Roar has been a staple of Six Flags Discovery Kingdom since its opening, and although it has had a bit of inconsistency in its quality, it has always been a fan favorite. Despite its recent high-quality operations, the park has announced that Roar will be closing on August 16th of 2015 to make way for future attractions. Now, mostly any coaster enthusiast is aware of what this may mean… Rocky Mountain Construction. Even though it has yet to be confirmed, it has been heavily rumored and seems to be by far the most likely option for the park next year. So, what does this mean? Is this really a good fit? Let’s get into talking about a potential RMC Roar.
Roar opened on May 14th 1999 as Northern California’s largest wooden coaster, and was the first wooden coaster to make use of Millennium Flyer trains. These GCI trains allow for quicker sharper turns and transitions. Currently, all GCI coasters built after have been operating with these trains, including near-by Gold Striker at California’s Great America. Roar at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is a slightly twistier creation of its counterpart at Six Flags America, which is due to the Millennium Flyer trains. This may leave people to wonder how come the rougher, older Roar at Six Flags America isn’t closing and receiving the potential RMC upgrade. Perhaps it’s all about the near-by competition or high maintenance-costs that Six Flags Discovery Kingdom has. Some pretty extensive re-tracking on Discovery Kingdom’s Roar was done recently and since then it has been running very well. The trains have also received new restraints. With all these investments in the ride’s current state, it seems almost as though the closure of Roar is a bit sudden.
Roar, in its current state, fills two rather important roles in the park’s collection of coasters. Firstly, it is Discovery Kingdom’s only wooden roller coaster. It is also the only roller coaster of any merit it the park not to feature any inversions. Presumably, if RMC gives it the treatment, both of these things will change, the prior inevitably. -This however is not necessarily a bad thing. A hybrid is still unique to the park, and Six Flags Fiesta Texas has made the replacement of their only wooden roller coaster work very well for them.- The inversions however, could go one of many ways. Potentially RMC could have this coaster feature no inversions in hopes to have it maintain its current status as a quality non-inverting coaster, but this is unlikely. After New Texas Giant (Their first coaster), every RMC has featured inversions, and Six Flags is known for building attractions they think will be easily marketed, inversions providing just that kind of ease for them. If it does feature inversions, we want to see something one of a kind, something new. A bunch of Zero G Rolls has been done, and if the park is going to have more inversions, make them count.
Now, this all sounds very presumptuous doesn’t it? How do we know that RMC is really going to give Roar the hybrid treatment? Well, we don’t, but we can be almost certain. For one, about a month ago, RMC released a job offer for a scout in three locations, Kentucky, Tennessee, and California. A scout implies a large project such as the hybrid treatment or a ground up wooden coaster (Dollywood) rather than just some basic re-tracking. Seeing as Six Flags has a location in only one of these states and we know that Six Flags will be doing one RMC hybrid next year, this application reveals that RMC will VERY LIKELY come to Discovery Kingdom for their next project. Roar is also the only coaster to have its closure announced making it clear that there are no plans of other Six Flags woodies in 2016. Roar will be closing on August 16th, a date on which Colossus, Six Flags’ previous hybrid upgrade coaster, closed as well. Which of course, was turned into Twisted Colossus, a Hybrid Iron Horse coaster from Rocky Mountain Construction. Speaking of, Twisted Colossus was subtlety featured in Roar’s recent good bye video that was released by the park. So sure, even with all these hints we may not know that Roar is being RMC’d, but it would be very very surprising to us if it wasn’t.
Let’s take a look at Roar’s current layout. It’s an incredibly nice, complex, and twisty one. In fact, it’s one of our favorite wooden coaster layouts out there. This is exactly why Alan Schilke may really enjoy playing with this ride. All Iron Horse upgraded coasters from Six Flags so far, have had more simplistic layouts with very wide structures. Roar, does not have any of that, the supports structure is narrow, and there are 22 crossovers, which is by far more than any RMC Iron Horse conversion has had to deal with so far. This allows for a totally new and unique creation that will not be like anything we’ve seen so far. Alan Schilke has worked with wide ‘simple’ structures quite a bit, and it will be very interesting to see what he can do with this layout. We would hate to see the ride become an inversion fest, not only because the park has plenty inversions already, but because the Northern part of the state lacks just as much airtime as the south did before Twisted Colossus. The park can set themselves apart with crazy airtime and a very twisty layout, rather than inversions.For the few that will almost certainly be featured, make them crazy and unique, make them count. In addition, Roar’s layout is perfect for a combination of laterals and air-time to create some very unique new elements. We’d like to think of the green side of Twisted Colossus’ High-Five, but then done a bunch of times. The track layout of Roar includes a whopping 12 drops, this is 12 incredible opportunities for some ejector airtime, the layout also consists of 17 significant turns… Look at the numbers, if RMC is planning on taking the current layout into account at all, we can expect a crazy amount of airtime and twists. Something that will be entirely different from it’s Southern California counterpart Twisted Colossus.
The park stated that “Guests and fans can ride Roar one last time from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on August 16. After that, the ride will be permanently closed.” “We are a dynamic and evolving entertainment venue,” said Don McCoy, park president. “Although Roar continues to be a guest favorite, sometimes hard choices must be made to allow for future expansion.” We doubt how hard the choice actually was, considering the very likely RMC Iron Horse upgrade. The park also stated that “Officials have not announced any plans for an attraction to replace the coaster. “A special fond farewell to Roar will include a series of events for guests and Season Pass holders, the highlight of which will be a special last rider event coinciding with National Roller Coaster Day on August 16.”
So get your rides in on Northern California’s longest wooden coaster, enjoy a twisty layout on the world’s oldest Millennium Flyer trains once more, and be sure to come back next year. 😉
What do you think about a potential RMC Roar? What would you like to see happen to the layout? Comment below, and let us know! – If you haven’t experienced Twisted Colossus yet, and are unsure of why the Rocky Mountain Construction Iron Horse coasters are such a hit, read our Twisted Colossus Ride Review here!