You ever feel like you’ve had an out-of-body experience?
That’s the only way I can describe our first ride on Steel Vengeance.
While this “review” will appear biased (I do work here), I’m writing from the voice of the enthusiast in me. Of course, you will have to judge for yourself, as most things in life are pretty subjective. Except for pizza. Everyone loves pizza. And in the end, there's always gonna be someone who is never going to like pepperoni. Same with roller coasters.
Now I want pizza. Grr.
Let’s start at the beginning – the seats. You start with your retractable seatbelt. You will fasten this FIRST and you won’t pull the lap bar down – our crew will do that for you. The lap bar also has a shin pad that holds you in place along with the larger lap bar with pad. This restraint system means that a traditional over-the-shoulder harness doesn't need to be used.
As you leave the station, the two bunny hills leading to the lift hill give you some fun little pops of airtime. Who knew? Then you're on your way up.
It’s strange riding up this lift hill. It was never this tall before, and certainly never this steep. It goes pretty fast and before you know it, you have another breathtaking view of the park and the surrounding shoreline.
But then it’s on!
The 27.2 seconds of airtime is no joke, and it continues right off the lift. All the way down the first drop and into the speed hill. The first massive hill is pure ejector all the way over the top and it continues into the outer-banked airtime hill, which, I can’t really put into words. It’s the weirdest feeling being sent to the side, but also getting airtime. Again, the whole coaster is just nuts.
The climb into the inversion above the midway is one of my favorite moments. By the way, every entry into every inversion is butter-smooth and they never toss you side-to-side.
Speaking of inversions, let's talk about the Twisted Snake Dive. This move twists you into a half-roll, almost like you’re about to do a complete inline twist, but turns you back into the direction of travel. I was a little skeptical about this particular moment, as it looked like you’d be tossed about, but again, butter-smooth and well designed. So hard to explain.
Things heat up a notch after you clear the block brake and begin weaving in and out of the massive wooden structure. The near-miss illusions are gratuitous and there are pops of airtime in places you wouldn’t expect them to be. (See the video on Saturday.)
My favorite moment, oddly, is a “mini” version of the first fan turn on Kings Dominion’s Twisted Timbers. If you’ve been on that, it’s right after the first drop and airtime hill – it turns to the right all the way around the station and lift. For me, that turn is just fantastic and fun. And we have a mini version, just over the final brake run near the station. Yes, I'm weird.
Another surprise moment – in the other side of the structure as you’re making the final turn to the left to go into the last stretch of track, there’s a turn that has an airtime moment built into it, even though you’re completely sideways. It’s almost like the turnaround on Fury 325 at Carowinds where you get some unexpected airtime.
The final bunny hills are just insane. Airtime after airtime after airtime moment. (Again, see the video.)
How will you feel after? I can’t say because I’m not you. However, I liken it to coming off of Top Thrill Dragster for the first time. You find yourself asking, “what in the heck just happened?” And THAT was only 17 seconds!!
You’re going to have that feeling after your first ride.
I’m so happy we have a Rocky Mountain Construction creation at our park. From designers Alan and Fred to Ana and Damien who have been with us on the ground for almost two years – this team has created something truly special.
I will go out on a limb and say that Steel Vengeance is the best roller coaster in the world. Yes. I said it.
It combines everything you could possibly want. Height. Speed. Inversions. Airtime. Airtime. Airtime. Surprises. Optical illusions.
We hope you enjoy your first ride as much as we did, and I cannot wait to see your faces as you return to the station!