Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Blast From The Past - It's Déjà Vu All Over Again!

This week and next we will be taking a look at three Vekoma coasters which, when they opened, were located in three Six Flags parks, spread out over the US. Which is ironic considering Déjà Vu is the experience of feeling sure that one has already witnessed or experienced a current situation, even though the exact circumstances of the previous encounter are uncertain and were perhaps imagined.

In 2001 Six Flags purchased four of Vekoma's newest creation, the Giant Inverted Boomerang, which is actually a modified version of company's popular Boomerang series.

The first original Boomerang opened in 1984 and there are approximately 50 of them operating around the world. Three of the new giants stayed here in the States, the fourth was constructed in Spain, at Warner Bros. Movie World Madrid.

The US Giant Inverted Boomerangs were all dubbed Déjà Vu and these triplets were tall and fast. Taking riders on a twisting, looping inverted thrill ride, forwards and backwards, they were considered state of the art technology.

The ride layout is the same as a typical boomerang, the train slowly backs out of the station and up the vertical lift hill, pulled by the catch car. Once reaching the top of the lift, with riders facing straight down, the train is released and zooms through the station heading into the cobra roll.

After twisting through the cobra roll, riders then go through a vertical loop and hit the second vertical spike of the ride. A catch car grabs the train and pulls the train up the second vertical tower. As the train nears the top of the tower, it is released and the train cycles backward through the layout.

The ride ends with the train zooming through the station backwards and heads up the first vertical lift hill again, where it is caught once more and then very slowly lowered back into the station.

The differences are obvious; the Déjà Vu coasters are almost 300 feet longer, 75 feet taller and approx 18 MPH faster than the standard boomerangs. The Déjà Vu coasters also feature 90-degree vertical lifts and larger loops. The loop on the giants is only 15 feet shorter than the lift on a standard boomerang.

Then there's the train, hanging below the track, with riders legs dangling in the air. The chevron seating is four across, similar to a B & M, but with a twist. The seating on Déjà Vu is staggered, with the outside seats pushed back slightly behind the middle two seats in each row.

The Déjà Vu coasters were all set to open in the spring of 2001, unfortunately, nothing went as planned... the rides began malfunctioning during testing.

The tale of the Déjà Vu coasters concludes next week.


Surya said...

Damn, the interesting part of the story is yet to come :)

J said...

I'd love you ride one of these. I think my best bet is the one in Madrid... Interesting read, thanks.