Vertical – Wicked Twister
By Jessica Chang
When I first saw the Wicked Twister, I did not want to go on it. I thought, this coaster goes straight up and back down at a 90 degree angle! Now that is scary. Who would want to go on a ride that went up and down vertically? But after going on the Big Wheel, which is right next to the Wicked Twister close to the entrance of the Amusement Park, I began to get excited. I looked at the people scream as the cart goes up at a 90 degree angle, and could feel their thrill as they are zipped from one end to another. I thought to myself, “That actually looks like a lot of fun.” As I admired the Wicked Twister from the Big Wheel ferris wheel, I noticed the twist the yellow vertical tracks had. The riders’ legs swirled around the vertical tracks and their screams filled the air. Though the ride still looked like my ears would pop or that my eyes would close in the entire time, I finally gained the courage to go on the ride.
Intamin AG of Wollerau, Switzerland, the manufacturer who also built the Millennium Force and the Top Thrill Dragster built the Wicked Twister. Opened in 2002, the Wicked Twister is unique in that it propels forward and twists, and then jolts backwards and up into another twist, which provides a double twist from the forward direction and backward direction. It is considered the fastest and tallest double twist sensation.
After some self convincing, I decided to go on the ride that I did and did not want to go on. Walking a ways to get to the end of the line, I found the line to be relatively short. I think the placement of the ride is not as dominating or prominent as the other sixteen rides. It also seems as if the ride is shoved off to the side in a little area behind the Big Wheel. While I stood in line, I heard the Cedar Point employee say to the riders, “Are you ready?” The riders screamed, “Yeah!” He then counted down, “Now in three… two… one.” At that very moment, the ride took off at 50 miles per hour. The speed went from zero to 50mph in about half a second. That means that the acceleration reached about a=100 mph/s (based of a uniform acceleration motion equation). The cart can reach this speed due to a linear inductor motor propulsion system instead of producing a torque that would produce a linear force. The linear inductor motor propulsion needs to take an incredible amount of energy in order to quickly accelerate. It may need a generator to help achieve its fast acceleration.
The first time that I rode the Wicked Twister, I sat in the middle of the 8 car 4 passenger carts. When the ride started, my feet wanted to stay closer instead of flying out in front of me. I went up the first vertical forward and slightly twisted and paused. Shortly after, I was jolted back down the tower and backwards into the loading station and continued backwards up into the second tower at the top speed of 63 mph! I went up the tower about the same height. The third launch forward accelerated much faster as it reached 69 mph. This brought me to a slightly higher height. The fourth launch reached the maximum speed for this particular ride at 72 mph backwards! I felt my body float for a moment before it settled at the pause. Lastly, the gravity first grabs the cart and pulls it down. The linear inductor motor kicks in and reaches for its final and fifth thrust to help slow down, but gives you one last thrill (or scream) at 62 mph.
The difference between the first and second time I went on this ride is where I sat. The second time I sat closer to the back. This means the fourth launch backwards helped me reach close to the 215 feet height of the Wicked Twister, and helped me twist around 450 degree twist that excited. I would have to say that this ride is my second favorite one next to the Millennium, but it’s definitely my favorite for vertical rides, since I had never been on a vertical ride before the Wicked Twister.
Vertical – Wicked Twister