(11/6/12) According to an anonymous spy source, Cedar Fair is said to making plans to retire Vortex at Kings Island (1987) and Anaconda at Kings Dominion (1991) sometime in the next few years. Apparently they seem to believe that these two old Arrow coasters may be close to reaching the end of their practical lifespan, mixed with issues like increasing maintenance costs and declining guest popularity.
I have to admit that locally, I’ve heard first hand rumors claiming that Carolina Cyclone at Carowinds (1980) isn’t likely to be around in another five years. Makes me wonder if Cedar Fair may also be looking into removing the Corkscrew coasters from Cedar Point (1976), Michigan’s Adventure (1979) and Valleyfair (1980) and there are progressively fewer and fewer 70’s era Arrow loopers still running.
– Lance from Screamscape
Imagine an Arrow-less World
After writing for years about the headaches that these classic steel roller coasters can inflict, you might think I’d welcome their collective demise. I mostly do, but it’s worth exploring what these parks might be like without one of their bread and butter attractions.
It probably varies by park and roller coaster, but some of these still maintain a decent ridership considering their age. The general public can be much more forgiving at times when it comes to rides I’d considerable nearly unride-able. These rides also help in some way by keeping lines down for other attractions.
I’ve seen other aging Arrows become defunct recently, but I’ve never thought about a large scale extinction. It’s interesting to consider what that would be like. And parks might want to think of a way to make up for the lost revenue from travel size Tylenol.
Recently Defunct Arrow Coasters
In the past few years we’ve seen a few Arrow coasters sent to the scrapheap. In 2009, we saw a much loved, not painful Big Bad Wolf removed from Busch Gardens Williamsburg. A few years later, the park replaced Wolfie with Verbolten. And then in 2010, Six Flags Great Adventure did us all a favor (sorry), and removed Great American Scream Machine to make way for their re-vamped stand up coaster Green Lantern.
My Take – Nice To Know You
I rode Vortex at Kings Island just once or twice. While I thought it was one of the cooler looking loopers back in the day, I wouldn’t miss it if it was removed. I’m more closely connected with my first looper, Anaconda at Kings Dominion. I’d hope that they’d find a way to incorporate the lake pond into its replacement. I like it overall, but it’s got some really rough sections. I’d be fine with it getting removed.
I might actually applaud the de-construction crew as my local Arrow looper, Carolina Cyclone is removed. It looks cool and provides some great photo ops as it loops right over pathways, but it’s super rough and largely un-enjoyable. At end of the day, I’d be okay with these coasters being removed especially if there are plans to replace them with newer attractions.
For more why these rides can get so rough, see Busch Gardens Roller Coaster Tour with a look at Loch Ness Monster’s maintenance shop. There’s also more discussion of the photo above in: “A Picture Worth a Thousand Head Aches”
What’s Your Take?
This is just a rumor at this point, but what you think? Would you miss the Arrow looper at your closest Cedar Fair park? Do you think these rides are still needed in their lineups or do you think it’s time for them to go? What say you? Leave a comment below.