Kentucky Kingdom plans to turn a defunct coaster into a jaw-dropping marvel
A defunct roller coaster at a once extinct but now revitalized Kentucky amusement park will rise from the dead under plans for a triple-inversion steel beast with an awe-inspiring barrel-roll first drop.
Kentucky Kingdom plans to convert the Twisted Twins wood-steel hybrid dueling coaster into the Storm Chaser out-and-back steel coaster in time for the April opening of the Louisville park.
Idaho-based Rocky Mountain Construction said it will preserve portions of the original steel structure and track layout while adding a new iBox track atop wooden supports. The goal: a combination of the unrelenting intensity and natural feel of a wooden coaster with the glass-like smoothness and breakneck speed of a steel coaster.
Renovated at a cost of $10 million, the new Storm Chaser will be somewhat taller (100 feet), considerably shorter (a 2,744-foot-long track) and a smidge slower (52 mph) than the Twisted Twins. The original dueling coaster featured two trains -- Stella and Lola -- that departed at opposite ends of a single station, traveled on distinctly different tracks and passed each other multiple times.
Combining the two tracks into a single ride could have created a 6,000-foot-long behemoth. Instead, Storm Chaser closely follows the Lola layout with the Stella segment largely removed, according to Screamscape.
Originally designed by Custom Coasters International, the $5-million ride started life at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in 1998 as Twisted Sisters. After threatened legal action by the heavy metal band Twisted Sister, the park changed the name of the coaster in 2002 to Twisted Twins. In a cost-cutting measure, Six Flags stopped operating Twisted Twins a few years before shuttering the park completely in 2010.
Storm Chaser maintains a trend at Kentucky Kingdom of naming its coasters after extreme weather, following in the footsteps of Lightning Run and the Thunder Run wooden coaster.
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