Great Coasters International

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Great Coasters International
IndustryManufacturing
Founded1994 (1994)
Headquarters,
U.S.
Area served
Worldwide
ProductsWooden roller coasters
Websitegreatcoasters.com

Great Coasters International, Inc. (GCI or GCII) is a Sunbury, Pennsylvania-based roller coaster manufacturer which has created several award-winning rides since its formation in 1994. Starting in 2006 with Thunderbird at PowerPark in Finland, the company expanded beyond the United States and began building coasters in Europe and Asia. Günter Engelhardt GmbH handles the company's marketing rights in Europe. In addition to designing and building new roller coasters, GCI also refurbishes and re-tracks existing roller coasters, regardless of manufacturer.

GCI designed roller coasters are known for their often curved drops, twisted layouts, and perception of high speed. Exciting elements such as the station fly-by and station fly-through have been incorporated in many of their layouts.

Many GCI designed roller coasters also contain an on-ride camera midway through or towards the end of the ride.

History[edit]

GCI was founded in 1994 by Mike Boodley and Clair Hain, Jr. Boodley was a coaster designer previously with Custom Coasters International and Hain had gained a reputation throughout the industry as a master coaster builder. In 1996, the firm opened Wildcat at Hershey Park which contained many of the signature elements the firm would soon become known for: tight sweeping curves, reminiscent of designs from the turn of the century by such noted coaster designers as Fred Church and Harry Traver. In 2005, Boodley retired and assigned Jeff Pike with the responsibility as lead designer for the firm. The first coaster that Pike is credited with is the Kentucky Rumbler at Beech Bend Park near Bowling Green, Kentucky. Though GCI is capable of re-tracking roller coasters, they haven't re-tracked many. One of their most notable re-tracking was in 2016, for the GhostRider at Knott's Berry Farm. The roller coaster was in need of a refurb (due to its aging and roughness). Originally planned to be retracked by Rocky Mountain Construction, Cedar Fair ultimately decided to work with GCI instead.

Millennium Flyer trains[edit]

Troy at Toverland is one of GCI's roller coasters that runs Millennium Flyer trains

Most GCI-designed roller coasters run with in-house-designed articulated Millennium Flyer trains. The only exception is Roar at Six Flags America, which runs with Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters-designed trains. Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and GCI's first roller coaster, Wildcat at Hersheypark, also operated with PTC trains when they first opened, but both coasters have since been modified to run with the Millennium Flyer trains. In 2017, Wildcat at Lake Compounce also received Millennium Flyer trains even though the coaster was made by Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters or PTC.

These trains are known for their cushioned seats, allowing riders to be comfortable during rides. These trains also contain individual lap bars which automatically lower and lock into a position to accommodate the rider, allowing quicker dispatch times. With their easily identified open, gate-like fronts, usually customized with the logo for the respective ride on which they are running, Millennium Flyer trains are styled similarly to trains seen during the golden age of rollercoasters.

List of roller coasters[edit]

As of 2019, Great Coasters International has built 28 roller coasters around the world.[1]

Name Model Park Country Opened Status Ref
Wildcat Wood Support Structure Hersheypark United States United States 1996 Operating [2]
Roar Wood Support Structure Six Flags America United States United States 1998 Operating [3]
Roar Wood Support Structure Six Flags Discovery Kingdom United States United States 1999 Converted
Now known as The Joker
[4]
Gwazi Wood Support Structure Busch Gardens Tampa United States United States 1999 Closed [5]
Lightning Racer Wood Support Structure Hersheypark United States United States 2000 Operating [6]
Ozark Wildcat Wood Support Structure Celebration City United States United States 2003 Removed [7]
Thunderhead Wood Support Structure Dollywood United States United States 2004 Operating [8]
Thunderbird Wood Support Structure PowerLand Finland Finland 2006 Operating [9]
Kentucky Rumbler Wood Support Structure Beech Bend United States United States 2006 Operating [10]
Renegade Wood Support Structure Valleyfair United States United States 2007 Operating [11]
Troy Wood Support Structure Toverland Netherlands Netherlands 2007 Operating [12]
American Thunder
Formerly Evel Knievel
Wood Support Structure Six Flags St. Louis United States United States 2008 Operating [13]
El Toro Wood Support Structure Freizeitpark Plohn Germany Germany 2009 Operating [14]
Prowler Wood Support Structure Worlds of Fun United States United States 2009 Operating [15]
Apocalypse The Ride
Formerly Terminator Salvation: The Ride
Wood Support Structure Six Flags Magic Mountain United States United States 2009 Operating [16]
Joris en de Draak Wood Support Structure Efteling Netherlands Netherlands 2010 Operating [17]
Wood Coaster Wood Support Structure Knight Valley China China 2011 Operating [18]
Wodan Timbur Coaster Wood Support Structure Europa Park Germany Germany 2012 Operating [19]
White Lightning Steel Support Structure Fun Spot America Orlando United States United States 2013 Operating [20]
Gold Striker Wood Support Structure California's Great America United States United States 2013 Operating [21]
Python in Bamboo Forest Wood Support Structure Nanchang Wanda Park China China 2016 Operating [22]
Jungle Dragon Wood Support Structure Happy Valley Chongqing China China 2017 Operating [23]
Heidi: The Ride Wood Support Structure Plopsaland De Panne Belgium Belgium 2017 Operating [24]
InvadR Steel Support Structure Busch Gardens Williamsburg United States United States 2017 Operating [25]
Mystic Timbers Wood Support Structure Kings Island United States United States 2017 Operating [26]
Great Desert-Rally Wood Support Structure Happy Valley Chengdu China China 2017 Operating [27]
Wicker Man Wood Support Structure Alton Towers United Kingdom United Kingdom 2018 Operating [28]
Unknown Wood Support Structure Holiday Park Kownaty Poland Poland 2019 Under Construction [29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Great Coasters International - rcdb.com
  2. ^ Marden, Duane. "Wildcat  (Herseypark)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  3. ^ Marden, Duane. "Roar  (Six Flags America)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  4. ^ Marden, Duane. "Roar  (Six Flags Discovery Kingdom)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  5. ^ Marden, Duane. "Gwazi  (Busch Gardens Tampa)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  6. ^ Marden, Duane. "Lightning Racer  (Hersheypark)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  7. ^ Marden, Duane. "Ozark Wildcat  (Celebration City)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  8. ^ Marden, Duane. "Thunderhead  (Dollywood)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  9. ^ Marden, Duane. "Thunderbird  (PowerLand)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  10. ^ Marden, Duane. "Kentucky Rumbler  (Beech Bend)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  11. ^ Marden, Duane. "Renegade  (Valleyfair!)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  12. ^ Marden, Duane. "Troy  (Toverland)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  13. ^ Marden, Duane. "American Thunder  (Six Flags St. Louis)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  14. ^ Marden, Duane. "El Toro  (Freizeitpark Plohn)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  15. ^ Marden, Duane. "Prowler  (Worlds Of Fun)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  16. ^ Marden, Duane. "Apocalypse The Ride  (Six Flags Magic Mountain)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  17. ^ Marden, Duane. "Joris En De Draak  (Efteling)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  18. ^ Marden, Duane. "Wood Coaster  (Knight Valley)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  19. ^ Marden, Duane. "Wodan Timbur Coaster  (Europa Park)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  20. ^ Marden, Duane. "White Lightning  (Fun Spot America Orlando)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  21. ^ Marden, Duane. "Gold Striker  (California's Great America)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  22. ^ Marden, Duane. "Python In Bamboo Forest  (Nanchang Wanda Park)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  23. ^ Marden, Duane. "Jungle Dragon  (Happy Valley Chongqing)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  24. ^ Marden, Duane. "Heide: The Ride  (Plopsaland De Panne)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  25. ^ Marden, Duane. "InvadR  (Busch Gardens Williamsburg)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  26. ^ Marden, Duane. "Mystic Timbers  (Kings Island)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  27. ^ Marden, Duane. "Great Desert-Rally  (Happy Valley Chengdu)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  28. ^ Marden, Duane. "Wicker Man  (Alton Towers)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  29. ^ Marden, Duane. "Unknown  (Holiday Park Kownaty)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.

External links[edit]