Viper (Six Flags Darien Lake)

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Viper
Viper 3 lift hill.JPG
The Viper's 121-foot lift hill
Six Flags Darien Lake
Coordinates42°55′42″N 78°22′54″W / 42.92833°N 78.38167°W / 42.92833; -78.38167Coordinates: 42°55′42″N 78°22′54″W / 42.92833°N 78.38167°W / 42.92833; -78.38167
StatusOperating
Opening dateMay 1982
General statistics
TypeSteel
ManufacturerArrow Huss
DesignerRon Toomer
Height121 ft (37 m)
Drop75 ft (23 m)
Length3,100 ft (940 m)
Speed50 mph (80 km/h)
Inversions5
Duration2:04
Capacity2100 riders per hour
Height restriction48 in (122 cm)
Trains2 trains with 7 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 28 riders per train.
Viper at RCDB
Pictures of Viper at RCDB

Viper is a steel looping roller coaster located at Six Flags Darien Lake Amusement Park near Buffalo, New York. This was the first large ride at the park and the first roller coaster of its type anywhere in the world to have five inversions. The ride was built by the newly merged Arrow Huss. It opened in 1982. The coaster opened with the potential of running three trains at once, but only one or two trains are necessary for maintaining a steady operation of the coaster. The coaster's trains include seven cars; riders are two across with two rows in each car. The track was originally all black, but it was repainted to a green track with black supports when Six Flags took over Darien Lake. In 2010, Darien Lake repainted the Viper all black again.

The trains on Viper were once color coded blue, red and yellow. In 2013, the trains were given green vinyl wraps. One train had an orange stripe and another had a blue stripe. The third train was disassembled and used for spare parts for the two other trains. Currently, Viper only runs with one train with the two trains switching out every year.

Viper at Six Flags Darien Lake was the first coaster in the world with five inversions, succeeding the previous record holder, Carolina Cyclone at Carowinds. The ride had the most inversions of any coaster in the world until 1987 when Arrow Dynamics built Vortex at Kings Island.

Ride experience[edit]

Inversions[edit]

Inversion
1 Vertical Loop
2 Part 1 of Boomerang Element
3 Part 2 of Boomerang Element
4 Corkscrew
5 Corkscrew

The ride[edit]

Exiting the station house, the track makes a wide U-Turn to the lift hill, which brings the car up 121 ft above the ground. Technically speaking, the "first drop" of The Viper is about 10 feet, which gives the train enough momentum to round a bend to the right, before dropping off the first real hill of roughly 75 feet. At the bottom of the first drop, the train reaches 50 mph. After the drop takes the train through the vertical loop, it enters consecutive boomerang. By the time the train exits those, the track has turned 180° and is now headed back towards the station. After a left turn the train encounters the mid-ride brakes. Next, the track makes a 180° turn to the right and enters two consecutive corkscrews. Then its off into a 540° helix where the track goes through a 110' tunnel, then finally returns to the station.

Points of interest: The entrance queue goes under portions of the track, allowing an underneath point of view for observers. Also, there is a camera that takes pictures of the guests and photos can be purchased at a shack near the ride's exit. In the past, this camera was mounted beside the end of the second corkscrew. For the 2017 season, the camera was positioned at the top of the entrance to the tunnel.

Preceded by
Carolina Cyclone
First Roller Coaster With 5 Inversions
May 1982–April 1987
Succeeded by
Vortex