Specific Type: Steel, Sit-Down, Looping
Magic Springs isn’t the pinnacle of amusement park innovation. Its only coasters are a collection of family rides, a nifty out and back wooden, Arkansas Twister, and another Vekoma SLC production mode, Gauntletl. However, in 2005, there was some buzz that a revolutionary coaster could be on the way.
Alas, in September, the park announced a Maurer Sohne Sky Wheel, the second one in the world. The ride was fabricated in Germany and constructed back in Arkansas and opened late June.
You board the refreshingly Over the Shoulder Harness-free trains, then the ride takes you vertically upward at a reasonable pace. Then a twist not often found on other roller coasters-It takes you upside down. As if completing a loop, it pulls you 180 degrees, almost making riders wish they had Over the Shoulder Harnesses.
After being held in for a few seconds, the ride rolls you right side up, before sending you back upside down again in what appears to be a reverse barrel roll. Then you take a vertical dive, dropping over 100 feet into the station. On a normal roller coaster, this would signal the end of the ride. But on this one, you fly through at 65 miles per hour without any brakes applied. Rather than stopping, it climbs the next hill, and almost makes it up. But, what comes up usually comes down, and it falls back through the station. And up the side you just dropped down the train goes. But with this side being smaller, the train begins to traverse the element and hangs the riders upside down longer than they previously were. The train then swings through the station again, stopping halfway up and slowly lowering down.
Even with only one train, the ride is still capable of moving 500 people through the ride per hour. The ride also is very economic- all these thrills only cost 4 million dollars due to there only being one train, the shortness of the track, and the fact much of the track is suspended without supports.
For various reasons, mainly the purchase of the park by Parc Management, the ride was closed for all of 2009, but it was back in action for 2010. The coaster continued to operate for the next few seasons until in late 2012, when the park announced the ride would be getting removed due to "waning popularity," and to make room for a major new water park expansion.RIDE HISTORY
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