Specific Type: Wooden
Elitch Gardens first opened in May of 1890 near Denver, Colorado under the ownership of John and Mary Elitch, out of which John would pass away of pnuemonia a year later.Elitch Gardens was a beautiful array of gardens, devoid of any coasters. At that time, it would be a few years before even gentle figure-8 wooden coasters picked up steam. Nonetheless, in 1904, Elitch unvieled their Figure 8 Toboggan coaster. And 18 years later, they opened their Philadelphia Toboggan Company-designed coaster Skyrocket, which would later be formed into Wildcat.
After a period of several ownership changes and the opening of Kiddieland, the park entered the 1960's with another PTC coaster, Mister Twister. Primarily designed by John Allen, the coaster opened in 1964 with initially lackluster results. However, after John Allen corrected a few errors and completly modified the woodie, it reopened in 1965 as the coaster many remember it as. With its iconic double helix surrounding Wildcat, steep drops, swooping turns and even a hidden tunnel, Mister Twister was an intense experience that seemed impossible to replicate. After adding one more coaster, the Arrow launched loop Sidewinder, Elitch was beginning to have problems with its landlocked location. Its owners desired to relocate, as the boundaries surrounded by a neighborhood were too restrictive to possibly carry on with.
Thus, in June of 1994, it was announced that Elitch would relocate to a new plot of land in downtown Denver. Some of the rides were brought to the new location such asSidewinder... while others were unfortunately left behind and not saved, such asWildcat and Mister Twister, both of which had their last run through on October 1st, 1994. However, there was hope. Mister Twister would be rebuilt as another coaster, and its legacy would continue. And so, on May 27th 1995, the new Elitch Gardensopened with new rides including a John Pierce designed wooden coaster, Twister II. This new attraction was very closely patterned after Mister Twister, and retained many of the elements the original one featured, and then some.
In 2003, the trains were changed from the 5, 2-row cars to 4, 3-row cars, identical to the older style PTC wooden coasters found onComet at Hersheypark and Racer at King’s Island. In the 2005/2006 offseason, the ride was minimally retracked because of roughness. With this was some minor retheming.
As riders make their way through the station, passing old photographs of the originalMister Twister, they board one of two four car trains. A right turn out of the station sends riders to the 100 ft. lift hill, passing under one of two of the ride's swooping turnarounds. As the train disengages the lift, the track dips slightly to the right as it negotiates a unique pre-drop section. After a swooping left turn, riders plunge down the first drop and turns slightly left into the first turnaround. A dipping right turn sends riders down another drop as the train approaches a double-up section into a right turn and a dip. Another right turn leads into the helix, which expands on the original as it dips over and underneath the break run.
But the ride isn't over yet. Upon exiting the swooping helix, a brief dip and left turn lead into the hidden tunnel. A few hills under the lift hill structure lead into a final right turn into the break run, concluding the 4,640 foot ride. And so, the lap bars release and riders exit, having expierenced a whirlwind of a coaster. Mister Twister may be gone, but it's legacy lives on in Twister II, built wilder the second time around
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