Specific Type: Boomerang
After four years of construction, Worlds of Fun first opened in May of 1973 at a cost of $322 million. It was situated in a strip of land north of a vast industrial complex, along the bluffs of the Missouri River. The park was concieved out of the capitalization of Lamar Hunt on the expansion of Kansas City taking place at the time. The park would have been joined by entertainment venues and a hotel had Hunt's grand plan not been scaled down due to a lagging economy. Nevertheless, the park did get some company with the opening of a water park, Oceans of Fun, next door. It would be ten years before the two parks would be joined into one, but within those ten years numerous iconic attractions opened including Timber Wolf. Timber Wolfbecame the park's fourth coaster after Zambezi Zinger in 1973, Extremeroller in 1976, and finally, Orient Express in 1980. Extremeroller and Orient Express both became the park's first two looping coasters, which paved the way for several more to follow in the near future after that. Worlds of Fun, like many successful theme parks, gradually went through changes brought along by challenges and stuggles throughout the 1990s. But those challenges and struggles evolved into triumph when Worlds of Fun was purchased by Cedar Fair in 1995.
The first major roller coaster Cedar Fair added to Worlds of Fun was none other than Mamba in 1998, and closed out the 90s with a bang. But another major coaster was to follow after that, and began the new millenium with a bang as well. That major coaster was Boomerang.Boomerang was the park's third looping coaster, yet only one of two looping coasters at the park at that point after Extremeroller's departure 12 years earlier. Boomerang was a rather devious coaster crafted by Vekoma, and was one of their famed Boomerang models.Boomerang indirectly replaced Zambezi Zinger, as it was constructed on the same plot it previously occupied up until three years beforehand when it too left the park in 1997. ButBoomerang more than makes up for it with three inversions that are traveled through forward first, then chillingly backwards. Boomerang and Orient Express were the park's only looping coasters for three more years until Orient Express was finally removed at the end of 2003.Boomerang was alone for two and a half years before it got company in 2006 with Patriot.
Boomerang is painted orange with yellow supports, and runs a single train with seven cars that are each painted pink, green and blue. The ride sports a yellow station with a purple and green striped roof. The ride itself, cleverly enough, would've been able to be themed in an Australian style had Worlds of Fun contained an Australian section at the time. Therefore, the ride is instead located in the park's Africa section, and is surrounded by Worlds of Fun Railroad, Zulu, octopus, and the remainder of the Africa section to it's immediate left. Boomerang, like other models of its kind, features a spiral stairs and catwalk section placed next to the ride's cobra roll in the event that a train were to stall in the center of it, as well as a catwalk and emergency brake section immediately following the rides loop, which prevents the train from rolling back completely in the event that the second lift hill fails.
After riders make their way to the train and pull down their shoulder harnesses, they are released to the mercy of the Boomerang. After beginning with a thirty second backwards climb up the first of the ride's two 116 foot lift hills, the train is released through the station and likewise through the cobra roll, speeding through the loop afterwards placing as many as 5.2 g's on riders, and finally ending up on the second lift hill. All riders can do is wait for what is to happen next as they are now facing away from the inversions through which they just ensued. The lift suddenly releases the train backwards, and it speeds through the loop first this time, then back through the cobra roll, through the station, partly up the first lift hill again and finally, lowered back into the station. The riders have just survived one minute and fourty eight seconds of traveling both forwards and backwards through three inversions. And that is exactly what Boomerang is meant to do, and although since it's 2000 opening the park has seen such additions as Spinning Dragons and Patriot, Boomerang is still a coaster worth riding. And although it indirectly replaced Zambezi Zinger, Boomerang proves over and over again to be a worthy replacement, just as it has done for the last decade.
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