Specific Type: Wing Rider
The Mediterranean coast of Spain is known for its beauty and temperate climate. The perfect location for sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying a glass or two of wine. Locals know that the slow pace of life, great climate, and enjoying the natural beauty with family and friends are part of what makes this region so special. Another local flavor is PortAdventura Park in Salou, Spain a juxtaposition that combines the relaxing environment with a thrilling theme park. In 2007 PortAdventura made a big move introducing Furius Baco, a brand new concept and record breaking coaster manufactured by Intamin. The ride takes a familiar concept of a hydraulic launch and gives it a new twist by moving the seating position outside the track creating Intanim’s first wing rider coaster. The riders are positioned two abreast on each side of the track, so four per car. This new chassis allows the riders to sit next to the track instead of over it and provides a different ride experience for the two sides. This innovative design allowed the park to add theming between the seats, each car has a giant wine barrel covering the chassis. Furius Baco introduced something else that was new; a European speed record with a powerful launch reaching 83.9 MPH in a brisk 3 seconds.
Furius Baco is themed to Bacchus the Roman god of wine, and the station is a beautifully detailed Mediterranean styled farm building similar to what you may find at any vineyard in Spain. The riders must first choose a side, left or right, for where they would like to sit. Then they can board the wine barrel train, and lock their restraints. The train slowly rolls out of the load area into a dark space flanked with giant spinning gears and train stops and a projection displays above the track. The show is about wine production but it is being made by scientists in lab coats. They are building some sort of contraption that would automate collecting grapes and processing it into wine. Right as they try to put the finishing touches on the machine a mischievous monkey appears and pulls the lever turning it on before they are ready. They all go flying through the machinery and chaos ensues. The machine explodes and the screen fills with wine.
Without warning the train is launched out of the building at 83.9 MPH, riders experience a punishing 4.7 Gs during the acceleration. The train bursts into daylight and jumps down a small dip and into a banked turn. Furius Baco has the lowest height of any accelerator coaster at 46 feet, and this layout hugs the ground and increases the sensation of speed. This experience possibly influenced the incredibly popular blitz coasters Intamin would build starting the following year with Maverick at Cedar Point. Furius Baco banks hard to the left into a trench half the riders being held up towards the sky and the other half perilously close to the ground. The train continues around this long banked turn and then switches direction, and storms though a tight tunnel. A jarring experience for both sides. The track banks again to the left and then to the right as the train ascends and jumps over the launch track. The train rolls right back down to ground level as the layout cuts through a vineyard, the train rolls through its lone inversion an in-line twist. The track then leads riders out over the water and banks around to the left and finally into the brake run. Riders can breathe easy as they enter the station, and depart shaking with excitement or fear. So what would you do next? May I suggest steading your nerves with a nice glass of wine and trying the other side?
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