Viper (Darien Lake)

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Viper
Viper 3 lift hill.JPG
The Viper's 121-foot lift hill
Darien Lake
Coordinates 42°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
Status Operating
Opening date May 1982
General statistics
Type Steel
Manufacturer Arrow Huss
Designer Ron Toomer
Height 121 ft (37 m)
Drop 75 ft (23 m)
Length 3,100 ft (940 m)
Speed 50 mph (80 km/h)
Inversions 5
Duration 2:04
Capacity 2100 riders per hour
Height restriction 48 in (122 cm)
Trains Single train 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 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, and still operates to this day. The coaster opened with the potential of running three trains at once, but only one or two trains is 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 painted 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.

Viper at 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 Batwing Element
3 Part 2 of Batwing 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 120 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 70 feet. After the drop takes the train through the vertical loop, it enters consecutive batwing rolls. 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 consecutive corkscrews, spinning twice. Then its off to a large circle where, while making a 540° loop, 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, after the double corkscrew there's a camera that takes riders' picture and photos can be purchased at a shack near the ride's exit.

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