Defunct Roller Coaster Volcano: The Blast Coaster

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Joe

#RIPVolcano
Feb 12, 2011
5,443
15,029
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Near Richmond
BuschDominion.com
In memory of Volcano, Richmond Times-Dispatch just republished this archived RTD story from the coaster's opening in 1998:


Kings Dominion Coaster Spews Volcanic Action

August 4, 1998

Nearly 400 years after a Russian showman built a wooden sled, covered it with ice and charged it down a hill, coasting along undulating surfaces remains popular.

And now, Paramount's Kings Dominion has unleashed a roller coaster called Volcano, The Blast Coaster, on which riders travel at 70 mph in seats suspended from looping tracks. With its debut yesterday, Volcano became the fastest inverted (hanging from tracks) coaster in the world, surpassing the Alpengeist (at 67 mph) at Busch Gardens.

The coaster loops around a volcano that erupts with fire at the beginning of every ride.

From the base of what was once Smurf Mountain, the ride slowly treks out of the station and into the mountain. The ride then shocks its passengers by suddenly blasting off into a dark cavern. The coaster briefly emerges from the mountain, slinging riders outward before re-entering the volcano.

The coaster rockets straight up through the dark mountain, then erupts through its peak. However, just as lava cools, so does the rest of the ride. The remainder of Volcano is tamer, as it corkscrews around the sides of the mountain until it reaches bottom.

Planners wanted to incorporate the new ride into the existing landscape, which featured a volcano that once housed The Lost World. Built in 1979, the area had a kiddie train, water flume and shaft ride. But with those attractions gone, the park looked to a design team in Charlotte, N.C., for new possibilities. They decided on a coaster that would have four heart-stopping inversions and would travel up the volcano's shaft during its two-minute ride.

Substituting linear induction motors for chains and cranks, the coaster, which has half a mile of track, travels smoothly upward, said David Ferguson, a creative director of Paramount Parks Design and Entertainment in Charlotte and one of the designers. And it's one of only four or five roller coasters in the world using the motors, he said.

Steven Thompson of the Mid-Atlantic Coaster Club said Volcano was "certainly the most unique steel coaster" he had ever been on. He first rode a coaster at a Maryland theme park when he was 11, but the speed terrified him. He didn't ride again until he was 30, when he grudgingly agreed to go on Busch Gardens' Loch Ness. He got hooked. Now the 50-year-old certified public accountant goes on one or two trips a year with the 350-member club to ride coasters in America and abroad.

By yesterday afternoon, he had ridden Volcano seven times and was ready for more of that "big adrenaline rush."

"It's a fast, smooth pacing ... from the moment you're sling-shotted out of the loading platform, " said Paul Ruben, an editor at Park World, a magazine for the amusement park industry. "I think everyone likes to test the edge, " he said.
 
Apr 11, 2017
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A decent replacement for Volcano be something like Time Traveler at Silver Dollar City. I'd even go for removing Avalanche, and giving the ride a lot more space to use. They could keep the mountain and give it some sort of haunted mine theme. The launches could still be incorporated into the ride experience. Maybe even three launches.

Another cool ride to replace it with would be a TARON style ride; built by Intamin. That's give or take we have enough space to generate that type of intensity. Again, the goal would be to create the same suspense that Volcano does. If KD reads these post, we should consider sending them this idea. Intamin would most likely recommend removing Avalanche so that they have enough space to work with.
 
Apr 11, 2017
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Yea it was back in 2006. Paramount was going to move to another park, but Cedar Fair canceled the plans once they acquired the parks. As for Volcano replacement, I'm sticking with my previous post. A TARON style ride by Intamin would work well. You may have to cut into certain parts of the mountain so that the coaster could blast through and around at different parts like TARON does in the town like structure that houses the ride.
 

phurst

Silver Donor
Mar 16, 2016
202
522
93
Richmond, VA
I'm pretty sure I recall KD putting some time and effort into refurbishing the mountain in the last year or two, so I guess we should expect it to stay for a while I guess. I suppose if they let it SNBO long enough, it might no longer matter, but I'd think they won't be looking to bring it down anytime soon. Kind of a shame, maybe then they could change the area to something slightly more appropriate than "Safari Village".
 

Joe

#RIPVolcano
Feb 12, 2011
5,443
15,029
113
Near Richmond
BuschDominion.com
I’m curious about what the park will do to “hide” Volcano this season. The ride is still standing in its entirety right now. I’m guessing all the signage and the marquee above the entrance will be removed, but how far will they go? I’m wondering if the entrance will just be blocked off with a trash can, or if there’ll be a more permanent barrier like at the Hurler entrance in 2017.

Likewise, the Expedition Gear gift shop is also closed, according to the park map. I wonder if its signage is a goner too?

I also wonder if the stone Volcano archway next to The Crypt will survive. In theory, the “Volcano” sign could be replaced with a generic Safari Village sign on the archway.
 
Nov 1, 2012
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2,049
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I’m curious about what the park will do to “hide” Volcano this season. The ride is still standing in its entirety right now. I’m guessing all the signage and the marquee above the entrance will be removed, but how far will they go? I’m wondering if the entrance will just be blocked off with a trash can, or if there’ll be a more permanent barrier like at the Hurler entrance in 2017.

Likewise, the Expedition Gear gift shop is also closed, according to the park map. I wonder if its signage is a goner too?

I also wonder if the stone Volcano archway next to The Crypt will survive. In theory, the “Volcano” sign could be replaced with a generic Safari Village sign on the archway.
I would think what you described above (signage removed, permanent barriers at the entrance/exit) would be the extent of changes for now.

As far as the coaster and/or mountain removal timeframe. That could have started as soon as the announcement to close Volcano TBC in February; to nothing done until next year at the earliest (If KD has already started, then things like train removal, power disconnect, etc. It does not have to be the major track support removal).

Again, it depends on what KD/CF wants to do with the site. If the mountain stays for future attraction(s), they might get rid of the coaster itself by the end of this year. That way the park has time to evaluate the mountain structure for basic refurbishment, restoration, stabilization.

As attraction plans come into focus in the future for the site, the mountain could be modified/expanded again to suit whatever ends up there. I just don't see any new stuff there until 2021 at the earliest (If KD decides to bring back some form of the "The Lost World" ride complex, my bet is for 2022; especially, if the decision to close Volcano was just made last month).

I think the Old Virginia section and the water park will see new attractions before the Volcano site will.
 

VikingvadR

Super awesomeness 🕶
Oct 29, 2016
132
216
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If anybody is going on opening day, please get some photos. I doubt that they have started removing any track pieces yet but still would like to see what they done so far.
 

b.mac

Wild Mouse Nerd
May 14, 2011
4,153
5,624
113
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
It's very likely going to sit for the majority of the season like Tornado did. Keep an eye on the permit filings for demo work. Most of the park's attention is getting ready for the 2019 season they have no motivation to crack at Volcano yet.
 
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