Specific Type: Steel, Sit Down, Shuttle
Boomerang at Elitch Gardens may seem like the typical cookie-cutter Vekoma Boomerang, but in fact it is part of the rich, unique and interesting background of Elitch Gardens. On the twenty-seventh of May in 1995, the Gurtler family opened the newElitch Gardens with several new attractions such as Twister II, and several attractions brought over from the old location such as Sidewinder. The reasoning behind the move was to get out of the stuffy, cramped neighborhood location, and move to a new city location in order to allow more room and more attractions than ever before, even a water park. Their goal was to attract record breaking attendance as a result, and the family spent every last minute constructing, planting new gardens, and making sure everything was perfect for success. However, the park did not perform as they had hoped, and the Gurtlers were crushed. The 1995 season dragged into 1996, and the Gurtlers sold it to Premier Parks. Premier Parks immediately went to work and added a foray of rides which had never graced Elitch Gardens before, including Mind Eraser, a Vekoma Suspended Looping Coaster. Even more changes came when Premier Parks made its famous purchase of Six Flags, and the purchase reflected a sudden shift toward retheming as a result. The park recieved its second Vekoma coaster thereafter in 1999, Boomerang. Boomerang was the park's third coaster with inversions and sports both a loop and a cobra roll, both of which riders pass through twice. Certainly the ride, although common at other parks, proved to be a nice fit for the park, and was one of the first among many other thrilling rides to come throughout the next millenium.
Boomerang sports electric yellow track with purple supports, and is nuzzled in a location at the side of the park. The coaster is surrounded by the park's drop tower, Tower of Doom, as well as a sky swing and another coaster, Half Pipe. Boomerang does not take up much room, however nearby Half Pipe boasts an even smaller footprint. Boomerang runs with one Vekoma train with seven cars, which each arrange passengers two across in two rows. The ride's station is painted purple with a white and gray roof. Finally, the ride features a set of safety brakes near its loop which are unique to Vekoma Boomerangs. They are designed to engage in the event that the train does not make it up the second lift section, and keeps it from valleying elsewhere in the loop. So, now that the history and specifications have been made clear, it's time to board the train and take a ride.
The ride begins with a backwards climb up one of two 116 feet high lift sections. The anticipation sets in as the train creeps along for thirty seconds, suddenly releasing and plunging back through the station at forty-seven miles per hour. The train enters the cobra roll, passing the usual set of catwalks and spiral access stairs, and soon afterwards enters the loop. It is then that the train ends up on the second 116 ft lift, which is positioned slightly leftwards to the first forming a triangular profile. The chain pulls riders up the lift for a few seconds, finally releasing the train once again, which is now traveling backwards. It immediately enters the loop, which leads the train back through the cobra roll, and right back through the station again and up the first lift. As the train is lowered back into the station, the one minute and forty-eight second ride is complete, and riders exit having experienced three inversions forwards and backwards.
Boomerang may not be a unique coaster, but with its small footprint, fun thrill, and its part in the history of Elitch Gardens, its no wonder its so popular.
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