Quadruple Looping Steel Coaster Loves Water
Does a 14-story drop to an underwater tunnel sound like fun? The Anaconda at Kings Dominion is a steel coaster with some pretty unique elements. It rises high above a pond (that used to be the much larger Lake Charles) before dropping 144 feet into an underwater tunnel. It’s one of the few roller coasters in the world with an underwater tunnel.
Anaconda was built by Arrow and it has the requisite Arrow headbang factor. Your ride starts with an immediate dip out of the station and into a long, slow lift hill. The hill offers great views of the park where you can watch trains navigate Rebel Yell’s course or observe people enjoying the water park that has overtaken the lake. Many riders just close their eyes as the 14-story climb seems a bit taller than it really is. Finally, you begin to creep over the crest and start your plunge to the tunnel below. The drop itself is banked and not very steep, so there’s more of just an increase in speed than an extreme dropping feeling. After speeding through the small, black tunnel you immerge and rise into a vertical loop which is followed by a sidewinder (half of a batwing). Next you slam into the brake run. And I mean slam. The loops offer great g’s but are a little rough as is the brake run. *RIDE TIP – If you ride towards the front of the train the brake run’s a lot less rough, you almost fly through it*.
Next, you enter the butterfly configuration. It’s unique to the Anaconda and it’s basically two funky, twisted helixes. It’s fun, but at the same time rough. Your ride over the lake finishes with the highlight. The double corkscrews over the lake are taken pretty slow. This gives you the feeling that you might just fall out. After the corkscrews you dip under the lift hill, take a hard left turn and hit the station brakes.
Anaconda’s fun and a definite must ride, but a little too short and rough. Also, I would’ve preferred a steeper first drop. In its defense it delivers thrills and it always runs two trains so the line moves pretty fast. And I have to give Kings Dominion some credit, because it’s not only a custom design, but it offers that unique tunnel. Final Rating – 6.5 (Better than Average-Approaching Good)
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Photos 1 & 3 are courtesy of CoasterImage.com