Rampage, Alabama Adventure, July 4th 2008-min
Rampage, Alabama Adventure, July 4th 2008-min

Table of Contents

Rampage (roller coaster)

Rampage (roller coaster) :  Rampage, a wooden roller coaster situated within Alabama Splash Adventure in Bessemer, Alabama, USA, offers thrill-seekers an exhilarating experience. Crafted and erected by Custom Coasters International, with design prowess contributed by Larry Bill, this roller coaster made its debut alongside the inauguration of Vision Land amusement park on May 23, 1998. Following a successful stint, Rampage encountered a temporary hiatus, as the principal owners sought bankruptcy protection, leading to its closure for the entire 2002 season. However, the roller coaster’s journey was not over, as it reemerged on May 26, 2003, under the stewardship of Southland Entertainment Group, until its second cessation in 2012 under the mantle of General Attractions. After a dormant period spanning four years, Rampage underwent an extensive renovation in 2014, overseen by proprietors Dan and Natalie Koch, and triumphantly recommenced operations for the 2015 season.

With its soaring presence, Rampage ascends to a peak height of 120 feet (37 m), propelling riders at a breathtaking maximum velocity of 56 miles per hour (90 km/h), as they traverse a track spanning a distance of 3,500 feet (1,100 m). The endeavor to bring this roller coaster to life incurred a financial outlay of $4.3 million. Its design draws inspiration from another roller coaster hailing from the Custom Coasters International stable – Megafobia – located at Oakwood Theme Park. Rampage showcases its distinctive character through an intricate layout of twists and turns, incorporating nine crossovers along its path. The roller coaster’s trains, meticulously engineered by Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters, add to the excitement of the ride.

Upon its initial unveiling, Rampage garnered predominantly positive appraisals from both critics and park visitors alike, further solidifying its status as a beloved attraction.

Rampage (roller coaster)

Location

Country

Status

Opening date

Cost

Type

Manufacturer

Designer

Track layout

Lift

Height

Drop

Length

Speed

Duration

Restraint 

Coordinates

Trains

 Alabama Splash Adventure

U.S.A [3]

Operating

May 23, 1998

$4,300,000

Wood

Custom Coasters International

Larry Bill

Twister

Chain lift hill

120 ft (37 m)

102 ft (31 m)

3,500 ft (1,100 m)

56 mph (90 km/h)

1:30

Lap bar

33.3792°N 86.9969°W

6 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 24 riders per train.

History

In August 1995, Larry Langford, then the mayor of Fairfield, Alabama, unveiled a visionary proposal: the creation of an amusement park in close proximity to Birmingham, Alabama. Notably, Langford garnered the support of approximately a dozen cities during his announcement, marking a unique instance of inter-municipal collaboration and marking Vision Land as a pioneering venture in this regard. The inaugural year of the park was earmarked to host an assortment of attractions, including the presence of roller coasters. Earning approval from the Alabama Legislature in March 1996, the park embarked on its construction journey with groundbreaking ceremonies in April. By the latter part of November, the blueprints for the roller coaster’s construction were being meticulously drafted, carrying an estimated budget of $5 million. The initial conceptualization for the roller coaster involved a theme rooted in the region’s historical mining legacy, with the attraction mimicking the experience of a runaway mine cart and featuring a daring 100-foot (30-meter) plunge.

March of 1997 witnessed the finalization of a bond arrangement to fund the park’s development. Langford unveiled plans to construct the roller coaster primarily from wood, aiming to capture the nostalgic charm of a Coney Island-style roller coaster while positioning it as the centerpiece of the park. As construction commenced in June, representatives from Custom Coasters International (CCI) assessed the site to determine which trees should be conserved and which would need to be cleared. Denise Larrick, owner of CCI, disclosed that the roller coaster would span a length of 3,500 feet (1,100 meters), reach a thrilling top speed of 56 mph (90 km/h), and boast a series of exhilarating drops and twists. As September unfolded, concrete foundations were poured and some were already in place. Simultaneously, the station’s supportive structure began to take shape. By October, engineering blueprints for the roller coaster’s final design were anticipated to conclude, with vertical construction of the wooden support structure slated for completion in November. A topping-out ceremony for the roller coaster took place on December 2, and progress was deemed substantial, surpassing the halfway mark, as reported by the Birmingham Post-Herald in the early days of December.

In a bid to christen the roller coaster, Vision Land organized a “Name That Coaster contest.” Ultimately, the name “Rampage” emerged victorious from a pool of 1,400 entries. The winning moniker was submitted by a local student from Pleasant Grove High School. Among the runner-ups, “Scorpion’s Tail” secured second place, while “Jaguar” came in third. Construction of Rampage concluded on March 22, 1998, and preliminary test runs were conducted on March 24, using bags of oats as makeshift test subjects. The track underwent final inspections in early April. A preview event took place on May 16, and the roller coaster was unveiled in conjunction with the opening of Vision Land on May 23. Rampage stood out as one of seven wooden roller coasters to debut in the United States during the 1998 season.

Operation

Following a promising initial fiscal year, the park encountered a plateau in attendance throughout 2000. This declining footfall, coupled with operational decisions and financial obligations, prompted the park’s recourse to Chapter 9 bankruptcy on June 4, 2002. This legal step allowed the park to operate its water-themed attractions while regrettably keeping Rampage, among other attractions, shuttered for the entire duration of the 2002 season. Despite efforts involving various amusement entities exploring potential acquisitions of the park and a few participants from the inter-municipal cooperation expressing interest, the park eventually found a new proprietor in Team Pro Parks, a California-based enterprise. Operated under the banner of Southland Entertainment Group, this consortium undertook the revitalization of the dormant Rampage roller coaster in preparation for its reopening. The refurbishment efforts were entrusted to John Hinde Enterprises, resulting in the relaunch of Rampage on May 26, 2003, now situated within the Magic Adventure section (later known as Alabama Adventure) of Vision Land.

In January 2012, Vision Land transitioned ownership to General Attractions. Under the new stewardship, an announcement was made that the park, including Rampage, would cease operations indefinitely, while the water park segment would reopen under the new name “Splash Adventure” in April 2012. Plans were set in motion to sell the roller coaster in order to channel funds into forthcoming water park enhancements. Rampage remained dormant until March 13, 2014, when Dan and Natalie Koch, formerly associated with Holiday World, took ownership of the park. The Kochs embarked on an ambitious plan to renovate the Rampage roller coaster, aiming for its grand reintroduction in the 2015 season. Over a span of six months, a comprehensive refurbishment endeavor was undertaken at a cost of $1 million. This encompassed a complete restoration of the wooden track and partial sections of wooden supports, in addition to the introduction of a new train set. The renovation work also encompassed the installation of a fresh lift chain and control system. In a prelude to its official reopening, a preview was held for an event organized by the American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) on October 25. Subsequently, in 2015, the revitalized Rampage reclaimed its position as a prime attraction within the Alabama Splash Adventure park, welcoming visitors once again.

Ride experience

Upon departure from the station, the train embarks on a course of exhilarating maneuvers. Initially, it swoops to the right, preparing for its ascent up the towering 120-foot (37 m) chain lift hill. Upon reaching the summit of this ascent, the train encounters a leftward turn just before initiating its pre-drop phase. During this pre-drop sequence, the roller coaster plunges down a precipitous 52-degree angle, navigating a 102-foot (31 m) descent. Emerging from this dramatic descent, the train subtly banks to the left, smoothly transitioning into a camelback hill, which is swiftly followed by an ascent into a hill banked to the left.

The journey continues with a seamless flow as the train progresses through a turn, taking a brief dip before leveling out momentarily. The track then leads the train through a drop that seamlessly transitions into yet another hill, further intensifying the thrill. Momentum carries the train upwards, curving to the right into a continuous series of turns, all elegantly banked to the right. As the sequence persists, the train again experiences a dip, followed by a gentle ascent and an exit into a drop, culminating in the traversal of yet another hill.

Engaging in a graceful rightward curve, the train enters a hill, followed by an ascent into a sequence of dips artfully banked to the left. The roller coaster’s trajectory then embraces a downward plunge, accompanied by a rightward bank, leading to the final phase of the journey. The train ascends briefly and transitions into the conclusive brake run, allowing for a measured deceleration. As the ride nears its conclusion, a subtle leftward maneuver is executed, paving the way for a final exhilarating descent to the right, culminating in a triumphant return to the station.

In its entirety, a single cycle of the roller coaster’s journey encompasses approximately one minute and thirty seconds, delivering a compact yet exhilarating experience to its riders.

Characteristics

Custom Coasters International was both the manufacturer and builder behind Rampage, marking the 23rd project completed by the company. The design of the roller coaster was skillfully crafted by Larry Bill. In the process of materialization, Rampage was assembled using approximately 1,200 concrete footers and an impressive 650,000 board feet (1,500 m3) of lumber, thoughtfully composed of southern yellow pine. The roller coaster proudly boasts a comprehensive track length measuring 3,500 feet (1,100 m). Notably, the inspiration for Rampage’s layout was drawn significantly from the design of Megafobia, an attraction located within Oakwood Theme Park in Pembrokeshire, United Kingdom. Interestingly, Megafobia was also an endeavor undertaken by CCI, underlining a shared legacy between the two roller coasters. One of the factors influencing the selection of the wooden roller coaster archetype for Rampage was its vintage charm coupled with a prudent cost structure. The construction of this remarkable attraction was achieved at an investment of US$4.3 million.

Rampage’s classification falls within the category of a twister roller coaster, characterized by its intricate layout that artfully interweaves with itself. A remarkable feature of this roller coaster is the inclusion of 9 crossovers and 12 curves within its track. The dynamic experience offered by Rampage reaches its zenith at a top speed of 56 miles per hour (90 km/h). During its debut, the roller coaster operated using two Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters (PTC) trains. Each train comprised six cars, accommodating two rows of two seats in each car, resulting in a maximum capacity of 24 riders per train. Safety was ensured through the implementation of a lap bar restraint system along with accompanying seat belts in each seating arrangement.

Reception

Upon its inaugural unveiling, Rampage garnered a predominantly favorable reception from critics. Steve Joynt, contributing to the Birmingham Post-Herald, lauded Rampage as “the undisputed star of the show” among Vision Land’s opening attractions. He particularly commended the initial drop, which left a positive impression. Joynt also highlighted the roller coaster’s swift pacing, moments of near misses, and the visceral impact of the overall ride, noting that “the cars truly roar down the hills.” Jeff Amy, writing for The Anniston Star, concurred, describing Rampage as a ride that lived up to its promise of delivering an enjoyable, adrenaline-inducing experience. Amy acknowledged that while Rampage stood as a “fine coaster,” it couldn’t quite rival the roller coaster lineups found in larger theme park chains like Six Flags.

The accolades extended to Rampage were not confined to critics alone; those within the amusement industry shared a similar sentiment. The team at The Birmingham News reported on the response of an ACE (American Coaster Enthusiasts) member, who enthusiastically noted the roller coaster’s promising airtime, speed, and height. Jan Kiser, then-president of ACE, echoed these sentiments, as reported by Joynt, stating that members of the organization spoke highly of Rampage due to its defining characteristics. In addition, Tim O’Brien, a contributor to the amusement park trade magazine Amusement Business, positioned Rampage as his third-best wooden coaster and the fifth-best overall coaster. O’Brien’s rationale rested on the roller coaster’s masterful employment of hills, drops, and its strategic placement within the park.

Ranking

Year

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2021

2022

Rank

17

3

4

7

10

15

13

17

15

27

20

28

33

32

28

37

21

30

34

33

36

FAQ

What is Rampage (roller coaster)?

Rampage is a wooden roller coaster located at Alabama Splash Adventure in Bessemer, Alabama. Known for its thrilling drops and intense speed, it provides a classic yet exhilarating coaster experience, making it a favorite among park visitors.

What is the #1 scariest roller coaster in the world?

The title of the “#1 scariest roller coaster in the world” often changes as new coasters are built, but as of the latest rankings, the Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey holds this fearsome title for its staggering height and speed.

What is the scariest roller coaster in Alabama?

The Rampage roller coaster at Alabama Splash Adventure is frequently cited as the scariest roller coaster in Alabama due to its high speeds and traditional wooden structure, which offers a different type of thrill compared to modern steel coasters.

What is the world’s largest roller coaster?

The world’s largest roller coaster in terms of track length is the Steel Dragon 2000 at Nagashima Spa Land in Japan. It holds the record for the longest track, providing a ride that lasts for exhilarating minutes.

What is the fastest ride in the world?

The Formula Rossa at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi is the fastest roller coaster in the world, reaching speeds of up to 240 km/h (150 mph) in under 5 seconds.

What is the deadliest roller coaster accident in the world?

The deadliest roller coaster accident in the world occurred in 1984 at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, where a fire on the Haunted Castle attraction claimed the lives of eight teenagers.

What is craziest rollercoaster world?

The title for the craziest rollercoaster often goes to the Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure for its extreme height and speed, making it a terrifying ride for even the most seasoned coaster enthusiasts.

Why are roller coasters scary?

Roller coasters are scary due to their high speeds, intense heights, sudden drops, and sharp turns. These elements combine to create a sense of danger, albeit in a controlled environment, which triggers the adrenaline rush many riders crave.

What is the hardest roller coaster?

The term “hardest” could refer to the most physically demanding or intense coaster. One contender could be The Smiler at Alton Towers in the UK, known for its record-breaking number of inversions that challenge even hardcore thrill-seekers.

What is the slowest roller coaster in the world?

The slowest roller coaster in the world is probably the Maglev Test Line in Japan, used primarily for testing purposes rather than entertainment, moving at a mere pace.

What’s the tallest roller coaster in the world 2024?

As of the latest updates, the title for the tallest roller coaster in the world is held by the Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure. However, new constructions could potentially change this ranking by 2024.

What is the newest roller coaster?

One of the newest roller coasters as of 2024 is the Iron Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, a hybrid coaster that offers a unique blend of wood and steel elements to provide one of the smoothest yet most thrilling rides available.

Who invented roller coasters?

The concept of roller coasters was pioneered by LaMarcus Adna Thompson in 1885, known as the “Father of Gravity,” who built the first switchback railway at Coney Island.

What is the oldest roller coaster in the world?

The oldest operating roller coaster is the Leap-the-Dips in Lakemont Park, Pennsylvania, USA. Built in 1902, it still offers a glimpse into the history of amusement rides.

What is the top 10 tallest roller coasters in the world?

The top 10 tallest roller coasters include Kingda Ka, Top Thrill Dragster, Superman: Escape from Krypton, Fury 325, Steel Dragon 2000, Millennium Force, Intimidator 305, Leviathan, and a few others that vary slightly depending on new entries and measurements.

What is the 2nd fastest ride in the world?

The second-fastest ride in the world is the Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point, which reaches speeds of 193 km/h (120 mph), making it a close contender to Formula Rossa.

How safe are roller coasters?

Roller coasters are generally very safe, with stringent safety protocols in place and rigorous daily checks. Accidents are extremely rare relative to the number of riders.

What are most roller coaster accidents caused by?

Most roller coaster accidents are caused by either mechanical failure or human error, which can include improper maintenance, operational mistakes, or riders not following safety instructions.

Has there ever been a roller coaster crash?

Yes, there have been roller coaster crashes, though they are rare. These incidents are usually due to mechanical issues or operational errors.

What is the top 5 roller coaster in the world?

The top 5 roller coasters in the world often include the Kingda Ka, the Fury 325, the Steel Vengeance at Cedar Point, the Millennium Force, and the Iron Gwazi, depending on the criteria used for ranking.

Why are roller coasters so fun?

Roller coasters are considered fun due to the intense sensory experiences they provide. The speed, height, and motion offer a safe way to experience extreme sensations that excite the brain’s reward system.

What is the scariest ride in the world?

Again, the Kingda Ka often takes the title for the scariest ride due to its extreme height and speed, providing a terrifying yet thrilling experience.

Is it ok to not like roller coasters?

Absolutely! Everyone’s tolerance for thrills differs, and not enjoying roller coasters is a perfectly normal personal preference.

Is roller coaster a phobia?

Yes, a phobia of roller coasters is known as coasterphobia, which is a type of specific phobia involving an intense fear of roller coasters.

What are 5 interesting facts about roller coasters?

  1. The first roller coasters were ice slides in Russia.
  2. The longest coaster in the world is the Steel Dragon 2000 in Japan.
  3. Roller coaster loops are never circular, but rather teardrop-shaped, to reduce the risk of whiplash.
  4. The term “roller coaster” originated from the traditional American coasters which used rollers to glide on tracks.
  5. The fastest roller coaster, Formula Rossa, reaches speeds that require riders to wear protective glasses.

How scary is El Toro?

El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure is considered one of the scariest wooden coasters due to its steep drops and high speeds that simulate the feeling of riding a wild bull.

Is Fury 325 a giga coaster?

Yes, Fury 325 is classified as a giga coaster, meaning it exceeds 300 feet in height. It is known for providing one of the smoothest and fastest rides in the world.

Are roller coasters safe?

Yes, roller coasters are extremely safe. The industry standard for safety is very high, with multiple redundancies and regular maintenance checks.

Why are rides so scary?

Rides are designed to evoke a scare as a thrill. This is achieved through high speeds, unpredictable motions, and visual effects that can create a sense of danger.

Why are scary rides fun?

Scary rides tap into the adrenaline rush that many people enjoy. The thrill of facing and overcoming fear can provide a euphoric feeling, known as an “adrenaline high.”

Is Superman ride scary?

The Superman ride, found in various Six Flags parks, is considered scary due to its high speed and height, which mimic the sensation of flying like the superhero it’s named after.

Was El Toro destroyed?

El Toro was not destroyed but has undergone various repairs and renovations throughout its history to ensure safety and improve the ride experience.

Why do people scream on rides?

People often scream on rides as a natural reaction to fear and excitement. Screaming can also be a way to release tension and enhance the thrill of the experience.

How can I stop being scared of rides?

To stop being scared of rides, start with milder attractions and gradually work up to more intense ones. Understanding the safety measures in place can also help reduce fear.

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