Specific Type: Spinning Coaster
In 2004, Gerstlauer Amusement Rides entered the spinning coaster market with their unique take on the concept which features trains that seat 4 people, 2 riders in two rows, facing each other.
Their first coaster of this type was Timberland Twister (nowFairly Odd Coaster at the Mall of America in March of 2004. Later that year, Worlds of Fun would introduce the second Gerstlauer spinning coaster to the world, as a replacement for the ill fated Orient Express which had closed the previous year, following a history of downtime and a derailment in 1999.Spinning Dragons was an immediate hit with park guests, though there were some who mourned the passing of the troubled Arrow looper. The park would bring their inversion count back up in 2006 when they unveiled the B&M Invert, Patriot.
Spinning Dragons is located in the Orient section of the park, immediately right once through the park's main entrance gates. As park guest get closer they see The Patriot looming over its smaller neighbor, but they had best not judge the spinner by its size. Those who choose to brave the dragons are in for a wild ride for sure. Or of course, for those who don't feel like riding, its always fun to watch riders screaming their lungs out as they spiral and spin over the dusty red rails and yellow supports. Once soon to be riders reach the dual-loading station, they are directed to one of two single-train cars waiting there. Out of the station, a clockwise u-turn lines the car up with the fifty-four foot high lift hill.
At the top, the car's stabilizer is disengaged, and its all free spinning from that point on. The rails dive down and to the right, reaching a top speed of 31 mph, before rising back to an elevated series of wild mouse like switchbacks. These really get the car spinning, but there is much more to come. After passing through a light block break, riders then enter into a wicked 450 degree downward helix to the left. No sooner have they exited that element though than track switches banking and ascends a 450 degree helix in the opposite direction. This feeds the train onto the second mid-course block break, from which it dips down providing a bit of air. The train jumps up and to the left ans continues to dip and hop as it curves further counter-clockwise around a centerpiece, dragon themed fountain. The rails rise up and pass over another short block break. A swift drop down off of that level stretch feeds into a small airtime hill before dropping beneath the ride's final break run. A super tight 270 degree left hand turn brings the rails back up to station level. Gliding into the breaks, the car finally comes to rest, still spinning in place as the angular momentum slowly bleeds off. Riders disembark in the station and attempt to regain their balance with crazy grins of their faces wondering which way is up, and when they can ride it again.
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