Trains, Planes, and Coasters

February 7, 2012

For 2012 the German company Gerstlauer is opening many projects worldwide, including three in North America.  Across the continent they are opening a SkyFly ride at Nick Universe in the Mall of America, new coaster trains at Hersheypark, and a Euro-Fighter at Landry’s new Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier.

“It is another busy year for us,” said Siegfried Gerstlauer, Gerstlauer Amusement Rides’ Managing Director.  “We are opening three of our new SkyFly rides worldwide and roller coasters of all sizes around the world.  We have worked to offer our clients new and unique ways to thrill their guests, and this is why we see parks coming back to us for more innovative attractions.”

The SkyFly at Nickelodeon Universe in the Mall of America will be the park’s 3rd Gerstlauer ride.  

Nick Universe has branded the ride “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Shell Shock”.  After passing through an elaborately-themed queue each guest will board their own ride vehicle, which features detailed theming.  Once the ride starts, the giant arm rotates, taking guests from ground level to 72 feet above the floor with each rotation.  During the experience riders are also free to flip their ride arm so they can do barrel rolls in the sky.  What makes the ride unique is that each guest creates their own experience.

Hersheypark wanted to update their classic Schwarzkopf coaster, 1977’s “SooperDooperLooper” with new trains.  Gerstlauer has designed a new roller coaster vehicle that offers updated comfort, but retained the classic lap bar-style restraint.  With a 42-inch height requirement the “SooperDooper”looper” is an attraction that many kids along the Eastern Seaboard ride as their first looping coaster.  Upgrades like this one allow this steel coaster to continue to thrill families for decades to come and Gerstlauer is excited to be providing trains for this seventies classic.

Gerstlauer’s largest North American project will open this year at the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier in Galveston, Texas.  Dubbed the “Iron Shark”, Gerstlauer’s newest Euro-Fighter will stand 100 feet tall and feature 4 inversions.  Siegfried Gerstlauer, who designed the ride, noted that, “It packs a lot of ride in a compact footprint.  I believe that riders will be surprised when they fly through this web of steel”.

Instead of using traditional concrete foundations a majority of the ride will rest upon a steel base frame designed and delivered by Gerstlauer.  This frame was created to handle hurricane-force winds, but required no penetration into the pier deck, which saved Landry’s considerable construction costs.  Another unique feature of the ride is the updated restraints.  This will be Gerstlauer’s first eight-passenger Euro-Fighter car to feature lap bars.  

From coasters to crazy flat rides, 2012 will be another banner year for Gerstlauer.

Gerstlauer’s 2012 Installations announced as of press time:

Duinrell (Netherlands)- Family Coaster

Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier (United States)- Euro-Fighter

Hersheypark (United States) – Roller Coaster Trains

Legoland Germany (Germany)- SkyFly 12

Liseberg (Sweden)- Polyp

Nick Universe in the Mall of America (United States)- SkyFly 12

Nigloland (France)- SkyFly 12

OK Corral (France) – Junior Shuttle Coaster

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