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Most surprising coaster addition ever?

Coaster_fan_07

Roller Poster
well not the most surprising I think Dr Diabolic's cliffhanger is actually a pretty surprising addition with Six Flags not working with B&M since 2012
 

Hyde

Matt SR
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Arie Force One, the multi-million-dollar RMC that clearly promises to be wildly innovative and wholly world class in nature, is coming to what is essentially a municipal park/permanent local fair in Fun Spot Atlanta. No one would dispute that this is a shocking development on several levels.

But this got me thinking: This is, as far as I know, THE most surprising addition to any park I have ever known — or at least that I can recall.

Can anyone think of an equally or more surprising addition of a coaster to a park ever?
I'd hedge against this on a simple basis - trendline. Fun Spot had already been hard at work dropping in solid additions between White Lightning and Mine Blower. I would also swear we had received tipoff they were eyeing RMC? Undoubtedly a hilariously world-class attraction coming to a small park - but not the most surprising.

Perhaps not as surprising as the above, but Top Thrill Dragster was quite surprising mainly because of the timeline.

Sure it’s a giant coaster at a giant park, but only 3 years after Millennium Force. In 2000 CP open the first 300 foot coaster. The record only last about 20 minutes before Steel Dragon 2000 opens. The two coasters are on opposite sides of the planet, so not really competing for guests. Nobody else in the Western Hemisphere has a giga, yet here come CP in 2003 saying “Ok fine, we built one that’s over 400.”
This is pretty bang on - I'd air on the side of Millennium Force's announcement specifically. Both coasters, in general, pushed to limits previous thought unimaginable, completely unanticipated by the public. MF itself broke ten world records when it opened, and completely transformed the park in it's wake. Did a quick google search, this article write-up on Ultimate Coaster gives a good "feel" for how shook the public was at the announcement:

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RcTmix

Mega Poster
I remember pretty vividly how awestruck I was when MF was announced. The only hyper I’d done was Magnum, and I just couldn’t fathom how they could build something 105 feet taller that wouldn’t be too violent to enjoy. In a weird way, it’s a great illustration of how much computers changed everything during the 1990s
 

Indy

Mega Poster
I remember being pretty similarly awestruck by the Son of Beast announcement. While Paramount had been building some pretty intriguing coasters in the years leading up to it, the idea of anybody building a 7000+ ft long wooden hyper coaster with a loop was completely mental.

The 1999 announcements for the year 2000 were simply shocking for anybody who lived in or near Ohio; Millennium Force, Son of Beast, the the Six Flags Ohio rebrand of Geauga Lake with a massive B&M floorless, a large CCI woodie, and the first Intamin Impulse outside of Japan. It was insane.
 

Matt N

CF Legend
Sorry to go off on a slight tangent, but out of interest, how did Cedar Point get away with referring to MF as the world’s tallest when the Intamin Reverse Freefall coasters existed 3 years prior?
 

Hixee

Flojector
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Sorry to go off on a slight tangent, but out of interest, how did Cedar Point get away with referring to MF as the world’s tallest when the Intamin Reverse Freefall coasters existed 3 years prior?
It's usually by adding the clause "full circuit" somewhere in the small print.

Or, realising that no-one was going to call them out on it (and if they did, see above).

Or, remembering that most of the freefall coasters make a pitiful attempt to reach the top of their towers.

:D
 

MestnyiGeroi

Giga Poster
I'd hedge against this on a simple basis - trendline. Fun Spot had already been hard at work dropping in solid additions between White Lightning and Mine Blower. I would also swear we had received tipoff they were eyeing RMC? Undoubtedly a hilariously world-class attraction coming to a small park - but not the most surprising.
I knew someone would say it’s not surprising given the context of larger Fun Spot designs. Fair enough, I’m not saying you’re wrong as it’s a valid point.
However, for me, it’s an argument that doesn’t take into account the reality on the ground at Fun Spot Atlanta. It’s not just a small park that has gotten its first big step up. FSA doesn’t even feel big enough to be called a small amusement park. FSA makes Little Amerricka or even Quassy feel like Disneyland in comparison. FSA feels like a city park that is suddenly getting a world class RMC. For you Brits, it would be like, say, Clapham Common getting a B&M giga.

I’m greatly enjoying everyone’s answers here about surprising additions, but for me only four or five of the answers so far really rival the staggering, inconceivably shocking quality of Arie Force One. I mean, the admission gate is somewhat like the gate at Conneaut Lake Park. Imagine that booth trying to recoup through box office the investment cost of an RMC.

Hope I’m not coming across as saying most of the responders are “wrong,” as it’s all just a matter of discussion and I’m loving what my question has produced. I’m just saying that for me personally the level of bizarreness of this addition can only be matched by a handful of other picks.
 
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Clrun4

Roller Poster
Back to the Old Continent for me (the real one, not the Bush Gardens thing) with Expedition GeForce at Holiday Park.
I'm surprised no one already mentionned it because a small family park lost in Germany opening a Mega Intamin, just one year after MF is pure balls.

Do I need to say how good reviews this ride had ? (Not for me unfortunately as It was closed the day I visited).

Anyway, for me, it's the best WTF-ish moment for the European coaster history.
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
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China also has some interesting ones.

In recent years, I think Legendary Twin Dragon was one that stunned me the most. It's an Intamin Impulse coaster, a coaster type that saw seven models built between 1998 and 2003. A defining example of a "flash in the pan" fad coaster that got popular for a very short while, until all the drawbacks became so apparent that nobody ever wanted to build them again. It took only five years between the first and last installment of this coaster type ... until 2021, when Chongqing Sunac Land decided to build another one, and grab the world speed and height records for inverted coasters while they were at it.

All Speeds deserves a mention too. Of all the coasters out there that could possibly be cloned, they chose Taron. Cloned coaster layouts are usually simple, unassuming things, built to fit anywhere and nowhere at the same time. Usually coasters designed for parking lots, destined for parking lots. Taron was a highly custom double-launch coaster designed for the tight spaces at Phantasialand. But then Chengdu Sunac Land decided they wanted one of those too, and before we knew it there were two Tarons in the world.

An honourable mention goes to Barracuda at Hainan Ocean Paradise. I remember the announcement of Fahrenheit and have always considered it to be a very cool coaster, but apparently the concept didn't sell well, and the Intamin contraption from 2008 remained the only vertical lift multi-looper Intamin ever made ... until again, somebody in China must have read an old brochure and said "We'll take one of those!"

And finally, an exception to the trend of "Chinese park buying something that was considered an outdated flop in the West": Once again we go to the mad lads at Sunac Land, this time in Guangzhou. Dueling f-ing Dragons. A combined sit-down/inverted swing launch dueling coaster. An unheard-of combination of terminology anywhere, with the awesome dials turned to eleven and a concept that makes its Florida namesake sound somewhat tame by comparison. Granted, the colour scheme is absolutely pants, but this is a signature ride in Intamin's portfolio and it's not in a Western park. There's nothing even like it in a Western park. Granted, China wasn't the last place I expected to see a coaster like this, but if you'd told me five years earlier that Intamin would build a coaster like this, I wouldn't have guessed its location in a hundred attempts.
 

Matt N

CF Legend
In recent years, I think Legendary Twin Dragon was one that stunned me the most. It's an Intamin Impulse coaster, a coaster type that saw seven models built between 1998 and 2003. A defining example of a "flash in the pan" fad coaster that got popular for a very short while, until all the drawbacks became so apparent that nobody ever wanted to build them again. It took only five years between the first and last installment of this coaster type ... until 2021, when Chongqing Sunac Land decided to build another one, and grab the world speed and height records for inverted coasters while they were at it.
An honourable mention goes to Barracuda at Hainan Ocean Paradise. I remember the announcement of Fahrenheit and have always considered it to be a very cool coaster, but apparently the concept didn't sell well, and the Intamin contraption from 2008 remained the only vertical lift multi-looper Intamin ever made ... until again, somebody in China must have read an old brochure and said "We'll take one of those!"
Building upon China and old Intamin concepts that flopped somewhat in the West, I know of at least one Chinese park currently building an Intamin spinner… which the West only ever tried with Bakken’s Tornado back in 2009. Hearing that parks were going for those again certainly surprised me!

I wonder why Chinese parks seem to like reviving old Intamin products?
 

Coaster Hipster

Giga Poster
ring°racer might deserve a (dis)honourable mention there.

Although other Formula 1 tracks have bought coasters before and since (Suzuka and COTA come to mind), S&S launches were (and still are to some extent) quite a rare ride model.

Would also be a good trivia question in a "He Also Did" quiz about Alan Schilke.
 

Steely Dan

Roller Poster
The 1999 announcements for the year 2000 were simply shocking for anybody who lived in or near Ohio; Millennium Force, Son of Beast, the the Six Flags Ohio rebrand of Geauga Lake with a massive B&M floorless, a large CCI woodie, and the first Intamin Impulse outside of Japan. It was insane.

Yeah, Ohio was THE place to be back in the summer of 2000.

2000 was a banner year for coaster construction all around the planet, but Ohio turned it up to 11 that summer!

What's odd/bittersweet about it now is that MF is the only one of those five coasters that's still left in Ohio.

SoB & Villian were both taken down and BKF/Dominator went to KD and SUE/Steel Venom went to Dorney.
 

Furiustobaco

Mega Poster
For the UK i'd probably say the launched B&M Wing coming to Chessington? When Thorpe has Swarm, and Chessington targets a more family friendly market, and isn't really a park that really seems like it would house a B&M. So when built, it will be a strange addition.

I think Red Force was a strange one, building a faster but worse Intamin launch not too far from your already existing Intamin launch.
Shoutout as well to the new hyper going to Thorpe, which looks like a Mack? I don't think anyone was expecting a Mack hyper with a crazy layout like it does.
I think Merlin as of recent has been bringing the weird to the table.
 

JoshC.

Strata Poster
I don't think one in their own right was particularly surprising, but Thorpe Park getting Colossus and Nemesis Inferno in consecutive was a bit of a surprise and a statement.

In 1998, the tallest ride at the park was a log flume, and they only had two coasters: a powered one and an indoor thing which, despite the height restriction, wasn't exactly a thrill machine. But then the Tussauds Group buys them, and a world of possibility opens up.

Obviously the world was very different back then, but big new coasters - whilst rumoured - still would have felt like a pipedream. To get an inversion record breaking coaster and a coaster similar to Nemesis in two years just a few years after that takeover is crazy to think about.
These days, it would be akin to somewhere like Wicksteed getting an Intamin and B&M in 5 year's time.
 

English Coaster Guy

Roller Poster
I'm quite shocked no one has mentioned Icon up until this point.

To put a highly advanced, expertly engineered multi-million pound rollercoaster in and around a bunch of salt rusted, crusty, lacklustre antiques was really, really surprising. I'm still baffled by it and I've had a lot of rides on Icon in the last ~4 years.

Not to say it wasn't a good addition for Blackpool. From a business perspective I believe it was the right move! It still just baffles me a bit.
 

WC90

Roller Poster
Katun in mirabilandia, under the Loffelhardt-Casoli property. Consider the perspective of 2000 europe, when even major parks didn't have a single decent """extreme""" coaster. They placed one of the best inverted coaster of the world and also a 1200 m beast in a former "luna park", when nobody bet in high quality coasters, neither gardaland. You have to jump 22 years in the future to see why this thing was so incredible. Today, when the whole Europe follows a single, common direction, it seems italian park are undergoing a real involution. It's not difficult to see why. In italy there is a sort of "competition" that aims to reach the bottom.
 

Tonkso

Mega Poster
Reviving this thread after a few months, but Plopsaland's Ride to Happiness. It's a family park, the next best thing is a family woodie and a somewhat disappointing gerst launch.

Then they built that. WTF.
 

roomraider

Best Topic Starter
Building upon China and old Intamin concepts that flopped somewhat in the West, I know of at least one Chinese park currently building an Intamin spinner… which the West only ever tried with Bakken’s Tornado back in 2009. Hearing that parks were going for those again certainly surprised me!

I wonder why Chinese parks seem to like reviving old Intamin products?
2 in fact. One at the same place as Barracuda and one at Nickelodeon's new park. Beyond that a Chinese park is also opening a Zac spin soon. Intamin seems to have had some sort of old rode yard sale in China.

Most surprising addition to me was perhaps Phaethon in South Korea. Not only did we not know it was fully built but it got built at a park that only had a crappy corkscrew coaster for the 16 years previous.

I imagine back in the day Drayton adding Shockwave caused uhhhh shockwaves too.
 
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