Bye Bye Viper ??

Sunday, February 26, 2017 9:45 AM

Alright, I know that some (read: a plethora) of stuff you read on the internet should taken with a grain of salt. But I did come across something on YouTube that gave me pause. It was discussing the future of Viper at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Now as most if not all of you know when Viper opened in 1990, it was the top of the list. A beast among roller coasters. It was the worlds largest looping roller coaster and billed heavily as such. Patterned after its now fallen brothers from Illinois and New Jersey it was back then one of the best rides on the planet!! Fast forward 27 years... Viper these days consistently has a low ride turn out and its not exactly the smoothest coaster at SFMM. So the postulation is that Viper might be running its last rides this season. I know Im one of the VERY FEW people out there that will sorely miss this coaster but I also understand that time brings changes and not always favorable ones. I just want to know what are your thoughts or input on the subject. You think SFMM should keep it or remove it ?? Furthermore, IF they do remove it what could go in its place? Viper takes up a large plot of land. Again, just curious here.


Are you MAN ENOUGH to ride this ride ?
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Sunday, February 26, 2017 11:14 AM

I never cared for Viper. I rode it when it was fairly new and was still king of the block. In fact, during an event we were offered nighttime ERT on Viper or Revolution and I was one of a few that ran a marathon on Revolution.
I felt the same about the ride in Chicago, and never got the chance to try the NJ version. While visually impressive with their massive size and high-in-the-air loops, those rides were in reality everything that was wrong with the Arrow monsters of the day. Coat hanger transitions, poor timing, a life-sucking mid-course brake, and uncomfortable restraints.

I'm guilty myself of being nostalgic for older rides, and I guess it would be a shame if the last one of those models were to go. I'm in Ohio and occasionally the same rumors swirl around our Vortex. If it were to go I'd understand that something better would be on the way, but I'd also shed a quiet tear or two. So I get it.

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Sunday, February 26, 2017 1:38 PM

Viper at SFMM was what opened my eyes to what was really out there beyond Darien Lake and SeaBreeze (after Roseland closed) here in western New York. It was featured in an article about the latest and greatest roller coasters in a Popular Mechanics magazine I got when I was a kid. Finally got to ride it in 2003... It was good for a couple laps but just like all the other Arrow custom & mega loopers, it didn't hold a candle to the newer stuff out there. I'd be sad to see it go but I get it.

Now the rumor about SFGrAm removing V2, that one I don't understand.


But then again, what do I know?

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Sunday, February 26, 2017 2:03 PM
rollergator's avatar

I thought Viper was far better than either of its siblings.

Considering its age, not envisioning it sticking around too much longer - VRing it would have potentially increased popularity *and* reduced its operational load during the re-opening of New Revolution. Some day when I'm bored, I'll get around to figuring out which rides in which parks really SHOULD have gotten the VR treatment...

But as for Viper, I think it does say something about the rides's quality that it outlived GASM and Shockwave by a considerable margin already..


"I'm going to make my own amusement park with blackjack and hookers. In fact, forget the park." - Bender Bending Rodriguez, Futurama

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Sunday, February 26, 2017 6:43 PM

I personally despise Viper and if it gets torn down I am not gonna miss it

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Sunday, February 26, 2017 10:17 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

In my opinion, the 3 Giant Arrow Loopers are in the exact same category as the Giant Woodies of the 90's. (Mean Streak, Texas Giant, Rattler, Hercules.)

In the race to be the tallest, fastest, anything-est, they simply out-built the technology that was available at the time. Perhaps these rides were acceptable in the few years after they were built, but they quickly started to show their flaws. I'll admit to loving Shockwave at SFGrAm, but what did I know? I was only 13 and nowhere close to being the jaded coastertool that I am today.

Notice, however that all 4 examples of Woodie are now gone, and 2 of the 3 Arrows.

Viper, besides the nostalgia factor for some, would not even leave a gap in SFMM's lineup, as they have another sit down looper with 7 inversions on the other side of the park.

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Monday, February 27, 2017 11:14 AM

I have ridden both Viper and Vortex at Kings Island. Call me crazy, but I actually kinda like them both. Not to a tear shedding level if they come down, but I do like them.

A bigger loss to me will be if Busch Williamsburg ever loses Loch Ness Monster.

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Monday, February 27, 2017 12:43 PM

True.
They've had those iconic interlocking loops over the river to use as a publicity shot since 1978. I wonder what they'd do without em?

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Monday, February 27, 2017 2:47 PM
Walk-Off HBP's avatar

I'd like to get out there to give it a spin regardless of whether it's on the chopping block or not. I enjoyed GASM and especially Shockwave, so Viper is on my to-do list. I've already missed out on another one of my weird bucket list coasters that no one else wants to ride (Vortex at CGA), recently.

RCMAC said:

They've had those iconic interlocking loops over the river to use as a publicity shot since 1978. I wonder what they'd do without em?

Rocky Mountain it? :-)

Last edited by Walk-Off HBP, Monday, February 27, 2017 2:53 PM

Never has gravity been so uplifting.

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Monday, February 27, 2017 5:46 PM
TheMillenniumRider's avatar

I rode GASM and Viper, Shockwave was gone before I had a chance. I honestly can't remember my ride on GASM. My ride on Viper was notable simply because I wasn't headbanged like I expected. Viper wasn't in any respect a bad ride, but as said before, it is just meh, too much downtime and the same arrow elements over and over.

Too bad it took Arrow as long as it did to evolve, because X2 is a beast, and I have yet to ride Tennessee Tornado, but that one has custom elements and I have heard good things. Too little too late, they dominated in the 80's, but didn't keep pace after that.

Last edited by TheMillenniumRider, Monday, February 27, 2017 5:46 PM
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Monday, February 27, 2017 6:42 PM

If Viper is removed, I won't worry about never getting to ride it because I'll be able to enjoy it when it's split in two and reinstalled at SF Astroworld as Vip and SF New Orleans as Er.


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Wednesday, March 1, 2017 12:16 PM

bigboy said:

when it's split in two and reinstalled at SF Astroworld as Vip and SF New Orleans as Er.


- Johnathan
@robotfactory

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Saturday, March 4, 2017 10:50 PM

I have ridden all three of these arrows and age did not treat them well. I don't remember near the headbanging on them when they were new as Viper is today.

I'm wondering if a redesigned train with the softer (and wider) shoulder restraints would give Viper new life (although the age of the track probably eliminates any chance of financial investment in this ride)? Being such, I'm guessing the rumors are true.


Fever I really enjoy the Simpsons. It's just a shame that I am starting to LOOK like Homer.
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Thursday, March 9, 2017 3:47 PM

insert standard "hate to see any coaster go, but dear god this one sucks" comment.

Seriously, headbanging that almost rivals Drachen Fire at its worst. I rode all three siblings in their early years and time has not been a friend to this one. Now that SFMM is my home Six Flags park, I haven't ridden it in years.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017 1:22 AM

I wish SFA would tear down Apocalypse and replace it with Viper(with new Vekoma trains of course).

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Sunday, March 19, 2017 4:32 AM

Ill admit that just unlike Danny Bondauce, Viper hasnt aged well, but then I throw this out there.... There are people who absolutely LOVE the Great American Scream Machine at SFOG. The last time I rode that monstrosity, I think I lost a rib and part of my spleen on it. Yet nobody seems to complain about it. I guess it all boils down to your love of the actual ride.

Last edited by Coasterhound36, Sunday, March 19, 2017 4:33 AM
Are you MAN ENOUGH to ride this ride ?
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Sunday, March 19, 2017 11:25 AM
sirloindude's avatar

I'm maybe six years older than I was during my last Viper experience, but gosh, I love that thing. I know the usual criticisms of Arrow megaloopers (or most Arrows in general), but I felt like Viper actually rode really well. Things change, but to me, in addition to being a fun ride, I feel like the Arrow megaloopers (I wish GASM was still standing where Green Lantern is now) had that intimidation factor more than the B&Ms that have served as the next steps in looper evolution. Something about the latticework supports, the loops sitting so impossibly high in the air, and the really impressive stats (Viper not that far away from thirty and it still ranks as one of the top twenty looping coasters in terms of height) still make it iconic in my eyes, and it doesn't seem outdated to me even with more modern loopers in the same park. I know that the trackwork is questionable, but there'd be at least one disappointed fan if they took the ride away.

Last edited by sirloindude, Monday, March 20, 2017 2:03 PM
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Monday, March 20, 2017 3:48 AM

sirloindude said:

I'm maybe six years older than I was during my last Viper experience, but gosh, I love that thing. I know the usual criticisms of Arrow megaloopers (or most Arrows in general), but I felt like Viper actually rode really well. Things change, but to me, in addition to being a fun ride, I feel like the Arrow megaloopers (I wish GASM was still standing where Green Lantern is now) had that intimidation factor more than the B&Ms that have served as the next steps in looper evolution. Something about the latticework supports, the loops sitting so impossibly high in the air, and the really impressive stats (Viper is a year away from thirty and it still ranks as one of the top twenty looping coasters in terms of height) still make it iconic in my eyes, and it doesn't seem outdated to me even with more modern loopers in the same park. I know that the trackwork is questionable, but there'd be at least one disappointed fan if they took the ride away.

Sirloin, I hate to correct you, but Viper wont see its 30th birthday until April 8, 2020.


Are you MAN ENOUGH to ride this ride ?
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Monday, March 20, 2017 2:03 PM
sirloindude's avatar

Oh, yeah, my mistake. I had confused its opening year with Shockwave's at SFGAm.

Last edited by sirloindude, Monday, March 20, 2017 2:03 PM
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Monday, March 20, 2017 10:23 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Enthusiast card revoked.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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