By Daniel Westfall
This Wednesday I got the pleasure and honor of being one of the first riders for Fury 325 at Carowinds, which is looking to be one of the most exciting coasters this year and for a long time to come. While other coasters may break the height and speed records, this coaster was designed to maximize every element and to allow the riders to have a great view of the park and to have several instances where they can see guests coming into and going out of the park.
Coming into the park there was a new entrance plaza the bridge which Fury 325 dives under and flies over. From this vantage point you can see almost the entire ride other than the final brake run, queue line and station. It's just a beautiful coaster to look at and it ties in very well with the local culture of the Charlotte Hornets as the ride is themed supposed to be themed after a "fury" of hornets buzzing along going up and down and all around.
There was some fear going into this event from the animations and POVs that the ride would lose its speed in the second half and would have little to no airtime. I can tell you that's just not the case and the pace was kept from beginning to end once the trains were full of enthusiastic fans from all around the country.
It's so hard to pick a favorite part of this ride as the whole thing was just amazing form beginning to end, though one word of caution is that although the seating and restraints are similar to that of rides like Diamondback, Intimidator and other B&M's with "clam-shell" restraints, there are no "big boy" seats and riders with large thighs (like me) should use the test seat provided before trying to ride. The seats are slightly inclined so the restraints hit you differently than on most coasters.
We're really looking forward to bringing you a "From Dreams to Screams" documentary on this ride soon thanks to our continued partnership with our friends at Devin Olson Media (special thanks to everyone who participate in the interviews and who is involved in the production). Be looking for From Dreams to Screams: Fury 325 to be released on COASTER-net TV soon!
by Mike Troise
This past school year, theme park enthusiasts at Rochester Institute of Technology got some big news. After months of paperwork, a presentation, and a long approval process, the RIT Theme Park Enthusiasts club was finally approved, largely due to the hard work of a good friend of mine, Robert Cybulski. With myself, COASTER-net’s own Danny Miller, and a few other coaster junkies, the club began.
At the presentation in front of the student government committee that decided our fate, we fascinated them with how much potential this club had. The club began with a simple name of “the roller coaster club” which confused them as we entered the room for our presentation. By the end they were blown away with how much more this club truly was going to be, especially with the career focus.
The goal of this club is pretty simple. We wanted a way for theme park enthusiasts to meet and share in their passion for the industry. While the club welcomes all who are interested, we are also putting a larger focus on career paths for various members. Many of them, including myself, hope to work as engineers in the amusement industry, and this club is a great way to begin working towards that goal.
With a few weekly meetings complete, the club has tons of ideas, and a bright future ahead. To begin, we have already been approved for two booths in the main exhibitor area for Imagine RIT. Imagine RIT is RIT’s annual innovation and creativity festival that spans across campus early May every year. Students submit proposals to be able to show off their hard work that they are accomplishing at RIT. One of the highlights of the May 2014 Imagine RIT was a senior design project that was an automatic s’more maker machine. People waited in line for 15 or more minutes just for one s’more from this machine! On May 2nd, 2015 you will be able to find the “Engineering Thrills” exhibit in the Gordon Field House on the RIT campus.
Our exhibit this year has two major components. The first component will be a K’nex theme park using kits donated by club members. We currently have about 15 flat rides and will be using roller coaster components to construct a model of the highly anticipated Twisted Colossus. We will also be displaying No Limits coasters made by club members on a television. However, we will be running no limits in manual operation and will be controlling dispatch, gates, restraints, and more with a custom built control panel. The club recently acquired the metal box we will be using and are working to obtain the buttons and knobs needed. Once the parts are obtained, the mechanical and electrical engineers will get to work.
Imagine RIT is not the only thing our club will be working on in the coming months. We are currently working to plan a trip to Knoebels in May as well as a facility tour of GCI. The club is working on having guest speakers to come in and talk with students about career paths in the amusement industry. RIT even has an alumni who interned at GCI and is currently working as a lead mechanic at Silver Dollar City. Many club members have expressed interest in future trips to IAAPA which will definitely be looked into for future years if we are able to obtain the funding. While sitting at about 15 members strong, we hope this club continues to grow at RIT and that our members are successful in their career goals.