Friday, December 8, 2023

End of the Road for Two Record Breaking Woodies

Rattler. Courtesy

by Joe Kleiman, IPM Online News Editor

San Antonio, TX and Mason, OH, USA — Two record breaking wooden rollercoasters, Rattler at Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Son of Beast at Kings Island, are scheduled to begin dismanteling later this year.  Both rides received extensive track modifications during their operation following lawsuits resulting from alleged injuries.
When Fiesta Texas opened in 1992 as a joint venture of AARP and Opryland, Rattler was the only rollercoaster in the park.  At 179 feet, with a first drop of 166 feet and a top speed of 73 mph, it held the height and speed records for a “woodie” at the time.  In 1994, the first drop was shortened to 124 feet, which reduced the top speed to 65 mph.  According to the San Antonio Express-News, “At the time, Fiesta Texas officials denied that the changes were the result of allegations in the lawsuits. In 1998, the park reached settlements worth $3.54 million in lawsuits representing 27 plaintiffs.”  Current park operator Six Flags has announced that Rattler’s final day of operation will be August 5, 2012.

Son of Beast. Courtesy
Son of Beast opened at King’s Island in 2000 with a number of world records of its own.  At 218 feet with a top speed of 78 mph, it held the new record for height and speed.  It also became the first wooden coaster with a loop in close to 100 years.  In 2006, trains were shortened and the vertical loop was removed.  The ride was closed permanently by park operators prior to the 2010 season and they have announced that dismantlement will begin later this Summer.
Both coasters were designed by the now defunct Roller Coaster Corporation of America.  Neither park has announced a replacement attraction.
Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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