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Thursday, December 20, 2012 | This article is listed in the sections Magazine and Amusement parks.

New coasters in 2012

This year was rather disappointing for European roller coaster enthusiasts: Only 32 new entries were listed in the RCDB in 2012 – there hasn't been such a low number since 1999. Space constraints, issues with neighbours, the economic crises and losses in turnover due to bad weather certainly have their part to play in this. However, European amusement parks managed to present new surprising and impressive attractions in the past season. Hereinafter we'd like to introduce five of them in alphabetical order:

Divertical, Mirabilandia (Italy)

Opened in June 2012, the water coaster built by Intamin towers 60 metres and has set a new Italian altitude record. "Divertical” features an elevator lift system that carries the 10-person boats to the top of the ride. From there, they plunge down into a tidal wave-like splash at maximum speeds of 110 kilometres per hour. They continue along a coaster track before dropping into a second splashdown pool. This attraction didn't (and surely won't) win any innovation price with regard to its course, but the focus clearly lies on height and the thrill that goes with it, as well as on the beautiful view of the nearby Mediterranean Sea.


Oziris, Parc Asterix (France)

The first roller coaster in the headquarter of the Gauls was launched in July 2012. Built by Bolliger & Mabillard, the inverted coaster of roughly 40 metres in height hurls riders through various elements, including a loop and an Immelmann turn and two zero-g rolls, at speeds reaching up to 90 kilometres per hour. Although most parts of the course can be seen from outside, the succession of each element is quite surprising, especially considering the great tunnel ride with water mist and near miss elements. Oziris is definitely one of the top attractions entering European amusement parks within the past few years!


Shambhala, PortAventura (Spain)

Europe's record of the tallest coaster was broken in May 2012 after Silver Star at Europa Park had been the undisputed number one for 10 years. Bolliger & Mabillard's impressive steel work soars 76 metres into the sky above PortAventura. The trains race through a sweeping track at speeds topping 130 kilometres per hour, providing primarily one thing: lots of airtime! Instead of placing four seats in a row, the manufacturer put the two interior seats by about one metre to the front, so that these seats allow the familiar coaster feeling with an unimpeded view to the outside. At the same time, the outer seats are now completely freestanding which arises a so-far-unknown feeling of riding alone – a mayor plus for Shambhala's ride experience.


The Swarm, Thorpe Park (England)

Due to the success of "Raptor”, situated at the Italian theme park Gardaland, Marlin Entertainments ordered another wing coaster designed by Bolliger & Mabillard, this time for Thorpe Park in Britain. After several questionable promotional campaigns, "The Swarm” was finally launched in March 2012. The new plant exceeds the top of its prototype at Lake Garda by 5 metres and, moreover, offers something for the eye with its apocalypse theme. However, the speed of both wing coasters appears to be too slow to generate stomach-churning thrill.

The Swarm

Wodan, Europa-Park (Germany)

Europa-Park's first wooden roller coaster caused a huge surprise when opening in the beginning of the 2012 season. Built by Great Coasters International, its top speed had been criticised by disappointed fans at first, but in the course of the year, it picked up pace considerably. Today, the wooden coaster is one of the best of its kind throughout Europe, measures 40 metres in height, features several fantastic elements and an unique interaction with "Atlantica SuperSplash” and "Blue Fire”. Since it is themed to Norse mythology, it is not surprising that several heavily detailed elements can be found in the queue. This is another added value which brings "Wodan” all the way up to the best European wooden roller coaster.


© parkscout/MV/AF


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