The IAAPA Expo is underway in Orlando, and the morning kicked off with the reveal of the new stand-up coaster train for SeaWorld Orlando's Pipeline: The Surf Coaster.
The next generation stand-up coaster from Bolliger & Mabillard will open at the Orlando theme park next spring. Unlike the more rigid previous generation of stand-up coasters - that probably should have been sponsored by fertility recovery clinics (#IYKYK) - these new coasters feature "seats" that give with the motion of the ride, which designers hope will make Pipeline feel like a convincing surfing experience.
And the ride restraints (that look quite a bit like the reviled "comfort collars" on other SeaWorld coasters) will ensure that you don't fall off the board.
Here is the reveal moment, which we posted to our TikTok:
@themeparkinsider Introducing Pipeline the Surf #Coaster Opening spring 2023 at SeaWorld #orlando ? original sound - Theme Park Insider
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Can we please stop calling all vest restraints "comfort collars"? Those are specific to Premier, and function as a secondary restraint like a seat belt rather than as a primary restraint like the vests used by all other manufacturers.
Anyway, the trains look good, but hopefully they're wider than they look as I could see guests sticking their feet off the side (even accidentally) and injuring themselves otherwise. I also hope they ride more comfortably than the older stand-up trains. The seat design doesn't look significantly different, but as long as the coaster runs smooth and doesn't have the vibration issue of B&Ms longer hyper trains it should probably be okay. Guess I'll likely find out next year.
A better comparison between Premier and RMC would be that both shin guards are just awful.
Comfort collars are just fine because they don't really impact the experience during the ride (just getting into and out of the vehicle), but shin guards really make the experience restrictive, uncomfortable, and sometimes even painful
It's a good thing the metaverse characters are getting legs!
Those seats def look much more comfortable than the "nut-busters" on the old Togo stand-ups
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Let's not put B&M's vest restraints (also used on their fliers and 2nd generation trains) in the same category with Premier "comfort collars". The B&M vests are really comfortable aside from the ratcheting system which sometimes continues to tighten over the course of the ride. The "seat" here actually looks comfy compared to the old bicycle style seats used on stand ups from the '80's and '90's, though the hip pads may preclude larger guests from riding.
My one concern with this is that the "springy" seat posts will require a lot of maintenance and inspection. I can't tell if there is a pneumatic/hydraulic shock in the post to limit stress on the springs, but even those will require some specialized maintenance not typically performed on current coasters at Sea World. Considering that SW as a chain is all about reducing costs to the point where they've closed attractions that were maintenance drains, installing a coaster that could require frequent specialized maintenance could be an issue down the line.
I really like the flat floor design, and the longer, single bogey cars should result in a much smoother ride compared to older stand-up designs.