Tender documents reveal Movie World's hypercoaster station
A series of blueprints for Warner Bros. Movie World's forthcoming hyper coaster don't give away anything in terms of the roller coaster's track layout or theme, but they do answer a few minor questions about the the ride experience.
The roller coaster – which was first hinted at in November 2015 – has become perhaps one of the biggest mysteries in Australian theme park history. Owing to this protracted period with minimal new information, even the smallest fragment of information is big news in hypercoaster world.
The roller coaster is expected to open in September. Roller coaster track and other parts are still yet to appear at the site.
As enthusiasts dig for more and more information about the ride, Parkz forum member STE4LTH has uncovered blueprints on a construction tendering site that shows basic details for the roller coaster's station design and surrounds.
Blueprints for the station don't offer much that wasn't already known – they show the station and track direction roughly as anticipated by most, in an area directly south of Justice League: Alien Invasion 3D and Green Lantern Coaster.
Though the roller coaster is still shrouded in mystery, there are a few other pieces of information provided by the plans that give a slight hint at the ride experience to come.
Only one station
For some reason Australian theme parks went overboard with separate load and unload platforms in the 2000s. Superman Escape, Mick Doohan's Motocoaster and Jet Rescue all feature two platforms despite utilising a single train for most of the year. Of these only Superman Escape uses its second train with any level of frequency.
Two platforms can offer a modest capacity increase when two (or more) trains are used, but serve to effectively decrease throughput when only one train is being cycled. Movie World's hypercoaster looks to return to a single platform that serves both functions.
One platform also means that Movie World could theoretically offer loose item compartments on the platform instead of paid locker hire outside the ride. Paid lockers do however serve to dramatically increase throughput as neither riders nor attendants need to deal with the storage of loose items.
No mid-course brakes
With capacity for only two trains, it's also unlikely that the ride will feature a mid-course block brake that allows two trains to operate on the course of the ride while a third is in the load station. A mid-course brake or a second platform, which this ride does not feature, are typically requirements of a roller coaster that operates three trains. This is a win for roller coaster enthusiasts who were hoping for a non-stop hypercoaster experience that maintains its pacing from start to finish.
Room for two trains – not three
The ride's maintenance track is shown adjacent to the station. Generally speaking roller coasters require one section of maintenance or transfer track for each additional train that operates. This section of track is used for maintenance and to store trains when not in use. With only one maintenance track, the blueprints indicate there is room for a total of two trains on the ride. This suggests that – like Superman Escape – it'll be capable of operating with two trains during peak periods but use only single train operation for much of the year to allow for maintenance work on the non-active train.
Twelve entry gates
The plans show twelve entry gates in the station area, which would generally indicate twelve rows of seating. This would suggest a six car train; previous examples of the trains that feature on Mack's hyper, mega and launch coasters feature cars with two rows of two-across seating.
Choose your queue
The blueprints show four different queues leading into the station. It appears this could allow the ride to have clearly labeled queues for a variety of different experiences. In addition to a standard queue, some hypothetical options include:
- Single rider queue to fill empty seats quickly without the ubiquitous, "Any single riders?!" shout and 30 second delay as attendants try to fill that one seat in a fruitless attempt to maximise capacity.
- Prime seating: both the front row with its unobstructed view – and the back row with its airtime-heavy ride experience – are popular positions on hypercoasters around the world.
- Fast Track queue.
Ostensibly the queue will snake under the lift hill and south towards the station area, while the unload platform on the opposite side connects directly back to a main plaza in the area between Justice League, Green Lantern and this new roller coaster.
A slight turn before the lift hill
The only indication of layout comes with a very vague look at the turns into and out of the station area. The ride launches straight into the lift hill, but not before making a slight turn to the right.
The plans also show the turn back into the station after the ride experience comes to an end, as well as indicating that the aforementioned transfer track will have its switch point on this turn.
All indications are that the roller coaster will open late 2017, with September mentioned on promotional signage that has since been removed. The roller coaster is yet to be formally announced.
Want your ticket to ride? The ride is still a good six months away, but right now Groupon is offering a 12-Month Mega Pass with free unlimited digital on-ride photos all year long for just $99.