Specific Type: Steel, Sit-down, Shuttle
Upon its opening in 1996, there was little indication that Wild Adventures would soon become a thriving theme park. For its first two years it existed as a petting zoo surrounded by the Valdosta countryside. That changed drastically just two years later, when over twenty five rides and attractions were opened for the 1998 season. This first major expansion laid the groundwork for future additions, and brought with it two roller coasters. The first coaster was Tiger Terror, a Wisdom Rides Dragon Wagon. It served the park well for ten years before moving to Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, FL. For the second coaster, the park recruited the Netherlands-based Vekoma to construct one of their famous Boomerang models. It was a perfect addition for the young park, packing a punch while maintaining a compact footprint. The coaster was an instant hit, and continues to remain popular today.
Boomerang is situated just north of the park's lake, and sports a striking paint scheme with its yellow track and green supports. The single seven-car train is decked in yellow and orange with black over the shoulder harnesses, and roars through its open silver-roofed station twice on its journey. Riders are arranged two abreast in two rows for each car, giving the train a total capacity of twenty eight people. Several safety features common among Vekoma Boomerangs are present, including emergency brakes immediately following the ride's loop in case the train valleys. Towering over the nearby Tasmanian River Rapids with a height of one hundred and sixteen feet, Boomerang can be seen and easily recognized all over the park. Its intense forces thrill countless riders each year, and the coaster holds its own among the park's lineup against such coasters as Cheetah and Twisted Typhoon.
Once riders have boarded the train, the ride begins with a backwards climb up the first lift section. The station appears smaller and smaller as the train climbs slowly to the top. Suddenly, the train is released and whisks through the station at nearly fifty miles per hour. Riders then speed through a cobra roll, followed by a loop. In what seems like no time at all, the train is climbing the second lift section. Giving riders a little time to breath, they slowly climb up to the top before being released again without warning. The train then negotiates the same inversions as before in reverse, darting through the loop and cobra roll before finally entering the station. The station brakes slow the train as it passes through, giving the train a chance to briefly ascend the first tower before it rolls back forward. The brakes then slow the train to a stop, concluding the one minute and forty eight second ride. Upon exiting the train, riders have just experienced the forcible wrath of none other than Boomerang. Over the past decade, six additional coasters have been added around the park. However,Boomerang continues to stand its ground, and will provide its signature intensity for many more seasons to come.
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