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Great Coasters International The US manufacturer putting the “oo” into woodies


Gold Striker at California’s Great America


From the wildly tangled constructions of Harry Traver through to the beautiful yet wicked designs from PTC or Prior and Church, building thrilling wooden roller coasters has become an American art form in the last century. And one particular company from Pennsylvania offers some of the smoothest, most thrilling and greatest quality “woodies” in the world


of being among the most conscientious in the business. Though capable of designing and building any type of


A


wooden coaster, GCII specialises in "twister" type rides. These convoluted designs, coupled with the company's own Millennium Flyer articulating trains, create an experience that emulates all the thrills of a modern coaster while retaining the nostalgic look and feel of a timeless, classic attraction. The design of a rollercoaster can be as simple as an out-and-back, or as complex as a duelling, racing twister, such as the popular George and the Dragon at Efteling in the Netherlands. GCII's team will help evaluate the market requirements for each situation and recommend a solid and cost- efficient investment for the park in question. Wildly popular with riders of all ages, GCII coasters are also built with the operator in mind. The art and craftsmanship of constructing the track


2017 it's going to be a Great year!


Great Coasters International (GCII) has four wooden rollercoaster projects set to open in 2017, two in the US and a further two in China. InvadR will open at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Virginia, in the park's New France area. Vikings will invade, forcing the trappers to defend their village. The 74-feet (23m) drop will make it a force to be feared and nine airtime hills wait to be conquered. Aboard one of two Millennium Flyer trains, riders will roll over 2,118ft (646 m) of winding track through a wooded terrain and underground through a tunnel at speeds reaching at 48 mph (77 kph). Destined to debut this season at Kings Island, Ohio, Mystic Timbers will be themed to an area


surrounding a lumber company becoming overrun by a mysterious overgrowth of vines as nature reclaims its land. The ride will be 3,265ft (almost 1km) in length, reach 109ft (33m) in height and weave along steep cliffs, down ravines, cross over water and go through an extreme S-turn, among a forest of trees, at speeds up to 53 mph (85 kph). The wooden monster will feature a total of 16 airtime hills, a mid-course tunnel and interact with parts of the Kings Island & Miami Valley Railroad and White Water Canyon attractions. Guests will experience all this aboard one of three trains. OCT's Happy Valley Chengdu park in the Sichuan Province of China is adding a yet-to-be- named woodie. It will measure 111ft (34m) in height and drop. Riders will roll in one of two Millennium Flyer trains over 3,345ft (1,020m) of track at a top speed of 56 mph (90 kph). Meanwhile at Happy Valley Chongqing, Yubei Province, another GCII coaster is rising. When complete it will tower 115ft (35m) with a 99ft (30m) drop, creating a top speed of 57 mph (91 kpm/h). Two trains will carry riders over 3,941ft (1,201m) of track.


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t Great Coasters International Inc (GCII), the staff of engineers, project co-ordinators and field construction supervisors has earned the reputation


to exact specifications ensures a smooth ride for the guest and minimal maintenance for the operator. With experience of 50 rides worldwide, the manufacturer also works with amusement park owners on maintenance and repair work on existing coasters, both old and new. GCII founders Clair Hain and Michael Boodley (who has since retired) set out in 1994 to create the next generation of wooden rollercoasters and boast a combined 40 years of experience in the industry. It is their firm belief that wooden coasters should remain a staple attraction in every serious


amusement facility. Since the company was started back in the 1990s, Great


Coasters has installed more than 20 “new generation” wooden coasters, providing thrilling rides with minimal maintenance. Today, GCII is proud to be one of the leading suppliers astthe heart of the “wooden coaster Renaissance”, providing rides that are both desirable to the operators that own them and capable of providing memories for today's park-goers that will last a lifetime.


Prowler, Worlds of Fun, Kansas City


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