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Most Innovative or smartest Designs


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This might be a weird one, but the apparent complications of the Intamin 1st Generation FreeFall.

 

Rather than "let's have one tower and make it go up and come down", they wanted to have a bunch of individual cars, almost like a coaster, travel up and through many different planes, catching on to different parts of the car throughout the ride, ride like a roller coaster at one point, then adjust the rider position into another plane all in one ride. It just seems like much more complicated mechanics than a typical drop tower, especially for the 1980s.

 

However, with that being said, they do give a true free fall experience, something becoming seemingly more rare nowadays on drop rides.

 

+1

 

The fact that the wheels don't go around the track gets me as well, the track is around the wheel.

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^I actually see a valid argument for the first-gen free falls as being coasters. It's essentially Magic Mountain's Superman with a lift instead of a launch (obviously there are mechanical differences and the free fall has separate load/unload procedures, but the principle is the same). And yes I agree with the OP--it is an innovative, however unnecessary, system.

 

As for other innovations, somebody mentioned the plug-n-play wooden coaster. I'll add topper track to that idea, as well the basic idea of I-box refurbs. Creating an entirely new coaster wth almost no new structure, saving the cost of demolition, and the nostalgia factor for probably half the price of what would be the final product is really amazing.

 

I'll add in tilting drop towers, the cable lift hill, and +1 to the idea behind the arch system for a lift hill, seen on I-305, Skyrush, Goliath, Leviathan and Fury 325.

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Trackless Vehicles.

 

 

They're getting more innovative with every new attraction announced.

 

Efteling's new dark ride (apparently) will have TVs that tilt back and/or forth,

which is new, to me.

 

And Disney is constantly innovating it's TVs with great results, i.e. Mystic Manor

and Ratatouille. (Edit) And I am so hoping that either something in Shanghai,

or a new TV happens in either Tokyo park (Alice or Frozen, yes?).

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I think Falcons Fury is pretty innovative. The way the seats pull you back into the face down position, and then swing back upright near the bottom of the tower is pretty awesome.

 

I know people dislike the ride because it takes away the real feeling of freefalling... but I still think it's innovative. . . And terrifying.

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I know it's a feature coasters have had for a long time but switch tracks. Definitely overlooked parts of a lot of rides. Rides that have switch tracks as part of their layouts are becoming faster and faster (examples are Th1teen and Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars) Both those two rides use switch track elements during the ride and both are very reliable and change super quickly so most people just don't realised the track has moved until they are travelling a different part of track!

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^ Expedition: Everest in WDW's Animal Kingdom is a great example of that, too.

 

And wasn't it one of the very first coasters to do that? Switch to reverse,

then change again, to forward? Grizzly Gulch is definitely a second generation

of this concept.

ExpeditionEverest.jpg.1a1429bbdfb81aaec08600c4b39cc4e5.jpg

Early construction photo of E:E with the first transfer track section.

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Thunderhead at Dollywood was innovative because it was the first coaster with a station fly through. I love the headchopper element of it and the fact it gets riders amped up for the ride.

I remember my first time riding it (the station was EMPTY, so me and my cousin chose back row), when that train came flying through I nearly fell backwards. I totally forgot about the station fly-through and I paid dearly for it. Nonetheless, it was still a great coaster and remains my favorite woodie today. Thanks GCI and Dollywood!

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What comes to mind are those weird supports on Mindbender at SFOG

 

Bingo! Anton built rides that were the perfect hybrid between super smooth steel and wild woodies. Those ball and socket joints allow the track to mock (at least partially) the movement of a wood coaster track; it sways. And those trains/seats are perfect too; you get great *REAL* lateral and vertical movement from the seat while still being safe and comfortable. Those old coasters ride great - you can feel the track yet it's very smooth.

 

Schwarzkopf coasters are some of my favorites. In terms of personality, comfort and freedom (to move around in your seat) they have never been matched. So much stuff is done to the extreme these days (with required super tight restraints and bucket seats) - and it's good we have that stuff, but there is sweet spot with the Anton designs. Very special rides!

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I've always thought the technology on the boomerang coasters are pretty innovative. The way the breaks lock while the train is climbing the second hill, but open up before the train releases. Even with this innovative technology back when the boomerangs were first introduced, it's insane how far coaster technology has come.

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What comes to mind are those weird supports on Mindbender at SFOG

 

Looks like a 3 dimensional roller support. This was likely done to both allow for more flexing (and maybe thermal expansion) and so that the bolts wouldn't have to resist any moments, thus requiring way fewer bolts at that connection. I can't say that with complete confidence, though; there was only enough time to cover axial and shear resisting bolted connections in Steel Design last semester.

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