Good news for Bay Area coasters fans, as another “Raptor-Track” roller coaster is coming to California’s Great America in spring of 2018! The new ride, “RailBlazer”, will be 106ft tall and reach speeds of up to 52 miles an hours. It will also feature 3 inversions and a 90 degree vertical drop. It should be noted that this ride will be a mirror image clone of “Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster” at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, and although rumors suggest that the ride would feature two trains instead of three, you can clearly see three in the video above, though nothing has been confirmed by the park.
I’ve already written an article about the Six Flags coaster, so I won’t go into a huge detail about the ride itself, but I will say that this is a perfect fit for the Santa Clara park. In case you don’t know, Great America’s history, especially with Cedar Fair, hasn’t been exactly smooth. Once they bought the park, along with the rest of the Paramount properties in 2007, they quickly realized that they where thrown into an all-out war between the park and the neighboring office buildings, as well as a proposition for building a giant new stadium that would require them to share their parking lot. As you can guess, this caused a lot of headaches for Cedar Fair, and they even tried selling the property back in 2011. Even before that fell through, things were looking grim for Great America, popular attractions such as the “Invertigo” coaster (which is what is new coaster replaces) were being ripped out, yet no new attractions were being added. But, things started to change once the new year hit, Cedar Fair had just gotten a new President and CEO, Matt Ouiment, and it seemed as if the company was willing to give the park one last chance. They finally got the “Gold Striker” wooden roller coaster approved after years of it being in purgatory, providing to be a huge hit and finally, after so many years, giving that park the new breath of life it so desperately needed. Although I haven’t visited the park since the ride first opened in 2013 (although, this newly announced coaster will probably change that), I’ve heard that park has really been sparkling lately, with lots of new painting being done all over the park, on both buildings and attractions, and they have been really working on improving and fixing up that “sad little park” that sat unwanted for so long. This new “RailBlazer” coaster is exactly what the park needed, a big, thrilling roller coaster (and the first looping coaster to be added since the 90’s) that fits in perfectly with its current collection of rides, yet doesn’t take up to much space to make other major addition less probable in the future.
I should also add that this is one of three projects Cedar Fair is doing with Idaho based Rocky Mountain Construction in 2018, the other two being “Twisted Timbers” at Kings Dominion in Virginia, and “Steel Vengeance” at Cedar Point in Ohio, both of which are steel conversions from existing wooden coasters. These three, along with Knott’s Berry Farm’s new “HangTime” Infinity coaster make four exciting new coasters from Cedar Fair next year. 2018 really can’t come soon enough!