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Friday, December 9, 2016

Fun Spot plans to build massive $6 million wooden coaster for summer 2017

Posted By on Fri, Dec 9, 2016 at 11:13 AM

Just as Old Town wraps up its $10 million upgrade next door at Fun Spot Kissimmee, a massive new $6 million wooden roller coaster is about to break ground.

The yet-to-be-named wooden coaster is designed by the Ohio-based coaster design firm the Gravity Group. This will be their first coaster in the Southern United States. They currently have just over a half-dozen coasters in the United States, with two in Texas and the majority of the rest in Northeast. The Gravity Group also designed Fireball, the first wooden coaster in China. Likely their best-known coaster is the Voyage coaster at Holiday World in Indiana, which was ranked as the best wooden coaster five years in a row.

At 2,256 feet long, the new coaster at Fun Spot will be on the short ride length for the Gravity Group. Stretching 82 feet in the air, the coaster will be roughly twice as tall as the nearby multilevel go-kart tracks, but will be dwarfed by the 300-foot-tall Skycoaster ride. Top speed for the new coaster will be 48.5 mph, just under the 50 mph of the nearby Expedition Everest coaster in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

This will be the first wooden coaster in the Southeast to feature a barrel roll. Despite the inversion, the 12-passenger cars will only feature lap bars instead of the typical over the shoulder bars seen on most Florida coasters that go upside down.

Located on the site of two former flat go-kart tracks, the new coaster signals a shift in focus at Fun Spot away from go-karts and into more thrill-based attractions. This will be the second wooden coaster in Central Florida; the first is at Fun Spot on I-Drive. Fun Spot CEO John Aire, Jr. credited that coaster, known as White Lightning, as the inspiration for bringing more coasters to the Fun Spot parks.

Currently, Fun Spot has two parks with reports of a third park in the works. No word on if that park will also include a wooden coaster.

The new Kissimmee coaster will open in mid-2017.

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