Tower of Terror II

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Tower of Terror II
TOTII - nopromo.jpg
Previously known as Tower of Terror
Dreamworld
Coordinates 27°51′50.7″S 153°19′2.6″E / 27.864083°S 153.317389°E / -27.864083; 153.317389Coordinates: 27°51′50.7″S 153°19′2.6″E / 27.864083°S 153.317389°E / -27.864083; 153.317389
Status Operating
Opening date 23 January 1997 (1997-01-23)
Cost A$16,000,000
General statistics
Type Steel – Launched – Shuttle
Manufacturer Intamin
Model Reverse Freefall Coaster
Lift/launch system Linear synchronous motor
Height 115 m (377 ft)
Drop 99.9 m (328 ft)
Length 376.4 m (1,235 ft)
Speed 160.9 km/h (100.0 mph)
Inversions 0
Duration 28 seconds
Max vertical angle 90°
Acceleration 0 to 160.9 km/h (0 to 100 mph) in 7 seconds
G-force 4.5
Height restriction 120 cm (3 ft 11 in)
Maximum Height 200 cm (6 ft 7 in)
Vehicle Single vehicle seating 14 passengers in one row of 2 and three rows of 4.
Tunnel Length 206 metres (676 ft)
Q4U virtual queuing available
Tower of Terror II at RCDB
Pictures of Tower of Terror II at RCDB

The Tower of Terror II is a steel shuttle roller coaster located at the Dreamworld amusement park on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. When the Tower of Terror opened on 23 January 1997, it was the first roller coaster in the world to reach 160.9 kilometres per hour (100.0 mph) speeds making it the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world of its time.[1][2][3] The ride is situated on the Dreamworld Tower which also houses the Giant Drop free fall ride.[3][4] The ride was originally known as the Tower of Terror until it was modified and relaunched in September 2010.[5][6]

The steel and concrete structure cost A$16 million to construct. The original ride featured a shorter, 80-metre (260 ft) tunnel, a rigid lap bar using a hydraulic locking system and would carry 15 passengers at a time.

The relaunched ride takes 14 passengers. It propels passengers to just under 161 kilometres per hour (100 mph) with a maximum of 4.5Gs and 6.5 seconds of weightlessness. As of 2010, the ride is 4th in the tallest roller coaster rankings, 3rd in the tallest roller coaster drop rankings and 4th in the fastest roller coaster rankings.

History[edit]

Construction and opening[edit]

The construction of the Tower of Terror required a mammoth effort by those involved. The ride features more than 600 metric tons (590 long tons; 660 short tons) of steel, 3,500 metric tons (3,400 long tons; 3,900 short tons) of concrete (which was delivered by 175 concrete trucks), 3,500 litres (770 imp gal; 920 US gal) of paint and over 16,000 bolts which hold the structure together. Total construction costs were estimated to be A$16 million.[3][7][8]

On 23 January 1997, the Tower of Terror was officially opened by Rob Borbidge, Premier of Queensland at the time. A plaque was dedicated in its honour detailing its opening status as the tallest and fastest ride in the world.[9]

The original logo.

Original ride[edit]

The original Tower of Terror ride featured an "escape pod" weighing 6 metric tons (5.9 long tons; 6.6 short tons). Riders would be launched forwards out of a shorter, 80-metre (260 ft) tunnel at a rate of 160.9 kilometres per hour (100.0 mph) before travelling up the 115-metre (377 ft) tower.[10] Just 0.25 seconds after the initial launch, an on-ride camera would take photographs of riders.

Escape Pod[edit]

The original Escape Pod launching up the Dreamworld Tower.

The first steel passenger vehicle, known as the Escape Pod, would carry 15 passengers in four rows and weighed around 6 metric tons (5.9 long tons; 6.6 short tons).[10] The car was equipped with four large steel road wheels that run on the track, measuring 600 millimetres (24 in) in diameter at the front and 900 millimetres (35 in) at the rear.[8] Smaller jockey wheels run on the other side of the track such that the track sits between the pairs of wheels.[citation needed]

The original Tower of Terror's restraint system consisted of a thick, rigid lap bar with hand grips mounted to the lap bar. This type of restraint feels like a lap bar restraint, while still providing the safety of a traditional over-the-shoulder restraint.[citation needed]

These restraints used a hydraulic locking system (rather than a ratchet) which allowed them to be pulled down to any position; when "locked", they could move down to any position but not up. In contrast, a ratchet-based restraint only locks at each "notch", and will often be too loose or uncomfortably tight for riders. In order to speed up loading, riders were asked to secure their own restraints if they were able to.[citation needed] The minimum height restriction is 120 centimetres (47 in), the same as most other major coasters. In addition, it is actually possible for a rider to be too tall to ride the Tower of Terror, if they are over 200 centimetres (79 in) tall.[10]

Relaunch[edit]

The first speculations about a relaunch of the Tower of Terror began in December 2009. A Gold Coast Bulletin report detailed a variety of new attractions for the Gold Coast theme parks including the major relaunch of one of Dreamworld's Big 7 Thrill Rides.[11] Although the Tower of Terror was not mentioned in the article, amusement park fanatics agreed that the Tower of Terror would be the most likely to receive the makeover.[12] In February 2010, further fuel was added to the fire when a theme park reporter commented on the possibility of the Tower of Terror featuring a new, backwards launching vehicle.[13] Towards the end of April 2010, steel framework arrived beside the Tower of Terror's launch track. The curved parts confirmed rumours that the tunnel would be extended.[14] In August 2010, Dreamworld officially announced through their website that the Tower of Terror will cease operations on 18 August 2010 and will reopen as the Tower of Terror II in time for the September school holidays. Dreamworld confirmed the rumour that the launch will be in reverse out of the newly extended 206-metre (676 ft) tunnel.[10] The ride was relaunched on 17 September 2010.[5][6]

Experience[edit]

Tower of Terror II's entrance back into the tunnel features a Low Clearance sign.
Tower of Terror II's new car descending the Dreamworld Tower.

Queue and station[edit]

The queue line begins with a footpath that extends from the underpass linking Tiger Island and Wiggles World,[15] to the inside of an 11-metre (36 ft) tall skull.[10] From there, the line bends into a tunnel where riders have to walk 270 degrees anti-clockwise, crossing a metal bridge below which a model city is displayed. This is followed by some stairs at the top of which is a Dreamworld staff member in charge of letting people pass. Fourteen people at a time are allowed to pass through to the second waiting area where they wait for instructions to proceed. In the third waiting area, riders are asked to form four queues with two people in the front queue and four people in each of the remaining three queues. The doors to the Escape Pod then open up, allowing riders to embark.[citation needed]

In the station, a kicker tyre system is used to propel the car into the launch, and also to stop the returning car. Once in the launch, a linear synchronous motor (LSM) system is used to accelerate the car along the horizontal part of the track, and also to slow the returning car.[3][16]

Vehicle[edit]

The new 5-metric-ton (4.9-long-ton; 5.5-short-ton) passenger vehicle, called the 'Escape Pod', seats 14 riders in a configuration consisting of three rows of 4 and one of two. The vehicle features a lower-profile than its predecessor.[6]

Ride[edit]

Up to 14 riders at a time[6] are electro-magnetically accelerated to 160.9 kilometres per hour (100.0 mph) in seven seconds along the extended, 206-metre (676 ft) launch tunnel. The track then pitches up 90 degrees to the vertical, with the passengers pulling 4.5Gs. Riders are weightless during the entire vertical section of the ride for about 6.5 seconds, 3.25 seconds going up and 3.25 seconds falling back down.[10] The car then pitches back down to horizontal and enters the tunnel where an on-ride camera takes photographs of riders.[5] The vehicle continues to hurtle back into the station where it comes to a fairly rapid stop.[10]

Exit[edit]

Following the ride, riders are let out an exit on the opposite side to the entry, which leads into a passageway containing a metal lift. This takes the riders back down to ground level and opens up to the Tower of Terror Warehouse merchandise shop. The shop contains souvenirs and photos of the riders in the Escape Pod for purchase.[17]

Popular Culture[edit]

The Tower of Terror is featured on the 2003 and 2004 opening sequences of Big Brother Australia

Poll ranking[edit]

The Dreamworld Tower which houses the Tower of Terror II and the Giant Drop.
Mitch Hawker's Best Roller Coaster Poll: Best Steel-Tracked Roller Coaster
Year 1999[18] 2000 2001[19] 2002[20] 2003[21] 2004[22] 2005[23] 2006[24] 2007[25] 2008[26] 2009[27] 2010[28] 2011 2012[29]
Ranking
169
[nb 1]
[nb 2]
[nb 2]
141
176
109
220
237
149
216
191
[nb 1]
168

Records[edit]

At the time of opening, in January 1997, the Tower of Terror was the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world. The ride held this title by itself for two months until it was superseded by in height by a twin-tracked version named Superman: The Escape (since rethemed as Superman: Escape from Krypton), located at Six Flags Magic Mountain in the United States.[2] Although the ride experience of the two rides is identical, the structure of Superman: The Escape is slightly taller.[16][30][31] The title of the World's Fastest Roller Coaster was shared between the two rides for the next four years until Dodonpa at Fuji-Q Highland opened in December 2001.[1][32] The title of the World's Tallest Roller Coaster Drop remained for a longer period of time. In 2003, Top Thrill Dragster opened at Cedar Point with a drop 21 metres (69 ft) taller than the drop of the Tower of Terror.[2][33]

In September 2011, the Tower of Terror II was placed 4th in the tallest roller coaster rankings, 3rd in the tallest roller coaster drop rankings and 5th in the fastest roller coaster rankings.[1][2][30]

Preceded by
Fujiyama
World's Fastest Roller Coaster
January 1997–December 2001[1]
Succeeded by
Dodonpa
Preceded by
Fujiyama
World's Tallest Roller Coaster Drop
January 1997–May 2003[30]
Succeeded by
Top Thrill Dragster
Preceded by
Fujiyama
World's Tallest Roller Coaster
January 1997–March 1997[2]
Succeeded by
Superman: The Escape

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b No Steel Roller Coaster Poll was held this year.
  2. ^ a b Not enough riders to rank the roller coaster this year.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Marden, Duane. "Record Holders  (Speed)". Roller Coaster DataBase. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Roller Coaster Database. "Record Holders (Height)". Database Entry. Roller Coaster Database.
  3. ^ a b c d "Tower of Terror". Database Entry. Parkz. Retrieved 9 August 2010. 
  4. ^ "Giant Drop (Dreamworld)". Database Entry. Parkz. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c Irvine, Ashley (17 September 2010). "Dreamworld launches the Tower of Terror II". Theme Park News Direct. Retrieved 17 September 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d Jabour, Bridie (17 September 2010). "Dreamworld launches new Terror". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 17 September 2010. 
  7. ^ "Tower of Terror". Amusement Ride Extravaganza. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  8. ^ a b "Tower of Terror - Thrill Rides". Database Entry. Ultimate Rollercoaster. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  9. ^ Wilson, Richard. "Official opening details". Photo. Parkz. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "The Tower of Terror". Dreamworld. Retrieved 9 August 2010. 
  11. ^ Lucy Ardern; Tanya Westthorp (30 December 2009). "Gold Coast theme parks in ride war". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  12. ^ "What's new for 2010". Poll. Parkz. 30 December 2009. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  13. ^ Wilson, Richard (20 February 2010). "Tower of Terror in reverse?". News Article. Parkz. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  14. ^ ads086 (21 April 2010). "Tower of Terror Update". Photos. Parkz. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  15. ^ "Park Map". Dreamworld. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  16. ^ a b Marden, Duane. "Tower of Terror  (Dreamworld)". Roller Coaster DataBase. 
  17. ^ Dreamworld and WhiteWater World Park Map (2009).
  18. ^ "1999 Internet Steel Tracked Roller Coaster Poll". Best Roller Coaster Poll. 1999. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  19. ^ "2001 Internet Steel Tracked Roller Coaster Poll". Best Roller Coaster Poll. 2001. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  20. ^ "2002 Internet Steel Tracked Roller Coaster Poll". Best Roller Coaster Poll. 2002. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  21. ^ "2003 Internet Steel Tracked Roller Coaster Poll". Best Roller Coaster Poll. 2003. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  22. ^ "2004 Internet Steel Tracked Roller Coaster Poll". Best Roller Coaster Poll. 2004. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  23. ^ "2005 Internet Steel Tracked Roller Coaster Poll". Best Roller Coaster Poll. 2005. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  24. ^ "Steel Roller Coaster Poll 2006". Best Roller Coaster Poll. 2006. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  25. ^ "Steel Roller Coaster Poll 2007". Best Roller Coaster Poll. 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  26. ^ "Steel Roller Coaster Poll 2008". Best Roller Coaster Poll. 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  27. ^ "Steel Roller Coaster Poll 2009". Best Roller Coaster Poll. 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  28. ^ "Steel Roller Coaster Poll 2010". Best Roller Coaster Poll. 2010. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  29. ^ "Detailed Steel Roller Coaster Poll 2012". Best Roller Coaster Poll. 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
  30. ^ a b c Marden, Duane. "Record Holders - Drop". Database Entry. Roller Coaster Database. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  31. ^ Marden, Duane. "Superman: The Escape  (Six Flags Magic Mountain)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 3 October 2010. 
  32. ^ Marden, Duane. "Dodonpa  (Fuji-Q Highland)". Roller Coaster DataBase. 
  33. ^ Marden, Duane. "Top Thrill Dragster  (Cedar Point)". Roller Coaster DataBase. 

External links[edit]