Shuttle Loop Love

Thursday, June 3, 2010 1:32 PM

I've always preferred the old shuttle loops to the new fangled launch coasters, but wasn't sure exactly why. I thought that perhaps nostalgia played a part, but upon reflection, came up with something more concrete.

I think it has a lot to do with the noises. It starts with the super loud metallic clang when the brakes pop open and the train launches. Then it's the screech of the wheels echoing inside the fiberglass bogies gradually climbing in pitch as the rush of air increases. That's followed by the huff of air (weight drop versions) of the counterweight pistoning air from the drop shaft.

The first loop is nice, but what is really striking is the sudden silence as you top out on the spike and begin the return run. Gotta love that second moment of weightlessness through the loop (with only seatbelts and a lapbar, that always made me clench up!) followed by that long continuous roll to the station. Then it suddenly gets really loud in the station and then quiet again for the second spike.

Then the loud clang of the brakes closing followed by 5-6 flaw-flaw-flow-flow-flows as the fins from the first few cars hit the brakes. Then the brakes clanging open while you roll at a pretty good pace for a few feet until the brakes slam shut and you come skidding to a stop.

Most coasters end with a wimper. But that fury at the end is great. I've never been disappointed. And those wonderful loud mechanical sounds make all the difference.

Last edited by janfrederick, Thursday, June 3, 2010 2:25 PM
Thursday, June 3, 2010 1:39 PM

I certainly love Anton shuttles. If there was one major coaster I could have in my yard, it would probably be that.

Having said that, I also love the Premiers. The silence, then scream of the LIMs is great. Can't wait to get my Mr. Freeze on tomorrow!

Thursday, June 3, 2010 1:46 PM

I don't think you could have described a ride on a shuttle looper any better than that! The weight drop versions are much noisier. I grew up riding Tidal Wave to death at Marriott's/Six Flags Great America. There were days where I would ride it over and over again. Every single time I would grab that lapbar as we went backwards through the loop. Gets me every time.

Thursday, June 3, 2010 1:47 PM

Makes me sad that SFKK is closed. I have quite the wait at the Louisville airport on Sunday, I could have ridden one.

Edit: There are currently 7 listed on RCDB in existence. Two are SBNO, and one in storage. There are about 3 in Japan that just says defunct. Anyone know what happened to them?

Last edited by Tekwardo, Thursday, June 3, 2010 1:50 PM
Thursday, June 3, 2010 8:05 PM

OH yeah! Now this is a thread I can give some love - I am a total Anton Shuttle Loop fanboy!

Not only the ride sounds - but those 70's looking trains! The lap bar is perfect - keeps you in but doesn't hold you down like all the new stuff. Also, the rides FEELS like a rollercoaster thanks to the old flanged wheels. You feel the slight bumps and grinds and the sound is great.

^^^^Seatbelts? The only shuttle with seatbelts I can think of is Montezuma's Revenge. How bout upon the CLANK of the final stop break - the lap bars popping open at the same time, always loved that.

I've ridden the newer Intamin launch coasters - the actual launches are impressive - but still not as fun (to me) as the old models. There is something different about them - you also have time to view the scenery and that loop getting closer.

Anyone remember when the Tidal Wave had that great lighting scheme? I think it would go solid (or racing? or blinking?) white, then turn blue while going backwards? I can't remember specifically, but the lights did something to let you know when the train was being launched/during the pause on the front spike/starting to travel backwards/and traveling backwards. It was great to watch! I wish there were a video of that somewhere...

Last edited by CoasterDemon, Thursday, June 3, 2010 8:08 PM
Thursday, June 3, 2010 9:13 PM

Sounds like Kentucky kingdom will be opening up again next year, so viper.....errrr...greezed lightning will be operating again.

Thursday, June 3, 2010 10:09 PM

So is Montezooma's Revenge at Knott's Berry Farm the only operating shuttle loop in the States this year?

Thursday, June 3, 2010 10:14 PM

I'm not sure about that. What I am sure about is that Montezooma's Revenge is a fantastic shuttle loop :)

Friday, June 4, 2010 8:06 AM

Couldn't agree more coasterdemon.

That light display on Tidal Wave was the best at night. You knew even from a distance if the train was going forwards or backwards based on the lighting scheme.

I hope KK keeps this coaster.

Friday, June 4, 2010 8:29 AM

I approve of this thread!

Anton! Anton! Anton!

I'll take Monte over Xcellerator anyday. Those old trains are so comfy and cool looking. The lapbar fits virually anyone big or small. Tidal Wave was my first lapbar looper. Wish every park had one.

Friday, June 4, 2010 10:41 AM

I thought Tidal Wave had seatbelts, but I'm probably confusing it with Monte (been a while).

I loved the old lighting. I used to see it from our hills 10 miles away at night. I think the problem was maintenance. They had a lighbulb guy out there just about every night. Betcha LEDs would last longer. :)

Now here's an idea, launch through an elongated Demon effects tunnel. Yaaaahhhhh boyeeeeeeee!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010 5:15 PM

This thread makes me miss King Kobra. My first looper was sooperdooper, but my first shuttle was KK circa 1980/81. I saw it a year or two after it moved to Ocean City, MD, but never rode it there. After 14 years, I had the privilege of riding Viper at SFoG in 2000, and again as Greezed Lightnin' at SFKK three years later.

At least my first Anton is still 3 hours from me in PA...

Friday, June 4, 2010 9:17 PM

I never met an Anton I didn't fall in love with on first ride.

Friday, June 4, 2010 9:25 PM

I love the Anton shuttle loops too!

Pardon the mild topic diversion but I'd like to give an honorable mention to the Arrow launched loopers. Riverside's Black Widow was my first loop. The horrible sweaty climb up the stairs. The accelerated launch into the drop was the horrific, the loop was incidental. Then the whole thing backwards! The visuals on the train were very poor so could never see the drop coming, only could hear the screams of those ahead.

Anton's version is way more powerful and exhilirating overall and no endless stairs to deal with. But I'd argue that the Arrow version was more horrific because of the launch into the drops.

Anyway, please return to the Anton love! :)

Friday, June 4, 2010 11:22 PM

As one who has operated both an Anton (Tidal Wave) AND an Arrow (Double O/Afterburner), may I say I loved riding these things a helluva lot more than running them.

I think the whole idea of "point of no return" is perhaps the most exhilarating part of the ride experience; however, it was also the most nerve wracking as an operator. (YES there were safety systems in which you COULD stop a launch within a reasonable reaction time.) And if that wasn't enough, the extremely rare "weight drop" was the most earth-shaking, attention-getting experience ever!

But to continue the LOVE, may I join in saying how much I hope for KK to save and maintain TW/V/GL. It's a classic!!! Let's hope they ALL stick around for a LONG time!

Ken ;)

Saturday, June 5, 2010 12:41 PM

I love the Arrow shuttle loop. Elitch's Sidewinder was my first upside down ride and the first coaster I was trained to operate. I miss sitting up in the far side booth and watching people freak out going backwards.

Saturday, June 5, 2010 9:44 PM

CastleKing said:
As one who has operated both an Anton (Tidal Wave) AND an Arrow (Double O/Afterburner), may I say I loved riding these things a helluva lot more than running them.

I've only operated an Anton (Viper/Tidal) and did not like it much either. The breaks were super loud, not to mention the screaming that came back through the station upon return. The gross part was because of the station break acting like a trim on the station pass you'd have black dust in strange places and in the nose. Anyone who's worked at bumper cars can relate.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010 10:27 PM

kRaXLeRidAh said:
So is Montezooma's Revenge at Knott's Berry Farm the only operating shuttle loop in the States this year?

PARC-7F owns two (Frontier City and Elitch's). Last I heard, FC's was running...not sure about EG's.

Re: Anton love - ask the ops at Monte...clearly I prefer it over any other ride at Knott's, LOL... :)

Last edited by rollergator, Tuesday, June 8, 2010 10:30 PM

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