Specific Type: Steel, Hybrid (wood structure), Mine Train
Following a nine year period without any new coasters,Valleyfair! finally added a fourth coaster to its lineup in 1989 with the steel-hybrid coaster, Excalibur. Built by Arrow Dynamics, Excalibur, along with Gemini at Cedar Point, is one of only a few coasters in the world that has tubular steel track with a wooden frame, a feature mostly seen on mine train coasters. The coaster has a small, tight, figure-eight style layout, but is very short for a coaster of its size and design.
Located near a river, the ride is prone to flooding, but since the park planned for the flooding, little damage has ever occurred from this. Because of the rides history of roughness, however, the ride has gone through several changes over the years. Just a few years after the ride opened, a trim brake was added at the top of the first hill to slow the ride down, reducing the rides roughness through some of its tighter turns. Upon its opening, Excalibur also featured a small “speed bump” hill at the bottom of the first drop before the second hill. In 1999, this area was re-profiled and the speed bump was removed, and the track’s first turn was also re-profiled to reduce roughness.
The ride starts off with a short, curvy section of track which lines it up for the lift hill, then climbs 100 feet up into the air before plummeting back down 105 feet into a small trench in the ground. Rocketing out of the long trench at 55 mph, the train goes through a drawn-out pull-up, banking heavily to the right through an angled, elevated turnaround. At the apex of the hill and turnaround, the train begins dropping back down, just inches above the ground, banking hard to the left now into a 270-degree, rising helix. As the train nears the end of the helix, the track rises up, crossing over the ground level track the train just blasted through, then enters the last leg of this figure-eight style section. The train drops to the right, just above the ground, then slowly rises and falls over a wide turnaround. The track and banking then flatten out, before rising over a low hill, crossing a previous section of track once again. As the train approaches the ground, the track banks and turns to the left, and the train swoops upward into the final brake run.
Though it won’t win any awards, Excalibur is a short, but sweet run in through the back section of Valleyfair, and the kind of ride almost everyone in the family can enjoy together.
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