Volcano, The Blast Coaster

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Volcano, The Blast Coaster
Volcano, The Blast Coaster (Kings Dominion) 02.jpg
Kings Dominion
Park section Safari Village
Coordinates 37°50′21.7″N 77°26′24.6″W / 37.839361°N 77.440167°W / 37.839361; -77.440167Coordinates: 37°50′21.7″N 77°26′24.6″W / 37.839361°N 77.440167°W / 37.839361; -77.440167
Status Operating
Opening date August 3, 1998 (1998-08-03)
Cost $20 million
Replaced Smurf Mountain
General statistics
Type Steel – Inverted – Launched
Manufacturer Intamin
Designer Werner Stengel and Paramount Parks
Model Suspended Catapult Coaster
Lift/launch system LIM Launch
Height 155 ft (47 m)
Drop 80 ft (24 m)
Length 2,757 ft (840 m)
Speed 70 mph (110 km/h)
Inversions 4
Duration 1:10
Max vertical angle 90°
Acceleration 0 to 70 mph
G-force 4
Height restriction 54 in (137 cm)
Trains 3 trains with 4 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 16 riders per train.
Fast Lane Plus only available
Volcano, The Blast Coaster at RCDB
Pictures of Volcano, The Blast Coaster at RCDB

Volcano, The Blast Coaster, or simply Volcano, is a launched inverted roller coaster at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia. Designed by both Paramount Parks and Werner Stengel and built by Intamin, Volcano was the world's first inverted roller coaster to feature an LIM (linear induction motor) and is the only one of its kind that completes a full circuit. Since its opening on August 3, 1998, Volcano has been one of the more popular rides in the park.[1] Volcano's train is located inside a giant model of a Volcano and riders go inside a volcano, which makes it an enclosed roller coaster.

History[edit]

Volcano was designed around a dormant attraction once known as the Lost World and Smurf Mountain. Declining popularity towards the end of the 1980s led to the removal of the mountain's last two rides in 1995 and cast doubt on the area's future.[2] However on July 22, 1997, Paramount Parks announced plans to revitalize the mountain by making it the future site of the new roller coaster.[3]

In late 1997, Volcano, The Blast Coaster was announced. LIM technology was still somewhat new and the ride had many bugs in the launch system. However, this issue wasn't new with the park, especially with Flight of Fear nearby. Volcano finally had a soft opening on August 3, 1998. The ride officially opened on August 15, 1998 as the park's new star attraction. During the 1998 season, the ride operated at half-capacity, with every other row being loaded. In 1999, the bugs were fixed and Volcano was running at full capacity. In 2005 and 2010, Volcano's structure was given a fresh coat of paint.

Ride experience[edit]

Volcano, The Blast Coaster in action.

Volcano's layout is based on a volcanic eruption. Upon boarding one of three trains at the base of the mountain, riders make a slow turn left out of the station. The train then moves into its first of two launch tracks, which accelerates the train to 70 miles per hour (110 km/h). After making a sweeping 200-degree turn behind the mountain, the train enters the second launch tunnel, followed by a vertical section ending in a "roll out" element. The "roll out", similar to a sidewinder, is essentially a vertical section of track followed by a quarter loop to bring the train completely upside down, then a loose half-corkscrew. According to Roller Coaster DataBase, the roll out element is unique to Volcano.[4] The highest point of the roll out is 155 feet (47 m) above ground level, making it the tallest inversion at Kings Dominion, taller than Dominator's 135-foot (41 m) vertical loop. After the roll-out, the train makes a sweeping turn around the mountain followed by a heartline roll in midair. The train makes another turnaround and passes through a second heartline roll, which is embedded into the side of the mountain. After another turnaround and a third heartline roll, the train makes a turning, 80-foot (24 m) drop into the final brake run.[2]

Incidents[edit]

On June 23, 2006, the roller coaster experienced a launch failure when a train carrying 15 passengers stalled and rolled back slightly. Some were stranded for more than two hours. One rider reported hearing a loud pop and getting hit in the chin with flying debris.[5][6]

Records[edit]

Volcano, The Blast Coaster once held the record of the tallest inversion in the world at 155 feet (47 m). In May 2013, GateKeeper at Cedar Point took the record with an inversion that stands at 170 feet (52 m).[7]

Rankings[edit]

Golden Ticket Awards: Top steel Roller Coasters
Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Ranking 25[8] 28[9] 28[10] 23[11] 23[12] 25[13] 28[14] 33[15] 41[16] 35[17] 29 (tied)[18] 40[19] 39[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.kingsdominion.com/rides/Thrill-Rides/Volcano-The-Blast-Coaster
  2. ^ a b "Volcano: the Blast Coaster, Kings Dominion". COASTER-net.com. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "Paramount's Kings Dominion to introduce its tenth roller coaster in 1998". Paramount's Kings Dominion. July 22, 1997. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Roller Coaster Search Results
  5. ^ "Launch failure on Kings Dominion's Volcano strands 15, hurts 2". June 24, 2006. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  6. ^ "Two injured on Volcano Ride". The Free Lance Star. 2006-06-24. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "GateKeeper is breaking more records". Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. August 2001. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. September 2002. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 14–15B. September 2003. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 18–19B. September 2004. Archived from the original on April 3, 2007. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 26–27B. September 2005. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 26–27B. September 2006. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 11 (6.2): 36–37. September 2007. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 12 (6.2): 36–37. September 2008. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 13 (6.2): 32–33. September 2009. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 14 (6.2): 34–35. September 2010. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 15 (6.2): 38–39. September 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 16 (6.2): 36–37. September 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  20. ^ "2013 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 17 (6.2): 34–35. September 2013. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Viper
World's tallest roller coaster inversion
August 1998–May 2013
Succeeded by
GateKeeper
Preceded by
Alpengeist
World's fastest inverted roller coaster
August 1998–May 2002
Succeeded by
Wicked Twister