Grizzly (Kings Dominion)

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Grizzly
Grizzly Lift and Switch.jpg
A train on Grizzly approaching the lift hill
Kings Dominion
Park section Old Virginia
Coordinates 37°50′15.02″N 77°26′49.63″W / 37.8375056°N 77.4471194°W / 37.8375056; -77.4471194Coordinates: 37°50′15.02″N 77°26′49.63″W / 37.8375056°N 77.4471194°W / 37.8375056; -77.4471194
Status Operating
Opening date March 27, 1982 (1982-03-27)
General statistics
Type Wood
Manufacturer Taft Broadcasting
Designer Curtis D. Summers
Track layout Terrain
Lift/launch system Chain Lift
Height 87 ft (27 m)
Length 3,150 ft (960 m)
Speed 51 mph (82 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration 2:30
Height restriction 48 in (122 cm)
Trains 2 trains with 7 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 28 riders per train.
Grizzly at RCDB
Pictures of Grizzly at RCDB

Grizzly is a wooden roller coaster at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia. The grounds of the ride are densely forested, with the intended thrills heightened from the illusion of inadequate clearance between the track and trees. The attraction opened in 1982, and the double-figure-eight layout is based closely on the defunct Coney Island Wildcat.[1] A similar version of this ride operates at Canada's Wonderland as Wild Beast.

History[edit]

The announcement by Kings Dominion that Grizzly would be ready to open for the 1982 season was made in a press release on March 15, 1982.[2] The new coaster was intended to be the top thriller in the park, billed as "Taller than the park's most popular ride (Rebel Yell)" and "heaven for the real thrillseeker". Grizzly was designed by Curtis D. Summers, and is very similar to the Wild Beast (roller coaster) at Canada's Wonderland, which he designed a year earlier.[3] Both coasters are based on the Wildcat roller coaster (demolished in 1964) at the early Coney Island park in Cincinnati, Ohio. Media conglomerate Taft Broadcasting owned Coney Island at the time.[4] The layout placed the coaster in the Old Virginia section of the park, winding mostly through the existing forest for the first half, then entering a large infield (which also held an employee parking area) for the second. The ride opened on March 27, 1982, and was closed for a portion of the 2009 and 2011 seasons for retracking.

Theming[edit]

The attraction is not definitively themed, attempting instead to immerse the riders in a setting that resembles the natural habitat of the grizzly bear. The entire attraction is deep in the woods, far from the nearest paths. This not only hides the coaster from the rest of the park, making it impossible for guests to visually gauge the thrill they are about to experience, but psychologically supports the idea of entering an isolated wilderness. The station and support building architecture is faux timber-framed cabin style, and the color scheme is exclusively brown and woodgrain. The roller coaster itself is stained a gray-brown natural woodtone, and the trains are orange and yellow. At the entrance of the long queue, there is a large simulated stone carving of a grizzly bear, and originally a sign with the name and logo of the attraction.[5] Since the sign's removal sometime prior to May 2008, the attraction's name was not publicly displayed anywhere near or on the grounds of the roller coaster until July 2009 when a new sign was posted near the queue entrance of the ride.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.kingsdominion.com/attractions/category.cfm?ac_id=13%7CThe Kings Dominion website's official Grizzly Page
  2. ^ "New massive wooden rollercoaster to be ready for 1982 season". Kings Dominion. March 15, 1982. Archived from the original on March 5, 2007. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  3. ^ Ruben, Paul (1990). "The Coasters of Curt Summers". RollerCoaster! Magazine. 9 (1): 18. ISSN 0896-7261. 
  4. ^ Coney Island, retrieved January 23, 2012 
  5. ^ http://cache.rcdb.com/pictures/picmax/p9765.jpg%7CThe RCDB photograph of the Grizzly Bear statue and Attraction logo sign

External links[edit]