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From Hanno's opening day TR, it looks like each side follows a mirroring path:


One side twist in and swings out of an inversion while the other side does the opposite - swings in and twist out. Nice balancing with variety!


@WFChris which is why KI needs something like this. Cedar Point is my destination for modern thrilling coasters. Kings Island is more family oriented and yes, dated no-as-popular coaster tech. Cedar Fair is balancing the Ohio market well. KI has a lot of long term potential ... squeezing it out slowly.

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Finally got my ass to Gardaland yesterday and I have to say that I absolutely loved Raptor!


I thought I would try to write a fairly extensive review because I like them myself (loved the one of Texas Giant posted elsewhere) so if you do not take well to detailed, and possibly verbose, ride reviews skip to the bottom for my conclusion!!

(Or skip this entire post, whatever man)

(But don't really because I don't this to be the most pathetic and most ignored thing I have ever done)




First Impressions

Raptor is situated on a hill in the center of the park. It is one of the most significant elements of the Gardaland skyline, the lift hill looming prominently over the park as you approach (I took the train and then the free shuttle bus). It is also visible from almost anywhere inside the park itself, constantly reminding you of its presence. In the time honored tradition of Gardaland, Raptor occupies its own unique space in terms of its theme. There are no other rides which share its space or its presentation, and nor can I imagine there will be given Gardaland's history and the limited area the ride occupies.


That being said the ride is presented excellently. Theming begins around the perimeter of the ride area, which is enclosed by a concrete wall with razor wire themeing on top. Beyond this wall the vegetation changes (imagine Jurassic Park-esque tropical shrubbery) and hidden speakers along the paths which lead up the hill to the main ride area play the imposing 'raptor theme. tune'. The main ride area itself is amazing. I had browsed through Hanno's pictures before I went and, as good as they make this place seem, being there in person and seeing the interaction of the coaster and theming elements in real-time, Raptor completely exceeded my expectations. Is it the level of say Disney? I would say not *quite*, but I was equally if not more impressed with Raptor as I was with Nemesis, or for that matter Oblivion. Maybe it is the use of concrete but Raptor did evoke, for me, some semblance to oblivion.


The Ride Itself

Raptor is not an extreme ride. None of the forces induced are particularly intense or sustained, apart from perhaps the first drop if you are sitting in the back rows. What it is, however, is one of the most balls-out FUN roller coasters I have been on. The trains are simply fantastic - if anyone was going to make this kind of seating arrangement work it would be B&M. Yes the ride may feel more jarring than you are used to from a B&M, but I found that this was A) not in any way uncomfortable because the restraints are superb. The most important part, the 'vest' which secures you in your seat functions exactly like that of a flyer. B) It actually added to the intensity of the ride, in a good way. It made the ride feel a little more aggressive, a little more 'out of control'.


The lift is both highly inclined and fast. It seems over in mere seconds, flinging you over the top of the first drop which is itself pretty damn steep. You get some good airtime here in the back seats. The over-banked turn is just good at what it does - turning you around - but the two best moments of this part of the ride are the bottoms of the first drop and the turnaround which are both close the ground, fast and pretty powerful. The drawn out zero-g roll is pure fun. It's hard to describe how the experience differs from either side of the train, but definitely the best foot-chopper of the ride for me happens here for riders on the right in the shape of the inversion's support. I don't know what it was about that support but it got me flinching every time! You then dive under a part of the laboratory and hop over the airtime hill which provides a pop of floater in some parts of the train (in others, sadly, it doesn't really register). The next part of the ride was my favorite, sharp left hand turn followed by a quick corkscrew precariously close to the bridge below and finally into a sharp right under said bridge. What made this part of the ride for me was the interaction with the pond and the water jets. As there are jets on both the left and right turns both sides of the train take it in turns to be close to the water and the jets. You will get wet. You will get an amazing view of a wall of water flying towards you. As you fly under the bridge you get very close to the water and the waterfalls that lie to either side of the bridge. From the main plaza of the ride the waterfalls look a little lame, but on the ride at full speed I was actually impressed by the effect; you brain doesn't really have time to register how fake they are. The last barrel roll is again just pure fun; you rotate pretty slowly but the four separate foot and head choppers keep you on your toes.



Without the great theming interactions and trains this ride could have been pretty poor. But I believe Raptor is very much more than the sum of its parts - the buildings, the music, the water jets and the unbelievable freedom afforded by the trains all combine to provide one of the 'funnest' experiences on a roller coaster I have experienced. This is certainly the best ride at Gardaland and for me really made the park, trying to imagine the park without it I can only picture somewhere very much more lacking.


If you have managed to actually read all of this, thanks. Now buy yourself a congratulations cookie from me.

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Thanks for the great and detailed TR. I read every word and loved it. Have you been on FB and if you have, would you compare and contrast? I'm most curious to know if an intense 4D coaster can deliver a moderately smooth ride experience?

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Rode Raptor about 10 times last Sunday always in the back because I wasn't lucky enough to get the front seat. I think it's a great ride but the restraints are a bit unconfortable. They tend to get too tight and hurt my shoulders. I really hope they can do something about it.


I think it's not comparable with FB because they are two completely different experiences. I think they can be put at the same level as overall experience. One of the biggest issues on FB was vibrations which are present on Raptor as well but they are not relevant.

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I have not ridden FB so can't compare - I have been on the original X though and I found Raptor to be considerably less aggressive. But again I would be loath to compare them directly as X was (for me) all about crazy intensity and Raptor is certainly not about that.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 7 months later...
Merlin secures deal with Fox for Ice Age ride


Merlin Entertainments has teamed up with 20th Century Fox with the view of launching a 4D attraction based on the popular Ice Age movie franchise.


Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs - The 4-D Experience will debut at two Merlin parks in March 2012 - Alton Towers in the UK and Gardaland in Italy.


Designed and supplied by SimEx-Iwerks, the immersive attraction will combine 3D film footage from the third movie in the franchise, with an array of synchronized physical effects.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 months later...

True. Gardaland has confirmed that both Ikarus and Inferis will no longer be available in 2012. Ikarus was sold to Miragica while Inferis was in my opinion one of the worst horror walk through ever and it's better this way.

With Raptor opened last year I wasn't expecting much for this season. I hope for something in 2013.

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  • 2 months later...

Gardaland has sent us a press release about their extension of park hours for the remainder of the Summer!


Starting from the 15th of June Gardaland presents Night is Magic, the unbelievable night fun that will extend the opening hours of the park until 11 PM for the whole summer until the 9th of September. An extra 5 hours of extraordinary fun to experience an unforgettable evening in the enchanting setting of the N.1 Amusement Park in Italy.


Night is Magic will bring along all the enchantment of the night, turning the place into a dream location thanks to a fascinating atmosphere rich in dazzling lights, colours and fantastic attractions, made even more scenographic by the night, letting Gardaland’s Guests enjoy unmatchable emotions.


On the 15th of June the arrival of Gardaland Night is Magic will be celebrated with an unprecedented, electrifying event: “Number One… Night is Magic”, a memorable party in the company of the legendary DJs of Radio Number One Edo and Luca Viscardi, who will bring along the best from the 80s to today, in the Valley of Kings square, where eight amazing female dancers will show the public irresistible choreographies for you to dance along to. Valley of Kings square will hence turn into an open air disco! For the first time ever an aspiring DJ, chosen between all participants of the contest created by Radio Number One and Gardaland “DJ per una Notte” (DJ for a night), voted by the users of the http://www.djperunanotte.com website, will be able to perform a 20-minute session of his own music set. Nothing better to kick-start the night fun of Gardaland, the Amusement Park that keeps surprising all its Guests with constantly new offers in a young and stimulating context.


What an unmissable opportunity it will be to enjoy the Park’s fantastic attractions in this wonderful night setting, rich in fantasy and fun, that will make Guests of Gardaland experience real open-eyed dreams. The untameable wings of Raptor, the Only Winged Rollercoaster in Italy, will take its courageous passengers into an electrifying adventure which, with the arrival of the sunset, will become really unbeatable, allowing them to hover in the air, vaulting under a starry sky, stars which will look almost within reach between one inversion and the other and thanks to an exciting descent from an impressive 33 metres of height. Only recently Raptor won the silver medal in the category “Best race in Europe” as part of the annual rankings of Parkscout Awards 2012, a prize that gets assigned based on the judgement of an international committee of experts!


But Night is Magic will also be the right occasion to discover Gardaland’s new additions for 2012: L’ERA GLACIALE L’ESPERIENZA 4D, a fantastic multisensory adventure that combines 3D images taken from the blockbuster cartoon and an incredible variety of special effects.


And let’s not forget about the magnificent shows staged by the exceptional artistic cast of the Park who will know how to make Night is Magic even more special. Jewel of the crown is the outstanding conclusive show Il Sogno di Gardaland (Gardaland’s dream): a unique spectacle that, for the first time, will bring to the Park extraordinarily evocative 3D images projected in the setting of the Valley of Kings. A romantic and spectacular show that will lead spectators into a wonderful journey suspended between dream and reality. Sabbia Magica: la Forza della Natura (Magic Sand: the Force of Nature) will also provide unforgettable emotions thanks to the skilful hands of Paolo Carta that will give birth to incredible sand drawings. A surprising spectacle that will let you discover just how strong is the tie uniting Earth with nature. Also not to be missed Magical Adventure – a musical show, ritual and mysterious that, with the power of magic, will teach the crowd of Gardaland Theatre to respect the Universe in which we live and Magicalchimia the show on stage at the Castello di Mago Merlino (Merlin’s Castle) where magic potions will transform as part of an event that will provide emotions to spectators of all ages.


Gardaland Hotel has also put together an exclusive package for the summer that will allow its Guests to enjoy a real VIP holiday. The Gardaland VIP package includes: two-night stay; international buffet breakfast at the Wonder Restaurant; Magic Happy Hour at the Relaxing Café; buffet dinner (house drinks included) at the Wonder Restaurant; combined ticket 2 DAYS AT GARDALAND PARK + 1 DAY AT GARDALAND SEA LIFE AQUARIUM that grants 2 entries to Gardaland Park and 1 entry to Gardaland SEA LIFE Aquarium in 3 days of your choice; a Plush toy of Prezzemolo, the one and only mascot of Gardaland; special GARDALAND EXPRESS VIP pass, valid for one day, granting fast access to the most coveted attractions of the Park; reserved seats at Gardaland Theatre to witness fantastic exhibitions and get photos taken with the artists (valid for one show); OZOSI’ treatment, in-room process of ozone-based sanitization. Price of the stay starting from € 131.00 per person a day for two adults and one child, aged between 3 and 12 in a standard room, with a double bed and a single armchair bed.


This long day of fun will cost 37.50 euro for the full ticket and 31 euro for reduced ones (children younger than 10, army men, seniors above the age of 60 and accompaniers of non-self-sufficient disabled people) but tickets and season passes for families of 3, 4, 5 people, combined tickets to visit Gardaland Park and Gardaland SEA LIFE Aquarium will also be available along with a multitude of convenient opportunities reserved to those who will purchase their ticket directly from the http://www.gardaland.it site.


With the specific aim of enjoying the Amusement Park also during summer nights, Gardaland launches a great initiative with an evening ticket from 6 PM to 11 PM for only 16 euro: five hours of unmatchable fun in the enchanting setting of Italy’s n.1 Amusement Park! The evening pass for the whole season is offered at 51 euro with free parking.



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  • 6 months later...



Beat the Christmas holiday parks begin to reveal the news that characterize the season of fun 2013.


Today we talk about Ben and his choice to add to the amusement park only a new show. The partnership between Dreamworks and Merlin led to the creation of a new show that will take the title of "Madagascar Live!: It's Circus Time".


As the name implies it will be a live show that will stage the characters of the famous animated film.


In short, even the shadow of one of the innovations that were announced with continuous ricorrersi of unofficial.


We are talking about the project, already deposited with the town of Castelnuovo, for the creation of a "Twist'n'Splash" attraction already in the drawer for several years, which presumably could occupy the area left blank by the Medieval Tournament.


Nothing done even for a copy of "Nemesis Sub Terra" attraction that should perhaps take advantage of the current storyline created by the Raptor.


This season, like last year, will open its doors to the public as early as the week-end of March, with the celebration of the Carnival of "Parsley in Maschera". Here you will find all the information regarding schedules, attractions and entertainment provided.


An interesting innovation is the implementation of an important event dedicated to the catering trade. On 23 and 24 May in fact Gardaland will host EuroChocolate 2013 that will be accessed by purchasing a special ticket at 15 euro. Here all information.

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  • 9 months later...
We've some tasting news about brand new 2015 attraction in Gardaland Theme Park. A reliable source informs us that a DIVE MACHINE will be built, it will be 42 m tall. We don't know much more but stay tuned for news and infos.



Edited by Loris8893
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Well, that's good news. But I have to say I'm a bit disappointed that it will be a "small" one like Krake rather than a sheikra/griffon style one with around 200 ft. Still, it's a bit soon to tell more. One more reason to go to Italy on a coaster tour somewhere in the future.

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