Zamperla provides spinning coasters on opposite sides of globe
AT: Tim Baldwin
VALLEJO, Calif. and VINTERBRO, Norway — Zamperla is enjoying putting a spin on fun. Two new spinning coasters from the company have opened this summer, one in Norway and one in California. Each represents a different model on what Zamperla has to offer.
Tusenfryd in Norway opted for the Compact Spinning Coaster. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom selected the classic spinning coaster. The one at Tusenfryd is the largest Compact Spinning Coaster to date.
“This our second Compact Spinning Coaster,” said Adam Sandy, Zamperla’s roller coaster sales and marketing director. “The first went into Luna Farm in Italy. When it comes to spinning coasters, we now have three in the portfolio: Twister Coaster, the classic Zamperla spinning coaster; Compact Spinning Coaster: a train of spinning vehicles for smaller projects; and Super Twister: a train of spinning vehicles for high-capacity layouts. Currently, we have one installed at Warner Brothers World Abu Dhabi.”
According to Tusenfryd General Manager Bjørn Håvard Solli, the Compact Spinning Coaster was part of a multi-year investment plan to grow and “future proof” the park’s business. For 2022, the park invested more than five million euro, with the Zamperla coaster being one of the centerpiece attractions.
The roller coaster helps round out the park’s offerings in terms of family attractions. It is currently the seventh coaster at the park. The arsenal ranges from kiddie to high thrill. Of note, a more extreme coaster is planned for 2023.
One of the favorable attributes of the ride is that the height requirement is only 90 centimeters (36 inches) which makes for a large number of children who can ride with parents.
“We have received a lot of positive feedback, especially on the spinning feature,” said Solli. “And we are experiencing that the age segment on this ride is wider than what we expected. This is probably also related to that the positioning of the ride is quite high above ground and very visible to the visitors.”
The park had planned an upgrade for several parts of the park. Two minor children’s rides were relocated, creating space for the coaster. Its name is Huri Huri.
“A part of the park upgrade for the 2022 season was retheming a zone with an ‘adventure’ concept,” Solli told Amusement Today. “We renamed a lot of rides and POS in that area, using names from i.e. Maori language. Huri Huri can translate into something like ‘turn around and around’ — which we thought was a fair description of a spinning coaster.”
Marco Mazzucchi, Zamperla sales manager, said, “Working with the Parques Reunidos and Tusenfryd teams allowed us to partner and develop a world-class family coaster that features a detailed custom theme. It was an honor for them to choose us to work with during the first phase of their investment.”
In America, the Six Flags Discovery Kingdom ride opened in late May.
“As the world leader in thrills, Six Flags continues to raise the bar to deliver the most unique and innovative experiences in the industry,” said Six Flags Discovery Kingdom General Manager Dameon Nelson. “Sidewinder Safari is unlike any other ride in Northern California, featuring the thrill of a unique, spinning roller coaster combined with an opportunity to encounter reptiles up close, which continues Six Flags Discovery Kingdom’s long legacy of promoting animal conservation through education.”
“Guest reaction to the ride has been very positive, and it has continued to be one of the most popular rides in the park since opening Memorial Day Weekend,” added Marc Merino, marketing and communications manager, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. “Our guest makeup consists of a lot of families and Sidewinder Safari is an attraction that the entire family can enjoy.”
The classic spinning coaster offers 1,378 feet of track and stands almost 43 feet tall. Each single car can hold up to four riders.
Prior to the installation of Sidewinder Safari, the plot of land was used as a guest interaction of elephant rides. As cultural perspectives have shifted over time, the new coaster now offers family thrills.
“When the park first opened in Vallejo in 1986 as an animal-only facility, elephant rides were offered to guests,” said Merino. “Sidewinder Safari is a great representation of the park as it is today, which is a unique combination of both animal education and thrill ride experiences.”
After entering the attraction, visitors can observe various types of snakes.
“Aside from the ride itself, the animal element is added with an entirely new reptile exhibit that has been built into the queue experience,” Merino told AT. “Themed as a lost temple, guests have the opportunity to come face to face with reptiles from all over the world, while testing their knowledge of snake myths. This theming is extended into a new food and beverage location called Sidewinder Snacks and everything exists cohesively with this area of the park next to Tava’s Jungleland and Odin’s Temple of the Tiger.”
The coaster was originally slated to open in 2020. When the pandemic struck, California was under some of the harshest restrictions.
“Six Flags Discovery Kingdom was the first theme park to reopen in the state of California as a throwback to the park’s early days as an animal park with The Marine World Experience, where guests got to walk through the park like it was before the rides were introduced,” shared Merino. “We focused on other unique offerings to our guests throughout the year including cultural festivals, a renaissance and Charles Dickens fair, as well as early in the pandemic a Drive-Thru Holiday in the Park offering where guests actually got to drive through the park in their own vehicles to experience the holiday decorations.”
The spinning coaster now places the park’s coaster count in the double digits at 10.
The Zamperla team is also excited to share the accessibility options for its ride vehicles.
“The Six Flags installation features a unique harness that allows a wide range of guests to ride,” said Sandy. “We are utilizing an ADA system developed for thrill rides like the Discovery on some of our coasters. We strive to make our attractions accessible to as many riders as possible.”
Since 2014, Zamperla has supplied more than 50 spinning roller coasters worldwide.
“One important thing to note is that we have worked to bring our design concepts like Cost of Ownership into all of our coasters. Therefore, even the smaller Compact Spinning Coaster has design features that work to keep the annual maintenance and labor costs down,” noted Sandy. “In addition, it has features that other rides of this type do not: mechanically-released lap bars, automatic vehicle alignment, adjustable wheel bogies and kicker motors. When combined with a great layout, beautiful theming created in partnership between the Tusenfryd and Zamperla teams, and the gorgeous environment at Tusenfryd, we know this installation offers a wonderful experience.”