Specific Type: Wood, Double-Out-&-Back, Figure-8
Opened in 1994, Zach’s Zoomer is a “junior” wooden coaster manufactured by Custom Coasters International for Michigan’s Adventure in Muskegon, Michigan. When it opened at the park in late July of that year, the pint-sized woodie became only the parks third roller coaster, following the Corkscrew (1979) and the wooden Wolverine Wildcat (1988); though the park now has seven coasters in operation, three of which are wooden. Built for the younger crowd at the park, the ride was also named after a member of the younger crowd, Zach Mark, who is the park founder’s, Roger Jourden’s, grandson, and current GM Camille Jourden-Mark’s son.
Appropriately located in the section of the park made for families, the junior wooden coaster resides next to Be-Bop Blvd, an electric car ride where the cars are guided by rail. The ride layout is a double-out-&-back design nearly identical to that seen on the junior wooden coasters at the former Paramount Parks (Kings Island, Kings Dominion, Carowinds, and Canada’s Wonderland), and is a mirror image copy of the Sea Dragon at Columbus Zoo. Much like those coasters, Zach’s Zoomer is classified as an ACE Coaster Classic, thanks to the “junior” PTC (Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters, Inc.) trains featuring buzz bars, rather than individual lap bars.
A ride on this little gem starts off with a quick dip and turnaround to the right leading up to the coasters 35 foot tall lift hill. Cresting the lift, the train then falls back to Earth as it reaches its maximum speed, then rises back up, giving riders a nice pop of air as it tops off, and into a flat, lateral force-filled turnaround to the left. Heading back towards the deepest and tallest part of the lift hill structure, the train plummets back towards the ground, leveling out several feet above the ground before dropping the rest of the way down, double-dip style. Crossing under its lift structure, the train then rises into another flat, lateral-filled turnaround, this time turning to the right and crossing over the lift hill. Exiting the turnaround and dropping back down to the ground level, the small trains then zooms over a low-lying bunny hill sure to induce some vertical removal from your seat before popping up again for another right-hand turnaround, this time following just feet under the coasters first turnaround but in the opposite direction. To finish riders off, the train once again drops back down before rising up over a long, low bunny hill that drops riders back down into the final brake run, ending the 1320 foot ride. This last portion of the ride is the only variation from the near clones at the former Paramount Parks, which feature a small bunny hill and a rise into the brake run, rather than a drop into the brake run after cresting the bunny hill.
Zach’s Zoomer is a perfect addition to the parks lineup of coasters, and provides a great transitional coaster for those not yet big enough, or brave enough, to conquer some of the parks steel giants, or the Phoenix inspired Wolverine Wildcat.
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