Great Coasters International

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Great Coasters International
Industry Manufacturing
Founded 1994 (1994)
Headquarters Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA
Area served Worldwide
Products Wooden roller coasters
Website greatcoasters.com

Great Coasters International, Inc. (GCI or GCII) is a Sunbury, Pennsylvania-based roller coaster manufacturer which has created several award-winning rides since its formation in 1994. Starting in 2006 with Thunderbird in Finland, the company expanded beyond the United States and began building coasters in Europe and Asia. Güenter-Engelhardt GmbH handles the company's marketing rights in Europe. In addition to designing and building new roller coasters, GCI also refurbishes and re-tracks existing roller coasters, regardless of manufacturer.

GCI designed roller coasters are known for their often curved drops, twisted layouts, and perception of high speed. Exciting elements such as the station fly-by and station fly-through have been incorporated in many of their layouts.

Many GCI designed roller coasters also contain an on-ride camera midway through or towards the end of the ride.

History[edit]

GCII was founded in 1994 by Mike Boodley and Clair Hain, Jr. Boodley was a coaster designer previously with Custom Coasters International and Hain had gained a reputation throughout the industry as a master coaster builder. In 1996, the firm opened Wildcat at Hershey Park which contained many of the signature elements the firm would soon became known for: tight sweeping curves, reminiscent of designs from the turn of the century by such noted coaster designers as Fred Church and Harry Traver. In 2005, Boodley retired and assigned Jeff Pike with the responsibility as lead designer for the firm. The first coaster that Pike is credited with is the Kentucky Rumbler at Beech Bend Park near Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Millennium Flyer trains[edit]

Troy at Toverland is one of GCI's roller coasters that run Millennium Flyer trains

Most GCI designed roller coasters run with in-house-designed articulated Millennium Flyer trains. The only exception is Roar at Six Flags America, which runs with Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters (PTC)-designed trains. Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and GCI's first roller coaster, Wildcat at Hersheypark, also operated with PTC trains when they first opened, but both coasters have since been modified to run with the Millennium Flyer trains.

These trains are known for their cushioned seats, allowing riders to be comfortable during rides. These trains also contain individual lap bars which automatically lower and lock into a position to accommodate the rider, allowing quicker dispatch times. Millennium Flyer trains are known for their classic look with flared seat sides and individual lap bars. They are easily identified by their open, gate-like fronts, usually customized with the logo for the respective ride they are running on.

Installations[edit]

This list was last completed and checked as of July 6, 2013.[1]

Name Model Park Year Opened Status
American Thunder (formerly Evel Knievel) Wooden Coaster Six Flags St. Louis 2008
Operating
Apocalypse (formerly Terminator Salvation: The Ride) Wooden Coaster Six Flags Magic Mountain 2009
Operating
El Toro Wooden Coaster Freizeitpark Plohn 2009
Operating
Gold Striker Wooden Coaster California's Great America 2013
Operating
Gwazi Dueling Wooden Coaster Busch Gardens Tampa Bay 1999
Operating (one side only)
Joris en de Draak Racing Wooden Coaster Efteling 2010
Operating
Kentucky Rumbler Wooden Coaster Beech Bend Park 2006
Operating
Lightning Racer Racing Wooden Coaster Hersheypark 2000
Operating
Ozark Wildcat Wooden Coaster Celebration City 2003
SBNO
Since: 2008
Prowler Wooden Coaster Worlds of Fun 2009
Operating
Renegade Wooden Coaster Valleyfair 2007
Operating
Roar Wooden Coaster Six Flags America 1998
Operating
Roar Wooden Coaster Six Flags Discovery Kingdom 1999
Operating
Thunderbird Wooden Coaster PowerPark 2006
Operating
Thunderhead Wooden Coaster Dollywood 2004
Operating
Troy Wooden Coaster Toverland 2007
Operating
Wildcat Wooden Coaster Hersheypark 1996
Operating
Wood Coaster (Mountain Flyer) Wooden Coaster OCT East 2011
Operating
Wodan Timbur Coaster Wooden Coaster Europa-Park 2012
Operating
White Lightning Wooden Coaster Fun Spot Action Park 2013
Operating

References[edit]

External links[edit]