Specific Type: 4-D Coaster
Dinosaurs still rule the earth! Well at China Dinosaur Park in Changzhou they do, this dinosaur themed park has been exciting visitors since September 2000. It is sometimes referred to as “Jurassic Park East”, and focuses on dinosaurs and features a museum with assembled fossilized skeletons of many different important genus. They have also created a lush environment for visitors and their attractions featuring 70 different species of trees and over 4,000 different types of plants. Alongside this museum & arboretum like grounds are games, character meet & greets, and of course rides.
Dinoconda is a rare breed of coaster, a 4-D coaster, one of only three in the world that uses an x-rail system to control the rotation of the wing style seating. The 4-D coaster was first introduced to the world by Arrow Dynamics at Six Flags MAgic Mountain. They designed and installed X there in 2002, but soon after they went bankrupt and they were bought up by S&S Worldwide. S&S used this technology to install two of their own 4-D coasters, Eejanaika at Fuji-Q Highland in Japan and Dinoconda. This style of coaster uses unique trains where each car seats four riders, two on each side, with wing style seating. Rider’s perspective is level with the track on either side. The seats are made to rotate 360 degrees around forward or backward in a controlled movement. This control is created by the track and its four rails. Two guide rails are used like any typical roller coaster where the train is attached and it guides the train around the circuit. The other two rains are called x-rails and these rails control the spin or perspective of the riders. Each car on the train has two rack gears, one for each side. They have teeth like a normal gear but they are straight like a bar. These rack gears are attached to the x-rails with roller wheels, and move up and down as the distance between the guide rails and the x-rails change. By changing the distance between these two sets of rails the motion of the seats can be precisely controlled so the riders perspective can be change and perfectly synced for each element on the ride. The seats are mounted on an axle and the bar gear meshes with a fixed traditional gear on it. This allows the axle to turn just like a rack and pinion system on a car allows you to steer. However this is applied in reverse where the steering wheel is the component in the system where the seats would be installed.
Guest pass though a large spooky tree complete with prehistoric snake to enter the queue. After they make their way to a castle like station guests can board either the right or left side of the train. Riders start out facing backwards away from the lift hill in a semi reclined position. Guest ascend the 226.4 foot tall lift with the drop behind them so the agony of not knowing how much higher you are going to climb adds to the suspense. As the train nears the top the seats pivot slightly and put the riders on their backs staring straight up into the sky. Without warning the train drops out of the sky down the near vertical drop at 78.3 MPH, the seats flip the riders so now they are face down watching the ground rushing towards them. The track swoops up and out at the very last moment leaving riders in the flying position. The train goes over what looks to be an airtime hill, but as it traverses the element the seats rotate giving the sensation of a loop. The seats are now facing forward like a standard wing coaster and the train goes through a zero-G roll. Without a chance to recover the train goes up and around a banked turn while the seats flip riders around 360 degrees again, and then they continue until riders are on their backs as they soar up and over an airtime hill. The train flips and turns again as the seats rotate around leaving riders on their backs once more. The seats do one more flip this time settling into a reclined position and the train hits the brake run. Riders depart confused, excited, and maybe a little dizzy as they head back around to get back in line. You probably want a second ride, because you were so confused where you were going you might have missed the brontosaurus overlooking the ride.
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