(Editor’s note: all Lightning pictures were shot by George Greenway and the pink tint is due to a sandstorm that was going on at the park at the time of his visit)
In 2004, two new Inverted Coaster opened. One in Kuweit (the region first B&M Coaster) and the other in California, the state’s third Inverted Coaster.
The Kuweit Inverted Coaster was a Batman: The Ride installation with orange track and metallic grey supports. Interestingly, the park opted for the same compact design as Great White and it is suitably intense. The ride was placed on a cement slab and is the most modern ride at the Kuweit Entertainment City, giving it quite a distinctive appearance in the park. Ridership tends to be limited as it is an upcharge attraction even if you opt for the pay one price plan of the park.
The entrance to Kuwait Entertainment City.
The entrance and waiting line of Lightning, the name given to the Inverted Coaster by the park.
Due to the ride location in the desert, the park covered the lift motor to preserve it and prevent overheating.
The first drop and first Vertical Loop are high in the air, similar to the Vampire.
The second half of the ride.
Lightning ends with a deep trench, like the Vampire at La Ronde.
The trains are the shortest of any Inverted Coaster with only 6 cars and originally featured the same seatbelts as every other Inverted Coaster. Between 2007 and 2012, the park did a unique adaptation for the seat belts: many of the park guests wear long robes and other clothing that would make the standard B&M seat belt very difficult to use. So they installed the ends of two male belts on the side of the seat bottom and mounted the female parts on the sides of the shoulder restraint. This completely frees up the front part of the restraint.
One of the train is orange with blue seats, yellow restraints and yellow and orange wheel covers.
The reconfigured seatbelts on the green train.
In 2003, Cedar Fair announced they were relocating the Church of Reflection outside the park’s gate and making the Walter K. Steamboat course shorter by placing the new ride footer’s in the lake. Next, the Grand Sierra Railroad track was shortened as well.
An example of a silver support and footer in the middle of Ghost Town.
Silver Bullet was the name of the new Inverted Coaster and it was going to wrap itself around the formerly quaint park entrance area. The ride opened late in the year in December 2004.
The ride has an impressive 147 feet tall lift hill, but the first drop was only 109 feet tall and very shallow, due to the nearby presence of Jaguar!, a Zierer family coaster. After the not very steep first drop, the ride goes around a 105 feet tall Vertical Loop and then up and over the Stagecoach path in a spectacular overbanked curve. The train then finally drop down to the ground and goes around a Cobra Roll. What make this Cobra Roll unique is that it frames itself right behind the park turnstile and guests can walk under and around the element.
Flex provided us with this picture of the train leaving the red lift hill.
The train entering the first drop. This picture appears courtesy of Flex.
The Large Vertical Loop. This picture appears courtesy of Flex.
The Overbanked Curve.
In a great segment, the train flies over the desert between the overbanked turn and Cobra Roll. This picture appears courtesy of Flex.
The Cobra Roll. This picture appears courtesy of Flex.
The train then goes through the Zero G Roll that takes us over the side of the Covered Wagon Stage and over another path. A 270° spiral takes us to the first Flat Spin and a small turn divides it from the second Flat Spin, the closest thing to a double Corkscrew B&M ever installed on an Inverted Coaster. The ride concludes with a banked 360° spiral into the final brakes.
The second Flat Spin.
The final spiral, over the remaining part of Reflection Lake. This picture appears courtesy of Flex.
A great view of the Vertical Loop, second Flat Spin and final Spiral on Silver Bullet. This picture appears courtesy of Flex.
The final brakes were an innovation as this was the first B&M Inverted Coaster to integrate Eddy-Current magnetic brakes. How B&M integrated them to the existing chassis is by mounting two horizontal aluminium fins near the top of the braking column. The material on those fins is rather fragile, but the eddy-current brakes don’t need to touch them in order to slow down the train. The traditional pneumatic brakes are still present as their job is to stop and hold the train in place once it has been slowed down.
The track color is unique, as the lift hill is completely red. Besides that, the track spine side is yellow and the bottom and top is read. The supports in the rest of the ride are silver. The train is blue/aqua with red shoulder restraints and wheel covers. The station is a basic affair where for some reason, the ride operation follow the Cedar Point procedures of having an attendant who check the restraints wear a headset. That operator talks non-stop while unloading and loading the train.
One of the ride two train’s. This picture appears courtesy of Flex.