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Shane

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I think it's pretty well known across the coaster enthusiast community and even among the general public (though they may not know them by name) that Vekoma has had a less than stellar reputation and history over the past thirty plus years. Outside of their creations for The Walt Disney Company they're known for rough and painful rides.

Over the years Vekoma has seemed to be content as a stagnant Arrow Dynamics knock off while still making attempts to "innovate" old Arrow designs into concepts that the trackwork was just never designed to accomplish. In more recent years they've attempted to redeem themselves with new track and train designs with varying degrees of success and have even attempted to take on the likes of B&M and Intamin with disastrous consequences.

As much as people hate Vekoma I've always had a slightly morbid fascination with their evolution (I've probably ridden more Vekoma SLC's than anyone else in the PFN community) and am always interested when a park makes the unusual decision to give Vekoma a ride contract.

The 2017 season has seemed to be a bit of a slow year for new coaster projects with very little in the way of over the top headlining additions in the United States, but outside of the States there have been quite a few interesting developments this year. I was pretty surprised when I opened up one of my favorite theme park blogs this morning, NewPlusNotes.com, to find a the nearly complete Project 2017 at Legendia in Poland, an all new Vekoma coaster named "Lech."

We really have not seen much from Vekoma since Battlestar Galactica and it would appear that they have taken some time to rework their train design (again). I will say I am slightly disappointed that they haven't attempted to fix their four abreast seating after being forced to awkwardly convert Battlestar's to the more traditional two riders per row seating, but the trains are visually striking. The layout appears to be pretty simple but should in theory be a fun ride. I am a little more than intrigued to find out if they may have actually created something that everyone will find enjoyable and if I ever end up in Poland I'll be sure to give this thing a spin.
 

Nicole

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Interesting observations. Two comments, however.

1. I kinda doubt most people outside of the enthusiast community have ever heard of "Vekoma." Most people see steel versus wooden roller coasters. Or they identify the major thrill elements, like loops, drops, etc.

2. I find Disney's coasters to be fairly rough, as well.
 

Shane

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Oh yeah, I wasn't trying to imply that the general public knows the name Vekoma by any means, but I am sure that they know "that yellow one over there" is bangs their head, and "that yellow one over there" just happens to be a Vekoma.

It's been a long time since I rode a Disney coaster.
 

MAZ

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I rode, what I'm pretty sure was a Vekoma, last weekend at Carowinds. It was a flying type coaster called Nighthawk. It was quite rough and I remember thinking, 'this one is for the younger crowd'. I am not a fan.
 

Shane

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Nighthawk was the prototype, there is one at Kings Island, and the final and "smoothest" one built that was supposed to fix Nighthawks shortcomings (and doesn't quite do so, but im not sure how much of that is Vekoma's fault) at SixFlags America.
 

Zimmy

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I will always hate them for stealing Aarow's designs. They are at least partially responsible for the first bankruptcy.
 
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Shane

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So just stumbled on this article this morning. I have been wondering what the model name of these new great looking Vekoma loopers that have been coming out lately and it looks like it's the MK-1100. The trains are MK-1101s.

It looked like Lech Coaster was a custom design, but it appears that the name of the layout is actually Bermuda Blitz. Other layouts in the MK-1100 line are the Firestorm, Space Warp, and a yet unnamed model. I have to believe that the "6-Loop Mega Coaster" that they've been advertising on their website for years and noone has bought has to be part of the same line as well.

The info is here.

Note said:
For those who don't know, Vekoma names their coaster models after the track gauge. So the old Arrow style coasters, the MK-1200, have 1200mm between the rails.
 
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