Fans of classic roller coaster designs rejoice – one of the original looping coasters has received a new lease on life.
If you’re a hardcore roller coaster fan – you should instantly recognize the the motion being mimicked in this commercial – for the uninitiated, it’s the famous profile and movements of the Schwarzkopf Shuttle Loop.
Sadly, only half of the installations of this compact, but thrilling ride remain in the world today. The one we’ll be focusing on resides at Walibi World in Belgium.
The ride, originally called “Turbine,” had been closed since 2008, when parts simply ran out to repair the ride. (Schwarzkopf went under well over a decade ago). But the park had an idea – they contacted current coaster manufacturer Gerstlauer and asked, “Could you modernize the launch system on ‘Turbine’ to make it faster, more reliable and cheaper to operate?”
Turns out they could!
With a newer, more reliable launching system, utilizing all of the original track, mind you – Walibi went a step further, by giving the attraction an entirely new theme and completely enclosing the ride’s track. “Turbine” would enter the new millennium with a modern, linear induction launch system and be re-born as “Psyké Underground,” a dance club themed coaster.
Now at first thought, the theme might be a bit too much – a bit “over hip,” if you will. But after seeing the effects and how they work in tandem with the storyline of the ride – well, it WORKS!
For fans of this type of ride (and you know who you are), you’ll also be happy to know the ride still goes “all the way” up the back spike as well.
With the success of this transformation, my attention turns to another classic shuttle loop that has cheated the wrecking ball several times: “Montezooma’s Revenge” at Knott’s Berry Farm.
Because Schwarzkopf went out of business in the mid-1990’s, many of the parts for the ride have become scarce or must be manufactured in-house at enormous expense. When the clutch for the flywheel system burned out in the mid-2000s, many fans wondered if the ride would simply be removed, because of the lack of available parts.
With the recent closure of “Greezed Lightning” at Kentucky Kingdom, many of the parts and indeed the train from that ride (which itself was a combination of the original “Tidal Wave” weight drop shuttle loops from the two Marriott’s Great America parks) were purchased and shipped to Knott’s earlier this year to assist in keeping “Monte,” as it’s affectionately known, up and running.
Built in 1978, it’s the last flywheel shuttle loop of it’s kind in the United States, and one of only TWO left operating in North America).
A modification and modernization such as the one done to “Psyké Underground” in Belgium not only could keep the ride around for many more years, but could also significantly lower overall operating costs. No need to enclose the ride – though it would certainly make for a different riding experience with those strobe lights in a tube!
Now, I know, it’s not the “classic” launch system…but to me – it’s still the same ride if the track layout and design isn’t modified. The renovation done at Walibi World just goes to show, that a brilliant design, no matter the age, will ALWAYS stand the test of time!
And for those who are fans of the bouncy, modern dance soundtrack for the ride, you can find it here and on iTunes:
Sorry for the delay, folks – I’ve been diligently trying to manage the YouTube channel…
“Why?” do you ask yourselves…because one of the videos I created (and hosted) went VIRAL.
Sadly, so did all the comments I was getting, hence the need to stay off here for awhile. Turns out the video was found by one of Bert Kreisher’s fans, (former host of “Bert the Conqueror”) and they promptly linked to the video via the Joe Rogan message board, a comedy partner / friend of Kreisher’s. The video had a respectable 185 views on the Friday before Memorial Day. By the end of the long weekend, I had over 2,000! (and still counting!)
While a majority of the comments were, how can I say, juvenile and even vitriolic (Seriously, how many ways can you scream “fag” before it gets old. – One is the correct answer here) And the most ironic part, I’m not even gay, so jokes on you, assholes!
That being said, I’ll take the views and exposure any way I can get it, even if it means dealing with dumb asses; because as we all know, the internet gave voices to all of us – and the loudest voice was apparently given to all the morons, creeps and miscrients with a computer.
So, as promised, I give you all a treat, OUR FIRST AUTHORIZED POV session aboard V2: Vertical Velocity at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. Enjoy and #letsride! (Literally, this time!)