Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Blast From The Past - Paramount's Kings Island's Rugrats Runaway Reptar

Last week's Blast covered the Vekoma Flying Dutchman that was to be Paramount's Kings Island's new for 2001 coaster that ended up in Northern Ohio. So, what did PKI get in 2001?

Interestingly enough, they got a Vekoma prototype, albeit a much simpler design. Construction began the on the world's first inverted junior coaster, featuring in the park's Nickelodeon Central kids area.

Rugrat's Runaway Reptar was the first in a series of rides with a newly designed train. featuring new and unique open designed seats and the a restraint that was designed for optimal fit and security, while providing a sense of freedom and an unobstructed view of the ride.

Reptar's theming is based on an episode of the popular Rugrats show that originally aired on the television network Nickelodeon on May 27, 1999, during the series' sixth season. Rugrat babies are at the Drive-In watching a Reptar movie Runaway Reptar and they get sucked into the movie."Runaway Reptar" was written by Ali Marie Matheson and Jon Cooksey based on an idea by Scott Gray and directed by John Holmquist and Jim Duffy.

The lift is tire-driven and very quiet. When the ride first opened, some long- legged riders may have needed to lift their legs up a bit while going up the lift hill, due to the catch net below the train. But, the issue has since been resolved.

The layout consists mainly large curves with a few drops, leading to more curves. There are some foot choppers, where you think your feet may hit part of the ride, one of the best involves the station roof.

Reptar operated with a single 20 passenger train and with a maximum height of 52 feet. The 1 minute, 30 second ride had a top speed of 25 miles per hour. While this was hyped as a family coaster, the 1129 foot ride, pulls a maximum of 2.2 Gs.

In 2010 Nickelodeon Central became Planet Snoopy and Rugrats Runaway Reptar took on a Peanuts theme, becoming the Flying ACE Aerial Chase. The change didn't lessen the rides popularity with young or the young at heart. Currently, there are seven Vekoma inverted junior coaster in North America, three of these are in former Paramount Parks.