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A photo tribute to the floorless coaster

By Robert Niles
Published: April 14, 2009 at 6:21 PM
From time to time I pull out some of the photos shared by Theme Park Insider readers of great attractions around the country and world. Today, it's a tribute to Bolliger & Mabillard's floorless roller coasters.

We start with the world's first floorless coaster, Six Flags Great Adventure's Medusa, tricked out for 2009 and now known as Bizarro:

Batman: The Dark Knight:

Hydra The Revenge:

Superman Krypton:

And now, my personal favorite, SeaWorld Orlando's Kraken:

Now, the newest, floorless dive coasters: Griffon:

And SheiKra:

And finally, a POV video from Kings Dominion's Dominator:

(By the way, we could use some decent shots of Scream and Medusa, if you want to help us out. Click the links to their profile pages, then hit the button to upload a photo. To my great regret, there appears to be no way to get the LA Times to either publish or send me the live-narrated POV video of me riding Scream on its media preview day.)

Update: Here is Scream:


Readers' Opinions

From James Rao on April 14, 2009 at 7:07 PM
Question: how does Russell Meyer get special privileges to shoot on-ride videos? If I tell the ride operators I am a Theme Park Insider, will they let me do that stuff too? ;) Nice work, Russell, again!
From Robert Niles on April 14, 2009 at 7:21 PM
We get invites to media preview days, when parks typically mount a lipstick cam on the coaster to film POV/Reverse POV. Russell's done two of them, I did the most recent one at Magic Mountain, and I did two for the LA Times a few years back.

Some parks do better with the production than others. Busch Gardens' was flawless. Magic Mountain's was pretty weak (though X2 provided a very tough environment for filming).

This year, Kings Island is not doing POV for Diamondback, though we are sending someone to the preview day nevertheless. I'm signed up for Manta, though it looks like I might not be able to make it, so I'll have to recruit a replacement.

I'm hoping that SeaWorld has enlisted as good a production team as Busch Gardens had for Griffon. We got an obscene number of YouTube views for that video.

No word yet from Universal about Rip, Ride, Rockit, but I am planning to fly out for that one. I'm on for Terminator: Salvation at Magic Mountain, and will be bringing my own audio system and in-station videographer for that one, so I can avoid the problems we had with the X2 video.

From steve lee on April 14, 2009 at 7:43 PM
(raising hand for Manta, not like I won't be there anyways)
From James Rao on April 14, 2009 at 7:47 PM
On a smaller scale, I'll get you some still photos of the Prowler... but not sure on the video. Unless I can sneak my ultra fancy Cannon PowerShot out of my pocket and snap off a quick video for you! ;)
From Deidre Dennis on April 14, 2009 at 9:12 PM
I submitted a picture I took of Scream in either August 08 or June 07. It'd be great if someone had a picture of the other side of it where you see all the loops. Hope it helps.
From John Charlton on April 14, 2009 at 9:41 PM
When is Manta scheduled to open and when is the media preview day scheduled? (I will be in that area from May 8-16)
From Joshua Counsil on April 15, 2009 at 3:23 AM
They all seem to have very similar elements. Yes, they're smooth, but how unique is each ride from the next? I've ridden some of these and, honestly, I couldn't differentiate my experience on one from another.
From Steve Ward on April 15, 2009 at 5:49 AM
Dont know if you can include these in the Floorless coasters but you do dangle your legs lol

Nemesis / Inferno
Air

Hope one day they go the same way with Sheikra and make Oblivion floorless, that would be great

From Robert Niles on April 15, 2009 at 7:25 AM
Manta is May 21 for media, May 22 for the public.

I just included coasters from U.S. parks on this one, but I would love to get more photos and reviews from European parks. Click the "Park Reviews" tab at the top of the page for the list of parks for which you can submit photos and reviews. (You can update listings if they are incomplete or in error, as well.)

I've found significant differences in the quality of rides between Kraken, which remains smooth and in a lovely setting, and Scream, which feels to have deteriorated somewhat from its opening. The parking lot setting (set to "broil" in summer) doesn't help, either.

From Robert Miller on April 15, 2009 at 10:14 AM
Josh,I totally agree with you. After looking at the photos, steel coasters are all starting to look alike to me too. I've been on enough different styles of steel coasters, to start going ho-hum another one to try, when a park announces the opening of another steelie. But then, my grandson is getting hyped up about next years coaster trip.
From Joshua Counsil on April 15, 2009 at 11:33 AM
To put what I'm trying to say in perspective -

Robert, you mentioned Kraken is your favorite of the lot and, judging by its performance in the TPI tournament, it continues to impress many riders.

I enjoyed Kraken, but I could not notice a significant difference between it and The Incredible Hulk. Their layouts and lift hills are obviously quite different, but the rest of the sensations feel very similar.

I still like to consider myself a coaster connoisseur, but B&M floorless rides are all starting to feel alike.

From Audra Distler on April 15, 2009 at 5:51 PM
Hey, I'd put Raptor on that list (says the CP'er).. It's a B & M creation, and floorless! :) It is a bit older than most, I believe, and I don't really have any good pictures of it, either!
From steve lee on April 15, 2009 at 6:10 PM
While an inverted coaster certainly hasn't got a floor, it's not classified as a floorless...
From steve lee on April 15, 2009 at 7:54 PM
Robert, even with a better production crew, can they really do much with onride on a flyer? I've never seen terribly good flyer POV footage...
From Robert Niles on April 15, 2009 at 9:41 PM
I guess we will see. But there is great promotional value in having POV on the Web, so if I were running a park, I'd sure want to find a way to create it.
From Audra Distler on April 16, 2009 at 5:10 AM
Whoops, sorry then. Guess I didn't know there was a difference! :) Some theme park insider I am! haha
From Tracy Bates on April 17, 2009 at 8:10 AM
When is Media Day for Manta.

I live in SC, but am planning on going as soon as it is open, so if you need a volunteer, I'd gladly do so. You wouldn't even have to twist my arm much.

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