Patriot (California's Great America)

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Patriot
Previously known as Vortex (1991–2016)
Patriot Logo, California's Great America, 2017.png
Patriot at California's Great America (33838683241).jpg
California's Great America
Park sectionCelebration Plaza
Coordinates37°23′48.11″N 121°58′23.61″W / 37.3966972°N 121.9732250°W / 37.3966972; -121.9732250Coordinates: 37°23′48.11″N 121°58′23.61″W / 37.3966972°N 121.9732250°W / 37.3966972; -121.9732250
StatusOperating
Opening dateMarch 9, 1991 (1991-03-09)
General statistics
TypeSteel – Floorless Coaster
ManufacturerBolliger & Mabillard
DesignerWerner Stengel
ModelFloorless Coaster
Lift/launch systemChain lift hill
Height91 ft (28 m)
Length1,920 ft (590 m)
Speed45 mph (72 km/h)
Inversions2
Duration2:14
Capacity1200 riders per hour
Height restriction54–78[1] in (137–198 cm)
Trains2 trains with 7 cars. Riders are arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 28 riders per train.
Fast Lane available
Patriot at RCDB
Pictures of Patriot at RCDB

Patriot is a floorless roller coaster located in Celebration Plaza at the California's Great America amusement park in Santa Clara, California, United States. The roller coaster originally opened as Vortex on March 9, 1991. It was a stand-up roller coaster designed by Werner Stengel and manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard.[2]

Vortex last operated as a stand-up coaster on September 5, 2016, and it reopened as Patriot on April 1, 2017.[3][4][5] The ride was converted to a sit-down configuration featuring new floorless trains and a new color scheme.[3]

History[edit]

Vortex (1991–2016)[edit]

Vortex (California's Great America) 1991–2016.

Vortex was a stand-up roller coaster that officially opened on March 9, 1991,[2] as the second coaster from the company Bolliger & Mabillard following Iron Wolf at Six Flags Great America. Although the layout differs, Vortex is generally the same size as its (former) namesake, Vortex, located at sister park Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina. As the ride had gotten rough with age and wasn't particularly smooth anymore, it made a good conversion candidate to improve the experience in the space constrained park.[4] At the time of closing, on September 5, 2016, the coaster had a paint scheme of purple track with yellow rails and gray supports.

Patriot (2017–present)[edit]

On August 18, 2016, the park announced Vortex would be converted to Patriot for the 2017 season, including new Bolliger & Mabillard floorless trains[3] and a new color scheme consisting of (repainted) blue track and white supports.[6][3][7] Although this is the first floorless coaster in the park’s 41-year history[7][8] it is the second floorless conversion in the Cedar Fair chain, following Mantis turning into Rougarou at Cedar Point back in 2015.[4]

The park opened on Saturday, March 25 for the 2017 season, with Patriot opening to the public the following Saturday on April 1.[4][5] In celebration of the opening (and name) of the coaster, the park offered free entry to all current and past military service members through Memorial Day (May 29, 2017) weekend with up to 6 of their guests being offered discount tickets.[5][8] Season pass holder previews were announced to start on March 31, 2017, a day before the official opening of the ride.[4]

When looking at the logo of the ride, it closely resembles the logo of its namesake, Patriot (Worlds of Fun), which is located at the Worlds of Fun amusement park in Kansas City, Missouri, which also forms part of the Cedar Fair chain of amusement parks.

Ride experience[edit]

Track elements[edit]

The coaster takes riders to a 91-foot height after which it makes an initial left hand drop into its first loop.[3] It then executes a left turnaround to travel into another left turnaround through its loop. The train then travels to the other end of its layout into the corkscrew element and another left turnaround after which it enters into the final brake run.[9]
The course used to cross over the park train's railroad tracks by the corkscrew. The coaster's lift hill stands parallel to the footers of the former Tidal Wave looping shuttle coaster.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Patriot". California's Great America.
  2. ^ a b Marden, Duane. "Patriot (California's Great America)". Database Entry. Roller Coaster Database. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Great America Introduces Patriot Floorless Coaster for 2017". California's Great America. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Patriot Gets an Opening Date, and more from CA Great America". COASTER101. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "New Patriot Floorless Coaster to Open at California's Great America Saturday, April 1". Interstate 5 Exit Information Guide. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  6. ^ "Patriot (California's Great America)". Coasterpedia. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Patriot – Floorless Coaster for California's Great America!". California Coaster Kings. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c Pizarro, Sal. "Pizzaro: Great America's new roller coaster Patriot — and what it replaced". The Mercury News. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  9. ^ "Patriot Cycling". California's Great America. Retrieved March 25, 2017.