Silver Bullet (roller coaster)

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Silver Bullet
Silver Bullet sign.jpg
SilverBulletCoaster.jpg
The loop on Silver Bullet, its first inversion, is placed over water.
Knott's Berry Farm
Park section Ghost Town
Coordinates 33°50′40″N 117°59′59″W / 33.84444°N 117.99972°W / 33.84444; -117.99972Coordinates: 33°50′40″N 117°59′59″W / 33.84444°N 117.99972°W / 33.84444; -117.99972
Status Operating
Opening date December 7, 2004
Cost US$16,000,000
General statistics
Type Steel – Inverted
Manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard
Model Inverted coaster
Lift/launch system Chain lift
Height 146 ft (45 m)
Drop 109 ft (33 m)
Length 3,125 ft (952 m)
Speed 55 mph (89 km/h)
Inversions 6
Duration 2:30
Max vertical angle 40°
Capacity 1300 riders per hour
G-force 3
Height restriction 54 in (137 cm)
Trains 2 trains with 8 cars. Riders are arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 32 riders per train.
Fast Lane available
Silver Bullet at RCDB
Pictures of Silver Bullet at RCDB

Silver Bullet is a western-themed steel inverted roller coaster designed by Bolliger & Mabillard located at Knott's Berry Farm, an amusement park in Buena Park, California. The $16 million roller coaster was announced on December 1, 2003 and opened on December 7, 2004. A first rider auction was also held where people would bid on seats to be the first riders. The track is approximately 3,125 feet (952 m) long and the lift hill is about 146 feet (45 m) tall. The ride lasts two minutes and thirty seconds and features six inversions including a vertical loop, cobra roll, zero-g roll, and two corkscrews.

History[edit]

On May 28, 2003, a trademark for the name "Silver Bullet" was filed by Cedar Fair, the owners of the park.[1] Construction for the new roller coaster began in September 2003 with the relocation of The Church of Reflections.[2] As part of a $85 million investment in all Cedar Fair parks, Silver Bullet was announced to the public on December 1, 2003.[3][4] The final piece of track was placed on September 30, 2004.[5] On November 5, 2004, Knott's Berry Farm launched a "First Rider Auction" in which people from anywhere in the world would bid against each other in order to be one of the first public riders on Silver Bullet on December 7, 2004. Although sixty seats were made available, only 13 of these received bids. Out of those bids, the highest bid was $200 (US), and a total of $1643 was raised with all the money going to the Speech & Language Development Center of Buena Park.[6][7] After construction and testing was completed, the roller coaster opened first to the media, then to the public on December 7, 2004 though the initial scheduled opening was on Christmas Eve of 2004.[8][9][10] Silver Bullet was also one of four attractions that opened at Knott's Berry Farm in the same year and carries a western theme.[10][11][12]

Ride experience[edit]

Silver Bullet's cobra roll

Silver Bullet's layout passes through three of the park's themed areas: Ghost Town, Fiesta Village, and Indian Trails.[10]

After the train departs from the station, it makes a 90 degree right turn before beginning to climb the 146-foot (45 m) lift hill. Once at the top, the train goes through a pre-drop before entering the 109-foot (33 m) downward right drop. Once at the bottom, the train enters a 105-foot (32 m) loop. After exiting the loop, the train makes a banked right turn leading into the cobra roll. Almost immediately after, the train goes through a zero-gravity roll followed by a downward left helix. Then, the train enters the first of two corkscrews which are separated by a banked left turn. Next, the train enters an upward left helix (the beginning of the helix is close to water) before entering the brake run. The train then makes a right turn into a second, shorter, brake run which leads straight back to the station.[13] One cycle lasts approximately two minutes and thirty seconds.[8]

Track[edit]

The steel track of Silver Bullet is approximately 3,125 feet (952 m) long, and the height of the lift is approximately 146 feet (45 m) high. Silver Bullet, along with all of Bolliger & Mabillard's other roller coasters, was manufactured by Clermont Steel Fabricators located in Batavia, Ohio and erected by Coan Construction Company.[14][15][16] The track is filled with sand to reduce the noise made by the trains.[17] Silver Bullet was also the first Bolliger & Mabillard inverted roller coaster to use magnetic brakes in the brake run.[17] The track and supports of the lift hill are red, with the remaining track being yellow with red rails and the remaining supports colored white.[8][13][18]

Trains[edit]

Silver Bullet operates with two steel and fiberglass trains. Each train has eight cars that can seat four riders in a single row, for a total of 32 riders per train.[8] The seats are coloured light blue, while the over-the-shoulder restraints and the coverings for the wheels are red.[17]

Reception[edit]

Joel Taylor from Amusement Business praised the ride saying, "In all, it's an exhilarating 2 1/2 minutes from start to finish." He was also impressed with the ride's smoothness and overall excitement, stating that the ride is, "smooth and comfortable while delivering twisting, stomach-churning excitement."[19]

Awards[edit]

Since Silver Bullet's debut in 2004, it has consistently been ranked in the top 140 positions in Mitch Hawker's Best Roller Steel Coaster Poll. It peaked at position 99 in 2010.[20] The roller coaster has never placed on the Golden Ticket Awards.[21]

Mitch Hawker's Best Roller Coaster Poll: Best Steel-Tracked Roller Coaster
Year 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Ranking
120[20]
110[20]
129[20]
126[20]
109[20]
99[20]
^1
136[20]
  1. ^ No Steel Roller Coaster Poll was held in 2011.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Silver Bullet Trademark". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved April 3, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Knott's Relocating Church for Major New Attraction". Ultimate Rollercoaster. September 12, 2003. Retrieved May 22, 2013. 
  3. ^ Marden, Duane. "Silver Bullet Press Release  (Knott's Berry Farm)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Parks in bloom: Will business blossom?". Amusement Business 117 (4): 6, 24. April 2005. 
  5. ^ "Final Track Piece Set On Knott's New Roller Coaster". Ultimate Rollercoaster. October 1, 2004. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Charity Ride Auction hosted by Knott's Berry Farm". Knott's Berry Farm. Archived from the original on November 22, 2004. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Silver Bullet Ride Auction Bid Page". Knott's Berry Farm. Archived from the original on November 20, 2004. 
  8. ^ a b c d Marden, Duane. "Silver Bullet  (Knott's Berry Farm)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Silver Bullet, the West's Largest Suspended Coaster, Fires off on December 7". Business Wire. December 7, 2004. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c "In Brief Parks & Attractions". Amusement Business 115 (50): 7. December 15, 2003. 
  11. ^ Gieszl, Eric (December 8, 2004). "Knott's Prepares To Fire Off New Attraction On Dec. 7". Ultimate Rollercoaster. Retrieved May 23, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Knott's Prepares To Fire Off New Attraction On Dec. 7". Ultimate Rollercoaster. November 8, 2004. Retrieved May 23, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "Silver Bullet Front Row on-ride POV Knott's Berry Farm". Coaster Force (YouTube). November 16, 2004. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  14. ^ Miller, Ken (December 11, 2008). Scott & Carol Present: Getting On Track With B&M. Interview with Scott and Carol Holmes. NewsPlusNotes. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  15. ^ Guido, Anna (November 7, 2005). "Steel plant's business on fast track". Cincinnati Enquirer. Archived from the original on January 7, 2006. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Feature Projects". Coan Construction Company. Retrieved May 22, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b c "Silver Bullet Pictures". Ultimate Rollercoaster. Retrieved April 1, 2013. 
  18. ^ Marden, Duane. "Silver Bullet, Knott's Berry Farm | Picture Gallery  (Knott's Berry Farm)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Silver Bullet". Amusement Business 117 (3): 38. March 2005. 
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h Hawker, Mitch. "Best Steel Roller Coaster Poll 12 year results table". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved April 4, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Issue Archive". Amusement Today. Retrieved May 23, 2013. 

External links[edit]