Gerstlauer’s Mystic brings high-profile thrills to Walibi Rhône-Alpes

AT: Tim Baldwin

LES AVENIÈRES, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France — In making a name for itself, Walibi Rhône-Alpes continues to add rides to quench the thirst of thrill seekers. Just three years after adding Timber, a wooden coaster from The Gravity Group, a new dazzling tangle of steel has taken the form of Mystic, a unique roller coaster supplied by Gerstlauer.

Operated by Compagnie des Alpes since 2006, the park originally opened in 1979 and has had various owners and operators since. The current leadership is showing dedication to some substantial additions.

Defined as an Infinity model by Gerstlauer, Mystic sports a custom layout for the Walibi park. By its nature, it is a shuttle coaster, but the creative design also features a chain lift at the beginning.

As guests queue through a barnlike shed, mysterious markings, eerie images and foreboding masks are seen throughout the surroundings. It is just unsettling enough to set the stage. A skull’s face adorns the front of each train adding to the mystique of the ride. The station is draped in objects and paraphernalia culminating the mysterious set up. It’s fun to note the menacing laughter as trains are dispatched.

The ride begins with a vertical climb. After reaching a height of 102 feet, riders plunge into a snarl of elements, three of which are upside-down inversions: a zero-G roll, a diving loop and an inline rollback. A curving first drop sends trains of 12 riders seated in three rows of four plunging at a speed of 53 mph. Twisted curves and directional changes follow, as well as the inversions. In its most signature move, the trains climb an angled piece of track that spirals riders into an upside-down position, only to lose all momentum and begin the adventure backward. Backtracking along a portion of the track, riders shuttle back and forth to a magnetic brake run. Once stopped, a piece of transfer track moves the train into place to advance back into the station. The track length is 1,886 feet long, although a section of it is traversed in both directions.

“Gerstlauer has really worked to push the envelope with the elements the Infinity Coaster can offer,” said Adam Sandy, president of business development, Ride Entertainment, which represents Gerstlauer in the U.S. “After refining the platform, the company’s designers want the coaster to showcase as many different marketable, thrilling elements as possible. In the case of Mystic, the dead-end spike complemented the ride’s inversions and 31-meter vertical lift. Dangling out over the midway, this element became a showcase for the park and an area where guests gather to watch riders dangle inverted.” 

To celebrate its 40th birthday in 2019, Walibi Rhône-Alpes added more new additions than just the new roller coaster. A New Orleans-themed area now includes a new family attraction, Les P’tits Cauldrons spinning tubs ride; a re-themed tower drop ride, La Totem; and new restaurant, Chez Marie Laveau. The entire investment this year was more than €6,000,000.

This article appears in the NOVEMBER I 2019 issue of Amusement Today.
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