Specific Type: Wing Coaster
It was 2010 and Gardaland had their hearts set on a unique new ride for the 2011 season. Bolliger and Mabillard, known for their high quality roller coasters, were contacted and by Spring of 2010, land clearing had begun. Everything seemed to be going smoothly until late July, when reports began to roll in about underground anomalies; strange noises and vibrations were noted and special scientists were brought in to inspect. After about a month of serious investigation, a giant egg had been found to be the source of curious events. Within a few weeks, an underground research lab was being built to aid the scientists in testing the mysterious egg and its eccentric DNA. More eggs were being confirmed as well.
Not long after, something happened at Gardaland…something had hatched from that egg and ravished the surrounding lands. It wasn’t until February of 2011 that Gardalandrevealed what this thing was and how it came to be.
Deep underneath the well trampled grounds of Gardaland, a terrifying, ancient predator of phenomenal proportions had laid sleeping…with the construction of the new roller coaster, the sudden deafening noises had awoken this beast, known only as Raptor. Once free of its underground slumber, it terrorized the surface, leaving behind an uninhabitable wasteland. Now this winged creature kidnaps the most daring of riders for a dangerous flight through 2,527 feet of convoluted track, at speeds of over 55 miles per hour. It doesn’t fly very high, not exceeding 108 feet, but it does manage to drag riders through obstacles it has already torn through, defying gravity with three aerial inversions, and hugging the ground it had so recently been hibernating beneath. Victims are spared simply to pass on the warning.
Entering Raptor’s area, riders will get their first tastes of a foreboding feeling either from the shady building that holds the research lab, the arid, eerie landscape, or the completely caged in queue line. Is the cage to hold riders in, or something else out, they will wonder. The lab themed station is dark and industrious; an experiment has clearly gone awry.
Riders can, however hesitantly, board the foreign-looking trains before slowly being dragged up the lift hill. A great view of Mammut’s mountains awaits those willing to keep their eyes open, but it’s only a brief peek. This is merely a distraction, and riders will likely think, “Well, this isn’t that bad. I’m not so high up.” That is, until they are plummeted at nearly 56 mph straight towards a midway full of happy guests below them. Raptor pulls up at the last moment, swooping up and to the left into an overbanked, 180 degree turn, facing riders back towards the lift hill. After another dive towards the destroyed land, riders are pulled up into a zero-G roll and thrown towards the caged queue line, where future victims can duck and cower in fear. Immediately after noticing the queue, riders become aware that they are careening towards a partially destroyed bridge, with a hole torn into the structure. Can the train make it through that hole? The train just fits through, with the bridge flying just feet from riders’ terrified faces.
Riders soar up into a small air time hill. The train glides down, banks left, and hugs a lagoon tightly, water splashing up as the train races by. Riders might get comfortable for just a moment here, but within a second they’re upside down again, maneuvering through a corkscrew, and reversing to bank right, nearly colliding with the entry to the lift hill. The track flattens out and riders are whisked under a misting pedestrian bridge, then grabbed up and to the left. At this point, riders may notice the rusting, fallen watch tower that the train and track had broken through…The track flattens out and then starts into a counter clockwise heartline roll, shaving past the splintering tower and winding its way through a split tree, as well, before ending by going through a rectangular mister. From there, it’s up a little bit and into the brake run.
This set of daring riders has survived! But how much longer until the Raptor decides to withhold his mercy?
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