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Why some "new" types of coasters succeed and others fail


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I've noticed mostly in the past decade that some new-age type roller coasters have come about that people have predicted was going to be the next big thing, but ultimately don't go that far. The Screamin' Squirrel is an example of this, I remember browsing through various roller coaster forums back in the mid 2000s and reading people predicting that the S&S Screamin' Squirrel was going to be the next big thing and that multiple parks were going to buy one...As of 2015, only three Screamin' Squirrels were built in Italy, China, and Russia. Another example was the Aquatrax, people still talk about that type to this day, yet only one was ever built...And of course, Hersheypark fans remember the whole Turbulence saga.

 

It honestly seems that out of all these "new age" roller coaster types, the Gerstlauer Eurofighter and the B&M Wing Coaster were the big winners out of all these various types. Why do you suppose that is? Is it purely luck, or are other factors a part of it?

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Eurofighter? First drops beyond 90 degrees! Wing coaster? Fly on the wings of [insert animal or plane-type vehicle here]!

 

They're marketable. Have you tried to explain to someone what an AquaTrax is? Answer: you can't. Because no one knows what the heck an AquaTrax is. Intamin shoves it all the way at the bottom of their roller coasters list on their website. The only parks that can put in an AquaTrax and market it properly are the ones who don't have any or many other coasters, and most smaller parks can't afford the expensive investment.

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Eurofighter? First drops beyond 90 degrees! Wing coaster? Fly on the wings of [insert animal or plane-type vehicle here]!

 

Screamin Squirrel? Feel the crushing weight of your body concentrated on your collarbones for what seems like an eternity!

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Any ride type designed by B&M is going to be a hit because they take their time and only roll out a product when it's certain to be comfortable, reliable, and deliver a great ROI.

 

At the opposite end of the spectrum, rides like Eurofighters and Sky Rockets have a huge advantage because they pack a lot of elements into a tiny footprint which is perfect for smaller parks.

 

Why products fail will depend on the individual product. There has to be something it offers that beats out all the competition. If it's expensive, low capacity, and isn't very comfortable to ride, it won't catch on. Screaming Squirrels by all accounts give terrible rides. I bet it also has to do with backroom deals and relationships that the general public isn't privy to, like someone from this park happens to meet someone from this company at this industry event and they have a beer and then badda bing badda boom you got yourself a Moser drop tower.

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Any ride type designed by B&M is going to be a hit because they take their time and only roll out a product when it's certain to be comfortable, reliable, and deliver a great ROI.

 

The standing coasters would like to have a word with you.

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Eurofighter? First drops beyond 90 degrees! Wing coaster? Fly on the wings of [insert animal or plane-type vehicle here]!

 

Screamin Squirrel? Feel the crushing weight of your body concentrated on your collarbones for what seems like an eternity!

 

Yeah, I never expected the Screamin' Squirrel to be the "next big thing." But I am surprised that S&S didn't try marketing more rides like Powder Keg at Silver Dollar City. Yes, it was a "Frankensteined" version of an old ride, but it's a great family coaster.

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Any ride type designed by B&M is going to be a hit because they take their time and only roll out a product when it's certain to be comfortable, reliable, and deliver a great ROI.

 

The standing coasters would like to have a word with you.

 

In terms of the number built, the standing coasters did ok, not a total failure by any means. But it's also worth noting that was literally the first kind of ride B&M built.

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Any ride type designed by B&M is going to be a hit because they take their time and only roll out a product when it's certain to be comfortable, reliable, and deliver a great ROI.

 

The standing coasters would like to have a word with you.

 

 

At least they greatly improved this style over time. Georgia Scorcher (at least when I rode it) was very smooth and enjoyable. Riddlers is sometimes enjoyable. Iron Wolf Apocalypse and California Vortex? Not so much.

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Screamin' Squirrel ultimately turned into El Loco though, and those are somewhat successful.

Did it? I thought that the idea behind the El Loco was to only use towers (S&S's strong suit) for the supports of the coaster, and that the cars just shared the same seating system as the screaming squirrel.

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I would definitely say the El Loco became quite a winner for S&S. There's plenty of Steel Hawg clones built everywhere around the world. El Loco at the Adventure Dome was tons of fun and one of the most unique ride experiences I have been on, if not the most unique. But then there's the Free Fly coaster which looks incredibly unique, fun, all around great for families and yet only one was ever built and it doesn't look like there going to be another built in the near future.

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I would definitely say the El Loco became quite a winner for S&S. There's plenty of Steel Hawg clones built everywhere around the world. El Loco at the Adventure Dome was tons of fun and one of the most unique ride experiences I have been on, if not the most unique. But then there's the Free Fly coaster which looks incredibly unique, fun, all around great for families and yet only one was ever built and it doesn't look like there going to be another built in the near future.

 

The El Loco coasters are very marketable thanks to their unique elements and beyond vertical drops. While the Free Fly looks awesome, it's not quite as easy to boast about.

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I'm not sure, but first we got the Screamin' Squirrel, then this kind of in-between, and then the El Loco. Maybe the idea behind these two rides is different, but the two concepts share some blatant similarities: Upside down madness, small footprint, single cars, etc.

That looks amazing. Saw a re-creation of it, and thought it was a joke... Guess not.

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I think the floor-less hyper coaster train design made by Intamin was kind of a failure because Skyrush at Hershey Park is the only Intamin coaster of its kind to date. I am quite sure people prefer floor-less coaster to have inversions so, that is why B&M has been successful with their floor-less coasters oppose to floor-less coasters with no inversions that Intamin has only produced once. Also, Intamin was a little behind the time with floor-less coasters as the first one was produced by B&M in 1999 which is Medusa/Bizarro at Six Flags Great Adventure as Intamin opened SkyRush at Hershey Park in 2012. Also, I've heard that Skyrush is very uncomfortable.

 

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