Great Coasters International

Great Coasters International, Inc. (GCI or GCII) is a Sunbury, Pennsylvania-based roller coaster manufacturer which has created several award-winning rides since its formation in 1994. Starting in 2006 with Thunderbird at PowerPark in Finland, the company expanded beyond the United States and began building coasters in Europe and Asia. Günter Engelhardt GmbH handles the company's marketing rights in Europe. In addition to designing and building new roller coasters, GCI also refurbishes and re-tracks existing roller coasters, regardless of manufacturer.

Great Coasters International
IndustryManufacturing
Founded1994 (1994)
Headquarters,
U.S.
Area served
Worldwide
ProductsWooden roller coasters
Websitegreatcoasters.com

Roller coasters designed by GCI are known for their often curved drops, twisted layouts, and perception of high speed. Exciting elements such as the station fly-by and station fly-through have been incorporated in many of their layouts.

HistoryEdit

GCI was founded in 1994 by Mike Boodley and Clair Hain, Jr. Boodley was a coaster designer previously with Custom Coasters International and Hain had gained a reputation throughout the industry as a master coaster builder. In 1996, the firm opened Wildcat at Hersheypark which contained many of the signature elements the firm would soon become known for: tight sweeping curves, reminiscent of designs from the turn of the century by such noted coaster designers as Fred Church and Harry Traver. In 2005, Boodley retired and assigned Jeff Pike with the responsibility as lead designer for the firm. The first coaster that Pike is credited with is the Kentucky Rumbler at Beech Bend Park near Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Though GCI is capable of re-tracking roller coasters, they have not conducted many re-tracking projects. One of their most notable re-trackings was in 2016 for GhostRider at Knott's Berry Farm.

In November 2019 at an after party during the IAAPA convention, the company revealed a steel track prototype.[1] The track is designed and engineered by Skyline Attractions and was later named Titan Track.[2] The first installation of the track was a test section on White Lightning at Fun Spot America in September 2020.[3]

Millennium Flyer trainsEdit

 
Troy at Toverland is one of GCI's roller coasters that runs Millennium Flyer trains

Most GCI-designed roller coasters run with in-house–designed articulated Millennium Flyer trains. The only exception is Roar at Six Flags America, which runs with Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters–designed trains. Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and GCI's first roller coaster, Wildcat at Hersheypark, also operated with PTC trains when they first opened, but both coasters were later modified to run with the Millennium Flyer trains. In 2016, when GCI retracked GhostRider, a Custom Coasters International wooden coaster at Knott's Berry Farm, they provided new Millennium Flyer trains. The following year, Wildcat at Lake Compounce also received Millennium Flyer trains, even though the coaster was made by Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters or PTC.

These trains are known for their cushioned seats, allowing riders to be comfortable during rides. These trains also contain individual lap bars which automatically lower and lock into a position to accommodate the rider, allowing quicker dispatch times. With their easily identified open, gate-like fronts, usually customized with the logo for the respective ride on which they are running, Millennium Flyer trains are styled similarly to trains seen during the golden age of rollercoasters.

GCI unveiled a new train design, the Infinity Flyer, at the 2018 IAAPA Expo in Orlando, Florida. The new train design was designed and engineered by Skyline Attractions and is capable of performing inversions and other elements.[4]

List of roller coastersEdit

As of 2019, Great Coasters International has built 29 roller coasters around the world.[5]

Name Model Park Country Opened Status Ref
Wildcat Wood Support Structure Hersheypark   United States 1996 To Be Converted
To Be known as Wildcat's Revenge
[6][7]
Roar Wood Support Structure Six Flags America   United States 1998 Operating [8]
Roar Wood Support Structure Six Flags Discovery Kingdom   United States 1999 Converted
Now known as The Joker
[9]
Gwazi Wood Support Structure Busch Gardens Tampa   United States 1999 Converted
Now known as Iron Gwazi
[10]
Lightning Racer Wood Support Structure Hersheypark   United States 2000 Operating [11]
Ozark Wildcat Wood Support Structure Celebration City   United States 2003 Removed [12]
Thunderhead Wood Support Structure Dollywood   United States 2004 Operating [13]
Thunderbird Wood Support Structure PowerLand   Finland 2006 Operating [14]
Kentucky Rumbler Wood Support Structure Beech Bend   United States 2006 Operating [15]
Renegade Wood Support Structure Valleyfair   United States 2007 Operating [16]
Troy Wood Support Structure Toverland   Netherlands 2007 Operating [17]
American Thunder
Formerly Evel Knievel
Wood Support Structure Six Flags St. Louis   United States 2008 Operating [18]
El Toro Wood Support Structure Freizeitpark Plohn   Germany 2009 Operating [19]
Prowler Wood Support Structure Worlds of Fun   United States 2009 Operating [20]
Apocalypse The Ride
Formerly Terminator Salvation: The Ride
Wood Support Structure Six Flags Magic Mountain   United States 2009 Operating [21]
Joris en de Draak Wood Support Structure Efteling   Netherlands 2010 Operating [22]
Wood Coaster Wood Support Structure Knight Valley   China 2011 Operating [23]
Wodan Timbur Coaster Wood Support Structure Europa Park   Germany 2012 Operating [24]
White Lightning Steel Support Structure Fun Spot America Orlando   United States 2013 Operating [25]
Gold Striker Wood Support Structure California's Great America   United States 2013 Operating [26]
Python in Bamboo Forest Wood Support Structure Nanchang Sunac Land   China 2016 Operating [27]
Jungle Dragon Wood Support Structure Happy Valley Chongqing   China 2017 Operating [28]
Heidi: The Ride Wood Support Structure Plopsaland   Belgium 2017 Operating [29]
InvadR Steel Support Structure Busch Gardens Williamsburg   United States 2017 Operating [30]
Mystic Timbers Wood Support Structure Kings Island   United States 2017 Operating [31]
Great Desert-Rally Wood Support Structure Happy Valley Chengdu   China 2017 Operating [32]
Wicker Man Wood Support Structure Alton Towers   United Kingdom 2018 Operating [33]
Wilkołak Wood Support Structure Majaland Kownaty   Poland 2019 Operating [34]
Texas Stingray Steel Support Structure SeaWorld San Antonio   United States 2020 Operating [35]
Roaring Timbers Wood Support Structure Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park   Vietnam 2022 Operating [36]
Bombay Express Steel Support Structure Bollywood Parks Dubai   United Arab Emirates 2022 Under construction [37]
Un­known Un­known Fantasy Valley   China 2023 Under construction [38]
Zambezi Zinger Steel Support Structure Worlds of Fun   United States 2023 Under construction [39]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "IAAPA 2019: New Steel Coaster Track From Great Coasters International". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-05.
  2. ^ "Titan Track". Skyline Attractions. Retrieved 2022-03-09.
  3. ^ "GCI Steel Track". Great Coasters International, Inc. Retrieved 2022-03-09.
  4. ^ Attractions, Skyline (2021-04-21). "Infinity Flyer Train Design – Great Coasters International (Pennsylvania, United States 🇺🇸), 2021". Skyline Attractions, LLC. Retrieved 2021-08-24.
  5. ^ Great Coasters International - rcdb.com
  6. ^ Marden, Duane. "Wildcat  (Herseypark)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  7. ^ Wesser, James (29 July 2022). "Hersheypark's Wildcat giving final rides this weekend". ABC27. Retrieved 17 August 2022.
  8. ^ Marden, Duane. "Roar  (Six Flags America)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  9. ^ Marden, Duane. "Roar  (Six Flags Discovery Kingdom)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  10. ^ Marden, Duane. "Gwazi  (Busch Gardens Tampa)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  11. ^ Marden, Duane. "Lightning Racer  (Hersheypark)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  12. ^ Marden, Duane. "Ozark Wildcat  (Celebration City)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  13. ^ Marden, Duane. "Thunderhead  (Dollywood)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  14. ^ Marden, Duane. "Thunderbird  (PowerLand)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  15. ^ Marden, Duane. "Kentucky Rumbler  (Beech Bend)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  16. ^ Marden, Duane. "Renegade  (Valleyfair!)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  17. ^ Marden, Duane. "Troy  (Toverland)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  18. ^ Marden, Duane. "American Thunder  (Six Flags St. Louis)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  19. ^ Marden, Duane. "El Toro  (Freizeitpark Plohn)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  20. ^ Marden, Duane. "Prowler  (Worlds Of Fun)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  21. ^ Marden, Duane. "Apocalypse The Ride  (Six Flags Magic Mountain)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  22. ^ Marden, Duane. "Joris En De Draak  (Efteling)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  23. ^ Marden, Duane. "Wood Coaster  (Knight Valley)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  24. ^ Marden, Duane. "Wodan Timbur Coaster  (Europa Park)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  25. ^ Marden, Duane. "White Lightning  (Fun Spot America Orlando)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  26. ^ Marden, Duane. "Gold Striker  (California's Great America)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  27. ^ Marden, Duane. "Python In Bamboo Forest  (Nanchang Sunac Land)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  28. ^ Marden, Duane. "Jungle Dragon  (Happy Valley Chongqing)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  29. ^ Marden, Duane. "Heide: The Ride  (Plopsaland)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  30. ^ Marden, Duane. "InvadR  (Busch Gardens Williamsburg)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  31. ^ Marden, Duane. "Mystic Timbers  (Kings Island)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  32. ^ Marden, Duane. "Great Desert-Rally  (Happy Valley Chengdu)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  33. ^ Marden, Duane. "Wicker Man  (Alton Towers)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  34. ^ Marden, Duane. "Wilkolak  (Majaland Kownaty)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  35. ^ Marden, Duane. "Texas Stingray  (SeaWorld San Antonio)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  36. ^ Marden, Duane. "Roaring Timbers  (Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  37. ^ Marden, Duane. "Bombay Express  (Bollywood Parks Dubai)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  38. ^ Marden, Duane. "unknown  (Fantasy Valley)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  39. ^ Marden, Duane. "Zambezi Zinger  (Worlds of Fun)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 12, 2012.

External linksEdit