Vertical Loop entrance and exit since we go below grade at that point.  On typical Batman: The Ride installations, we are quite high in the air instead at that point.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (46)

The lift hill.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (3)

In this unique installation, the lift supports and the surrounding trees make the ride appear a lot smaller than it is in reality. Picture appears courtesy of Flex.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (1)

The hill at the end was graded to avoid digging more expensive trenches at the end. Picture appears courtesy of Flex.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (53)

In this close-up of the first drop and vertical loop, you can see how close it goes to the trees.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (45)

You can see part of the trench at the bottom of the loop and drop.

 

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (5)

The trench after the first Vertical Loop.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (4)

You can clearly see in this photo how the track goes below grade after the first drop.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (54)

The Zero G Roll, over the entrance sign.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (37)

The ride second half, up in the air this time.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (31)

The second Vertical Loop.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (32)

The second Vertical Loop with the first Flat Spin in front of it.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (35)

Notice the high speed overbanked turn after the first Flat Spin.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (42)

The same curve, in a side close-up.

Diavlo Himeji Central Park (33)

The second Flat Spin going over the second Vertical Loop exit track.

 

 

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