Python (Efteling)

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Python
Efteling - python.JPG
Efteling
Park section Ruigrijk
Coordinates 51°38′49″N 5°03′13″E / 51.64694°N 5.05361°E / 51.64694; 5.05361Coordinates: 51°38′49″N 5°03′13″E / 51.64694°N 5.05361°E / 51.64694; 5.05361
Status Operating
Opening date April 12, 1981 (1981-04-12)
Cost € 9,4 million
General statistics
Type Steel
Manufacturer Vekoma
Designer Vekoma and Arrow Dynamics
Model Double Loop Corkscrew
Lift/launch system Chain lift
Height 95.14 ft (29.00 m)
Drop 72.18 ft (22.00 m)
Length 2,460.63 ft (750.00 m)
Speed 46.6 mph (75.0 km/h)
Inversions 4
Duration 120 seconds
Capacity 1400 riders per hour
G-force 0 - 3.5
Height restriction 47.3 in (120 cm)
Trains 2 trains with 7 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 28 riders per train.
Python at RCDB
Pictures of Python at RCDB

Python is a double-loop corkscrew roller coaster in the Efteling amusement park in the Netherlands. It opened as the largest steel roller coaster on the European mainland.

History and details[edit]

Loop

With Python, Efteling started the implementation of a new strategy: development from a fairy-tale forest into an all-round amusement park. This change led to many problems with the local community. Environmentalists tried to get the building permit withdrawn, and the park's neighbors feared problems arising from growing visitor numbers. Because of the likely noise pollution, the highest court of public justice ordered the construction to be stopped. After some time, construction recommenced, but legal problems continued for several more years.

In 1995, when operating hours were extended until 10 pm, the coaster's 45-decibel noise level became a problem once more. Plans were submitted to the local municipality, describing an extension and complete renovation of the coaster, which would reduce the noise substantially. Due to the high cost, the funds were allocated to the construction of a new enclosed (to reduce noise problems for the park's surroundings) roller coaster, Bird Rok.

Efteling hoped to get a night license for Python with some small renovations (new trains and a chain lift), but only with a change in the permit could Python remain open until 10 pm.

In 2005 the trains were replaced by Kumbak Coasters designed by Karel Willemen and in December 2011 with Vekoma MK1212 trains.[1]

In 2017 Efteling decided to rebuild the old coaster, because the quality of the steel was deteriorating. While the general layout remained the same, the track was redesigned to provide a smoother ride. In 2018 Efteling demolished the old track. The station and lifthill remained. The Belgian company CSM[2] produced the new track. The ride reopened on the 31st of March.[3]

Incidents[edit]

  • In September 2005, a wheel broke loose and an employee got slightly injured.[citation needed]
  • On July 30, 2007, the ride became stuck almost halfway over the top of the lifthill. One staff member started evacuating the train while another tried to pull the car back. After having evacuated the back two cars, the train's centre of mass shifted to the front and the train started moving again, completing the rest of the circuit. One staff member was injured. The safety belt of one passenger was open at the time, but they were able to close it in time.[4] Since the incident the evacuation protocol has been revised. Visitors will always be evacuated by the park's own fire brigade and the train will always be fixed before evacuation.

New cars[edit]

In mid January 2012, the Python was fitted with new carriages. These cars have a new set of restraints which accommodate the needs of riders large and small. There is a flexible over the shoulder strap which is not unlike those on accelerator coasters such as Kingda Ka but slightly thicker. Over these are metal bars for riders to hold on to and to give support to the under straps. The cars have also been fitted with wheels that allow a smoother ride.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Seen from the Pagode