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Worlds of Fun has a new Zinger for you
2023 coaster to recall 50-year-old ride
For its 50th anniversary next year, Kansas City, Missouri park Worlds of Fun will pay homage to one of its opening-day coasters, Zambezi Zinger, with a modern-day take on the ride. The new attraction, which will bear the same name, will take some inspiration from its predecessor, especially with its spiral lift. But it will blaze its own trail as well.
Unlike the 1973 Zinger, which was a steel coaster, the 2023 version will be wooden–or wooden-ish. Manufactured by Great Coasters International, which specializes in wooden thrill machines, the new ride’s hybrid structure will include both wood and steel supports. Likewise, most of its track will be a traditional wooden coaster track, but about a quarter of it will feature the company’s all-steel Titan Track. It will be the first coaster built from the ground up to include the new track. Zinger will also be the first ride to incorporate GCI’s latest rolling stock, Infinity Flyer trains.
With its newfangled train and track combined with the latest in ride design and engineering, the new coaster should provide an exceptionally smooth and captivating ride experience–even as it celebrates the park’s history and generates nostalgic appeal.
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Unlike a traditional chain lift, which takes trains straight up a hill, Zinger will start with a spiral lift. The original ride used onboard electric motors; the new coaster will use drive tires to propel the trains up its 74-foot-tall lift. Because it is difficult to curve lumber, the spiral lift will be one of the sections that will incorporate the more pliable steel Titan Track.
The first drop will rev the trains up to 45 mph. From there, the coaster will zing passengers with lots of banked turns and airtime moments throughout its 2,428-foot-long, two-minute journey. Worlds of Fun is promising a mid-course tunnel to add an element of surprise. While the combination of Titan Track and Infinity Flyer trains could accommodate inversions, the family coaster will not send passengers upside down. The park has not released a minimum height requirement, but it should be relatively low and accommodate fairly young children. Plans call for one additional Titan Track section, where the trains will navigate an especially tight curve.
The next generation of GCI’s Millennium Flyer trains, its new Infinity Flyer trains boast even more articulation. Designed and engineered by Skyline Attractions (which also designed and engineered Titan Track for GCI), the trains should be able to handle anything Zinger throws at them with aplomb. As Ryan Felty, procurement manager for GCI, explains, the wheel assemblies on traditional wooden coaster cars are stationary and ride the outside rails of tracks. The wheels on Infinity Flyer trains, however, are designed to articulate through curves. They will therefore be able to absorb much of the impact rather than transferring it to the cars and its passengers.
Between the Titan Track and the new trains, “it’ll be a heckuva lot smoother than any wooden coaster,” Felty promises. “Smoother than anyone could imagine.”
Manufactured by the legendary, now-defunct Schwarzkopf company in Germany, the original Zambezi Zinger remained at Worlds of Fun until 1997. It was shipped off to Parque Del Cafe in Colombia where its trains are still spiraling up its lift to this day. One other similar “Speed Racer” coaster, Whizzer at Six Flags Great America, is still operating.
The new ride will use the original coaster’s loading station. Located in the park’s Africa land, it will be themed to the Serengeti and take guests on a safari to discover the legend of the “Zinger,” a beast that was believed to be extinct, but has returned to the area.
Have you been on a spiral lift coaster? Did you ride the original Zambezi Zinger? Are you looking forward to experiencing Zambezi Zinger, especially considering its Infinity Flyer trains and Titan Track?