6 Rides That Never Quite Worked


I don't know about you, but I really love a proper theme park fuck up. You know when a park builds something that's a little out there and it just doesn't work? Obviously it's horrendous for the park, but I find it so interesting that even now with all of our technology and steps forward in design that there's still a chance that an attraction just will not work - you're pretty much at the mercy of physics and if your maths isn't right then, you're screwed basically. Here's some notable blemishes.

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Vertigo, a Mountain Glider coaster from an Austrain company called Doppelmayr, was set to be the park's New for 2006 headline attraction. Kind of like a huge zipwire that looked more like a giant electricity pylon, the idea of the coaster was that you'd ascend vertically and glide your way back to the ground. Simple enough.

Unfortunately the ride was plagued with technical problems and although it is said to have operated sporadically, during the 2007/2008 off season the track was taken down by the manufacturers and reworked. Finally in May 2008, two years after it was set to open, the ride had its official opening. Sadly the technical issues continued and the attraction closed after just 11 days of operation and the ride was removed in December 2008.

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It's always extra juice for me when it's a Disney ride that just can't seem to get it right. Luigi's Flying Tires opened as an attraction in the new Cars Land in the summer of 2012. The ride was based on the retro Disneyland favourite Flying Saucers that operated in Tomorrowland from 1961-1966 and used aerodynamics to create a kind of hovering bumper cars situation - like riding in a giant air hockey puck.

There were a few reasons for this one facing the axe. Firstly, the ride was said to be incredibly slow and difficult to manoeuvre, with guests basically sitting there confused and bored for the entire ride whilst they figured out how to work the damn thing. Second, the loading and unloading times were said to be excruciating, leading to much longer than expected queues.

Disney tried to distract from these flaws by weirdly adding a bunch of coloured beachballs to the attraction, but after a few 'incidents' (ie, guests getting smacked in the face with said beachballs) the decision was taken to close the attraction in 2015 and replace it with a trackless flat ride.

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One of only two S&S Thrust Air Coasters alongside fabulous Dodonpa at Fuji-Q, Hypersonic XLC opened back in 2001. The coaster was closed from the start of the 2002 season until June of that year where the ride was said to have been modified to increase its reliability after it reportedly suffered with operational issues during its first year. The coaster was the actual S&S prototype for this new coaster design and the track was modified to fit into its spot at Kings Dominion.

Turns out these modifications had a lot more impact on the ride than initially thought, and it is rumoured that the crippling cost of maintaining the thing, only to be rewarded with moderate reliability at best left the park with no choice than to remove the thing at the end of the 2007 season.

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Another stinker from S&S, this time in collaboration with Sansei Technologies. Twist Coaster Robin was a very customised variation of the standard El Loco model from S&S, adapted to fit into Yomiuriland's unique settings. The coaster was one of the park's largest ever investments and was set to open in March of 2014 to coincide with the park's 50th anniversary.

In what is potentially the shortest operating time of any coaster ever, the ride opened to the public on March 20th and operated for a few hours at most before suffering a collision, rumoured to have been caused by an anti-rollback failure. The ride was immediately closed indefinitely.

Although it seemed for a while that the park were battling to get this coaster back in operation it was sadly demolished in 2016.

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Although this one is unique on my list in that it is actually operating today, I wanted to include it for the sheer fuckery of the whole thing. Battlestar Galactica is a duelling pair Vekoma coasters - one sit down, one inverted. It was one of the attractions that operated during Universal Singapore's soft opening in March 2010. Just a week after opening, it is reported that a fault was identified with the ride vehicles and the attraction closed for repair. That closure lasted 11 months.

Investigations showed that the 'higher than anticipated stress and vibration levels caused fatigue cracks to develop in the seat-post supports'. The ride vehicles were redesigned and recertified and the attraction reopened in February 2011.

But the story didn't end there...in July 2013 the coasters closed AGAIN. After a year of the ride being SBNO it was finally announced that Battlestar Galactica would reopen with new vehicles in 2015. The ride is currently operational with 2-across vehicles instead of the original 4-across.

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Yep, you guessed it, another little ditty from S&S. RingRacer in concept is fab - the fastest coaster in the world that launches alongside a Formula One race course. The coaster operated sporadically in 2009, but a pneumatic explosion which caused injuries to several people caused the ride to close.

The coaster operated briefly from October 31 2013 - November 4 2013. Although adjustments were made to the coaster to decrease its top speed from 137mph (ie, fastest in the world) to 99.4mph, the ride has yet to reopen with the park stating that it is not 'economically viable' to operate. It is currently SBNO.

Luckily it is still a rarity for this kind of thing to happen. I guess that's what makes it so interesting in the first place!

Talk later xoxo,

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