Specific Type: Screaming Squirrel
Every couple of years, a new style of roller coaster comes onto the scene that leaves other manufacturers thinking 'Why didn’t we think of that?' The trend started in 1959 when Arrow Dynamic opened Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland in California. Their revolutionary tubular track design opened the door for many more creations to come. Then in 1976 Anton Schwarzkopf successfully incorporated a vertical loop in the Great American Revolution[now simply Revolution] at Six Flags Magic Mountain. In 1992 the first inverted coaster from Bolliger and Mabillard debuted as Batman: The Ride at Six Flags Great America and was an instant hit. In 2000 Arrow once again took the title for a revolutionary design back in the state where steel coasters all started. X opened to the public at Six Flags Magic Mountain and five years later it is still thought to be one of the most unique designs ever created.
At the time all these ingenious ideas were being created, S&S Power was just a small company without a clue on making a world class thrill ride. Slowly they gained popularity and burst onto the scene with their compressed air powered launch towers. In 2001 they debuted their first roller coaster, the Thrust Air 2000, which eventually found its way to Paramount’s Kings Dominion as Hypersonic XLC. The ideas in Stan Checketts head started flowing and S&S started to turn out some of the most insane designs ever created.
In 2002, photos of the company’s newest roller coaster prototype started to surface online and left everyone in awe. Stan Checketts, know for his crazy ideas, had decided to spice up the typically wild mouse design and what came out was truly a masterpiece. Basically he took the entire ride and literally turned it on its side. Instead of the tight turns, the ride would roll down the track and go straight over the edge. The 180-degree dive turned riders upside down until they reached the next dive. The idea was somewhat reminiscent of the Intamin Space Diving coaster, which is known as Flashback. After news channels and a select group of roller coaster websites were invited to try the ride at the S&S ranch, the questions about when we would see one of these rides in a park started to spread.
In 2005, Gardaland, titled as the largest theme park in Italy, made the announcement that everyone had been anticipating. The first ever Screaming Squirrel was going to make its way into the park. Up to this date, Gardaland didn’t really have a roller coaster that was the topic of conversation or a world record holder. To go along with their new ride, the park needed a theme that would really compliment it. The name Sequoia Adventure was chosen and the ride was to be themed to a Saw Mill.
Park guests enter the huge Italian theme park and after making the trek to the back of the park, they see it. The mostly insane roller coaster that has been thought up since the days of the looping coaster are Coney Island looms in front of them, just beckoning the brave to take a ride. After walking through the saw mill, guests secure themselves into the four seater coaster cars and secure themselves with the over-the-shoulder restraints. The ride starts out and the car is pulled to the top of the lift. Once the chain disengages, the car starts to drift downhill towards the end of the track. As the fear of falling straight down builds up, the car plummets off of the end of the track and rolls 180-degrees to the track below. Riders are left hanging upside down as they roar towards the next half-circle drop. The train rights itself and then it happens all over again. The state of fear the riders were feeling at the beginning has dissipated to shear joy as the train plummets down the next half-circular drop. The hanging constant dropping continues for a total of three times within the circuit. At the bottom a final drop rights the car and the train rolls around a turn back into the station. The restraints are released and riders make their way to the exit. With the adrenaline running through their veins, they re-enter the ride and go for another spin.
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