Viper (Six Flags Great America)

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Viper
Six Flags Great America - Viper roller coaster.jpg
An aerial photo of a train on Viper's lift hill, as seen prior to the addition of Hurricane Harbor.
Six Flags Great America
Park section Southwest Territory
Coordinates 42°22′05″N 87°56′14″W / 42.36806°N 87.93722°W / 42.36806; -87.93722Coordinates: 42°22′05″N 87°56′14″W / 42.36806°N 87.93722°W / 42.36806; -87.93722
Status Operating
Opening date April 29, 1995
General statistics
Type Wood
Manufacturer Six Flags
Designer Six Flags
Track layout Cyclone (mirror image)
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 100 ft (30 m)
Drop 80 ft (24 m)
Length 3,458 ft (1,054 m)
Speed 50 mph (80 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration 1:45
Max vertical angle 53°
Capacity 1000 riders per hour
G-force 3.6
Height restriction 48 in (122 cm)
Trains 2 trains with 5 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 3 rows for a total of 30 riders per train.
Flash Pass Available
Viper at RCDB
Pictures of Viper at RCDB

Viper is a wooden roller coaster located at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, which opened in 1995. Viper features a layout that is a mirror image of the Coney Island Cyclone and is the only roller coaster ever to be built directly by Six Flags.[citation needed] Viper is also the only wooden roller coaster that has ever carried this name, (all the other Viper roller coasters, both operating and not, have been steel roller coasters). It was built by Rygiel Construction.

Overview[edit]

Viper as seen just before dusk

Throughout the years, Viper's queue has undergone numerous modifications to accommodate additions such as the addition of Raging Bull directly south of the ride and the entrance to the adjacent Hurricane Harbor water park directly west of the ride. Unlike most Cyclone clones, Viper provides a much smoother ride than the original Cyclone.

During its first year of operation, Viper was located in Hometown Square. With the opening of Southwest Territory in 1996, Viper was officially made part of Southwest Territory, where it and Raging Bull are the anchor attractions.

On May 24, 2013, the park announced that Viper would be one of three coasters running backwards for the first time during 2013 season for a limited time along with Batman: The Ride and American Eagle(which wasn't going backwards for the first time) .[1][2]

Ride experience[edit]

Riders enter Viper from Southwest Territory. After winding through an outdoor queue passing under parts of Raging Bull, guests enter the station and board the 30 passenger PTC trains. These trains are very similar to the trains on The The American Eagle, however, painted green to resemble a snake.

Layout[edit]

Upon leaving the station, trains make a slight left hand turn, followed by a straight segment of track. This leads into another left hand turn and trains then climb the 100-foot-tall (30 m) lift hill. At the top, the track drops at a 53-degree angle. The maximum speed may vary between 50 and 55 miles per hour (80 and 88km/h) depending on the weather conditions, time of day and the load. Next the train rises into a right hand turn around. This turn around leads to a sharp second drop, before rising over another hill, and passing through a left hand second turn around. The second turn around has a double down element as riders descend another drop into the wooden structure. The ride makes another out and back run, and after the final turn around, hits the brake run, ending the ride.

Viper's overall layout is a mirror image of the Coney Island Cyclone, however, the approach to the lift hill is much longer and the final turn leads into a straight brake run leading directly into the station. The second turn around also is a direct gradual ascent, peaking at the middle, before leading into a double down drop.

Awards[edit]

Golden Ticket Awards: Top wood Roller Coasters
Year 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Ranking 24[3] 19[4] 24[5] [6] 24[7] 23[8] 29[9] 26[10] 32[11] 37[12] 30[13] 30[14] 34[15] 41[16] 26[17] 44 (tie)[18]

Incidents[edit]

On June 25, 1997 a 14-year-old Waukegan boy injured his arm while dangling it outside the car. His limb got caught between the car and the platform as the ride reentered the station and slowed to a stop.[19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Six Flags Great America Announces BATMAN: The Ride Backwards" (Press release). Six Flags Great America. February 21, 2013. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Six Flags Announces a Full Season of Backwards". Six Flags. May 24, 2013. Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Top 25 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 6B. August 1998. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Top 25 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 6B. August 1999. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Top 25 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. August 2000. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Top 25 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 6B. August 2001. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Top 25 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 6B. September 2002. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 10–11B. September 2003. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 14–15B. September 2004. Archived from the original on April 3, 2007. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 22–23B. September 2005. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 30–31B. September 2006. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 11 (6.2): 42–43. September 2007. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 12 (6.2): 42–43. September 2008. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 13 (6.2): 38–39. September 2009. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 14 (6.2): 38–39. September 2010. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 15 (6.2): 46–47. September 2011. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 16 (6.2): 46–47. September 2012. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  18. ^ "2013 Top 50 wood Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 17 (6.2): 40–41. September 2013. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  19. ^ Buchanan, Andrew (1997-06-25). "Thrill Park Says Teen Caused Accident". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-07-14.