Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Gardaland inaugurates RAPTOR, an extreme flight, "The only Winged Rollercoaster in Italy"

On Gardaland’s new Raptor roller coaster, seats set on both sides of the rail track giving the sensation of dangling in space, obstacles grazed at the last second, a long and sinuous path with as many as 3 inversions, a fall from 33 metres and a maximum speed of 90 km/h.

“The attraction – on which Gardaland has been working for 9 months but which has been in the making, project-wise, for the last two years – reveals Aldo Vigevani, Amministratore Delegato (CEO) of Gardaland srl – cost 20 million Euro.”

The track, stretching across a surface of over 16 thousand square metres is 770 metres long and it features 3 “head over heels overturns”, a “drop” from as high as 33 metres with a 65° inclination and a top speed of almost 90 km/h. Making the experience even more extreme is the fact that passengers will be seated not on a conventional “train” but rather on a set of side seats dangling in the air. The rider will experience an extreme flight grazing a set of obstacles he along the track at breathtaking speed.

The convoy, 6.5m wide and 15m long, weighs, when fully loaded, 18 thousand kg. and it is capable of carrying 28 people divided in pairs on both sides. The hourly capacity is about 1,000 people per hour.

The story is of an implacable predator, an unknown winged creature which, awakened from its ancient sleep in the subsoil of Gardaland during construction of the new rollercoaster, has started to devastate the land to avenge the human insult. The convoy represents the unknown winged predator that kidnaps (hence the dangling seats) whoever tries to tame it dragging them in an extreme flight through enormous, arid forests and devastated lands. The unknown creature’s destructive fury leaves ruins that become obstacles in the path: a watch-tower about to fall, a tree broken in two, a bridge with protection barriers.
Raptor was planned and developed by the London offices of Merlin Entertainments Group. Gardaland has been part of Merlin Entertainments since 2006. More than 25 Firms were involved in the construction, including such suppliers as the Swiss B&M (Bolliger & Mabillard Inc.), considered the best and most qualified producer in the world of rollercoaster – planning the entire mechanic system (train, platforms, columns) utilising a special technique to forge steel. The Swiss company produces only one-off models; hence each one of its products becomes an exclusive project. This is why the 2011 attraction of Gardaland will be unique and different from any other rollercoaster in the world!

“Gardaland is a solid business for our Group and a market leader in Italy – says Mark Fisher, Direttore Generale Divisione Parchi a Tema e Resort di Merlin (General Manager Theme Park and Resort Division of Merlin) – and for this reason we have decided that the market of this Country deserved an important re-launch project. Gardaland has been the heart of Italian entertainment for the past 36 years” – continues Fisher – “and it is to Italy that we dedicate this unique and precious symbol of amusement excellence.”

Gardaland Park is open every day from the 1st of April to the 2nd of October 2011 with an opening time going from 10 AM to 6 PM (night opening from 10 AM to 11 PM from the 17th of June to the 11th of September). In October, to celebrate Gardaland Magic Halloween, the Park will be open every weekend while Gardaland Magic Winter will be open from the 3rd of December to the 8th of January 2012 (look up the calendar of the site). Full ticket € 36, reduced € 29 (children below the age of 10, army men, seniors above the age of 60 and accompaniers of non self-sufficient disabled people). Single tickets and season tickets are available for families of 3, 4 and 5 people, along with combined tickets for visits to Gardaland Park and Gardaland SEA LIFE Aquarium. Advantageous opportunities are also available to those purchasing directly from the website

The GARDALAND PARK brand is part of the MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS Group, leading name in family entertainment. Merlin aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its more than 40 million visitors worldwide through its iconic global and local brands and the commitment and passion of its managers and more than 15,000 employees. Merlin owns 70 attractions, six hotels/two holiday villages in 16 countries and across 4 continents. . The following structures are part of the Merlin Entertainments group: SEA LIFE, the world’s biggest aquarium brand; Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, The London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland Park, Gardaland Hotel, Gardaland SEA LIFE Aquarium, Gardaland Waterpark, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures, Heide Park and Earth Explorer.

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, publicist, strategist, blogger, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She excels at writing about all aspects of design and technical design, production and project management. Areas of special interest include AV integration and show control, lighting design and acoustics, specialty cinema, digital video and world’s fairs. Judith has ties to numerous industry organizations. From 2005-2020 she ran communications, publications and social media for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA, and co-chair of the 2014 IMERSA Summit. She was publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association in the 1990s, now part of the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) and has also contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Already making her mark as a magazine and book editor, Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. Launching as a freelancer in the mid 1990s she has contributed to dozens of publications and media outlets including Funworld, Lighting&Sound America, Sound & Communications, Urban Land, The Raconteur and The Planetarian. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. She has lived in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, and now makes her home in Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts and theater community.

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