RCDB reports 196ft height for Movie World 'hypercoaster'

In a blow for the deep-seated inadequacies of roller coaster enthusiasts across Australia, Warner Bros. Movie World's 2017 roller coaster is reported by RCDB to be three feet shy of hypercoaster status.

Image: Parkz. Bizarro, a critically acclaimed hypercoaster at Six Flags New England. This ride features a 63m (208ft) lift hill and a 67m (221ft) first drop into an underground tunnel.

If early indications from the consistently reliable Roller Coaster DataBase (RCDB) are correct, roller coaster fans will be dismayed by the revelation that Warner Bros. Movie World is building a roller coaster just 3.2 feet shy of the 200 foot benchmark required for a roller coaster to be dubbed a hypercoaster.

Because we're going full imperial measurements here, that's 3ft and 2-2/5in shy of 200ft.

Hypercoasters, such as Carowinds' Intimidator, are rides with a height in excess of 200ft.

Intimidator, a 2010 hypercoaster from Swiss manufacturer B&M has consistently rated in the top ten in the world. It features a height of 71m (232ft) and a total length of 1,620m.

RCDB generally deals in substantiated fact from a wide range of industry sources. As such, obsessive compulsive roller coaster enthusiasts may be forever perturbed by the revelation that the roller coaster currently under construction will only reach a reported 60 metres or 196.8ft. A figure frustratingly shy of the industry standard of 200ft for a hypercoaster.

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Before this ride is cemented as a non-hypercoaster, know this: RCDB did in fact report that Lewa Adventure's Flash coaster – Mack Rides' only other hypercoaster to date – would also be 196.8ft tall in 2014 before revising this figure to 200.2ft tall with a 190.3ft drop height in 2015. RCDB's information may be an estimate, incorrectly converted or possibly a figure such as drop height rather than total height.

The term hypercoaster was coined in 1989 for the first of its kind, Magnum XL-200 at Cedar Point in Ohio. As the ride's name suggests, the ride was the first over the 200ft figure – it features a total height of 205ft and a first drop of 194.7ft. RCDB currently lists 35 roller coasters around the world that exceed this figure, though many of these don't necessarily fit the mould for a hypercoaster, which is a traditional style roller coaster with a lift hill and an emphasis on drops, hills twists and turns rather than inversions.

The iconic Magnum XL-200 was the first roller coaster to top 200ft in height and is the ride for which the phrase hypercoaster was coined.

If the roller coaster is indeed just under 200ft, Movie World will be one of a small handful of similar rides that sit just shy of hypercoaster, forever destined for middle-child status among theme park industry commentators and coaster enthusiasts.

Of course, height isn't everything, and three feet is nothing when facing a near-vertical drop from 20-odd storeys up. One of the world's most critically acclaimed coasters is Expedition GeForce at Holiday Park in Germany. It looks and acts like a hypercoaster but peaks at only 174ft (53m).

Unlike Expedition GeForce which misses by a safe margin likely due to land and design constraints, Movie World could fall tantalisingly short of the 200ft figure. For a ride that's widely tipped to be the most expensive attraction in Australian history, every stat-obsessed roller coaster enthusiast would be asking the question: why get so close and miss the mark?

If Movie World adopt their typical strict loose items policy and prohibits riders from carrying tissues, unstoppable tears from coaster enthusiasts ascending the 196ft lift hill may in fact make this the world's first water hypercoaster. Aquaman theme perhaps?

The will-it-or-won't-it-be-a-hypercoaster is currently under construction at Warner Bros. Movie World with an expected opening date in late 2017.