Rampage (roller coaster)

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Rampage
Rampage, Alabama Adventure, July 4th 2008.jpg
Alabama Adventure
Coordinates 33°22′45″N 86°59′49″W / 33.37919°N 86.996902°W / 33.37919; -86.996902Coordinates: 33°22′45″N 86°59′49″W / 33.37919°N 86.996902°W / 33.37919; -86.996902
Status Operating
Opening date May 23, 1998
Cost US$4,300,000
General statistics
Type Wood
Manufacturer Custom Coasters International
Designer Larry Bill, Dennis McNulty
Track layout Terrain twister
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 120 ft (37 m)
Drop 102 ft (31 m)
Length 3,500 ft (1,100 m)
Speed 56 mph (90 km/h)
Duration 2:36
Capacity 900 riders per hour
Height restriction 48 in (122 cm)
Rampage at RCDB
Pictures of Rampage at RCDB

Rampage is a wooden roller coaster located at Alabama Splash Adventure in Bessemer, Alabama. It initially operated from 1998 to 2011. On March 15, 2014, shortly after an announcement that the park had been purchased by its current management, the Koch family, it was announced that the coaster would be refurbished and reopened as the cornerstone of the reopening of the non-water park areas of the theme park.

History[edit]

Construction of the coaster would commence in the fall of 1997,[1] and the ride would celebrate its topping out ceremony on December 2, 1997.[2] The name Rampage was selected as the winner of a name that ride contest in December 1997.[3] The Rampage moniker was submitted by local Pleasant Grove High School student Eric C. Avery with Scorpion's Tail and Jaguar coming in second and third place, respectively.[3] The ride's opening would coincide with the opening of VisionLand on May 23, 1998.[4] Rampage was received well and would be rated as the 3rd best wooden coaster and the 5th best overall coaster by Amusement Business in December 1998.[5]

After a successful first year, the park saw a significant drop in attendance, resulting in the shuttering of the coaster for the 2002 season.[6] Following the sale of the park to Southland Entertainment Group, Rampage was renovated by John Hinde Enterprises and reopened for the 2003 season.[7]

Rampage gave its last public ride in 2011, before being shut down for four years. In spring 2012, Alabama Adventure was sold to a new management that chose to focus only on the water park. In the spring of 2014, the park was sold to its current operator, the Koch family. The new owners announced a five year plan to re-open Alabama Splash Adventure with a refurbished "Rampage" coaster as its centerpiece in 2015.[8]

Track layout[edit]

The ride features a 120-foot (37 m) lift hill with a 102-foot (31 m) first drop.[2] It reaches a top speed of 56-mile-per-hour (90 km/h).[2] The ride features 9 crossovers and 13 curves and was built for US$4.3 million.[9] The ride layout is largely based on Megafobia at Oakwood Theme Park in Pembrokeshire, Wales, United Kingdom, which was also built by Custom Coasters.

Trains[edit]

Rampage currently operates with one train from Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters. The train is made up of six cars, with each car seating four people (twenty-four riders total).

When the ride opened one train was painted solid blue and the other solid maroon. Each had the VisionLand logo on the front of the train. When Southland took over in 2003 the trains received new paint jobs. The former blue train was changed to a pattern with three shades of blue, with the shades getting lighter toward the back of the train. There were airbrushed lightning bolts on the sides of the cars, with a monster eye and claw and the Rampage logo on the front of the train. The maroon train was painted with the first two cars red, the middle two orange, and the back two yellow. It had airbrushed flames on the sides and two red monsters eyes under the Rampage logo on the front.

For the 2008 season the park repainted the "fire" train solid red. The "lightning" train was also painted dark blue. During this season the park ran both trains on busy days for the first time since the 2005 season.

Trivia[edit]

Rampage opened the same day as another CCI coaster, Shivering Timbers at Michigan's Adventure.

See also[edit]

Awards[edit]

Mitch Hawker's Best Roller Coaster Poll: Best wood-Tracked Roller Coaster[10]
Year 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Ranking 4 8 6 6 8 8 11 11 13 14 24 19 15 23 21 26

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pierce, Phil (September 21, 1997). "Visionland coming into focus". Birmingham News. p. 13A. 
  2. ^ a b c Pierce, Phil (December 3, 1997). "High, long and fast: VisionLand's roller coaster reached pinnacle". Birmingham News. p. 1A. 
  3. ^ a b Gordon, Robert K. (December 16, 1997). "VisionLand's roller coaster: 'Rampage'". Birmingham News. p. 1B. 
  4. ^ Williams, Roy L. (May 14, 1998). "State tourism expected to record $5 billion". Birmingham News. p. 1B. 
  5. ^ Pierce, Phil (December 15, 1998). "Rampage placed in top 5 coasters". Birmingham News. p. 1B. 
  6. ^ Gordon, Robert K. (May 31, 2002). "VisionLand water park gets money to open, Bankruptcy filing is planned for next week". Birmingham News. p. 1B. 
  7. ^ Tomberlin, Michael (March 1, 2003). "VisionLand targets May reopening". Birmingham News. p. 1B. 
  8. ^ Tomberlin, Michael (March 16, 2014). "Koch Family has five-year plan to take Splash Adventure to new heights". Birmingham News. p. 1A. 
  9. ^ Staff Reporters (July 26, 1998). "Rampage". Birmingham News. p. 1J. 
  10. ^ Hawker, Mitch. "Wooden Roller Coaster Poll 20 Year Results Table (1994–2013)". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved March 2, 2014.