HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, Arkansas — The X-Coaster, a breathtaking new attraction that will include the highest upside down inversion in the world, will make its North American debut at Magic Springs & Crystal Falls theme park in April 2006, Magic Springs and Maurer Rides GMBH, the manufacturer, announced today.
"The X-Coaster will be the latest thrill ride added to Magic Springs' great lineup of attractions that now includes The Gauntlet, our suspended looping coaster, Plummet Summit, the new spillwater ride in 2005, the highly acclaimed Arkansas Twister wooden coaster, Dr. Dean's Rocket Machine drop tower and others," said Dan Aylward, president and chief operating officer of Themeparks, LLC, which operates the park. "This exciting new ride will feature an upside down inversion at 150 feet, the highest in the world. It extends our program of making significant additions to our attractions that keep Magic Springs at the forefront of theme parks in the Central United States."
The X-Coaster will cost almost $4 million installed, Aylward said, and will bring Themeparks' investment in the park to more than $39 million.
While the name X-Coaster is used by the manufacturer to describe its ride, Magic Springs will conduct a contest to name its exciting new attraction. Details of the contest will be announced in the next few weeks.
The X-Coaster is based on innovative technology developed by the ride's manufacturer, Maurer Rides of Munich, Germany, that makes it possible to experience inverted ride elements without shoulder restraints. This is the second ride of its kind built in the world. The first has been operating outside Munich, Germany.
"The ride features a three-level safety system that will hold the rider in position throughout this high-intensity experience," Horst Ruhe, managing director of Maurer Rides, said. "This ride is definitely not for the faint of heart."
Describing the X-Coaster experience, Aylward said, "When the riders leave the loading platform, they are taken for a vertical ascent of 150 feet, at which point the car performs a thrillingly slow quarter-loop backwards, which has the riders hanging upside-down. Then the riders are sent on a 360-degree corkscrew roll, followed by a plummeting vertical drop at more than 65 miles an hour."
He continued, "At this point it appears that the riders will return to the starting station, but instead they rocket past the station, stop on the lift hill, drop backwards through the station at high speed, stop upside down and rocket forward through the station again." Aylward said. "Then, just when you think you are ready to return to the station, you are picked up on the lift hill and taken over the top for a second time."
"The unique design of this ride guarantees that each row of seats provides a different ride experience," Aylward said. "The slightly elevated back seats in each car give an excellent view and the backwards motion of the train provides additional thrilling experiences."
The single 12-person two-car train can accommodate about 500 people an hour, Aylward said.
The ride, which is being built in Germany, will be transported to Hot Springs in January and February of 2006, and installation will begin immediately upon its arrival. It is expected to be completed in April, Aylward said.
Season tickets for the 2006 season are on sale now via the park's website at www.magicsprings.com, or by contacting the sales department at 501-624-0100. Regular Season passes are currently $39.95 through September 25 and include a free upgrade to a Gold Pass when processed during this operating season. As of September 26, the passes will be $49.95 with the free upgrade through January 1. After January 1, season passes will be priced at $49.95 for regular season passes and $59.95 for the high value Gold Pass. All season passes allow unlimited visits to Magic Springs & Crystal Falls as well as admission to the 2006 summer concert series at the park's Timberwood Amphitheater. Gold Passes include free parking and special value discounts throughout the park.
Magic Springs is located on Highway 70 East in Hot Springs, 45 minutes southwest of Little Rock.
The rides and water park are open Saturday and Sunday through September. On September 30 and October 1, Magic Springs will host the Hot Springs Oktoberfest celebration. On October 2, Magic Springs will introduce its all-new Magic Screams Halloween Festival with a preview showing exclusively for season pass holders. Magic Screams will then be open to the public Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays through the rest of October.