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Monday, June 26, 2017

Fun Spot opens a wild wooden coaster, but the ride still has surprises to come

Posted By on Mon, Jun 26, 2017 at 9:59 AM

  • Image via Fun Spot America Theme Parks | Instagram

Fun Spot America in Kissimmee opened its new wooden coaster, Mine Blower, this weekend. The new coaster is the first permeant thrill ride built at the park since Fun Spot bought it in 2004.

Clocking in at 2,289 feet in length and with a lift hill of 83 feet, the new coaster features a steel structure but a wooden system that the ride vehicles sit on, making this technically a wooden coaster – the first in the southern United States. A 360-degree barrel roll inversion sitting directly above the load station is the signature feature on the new coaster.

Ride designer and manufacturer The Gravity Group included a unique lap-bar harness, meaning that while this coaster does go upside-down, it does not feature any shoulder restraints, like the ones found on Universal Orlando’s Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. Fun Spot had the Gravity Group include seat belts as a secondary safety feature.

Mine Blower also features an 115-degree turn and tops out at 49 mph. It features two Timberline trains, one red and one black, with large T-N-T explosions design on the front of each of the 12-passenger trains. Gravity Group’s Timberline trains are known for the steerable wheel system, allowing for tighter turns.

This is the first coaster by the Gravity Group in the State of Florida. They’re best known as the ride designer and manufacturer of the first wooden coaster in China, and two of the top five highest ranked wooden coasters in the world in 2016, according to Amusement Today’s highly regarded Golden Ticket Awards.

Fun Spot America on I-Drive is home to another wooden coaster, White Lightning, a more traditional out-and-back style coaster designed by Great Coasters International. The I-Drive location is also home to Freedom Flyer, a suspended coaster by Vekoma that added VR goggles in late 2016.

In Kissimmee, a second coaster, Rockstar Coaster, is a Zamperla spinning wild mouse-style coaster that the park bought from Cypress Gardens. Ironically, Legoland Florida, which used to be Cypress Gardens, is home to the only wooden coaster operating in Florida not at a Fun Spot park.

While Mine Blower is officially open, there are still some updates yet to come. Two tunnels will be added in the coming weeks, likely after the mid-summer crowds die down. Some basic props have been added to the ride area as well, with more expected to be placed in the area over time, including more signage. A lighting package is also expected to be added in the coming months.

Ride tickets for Mine Blower cost $9, and the ride is included in day passes and season passes.

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