Specific Type: Inverted Coaster
Patriotism has always been a delineating quality of life in America. Every Independence Day and throughout the year, Americans salute the flag that millions have fought and died for and repeat the words to the "Star-Spangled Banner." Great pride is taken in the sacrifices over hundreds of years that have made it possible for the rest to pursue their happiness today, and nothing could make some people much happier than those hours spent within the bounds of one of America's great theme parks. For America's 230th birthday, a new roller coaster celebrating the American dream and American scream will be arriving in one of America's heartland parks, created for riders to experience the "Land of the free and the home of the brave" in a new way: with freedom to soar along 3,081 feet of twisting, action-packed track; and bravery to climb 149 feet into the sky before plunging at sixty miles an hour.
For a traditional American theme park like Kansas City, Missouri's Worlds of Fun, a ride like Patriot makes for the ideal addition at the ideal time. While the park's featured themed sections such as Africa and Orient received new coasters the past decade - Mamba, Boomerang, Spinning Dragons - the dawn of a new coaster for the homeland's section neared. Patriot is the fourth inverted coaster from Bolliger and Mabillard for the Cedar Fair chain, a pattern kicked off by Raptor at flagship park Cedar Point in Ohio for 1994, picked up by Talon at Pennsylvania's Dorney Park seven years subsequent, followed by Silver Bullet at Knott's Berry Farm in California three years afterwards, and now making its way back to the Midwest just two years later. But this isn't just any ordinary inverted coaster; the statistics of Patriot's original layout will push ahead of the Cedar Fair B&M pack as the tallest, fastest of the clan.
Unlike the other Cedar Fair inverteds, Worlds of Fun's ride is built on open acreage at the edge of the park that contrasts the midway interaction of the other three. After the twenty-three-year-old Orient Express was retired from its own quadruple-looping service in 2003, whispers began circulating that a long-rumored inverted coaster could be swooping in to Worlds of Fun as the latest in the Cedar Fair trend. Thrill-seekers dreamed of a new custom-designed coaster, and their prayers were answered. Whereas Orient Express brought complaints of roughness and discomfort, Patriot will surely bring nothing but compliments to Worlds of Fun with its sleek, smooth track and comfortable four-abreast seating that Bolliger and Mabillard have impressed the world with since 1990. And despite the past addition of rides of even larger magnitude, the new inverted coaster will be the most expensive single investment, at fourteen million dollars, but a sure-fire hit among guests.
With a sweeping four-inversion twister layout, Patriot's broad heights and bright cars, through the perilous flight, will send riders gallantly screaming down the 123-foot first
plunge and immediately up into a traditional eighty-nine-foot vertical loop bursting into the air. From there, passengers are taken through a course with a lineup of elements similar to Dorney Park'sTalon: a zero-g roll, immelman, inclined helix, S-curve, flat spin, and final carousel curve. Although the layout is slightly shorter than its sister rides, it packs one element after another into a non-stop course. When it makes its debut early next April,Patriot is a ride that's sure to be hailed proudly by coaster freaks till the twilight's last gleaming. And the steel's red glare, the train looping mid-air, will give proof through the year that new thrills are still found in Kansas City, Missouri. It may have been eight years since the park's last major custom-designed coaster, but Worlds of Fun is coming through again in a major way with their patriotic new inverted coaster.
The red, white, and blue of Patriot makes a stunning impression on the Worlds of Fun skyline as future riders approach the patriotic inverted track. Once in the Americana section, the logo for Patriot guides future riders into the queue line where they
soon ascend into the wooden and steel building. On the station platform, 1,160 riders every hour take their seats in seven rows on the eye-catching trains with blue seat backs, red restraints, white stripes, and blue wheel coverings adorned with white stars. The floor drops out from beneath and riders leave the station as their legs dangle over the blue catwalk below. Rounding a left L-turn, the twisting flat spin is visible directly ahead. The chain lift then carries the trainload of twenty-eight to the summit of fifteen stories where the track tops out and over with the traditional Bolliger and Mabillard dip off of the chain to warm up for the first dive.
Banking to the right, the track pulls into a much steeper first dive than most inverted coasters as it swoops towards the ground while curving beyond 180 degrees and pulls out twenty-six feet above the Missouri turf. The red and white track overhead yanks the train up into a speedy vertical loop while dangling feet fly towards the third lift hill support column for a "foot-chopper" effect. At eighty-nine feet riders reach the crest and begin to fall feet first
on their heads back down the other side of the loop. Pulling out higher from the ground than before, the track bends slightly to the right under the initial climb and pulls up into the commencement of the zero-g roll twisting to the right. The world spins upside-down and right-side up in front of passengers at the top of the climb and they drop into another valley at the base of the third inversion: the immelman. Blue support columns fly past on either side as the track pulls up through a half-loop and twists rightwards out of the inversion.
After diving from the immelman, Patriot takes on a highly-banked, inclined, right-handed helix that first climbs, then dives as it begins to exit, then takes a trip over the layout's final curve. The red track heads back up into a hop flying well above the station building before descending and veering a slight left swooping past the tower of Worlds of Fun's skycoaster. For the final inversion to help wrap things up, the track whips up and over a drawn-out flat spin, then banks to the right for the last major high-speed major curve. Climbing as it goes, the ride curves around a carousel curve of 225 degrees that ends with dive with a minor left curve. Still veering leftwards, the track hops quickly under the start of the lift to enter the brake run and slow the train to a halt. Finally, it's time for a turn to the left leading back into the station to conclude the two-minute, eighteen-second experience of Patriot.
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