(Note from the author: unless noted otherwise, all pictures in this update are from Flex)
In 2016, Vekoma presented a new roller coaster style to the world and premiered the world’s largest Motorbike Coaster in China. They also delivered the impossible with a custom Family Boomerang intertwined with another coaster and introduced a new production layout for the Family Boomerang.
The Family Boomerang saw two new installations in 2016 and both were different layouts different from the one introduced in 2011. That model is now called the 185 meters layout, and the new production model is called the Rebound. The Rebound was shown on this blog as an exclusive sneak-peak from Vekoma and Paulton’s Park in Romsey, UK was the first park to install. The ride is a lot more compact and features similar stats in height and capacity. The main difference is that the layout is lower to the ground and it fits in a narrower band of land, something important in many parks with space concerns.
The entrance to Velociraptor, the name of the ride at Paulton’s Park.
The train in the station. Notice the moving floors on the sides and this is for clearance during the high speed passages through the station.
After going back up the first hill, the pusher tires open with an innovative system and the train rolls forward through the station. Instead of going through a small Bayern curve next to the station like on the 185 meters version, the train instead navigates around a figure 8 wrapped around the station. Then, it goes up the double hill spike and rolls backward back toward the station.
Flex shot this picture while going back up on the first hill. You can see most of the layout.
The second spike.
Phantasialand introduced in 2016 a new area in the park inspired by the famous worlds of dragons and fantasy warriors. Replacing the Silver Mine dark ride, this tiny plot of land saw incredible stone theming and wooden architecture that makes guests feel like they are walking through the same places as their favorites heroes on TV.
Hidden in the middle of Klugheim is this unassuming wooden building. This is the entrance to Reik.
Intamin was retained to design and build a multi-launch roller coaster around that rich environment; to complement the thrilling ride’s, Vekoma was given the arduous task of making another roller coaster around Taron, the launched coaster. A custom Family Boomerang was selected, and the first hill is a bit taller than usual, at 82 feet tall. The standard Family Boomerang is 66 feet tall, and on Raik, the spike top portion is enclosed in a wooden box for noise abatement, something fundamental to the park when seeking planning permission. The layout is quite intense for its size and uses every square centimeter that was available before going back up on the second lift hill. It is different here as it features some pusher tires to give it a boost if needed.
Both spikes are enclosed in the wooden structure that sticks out at an angle. This photo appears courtesy of Flex.
Both spikes of Reik and a drop on Taron.
The train going up the first spike.
Raik was a great success and combined with Taron, gives impressive kinetic and visuals to Klugheim.
Emergylandia in Zator, Poland opened in 2015 three new Vekoma attractions and 2016, they were the launch clients for a modern style of ride. This was a revolution for Vekoma as the style of the track was changed, the trains were improved and the layout a lot more active than what we were used.
Approaching the ride.
Sideview of the Sidewinder.
Another look at the Sidewinder.
One of the Corkscrew.
The two corkscrew and an airtime hill can be seen in this photo.
Vekoma has been continuously improving their fabrication method, and they concluded that going the same route as their hugely successful Family Coaster line was the way to go. Those family coasters feature outside guide wheels, sturdy track and their engineers set to work to exploit those new options as much as possible. New models were created and customers in Europe as well as Asia were intrigued and started ordering them. First on the docket was the “Space Warp,” a compact launched coaster that starts off with an imaginative Sidewinder maneuver and then proceeds to stay low to the ground for the duration of the ride. In addition to the 81 feet tall Sidewinder, the ride goes through two stretched Corkscrews and many airtime hills. It packs a lot of things in only 1881 feet of track, and it can run with two 16 passenger trains.
The launch area.
The launch system is from Intrasys, and it uses two parallel sets of narrow LSM (Linear Synchronous Motors) that interact with permanent magnets mounted on the trains. It also means that primary braking at the end can be done with metal fins that are raised up and down to trim the train appropriately. The ride is very advanced and combined with the incredible quality of fabrication, parks quickly rushed to Vekoma and ordered more among those lines.
The back car.
The trains are brand new and are very open. For looping rides, Vekoma adopted a new version of the overhead lap bar/soft vest restraint they had introduced on the MK-1212 looping trains. Those are very comfortable and make the rides quite enjoyable and fun.
Last, Shanghai Disneyland opened to critical acclaim on June 16th, 2016, and Vekoma had a hand in delivering the two roller coasters that began with the new park.
The first one was a second Seven Dwarves Mine Train. Mechanically and from Vekoma point of view, it is similar to the one that opened at the Magic Kingdom in Florida. Walt Disney Imagineering did change the loading area to a different layout and revised the ending scene to the ride, giving the attraction more depth and a better illusion of grandeur.
Cabin Crew Coaster Kings provided us with this picture of the finale of the attraction. Cabin Crew Coaster Kings